Reply #7   
money for what?

maybe congress should create a national lottery to help pay the debt.
          Reply #6   
SORRY BOUT' THAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LET's PRAY for people in IL and MG the rust BELT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PEOPLE BLACK color have SOUL-OUTTTTTTTTTT it felt G@@D!!!!!

BUSH cant't DO SHUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTO'BAMA WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE ALL KNOW we are screwed

TELL CONGRESS @ GET LOST$$$$$$$$$$$NOT MORE MONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the prision's R FULL DON't GIVE them moe MONEY$$$$$$$$$$$$

MAKE ALL these ashole's PUT -UP THEIR MONEY call UR congre$$$$!!!

          The Chris Mannix Show - Tanner Ainge Joins the Show   
Mannix talks to the Utah Congressman candidate and son of Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge, Tanner Ainge about trying to recruit Gordon Hayward away from his father, his candidacy for Congress in Utah, why he wants to be a Congressman and if Sports would ever impact a person’s vote.
          Congresswoman Debbie Dingell shares her thoughts on President Trump's tweet about "Morning Joe" with Marie Osborne 6-30-17   
          Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence reacts to President Trump's tweet with Marie Osborne 6-30-17   
          13º Congrenf aprova compromissos a serem defendidos pela categoria petroleira   
Os delegados e delegadas do 13º Congrenf, o congresso regional da categoria que terminou ontem, em Macaé, aprovaram um conjunto de compromissos que serão defendidos como prioritários na construção da…

          CNQ realizará seu VIII Congresso de 12 a 14 de julho em São Paulo   
A Confederação do Ramo Químico da CUT – CNQ realizará seu VIII Congresso nos próximos dias 12, 13 e 14 de julho, no Espaço Hakka, localizado no bairro da Liberdade,…

          Mengapa Yahudi?   

Mengapa Yahudi Terlalu Berkuasa?

Oleh : Dr Farrukh Saleem
Semakan Oleh : Mohd Taha Hassan

There are only 14 million Jews in the world; seven million in the Americas , five million in Asia, two million in Europe and 100,000 in Africa . For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims. Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together. Ever wondered why?

Hanya ada 14 juta Yahudi di muka bumi ini; tujuh juta di Amerika, lima juta di Asia, dua juta di Eropah dan 100,000 di Afrika. Bagi setiap orang Yahudi ada 100 orang Muslim (1:100). Namun, jika dicampuri semua sekali, Yahudi lebih 100 kali berkuasa daripada orang Islam. Mengapa ini berlaku?

Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish. Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine's 'Person of the Century', was a Jew. Sigmund Freud -- id, ego, superego -- the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew. So were Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.

Nabi Isa (Jesus of Nazareth) ialah Yahudi. Albert Einstein, saintis zaman moden paling terkemuka dan disebut oleh majalah Time sebagai 'Manusia Abad ini' ialah seorang Yahudi; Sigmund Freud - melalui teori id, ego dan super-ego ialah bapa psikoanalisis, juga seorang Yahudi; begitu juga Karl Marx, Paul Samuelson dan Milton Friedman.

Here are a few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole humanity: Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine. Alert Sabin developed the improved live polio vaccine. Gertrude Elion gave us a leukaemia fighting drug. Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B. Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease). Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.

Selain mereka banyak lagi orang Yahudi yang hasil kebijaksanaan mereka berupaya menghasilkan keperluan untuk kita semua: Benjamin Rubin memperkenalkan jarum suntikan pelalian. Johas Salk mereka vaksin polio yang pertama. Gertrude Elion mencipta ubat melawan leukemia. Baruch Blumberg mencipta vaksin Hepatitis B. Paul Ehrlich menemukan rawatan untuk siflis. Elie Metchnikoff menang Hadiah Nobel untuk penyakit berjangkit.

Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuromuscular transmission. Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology (disorders of the endocrine system; diabetes, hyperthyroidism). Aaron Beck founded Cognitive Therapy (psychotherapy to treat mental disorders, depression and phobias). Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill. George Wald won a Nobel for furthering our understanding of the human eye. Stanley Cohen won a Nobel in embryology (study of embryos and their development). Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine.

Bernard Katz menang Hadiah Nobel kerana kajian mengenai transmisi neuromuskular. Andrew Schally penerima Nobel dalam kajian endokrinologi (berkaitan sistem endokrin dan kencing manis). Aaron Beck menemui terapi kognitif (rawatan mental, kesugulan dan fobia). Gregory Pincus membangunkan pil perancang keluarga yang pertama. George Wald menang Nobel bagi kajian mata manusia, Standley Cohen dianugerahi Hadiah Nobel dalam kajian embriologi (kajian janin dan perkembangannya). Willem Kolff mencipta mesin dialisis (mencuci) buah pinggang.

Over the past 105 years, 14 million Jews have won 15-dozen Nobel Prizes while only three Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion Muslims (other than Peace Prizes).

Sejak 105 tahun, 14 juta Yahudi menang 15 dozen Hadiah Nobel, sementara tiga dimenangi oleh 1.4 bilion umat Islam.

Why are Jews so powerful? Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip. Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor. Peter Schultz, optical fibre cable; Charles Adler, traffic lights; Benno Strauss, Stainless steel; Isador Kisee, sound movies; Emile Berliner, telephone microphone and Charles Ginsburg, videotape recorder.

Mengapa Yahudi Terlalu Berkuasa? Stanley Mezor mencipta mikrocip pertama. Leo Szilards membangunkan reaktor rangkaian nuklear pertama; Peter Schultz (kabel gentian optik); Charles Adler (lampu isyarat); Benno Strauss (besi tahan karat - stainless steel); Isador Kisee (sistem suara di pawagam); Emile Berliner (mikrofon untuk telefon) dan Charles Ginsburg (alat pita rakaman).

Famous financiers in the business world who belong to Jewish faith include Ralph Lauren (Polo), Levis Strauss (Levi's Jeans), Howard Schultz (Starbuck's), Sergey Brin (Google), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Donna Karan (DKNY), Irv Robbins (Baskins & Robbins) and Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts).

Saudagar jenama terkaya dunia juga dikuasai Yahudi iaitu Ralph Lauren (Polo), Levis Strauss (Levi's Jeans), Howard Schultz (Starbuck's), Sergey Brin (Google), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Donna Karan (DKNY), Irv Robbins (Baskin & Robbins) dan Bill Rossenberg (Dunkin Donuts).

Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American secretary of state), Alan Greenspan (fed chairman under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush), Joseph Lieberman, Maxim Litvinov (USSR foreign Minister), David Marshal (Singapore's first chief minister), Issac Isaacs (governor-general of Australia), Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian PM), Barry Gold water, Jorge Sampaio (president of Portugal), John Deutsch (CIA director), Herb Gray (Canadian deputy PM), Pierre Mendes (French PM), Michael Howard (British home secretary) and Robert Rubin (American secretary of treasury).

Richard Levin, presiden universiti tersohor Yale Universiti ialah seorang Yahudi. Henry Kissinger, Joseph Lieberman dan Madeleine Albright (bekas-bekas Setiausaha Negara AS); Alan Greenspan (bekas pengerusi Rizab Persekutuan AS di bawah Reagan, Bush, Clinton dan Bush); Maxim Litvinov (bekas Menteri Luar Soviet Union); David Marshal (bekas Ketua Menteri pertama Singapura); Isaac Isaacs (bekas Gabenor Jeneral Australia); Benjamin Disraeli (negarawan dan penulis Britian); Yevgeny Primkov (bekas Perdana Menteri Rusia dan bekas jeneral KGB); Jorge Sampaio (bekas Presiden Portugal); Herb Gray (bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri Kanada); Pierre Mendes (Perdana Menteri ke-143 Perancis); Michael Howard (bekas Setiausaha Negara British); Bruno Kreisky (bekas Canselor Austria) dan Robert Rubin (bekas Setiausaha Perbendaharaan AS).

In the media, famous Jews include Wolf Blitzer ( CNN ), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer ( Washington Post ), Henry Grunwald (editor-in-chief Time), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post ), Joseph Lelyyeld (Executive editor, The New York Times), and Max Frankel (New York Times).

Dalam dunia media, orang Yahudi yang terkemuka ialah Wolf Blitzer (CNN); Barbara Walters (ABC News); Eugene Meyer (Washington Post); Henry Grunwald (Ketua Editor Time); Katherine Graham (penerbit The Washington Post); Joseph Lelyyeld (Editor Eksekutif, The New York Times) dan Max Frankel (The New York Times).

At the Olympics, Mark Spitz set a record of sorts by wining seven gold medals. Lenny Krayzelburg is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Spitz, Krayzelburg and Boris Becker are all Jewish.

Di Olimpik, Mark Spitz membolot tujuh pingat emas. Lenny Krayzelburg ialah pemegang tiga kali pingat emas Olimpik. Spitz Krayzelburg dan Boris Becker adalah Yahudi.

Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crystal, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Cary Grant, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and Peter Falk are all Jewish? As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew. Among directors and producers, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1/2/3), Michael Man (Starsky and Hutch), Milos Forman (One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The thief of Baghdad) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.

Tahukah anda bahawa pelakon pujaan Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Billy Cystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, Willian Shatner, Jerry Lewis dan Peter Falk semuanya Yahudi? Tambahan lagi, Hollywood sendiri diwujudkan oleh orang Yahudi. Antara pengarah dan penerbit, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo 1- 2-3), Michael Man (Starsky and Hutch), Milos Forman (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The Thief Of Baghdad) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) - semuanya adalah Yahudi.

To be certain, Washington is the capital that matters and in Washington the lobby that matters is The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. Washington knows that if PM Ehud Olmert were to discover that the earth is flat, AIPAC will make the 109th Congress pass a resolution congratulating Olmert on his discovery.

Washington yang merupakan ibu negara Amerika Syarikat, mempunyai satu pertubuhan lobi yang amat berkuasa. Ia dikenali sebagai Jawatankuasa Hal Ehwal Awam Amerika Israel (AIPAC) yang berupaya mempengaruhi Kongres meluluskan resolusi memuji dan 'membuat apa saja' demi Israel. Washington mengetahui bahawa jika PM Ehud Olmert sedar akan wujudnya bahawa bumi ini adalah rata, maka AIPAC akan mengadakan Kongres yang ke 109 untuk meluluskan resolusi bagi memberi ucapan tahniah pada satu pertemuan yang akan diadakan bersama Olmert.

William James Sidis, with an IQ of 250-300, is the brightest human who ever existed. Guess what faith did he belong to?

Tahukah lagi bahawa William James Sidis dengan IQ 250-300 ialah manusia tercerdik. Dia ialah Yahudi. Teka, apakah kepercayaan yang beliau miliki?

So, why are Jews so powerful? Answer: Education.

Oleh yang demikian, mengapa Yahudi terlalu berkuasa? Jawapannya: Pendidikan, pelajaran, ilmu.


Dermawan dan penyangak mata wang, George Soros ialah Yahudi. Dia menderma AS$4 bilion untuk membantu ahli sains dan universiti serata dunia.

Walter Annenberg menderma untuk membina ratusan perpustakaan berjumlah AS$2 bilion.

Jadi, mengapa mereka ini terlalu berkuasa? Mengapa umat Islam terlalu lemah?

Dianggarkan 1,476,233,470 Muslim di atas muka bumi Allah ini. Satu bilion di Asia, 400 juta di Afrika, 44 juta di Eropah dan enam juta di Amerika. Setiap lima insan manusia ialah Muslim. Setiap seorang Hindu ada dua orang Islam, setiap seorang Buddha ada dua orang Islam dan setiap seorang Yahudi ada beratus orang Islam. Mengapa orang Islam terlalu lemah?

Ini jawapannya: Terdapat 57 negara anggota OIC dan jika dicampur semua cuma ada kira-kira 500 buah universiti; atau sebuah universiti untuk setiap tiga juta orang Islam.

AS mempunyai 5,758 universiti dan India ada 8,407. Pada 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong Universiti membuat kajian 'Kedudukan Akademik Universiti-universiti Dunia' - dan menakjubkan - tiada satu pun universiti-negara Islam yang berada di puncak 500.

Data yang dikumpul dari UNDP, tahap celik huruf di negara maju ialah hampir 90 peratus dan 15 negara itu mempunyai 100 peratus celik huruf. Negara majoriti penduduk Islam, purata kadar celik huruf ialah sekitar 40 peratus dan tiada negara yang mempunyai 100 peratus semuanya celik huruf.

Sekitar 98 peratus penduduk di negara maju menamatkan sekurang-kurang sekolah rendah, sementara hanya 50 peratus di negara majoriti Islam. Sekitar 40 peratus penduduk di negara maju memasuki universiti, sementara hanya 2 peratus di negara majoriti Islam.

Negara-negara majoriti Islam mempunyai 230 ahli sains bagi setiap (per) sejuta penduduk. Di AS 4,000 per sejuta, Jepun 5,000 per sejuta. Di seluruh negara Arab, penyelidik sepenuh masa ialah 35,000 dan hanya 50 juruteknik per sejuta (berbanding di negara maju 1,000 juruteknik per sejuta).

Negara Islam membelanjakan 0.2 peratus daripada KDNK untuk penyelidikan dan pembangunan (R&D) sebaliknya, di negara maju membelanjakan 5 peratus daripada KDNKnya.

Kesimpulan: Dunia Islam kurang keupayaan untuk menghasilkan ilmu pengetahuan.

Akhbar harian yang dibaca oleh setiap 1,000 orang dan jumlah judul buku yang dibaca oleh setiap sejuta orang adalah dua angka tunjuk bagi menentukan sama ada ilmu pengetahuan disalurkan ke dalam masyarakat.

Di Pakistan, hanya ada 23 akhbar harian per 1,000 rakyat Pakistan sementara nisbah di Singapura ialah 360. Di UK, jumlah judul buku per juta orang ialah 2,000 sementara di Mesir ialah 20.

Kesimpulan: Dunia Islam gagal menyalurkan ilmu pengetahuan.

Yang menariknya, jumlah terkumpul KDNK tahunan 57 buah negara ahli OIC ialah di bawah AS$2 trilion. Amerika sahaja, menghasilkan barangan dan perkhidmatan bernilai AS$12 trilion, China AS$8 trilion, Jepun AS$3.8 trilion dan Jerman AS$2.4 trilion.

Pengeluar minyak yang kaya, Arab Saudi, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar secara rangkuman menghasilkan barangan dan perkhidmatan (rata-rata minyak) bernilai AS$500 bilion; Sepanyol sahaja menghasilkan barangan dan perkhidmatan bernilai lebih AS$1 trilion, Poland AS$489 bilion dan Thailand AS$545 bilion.

Jadi, mengapa orang Islam tidak berkuasa dan orang Yahudi paling berkuasa?

Jawapannya ialah: Kurangnya ilmu. Kurangnya pendidikan dan kurangnya pelajaran.


Daripada lingkungan 12 juta orang Yahudi, hanya 0,2 % sahaja populasi dunia. ( 2 setiap dari 1000 orang)


1910 - Paul Heyse
1927 - Henri Bergson
1958 - Boris Pasternak
1966 - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 - Nelly Sachs
1976 - Saul Bellow
1978 - Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 - Elias Canetti
1987 - Joseph Brodsky
1991 - Nadine Gordimer
2002 - Imre Kertesz
2005 - Harold Pinter

World Peace

1911 - Alfred Fried
1911 - Tobias Asser
1968 - Rene Cassin
1973 - Henry Kissinger
1978 - Menachem Begin
1986 - Elie Wiesel
1994 - Shimon Peres
1994 - Yitzhak Rabin
1995 - Joseph Rotblat


1905 - Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 - Henri Moissan
1910 - Otto Wallach
1915 - Richard Willstaetter
1918 - Fritz Haber
1943 - George Charles de Hevesy
1961 - Melvin Calvin
1962 - Max Ferdinand Perutz
1972 - William Howard Stein
1972 - C.B. Anfinsen
1977 - Ilya Prigogine
1979 - Herbert Charles Brown
1980 - Paul Berg
1980 - Walter Gilbert
1981 - Ronald Hoffmann
1982 - Aaron Klug
1985 - Herbert A. Hauptman
1985 - Jerome Karle
1986 - Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 - Robert Huber
1989 - Sidney Altman
1992 - Rudolph Marcus
1998 - Walter Kohn
2000 - Alan J. Heeger
2004 - Irwin Rose
2004 - Avram Hershko
2004 - Aaron Ciechanover
2006 - Roger D. Kornberg
2008 - Martin Chalfie


1970 - Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 - Simon Kuznets
1972 - Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1973 - Wassily Leontief
1975 - Leonid Kantorovich
1976 - Milton Friedman
1978 - Herbert A. Simon
1980 - Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 - Franco Modigliani
1987 - Robert M. Solow
1990 - Harry Markowitz
1990 - Merton Miller
1992 - Gary Becker
1993 Rober Fogel
1994 - John Harsanyi
1994 - Reinhard Selten
1997 - Robert Merton
1997 - Myron Scholes
2001 - George Akerlof
2001 - Joseph Stiglitz
2002 -
Daniel Kahneman
2004 - Richard Axel
2005 - Robert J. Aumann
2006 - Andrew Z. Fire
2007 - Leonid (Leo) Hurwicz
2007 - Eric Maskin
2007 - Roger Myerson
2008 - Paul Krugman

Physiology / Medicine

1908 - Elie Metchnikoff
1908 - Paul Erlich
1914 - Robert Barany
1922 - Otto Meyerhof
1930 - Karl Landsteiner
1931 - Otto Warburg
1936 - Otto Loewi
1944 - Joseph Erlanger
1944 - Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 - Ernst Boris Chain
1946 - Hermann Joseph Muller
1947 - Garty Cori
1950 - Tadeus Reichstein
1952 - Selman Abraham Waksman
1953 - Hans Krebs
1953 - Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 - Joshua Lederberg
1959 - Arthur Kornberg
1964 - Konrad Bloch
1965 - Francois Jacob
1965 - Andre Lwoff
1967 - George Wald
1968 - Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 - Salvador Luria
1970 - Julius Axelrod
1970 - Sir Bernard Katz
1972 - Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 - David Baltimore
1975 - Howard Martin Temin
1976 - Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 - Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
1977 - Andrew V. Schally
1978 - Daniel Nathans
1980 - Baruj Benacerraf
1982 - [Sir] John Vane
1984 - Cesar Milstein
1985 - Michael Stuart Brown
1985 - Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 - Rita Levi-Montalcini
1986 - Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 - Gertrude Elion
1989 - Harold Varmus
1991 - Erwin Neher
1991 - Bert Sakmann
1992 - Edmond Fischer
1993 - Richard J. Roberts
1993 - Phillip Sharp
1994 - Alfred Gilman
1994 - Martin Rodbell
1995 - Edward B. Lewis
1997 - Stanley B. Prusiner
1998 - Robert F. Furchgott
2000 - Eric R. Kandel
2000 - Paul Greengard
2002 - Sydney Brenner
2002 - Robert H. Horvitz
2006 - Roger Kornberg
2006 - Andrew Z. Fire


1907 - Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 - Gabriel Lippmann
1921 - Albert Einstein
1922 - Niels Bohr
1925 - James Franck
1925 - Gustav Hertz
1943 - Gustav Stern
1944 - Isidor Issac Rabi
1945 - Wolfgang Pauli
1952 - Felix Bloch
1954 - Max Born
1958 - Igor Tamm
1958 - Il'ja Mikhailovich
1958 - Igor Yevgenyevich
1959 - Emilio Segre
1960 - Donald A. Glaser
1961 - Robert Hofstadter
1962 - Lev Davidovich Landau
1963 - Eugene P. Wigner
1965 - Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 - Julian Schwinger
1967 - Hans Albrecht Bethe
1969 - Murray Gell-Mann
1971 - Dennis Gabor
1972 - Leon N. Cooper
1973 - Brian David Josephson
1975 - Benjamin Mottleson
1976 - Burton Richter
1978 - Arno Allan Penzias
1978 - Peter L Kapitza
1979 - Stephen Weinberg
1979 - Sheldon Glashow
1988 - Leon Lederman
1988 - Melvin Schwartz
1988 - Jack Steinberger
1990 - Jerome Friedman
1992 - Georges Charpak
1995 - Martin Perl
1995 - Frederick Reines
1996 - David M. Lee
1996 - Douglas D. Osheroff
1997 - Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
2000 - Zhores I. Alferov
2003 - Vitaly Ginsburg
2003 - Alexei Abrikosov
2004 - David Gross
2004 - H. David Politzer
2005 - Roy Glauber


          [Roundtable] Bridging Divides in Buddhist Studies, XVIIIth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (Aug. 21, 2017)   
Co-hosted by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Centre for Buddhist Studies, Universi
          Congress turning its attention to acquisition, training challenges at VA   

Congress wants the Veterans Affairs Department to expand acquisition internship program and start using the same requirements to report cost savings from procurement activities. Lawmakers see these pieces of legislation as easy bills, but VA has its objections.

The post Congress turning its attention to acquisition, training challenges at VA appeared first on

          Congress so far silent on civilian federal employee 2018 pay raise   

The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee stayed quiet on federal pay in its 2018 bill. Without action from Congress, federal civilian employees would receive a 1.9 percent raise next fiscal year. The appropriations bill also includes significant spending cuts to key priorities at the General Services Administration and Office of Personnel Management.

The post Congress so far silent on civilian federal employee 2018 pay raise appeared first on

          $700 billion Senate NDAA has fewer troops than House, focuses on cyber war   

The Senate defense authorization bill increases the Army's active duty end strength by 5,000. It also creates a policy for responding to cyber attacks.

The post $700 billion Senate NDAA has fewer troops than House, focuses on cyber war appeared first on

          5 personnel issues affecting military families in the House NDAA   

The House defense authorization bill brought up some important issues for those in the military and their loved ones. Find out what could affect you in the coming year.

The post 5 personnel issues affecting military families in the House NDAA appeared first on

          The Agenda: Bill filed to make Sumter/Moultrie a national park; Haley's twitter issues; Citadel's Rosa retiring   

Congressman Mark Sanford and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott have filed a bill to make Fort Sumter National Monument, which includes Fort Moultrie, a national park. Source: AP, P&C

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson is applauding an EPA move to repeal an Obama-era rule that sought to regulate small tributaries in an effort to clean water that feed into wetlands drinking supplies. more…

          What To Do About Obamacare   
Republican voters mostly aren't against it for reasons other than the fact that it was championed by the black Muslim guy from Kenya. They don't like the as-yet-unenforced mandate, and they don't like it for all of the reasons that few people actually like our health care system - at best it's needlessly a pain in the ass, at worst, well, you know the worst. A lot of them are pissed off because they think the blahs got the secret welfare ACA (Medicaid) while they got Obamacare (the exchanges), even though a big reason (not the only one!) a lot of them didn't get Medicaid was they yelled and screamed for their states to "reject Obamacare" and, thanks to Roberts, what they could reject was the Medicaid expansion.

Hospitals hate the idea of repeal. Insurance companies mostly don't like it. For people with employer insurance, people who got Medicaid, and people who can kinda sorta afford the individual plans, it's mostly better (and since the mandate isn't even enforced, it's basically better for anyone who chooses to buy it).

Ultimately any "Republican healthcare plan" is basically Obamacare, but shittier. Even my glibertarian college facebook friend who HATES OBAMACARE earnestly described what the health care system should be, and it really was Obamacare without the mandate, to the letter.

The sociopaths in Congress wants to take away Medicaid, make it less affordable and with fewer benefits (at worst, completely fake insurance, at best something slightly better than that). Remove revenue from insurance companies and hospitals, including forcing them to eat more emergency room bills. Oh, and people don't get needed care and go bankrupt and die.

The leading liberal think tank has decided to make another stab at bipartisan fixes to Obamacare because I guess whatever was in the water that made Obama think elected Republicans were interested in such a thing is still in the water in DC. I'm not sure why "here's a really complicated plan that people won't like much more than the status quo and has no chance of passing" is better than "here's a really simply-sounding (nothing is simple, of course, but the bureaucracies should handle the bureaucracy, not us) idea that would be popular and better and universal and has no chance of passing right now" but centrists gotta centrist I guess.

          India launches new economic era with sales tax reform   

By Rajesh Kumar Singh

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India early on Saturday introduced its biggest tax reform in the 70 years since independence from British colonial rule.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) replaces more than a dozen federal and state levies and unifying a $2 trillion economy and 1.3 billion people into one of the world's biggest common markets.

The measure is expected to make it easier to do business by simplifying the tax structure and ensuring greater compliance, boosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic credentials before a planned re-election bid in 2019.

At a midnight ceremony in parliament's central hall Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee together launched the new tax by pressing a button.

"With GST, the dream of 'One India, Great India' will come true," Modi said.

For the first midnight ceremony in the central hall in two decades, Modi was joined by his cabinet colleagues, India's central bank chief, a former prime minister and major company executives including Ratan Tata.

The launch, however, was boycotted by several opposition parties including the Congress Party, which first proposed the tax reform before it fell from power three years ago.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh - the architect of India's economic reforms - also gave it a miss.


It has taken 14 years for the new sales tax to come into being. But horse trading to get recalcitrant Indian states on board has left Asia's third-largest economy with a complex tax structure.

In contrast to simpler sales taxes in other countries, India's GST has four rates and numerous exemptions.

The official schedule of rates runs to 213 pages and has undergone repeated changes, some taking place as late as on Friday evening.

Many businesses are nervous about how the changes will unfold, with smaller ones saying they will get hit by higher tax rates.

Adding to the complexity, businesses with pan-India operations face filing over 1,000 digital returns a year.

While higher tax rates for services and non-food items are expected to fuel price pressures, compliance is feared to be a major challenge in a country where many entrepreneurs are not computer literate and rely on handwritten ledgers.

"We have jumped into a river but don't know its depth," said A. Subba Rao, an executive director at power firm CLP India.


Poor implementation would deal a blow to an economy that is still recovering from Modi's decision late last year to outlaw 86 percent of the currency in circulation.

In a bid to mitigate the impact on the farm sector, the GST rates for tractors and fertiliser were slashed on Friday to 18 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

HSBC estimates the reform, despite its flaws, could add 0.4 percentage points to economic growth.

An end of tax arbitrage under the GST is estimated to save companies $14 billion in reduced logistics costs and efficiency gains.

As the GST is a value added tax, firms will have an incentive to comply in order to avail credit for taxes already paid. This should widen the tax net, shoring up public finances.

"The old India was economically fragmented," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. "The new India will create one tax, one market for one nation."

(Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and John Stonestreet)

          Congress must raise debt ceiling by mid-October - CBO   

By Ginger Gibson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress will need to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid defaulting on loan payments by "early to mid-October," the Congressional Budget Office said in a report on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has encouraged Congress to raise the limit before the legislative body leaves for their August recess. But it remains unclear if a bipartisan agreement has been struck to allow the limit to be raised, as both chambers continue to be weighed down by health care and tax reform and trying to find an agreement to fund the government after the September 30 deadline.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

          Drawing Justice Gallery Talk on Legal Research – Pic of the Week   
Last week, I had the honor to give a gallery talk on the Library of Congress exhibit, Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration.  As a co-curator for the exhibit, I had helped in doing legal research for information about the cases portrayed by the drawings in the exhibit.  At the talk, I spoke about […]
’s Default Search Operator is now AND instead of OR.’s release 3.4 was deployed on Monday, June 26th. With this new release, you may have noticed a change in your search results. This is because the default search operator on the global and advanced search form is now AND instead of OR.  For example, if you searched national park from the homepage, used to return […]
          Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government   

About the Program
PPIC's latest survey examines Californians' views on President Trump and Congress, as well as their preferences on immigration policy, terrorism and security, and government regulation. It also covers state issues, including attitudes toward elected officials, high-speed rail, and water infrastructure. PPIC researcher Dean Bonner will outline these and other key findings.

This research was supported with funding from the James Irvine Foundation, the California Endowment, and the PPIC Donor Circle.

The post Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government appeared first on PPIC.

          Trump Administration Proposes LOWEST Bid to Extend H-1B Outsourcing Permanently   

IEEE-USA Logo (PRNewsFoto/IEEE-USA) (PRNewsFoto/IEEE-USA)WASHINGTON, June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Trump administration representative has made an astonishing proposal to Congress that would break the President's repeated promises to end H-1B outsourcing, in a Tuesday hearing before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor,...

          Re: Diehl Family in Adams County   
Hello Karon,

I wonder if the info you're seeking would be available from a reference librarian at the Library of Congress or any of the other libraries listed on the WorldCat site as having a copy of this book (

From the snippets that can be seen by searching the book at, it seems that the only mention of a “Johann Peter Diehl” is on page 22, where ancestry in Germany is the headline topic, and the mentions of New Oxford are later in the book.

Best wishes for your search,

          Re: The Montana Family Foundation wants to see your kid's bathroom pass. You should wonder why.   
More people have been molested in a bathroom by sitting members of Congress than by LGBQT people.

I think we should require members of the Montana Family Foundation to provide validation of their moral rectitude to make sure none of them are potential threats to children.
Posted by claudius
          Seismic Blasting Would Deafen Marine Mammals   

Seismic Blasting Would Deafen Marine Mammals

The endangered North Atlantic right whale is just one of the marine animals that seismic testing off the East Coast would harm.

The endangered North Atlantic right whale is just one of the marine animals that seismic testing off the East Coast would harm.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Imagine an underwater blast so loud that it can be heard by marine mammals that are 2,500 miles away. That’s the level of noise generated when companies fire airguns to blast the ocean floor with sound in order to find oil and gas deposits.

Such seismic testing could begin soon off the U.S. East Coast after Trump ordered federal agencies to reconsider the Obama administration’s five-year ban on offshore drilling in the Atlantic. On June 6, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed five authorizations for companies on the hunt for oil and gas. These companies want to conduct seismic surveys of the Atlantic seabed.

The noise would have serious impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, which rely heavily on sound to communicate, navigate and find prey. Flooding the ocean with noise from seismic surveys could inflict permanent hearing damage on these creatures, leaving them deaf and stranded. At the very least, seismic blasts would disrupt the animals’ behavior hundreds of thousands of times and could drive them away from vital habitats.

By granting these five proposed authorizations, the National Marine Fisheries Service would allow marine mammals to become casualties of oil and gas exploration. But it’s not too late—the service is taking public comments on these proposed authorizations until July 6. Below, you can tell the service to deny these dangerous permits, and protect whales and dolphins from seismic airgun blasting.

Take Action! Send your comment to the National Marine Fisheries Service today, and tell the agency that marine mammals deserve a fighting chance.

The following numbers demonstrate how devastating these seismic surveys would be:

240 decibels

Approximate volume of seismic airgun blasting underwater. For a little perspective, one of the loudest animals, the blue whale, makes calls louder than 180 decibels. When you go up by 10 decibels, it means a sound gets 10 times more intense. So a seismic airgun blast is 1 million times more intense than a blue whale call—powerful enough to deafen one of these massive creatures.

2,500 miles

How far seismic blasts can travel underwater—approximately the distance from New York City to Los Angeles. That means it’s possible for a whale near Florida to hear seismic surveys operating off the coast of South Carolina.

200,000 square miles

Area of the Atlantic Ocean that the proposed seismic airgun surveys would blast. The airguns discharge resounding booms at 12 to 16 second intervals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for months on end.


Approximate number of times in one year that whales and dolphins will be harassed by seismic blasting, according to permits drafted by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The service estimates that nearly 2,000 of the exposures will be loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss, which would severely impede the marine mammals’ ability to communicate and find food.


Species of marine mammals that the National Marine Fisheries Service would allow companies to harm, if the agency’s proposed authorizations are finalized. Six of these species are endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including the North Atlantic Right Whale—a critically endangered species with a population of less than 500.

          Reform Roundup: June 30th, 2017   

Catch up on the week’s electoral reform news with our round up of folks across the country writing and talking about FairVote reform vision. This week, Congressman Don Beyer introduced the Fair Representation Act (FRA), H.R. 3057.

  • Congressman Don Beyer wrote for The Washington Post about needing to change how we elect the House of Representatives. “Applied nationally, we would have more moderate Democrats from districts leaning Republican, and vice versa, creating a type of politician — now nearly extinct — known as a ‘bridge builder.’ Many members would share constituents with members of the other major party, creating incentives to work together on legislation affecting the district.”

  • Anita Earls wrote for The Nation about how the Fair Representation Act would put an end to gerrymandering and improve representation for communities of color. “There is a way forward. If we want to stop gerrymandering, and move beyond constant litigation over how lines are drawn, we must rethink the way we do districting itself. That’s why the Fair Representation Act creates such an exciting path forward. In states like Texas, for example, where black and Latino populations live close together, those communities are often pitted against each other for the one majority-minority seat. A multi-winner district, and a genuine multi-racial slate, would decrease tension between racial minorities, while increasing their voice.”

  • FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie and Board Chair Krist Novoselic spoke to Pedro Echevarria of the Washington Journal C-SPAN about FairVote’s 25th Anniversary year and the introduction of the Fair Representation Act. “With multi-member districts, you don’t need to receive 50% of the vote, which is what you do when you’re just electing one person like president. You can lower that share to whatever is proportionate to the number of seats, so if you have 5 seats it will take about a 5th of the vote. And by doing that, it opens up every single corner of every single state to meaningful engagement and participation and representation. One party would not sweep all of the seats anywhere.” 

  • The American Prospect reported on the Fair Representation Act and its potential to end Congressional Dysfunction. "The bill would not only institute nonpartisan redistricting commissions and a new voting system designed to create a proportionally representational Congress, but also aims to dramatically reduce the number of safe seats for each party and eliminate the unopposed re-election of representatives. In 2014, 31 congressional representatives were re-elected unopposed."

  • Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and David De la Fuente of ThirdWay wrote in U.S. News & World Report about why voters need the Fair Representation Act. “If policymakers don’t offer solutions to fix our electoral system and restore faith that our representative democracy is working the way it should, voters will continue to react with anger and deliver wave elections where they “throw the bums out” every other year. As we’ve seen over the past few election cycles, these reactive waves make it even harder to govern, further contributing to the cycle of frustration that led to them in the first place.”

  • The Alexandria News reports on the introduction of the Fair Representation Act, introduced by Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia’s 8th district. “The Fair Representation Act is the most comprehensive approach to improving congressional elections in American history,” said Rob Richie, the executive director of FairVote. “It creates an impartial, national standard that gets at the core of FairVote’s mission: Giving voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans.”



          The Fair Representation Act has been introduced to Congress   

I’m sponsoring the Fair Representation Act because Congress is broken. It is hyper-partisan. It is far too polarized. The FRA creates a structure where members of Congress are incentivized to work together. This is the right thing to do to give voters the strong voice that they deserve in our elections.

--Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08)

On June 26, 2017, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) introduced H.R. 3057: The Fair Representation Act. He was joined by co-sponsors Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Ro Khanna (D-CA). This is a historic moment. The Fair Representation Act is the most comprehensive approach to reforming congressional elections in United States history. It would truly realize the vision of the House of Representatives as “The People’s House.”

The Fair Representation Act

FairVote has called for expanding the use of multi-winner ranked choice voting in United States elections since its founding 25 years ago. Ranked choice voting can replace the broken, zero-sum, winner-take-all system - in which the biggest group of voters in a district are the only ones earning representation - with fair representation for all. In this era of fierce partisan divisions, nowhere needs this change more than the House of Representatives.

RCV-ballot-09.pngUnder the Fair Representation Act, every state would use ranked choice voting to elect its Representatives. Voters would be free to rank their choices without fear of “spoilers.” Instead of only one candidate winning with the most votes, several candidates would win based on how many votes they earn. For example, in a state like Oklahoma or Connecticut that elects 5 winners, 17% of voters can elect 1 of the 5 winners; 34% of voters can elect 2 of the 5 winners; and so on. A majority of voters can always elect a majority of seats, and everyone earns their fair share.

States that elect up to 5 winners will not need any districts at all. Larger states will use districts, but the districts will elect 3, 4, or 5 winners each. That means that a state like Massachusetts that elects 9 Representatives will divide into equal thirds, with each of the three districts electing 3 winners with ranked choice voting. To adopt a district map, these states will form independent redistricting commissions composed of ordinary state citizens (not politicians or lobbyists) who will operate transparently and hold hearings around the state to find the district map that makes the most sense for their state.

The use of ranked choice voting in multi-winner elections will transform the House of Representatives. The current system only allows the biggest group of voters in each district to win representation, all other voices are silenced. As a result, there are millions of voters who prefer Democrats stuck in safe Republican districts and millions of voters who prefer Republicans stuck in safe Democratic districts, women and people of color are under-represented, and everyone has too few choices. The Fair Representation Act can elevate those voices, giving them more power to elect candidates they support and who will go to Congress to work for them.

A Historic Moment

Under the Constitution, Congress has the responsibility to act when our federal elections are not working. It has acted on that responsibility many times in the past, passing laws changing how we elect Congress in 1842 (requiring single-winner districts), 1872 (equal populations per representative), 1901 (requiring that districts be “compact”), 1929 (repealing the requirement to use districts), and 1967 (re-imposing the requirement to use districts). It has been 50 years since Congress has acted in this arena, even as the current system fails to deliver on the promise of a representative House.

Representative Beyer has shown tremendous leadership in holding Congress to its constitutional responsibilities. The attention it attracted from the public demonstrates the hunger that voters have for a more empowering system. FairVote livestreamed Rep. Beyer’s press conference, which was viewed over 44,000 times and ultimately reached over 554,000 people.;overflow:hiddenno0truetrue

The day after the bill’s introduction, Rep. Beyer published an opinion piece in the Washington Post explaining why he introduced the Act. It begins “Democracy is in crisis. Even as the country is deeply divided along class and ideological lines, it seems to be unified in its frustration with our current brand of politics.” Other voices have also weighed in on the need for the Fair Representation Act, including:

As more media coverage happens in the coming days and weeks, we'll add it to the list on our website.

You Can Help the Fair Representation Act Gain Momentum

Now that the vehicle for transforming elections to the U.S. House of Representatives is a bill in Congress, you can help to move the conversation forward. Contact your Representative today to ask them to support the Fair Representation Act. You can find your Representative here, and email them a letter supporting the Fair Representation Act. A sample letter is provided here. You also could consider calling your Member, which increases their likelihood of responding. Better still would be to form a group to have a meeting with your Member and their district office staff. 

Finally, we want to keep adding names to our petition in support of the Act. We currently have over 1500 signatures. Please consider sharing the petition online and drawing people’s attention to our new video and our public resources, at

          Congress: Joining The Common Flow   
Question: How can desires be added together? Even for bricks, we need cement. What connects us together since we are so different? Answer: We all are egoists, but each has a point in the heart, and we want to connect them into one big point. This is our aspiration to the Creator. At that, our […]
          Duncan Hunter, the vaping congressman, vapes again   
The Republican representing most of Temecula puffs from an e-cigarette during a hearing
          Cavium and China Unicom trial 5G user cases on M-CORD   
Cavium, a provider of semiconductor products for enterprise, data centre, wired and wireless networking, and China Unicom announced a targeted program for the testing of 5G use cases on a M-CORD SDN/NFV platform leveraging Cavium's silicon-based white box hardware in M-CORD racks populated with ThunderX ARM-based data centre COTS servers and XPliant programmable SDN Ethernet-based white box switches.

Under the program, China Unicom and Cavium plan to shortly commence trials in a number of locations across mainland China to explore the potential of the new service.

Cavium and China Unicom are specifically demonstrating multi-access edge computing (MEC) use cases developed through a previously announced collaboration based on the ON.Lab M-CORD (Mobile Central Office Re-architected as a data centre) SDN/NFV platform at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai.

The demonstration involves a M-CORD SDN/NFV software platform and hardware rack integrated with virtualised and disaggregated mobile infrastructure elements from the edge of the RAN to distributed mobile core and the ONOS and XOS SDN and orchestration software.

The companies stated that this architecture is designed to enable turnkey operation in any central office or edge data centre for a full NFV C-RAN deployment. The solution is based on a Cavium-powered rack that combines the ThunderX ARM based data centre servers with the programmable XPliant Ethernet leaf and spine SDN switches to provide a full platform for M-CORD.

Regarding the latest project, Raj Singh, VP and GM of the network and communication group at Cavium, said, "Cavium is collaborating with China Unicom to explore 5G target use cases leveraging the M-CORD SDN/NFV platform and working towards field deployment… a homogenous hardware architecture optimised for NFV and 5G is a pre-requisite for field deployments".

  • Earlier this year, Radisys and China Unicom announced they had partnered to build and integrate M-CORD development PODs featuring open source software. For the project Radisys, acting as systems integrator, used the CORD open reference implementation to enable cloud agility and improved economics in China Unicom's network. The companies also planned to develop deployment scenarios for the solution in the China Unicom network.
  • The resulting platform was intended to support future 5G services by enabling mobile edge services, virtualised RAN and virtualised EPC. The companies also planned to develop an open reference implementations of a virtualised RAN and next-generation mobile core architecture.

          Spirent supports testing of New H3C 100 GBE switch   
Spirent Communications, a supplier of network test and measurement solutions, announced that it supported New H3C in conducting what is believed to be the highest density 100 Gbit/s data centre switch test.

Spirent also announced it had partnered with the China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) to demonstrate automated testing of virtual core networks.

100 Gbit/s switch testing

The test, completed by Spirent and the New H3C Group and moderated by independent test lab Network Test, demonstrated the line-rate forwarding capacity and hyper-scale IP route announcement capacity of the H3C S12500X-AF chassis loaded with 100 Gbit/s ports and achieving a density of 768 x 100G ports per chassis. The S12500X-AF switch can support 48 x 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 pluggable optical modules per slot.

The test involved Spirent TestCenter and the N11U chassis, representing Spirent's flagship network performance test solution, equipped with the high density dX3 12-port 100 Gbit/s test modules designed to verify next-generation data centre architectures and routers.

For the testing, Spirent TestCenter generated 100 Gbit/s line-rate transaction traffic of various frame lengths and provided packet loss, latency, jitter, frame sequence, code errors and FCS error analytics to reflect the quality of transmission in real time.

The Spirent dX3 quint-speed test module can support twelve 100 or 40 Gbit/s ports per slot, 25 x 50 Gbit/s ports, or 48 x 25/10 Gbit/s ports per slot. It also supports key interface features such as FEC, auto-negotiation and Link Training. The module can be used to verify data plane QoS for hyper-dense network devices at line-rate, and for testing complex routing, data centre and access protocols on switches and routers.

Virtual core network testing

Separately Spirent announced a collaboration with the China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) to demonstrate automated testing of virtual core networks at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai. Spirent noted that the demonstration is part of a joint effort to develop a methodology for automated testing of the functionality and performance of the China Mobile TIC (Telecom Infrastructure Cloud).

The partners plans to incorporate the test methodology into an automated testing system developed by CMRI to speed testing of services in operational virtual core networks and to form part of the complete vEPC environment developed by CMRI.

At MWC, Spirent has provided the test engines for the demonstration, including the virtualised mobile core network emulation and performance testing tool, Landslide Virtual, and the automated testing platform, iTest. The solutions automate performance and functionality tests used to develop, spin-up and monitor the vEPC. In addition, devops models have been developed for the test methodologies, allowing tests to be automated and incorporated into the virtualised network.

          AT&T Demos 650 Mbit/s using LTE + LAA   
AT&T and Ericsson announced that they have conducted a live LTE-LAA technology field trial, during which initial wireless data rates of more than 650 Mbit/s were achieved in downtown San Francisco.

AT&T noted that LTE-LAA technology is expected to play a key role in its push to achieve theoretical peak speeds of 1 Gbit/s at selected small cell sites by the end of this year. In addition, the technology also constitutes a key element as the operator works to upgrade the network and increase speeds in its 5G Evolution markets.

The operator stated that while 5G standards are yet to be finalised, it is seeking to lay the foundation for future wireless networks leveraging the 5G Evolution program and technologies including LTE-LAA as it aims to begin delivering 5G wireless data speeds as early as late 2018.

AT&T previously demonstrated the ultra-fast speeds enabled by LTE-LAA at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where it showed mobile user speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s utilising LTE-LAA combined with carrier aggregation, 4 x 4 MIMO and 256QAM.

LTE-LAA combines unlicensed spectrum with licensed spectrum through carrier aggregation to increase overall network capacity and enable faster, more reliable wireless speeds. The technology is designed to co-exist with other unlicensed spectrum technologies such as WiFi via a feature termed 'listen before talk', which allows fair coexistence between LTE-LAA and WiFi.

  • AT&T announced in April that as part of its 5G Evolution program it planned to begin offering higher speed, lower latency services for wireless customers with the latest devices in 20+ major metro areas by the end of the year. The new wireless capability was initially available in parts of Austin, where AT&T wireless customers with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ are able to access faster 5G Evolution Internet speeds.
  • AT&T stated at that time that the higher speed service would be expanded to Indianapolis in the summer, with plans to extend it to markets including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Francisco.

          ZTE and China Mobile showcase 5G eMBB   
ZTE announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai the launch of a live 5G field test in Guangdong, deployed with China Mobile and designed to showcase an enhanced 5G Mobile Broadband (eMBB) experience using 100 MHz bandwidth and delivering a single-user rate of up to 2 Gbit/s.

China Mobile and ZTE conducted the 5G field test in Guangzhou University Town, selected to represent a typical high-traffic scenario and also a key 'pilot field' for enhancing the user experience in 5G eMBB scenarios. ZTE noted that its 3.5 GHz NR (new radio) base station product was used for the 5G field test in Guangzhou.

For the next stage of testing, the companies will carry out multi-site networking tests to evaluate wireless coverage, throughput, mobility, delay and other 5G networking indicators.

As one of China Mobile's strategic 5G partners, ZTE is providing the operator with a range of products, including 5G RANs and virtual core networks (VCNs). In addition, ZTE has been providing support for research covering key technologies, the definition of product specifications and testing of pilot networks to help China Mobile meet its strategic goals.

ZTE and China Mobile have previously carried out collaboration in the areas of 2G, 3G and 4G, as well as currently into 5G. As part of this work, in 2016 ZTE signed a 5G strategic cooperation memorandum with China Mobile, and ZTE's Pre5G massive MIMO base stations have been deployed into the existing network of China Mobile.

* In February this year, ZTE, Qualcomm and China Mobile jointly announced that they planned to conduct interoperability tests based on 5G NR specifications and over the air (OTA) field tests designed to facilitate large-scale verification and commercialisation of the 5G NR technology. ZTE noted that in 2017 it initiated the non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) project, a core element of the 5G NR program.

* Recently, ZTE and China Mobile Quanzhou Branch announced the commercial deployment of 3D-MIMO, also termed Pre5G massive MIMO, in the city of Quanzhou, Fujian province. ZTE stated that with 16 commercial terminals connected, it achieved single-carrier downlink peak cell rate of 730 Mbit/s, with a single-carrier 16-stream downlink peak rate using 3D-MIMO of up to 700 Mbit/s. In addition, a three-carrier rate of up to 2.1 Gbit/s was achieved.

          FINALLY! Trump & Congress Moving Toward First Full Repeal And Replace Later   
Repeal and Replace

President Trump’s most recent comments on the GOP attempts to fix our nation’s failing healthcare system is music to conservative ears. First repeal and replace later.  If healthcare is done that way, “repeal” would mean get rid of every last sentence, every punctuation, of that freedom-killing Obamacare bill and toss it in the nearest fireplace. Conservative […]

The post FINALLY! Trump & Congress Moving Toward First Full Repeal And Replace Later appeared first on The Lid.

          Comment on Does the PTO have a Right to Intervene in IPR Appeals? by anon   
As noted above, the devil be in those details. I would also be remiss to not note that your phrasing hits on a very different (but at least as equal) Constitutional trouble spot. Granting or denying the petition is quite different - and per Congress - THAT item is <b>expressly </b> NON appeal-able. You cannot "assume" something that Congress was explicit about (and explicit in the opposite direction).
          Comment on Does the PTO have a Right to Intervene in IPR Appeals? by anon   
Someone should have told Congress when they set this up with the AIA... ;-)
          GOP's Plan B for Obamacare repeal began with quiet push from Koch network   

President Trump’s surprise suggestion Friday that deadlocked Senate Republicans shift their focus to simply repealing Obamacare — and worry about replacing it later — has its roots in a Koch network proposal that has been shopped around Congress for months.

The influential Koch network, backed...

          Trump: Kill Obamacare now, replace later   

(Reuters) – President Donald Trump urged Republican senators today to repeal Obamacare immediately if they cannot agree on a new healthcare plan to replace it, potentially sowing confusion as congressional leaders struggle for a consensus on healthcare legislation. Senate Republican leaders had set today as the target for rewriting legislation that would repeal extensive parts […]

The post Trump: Kill Obamacare now, replace later appeared first on MassDevice.

          Look at possible conflicts of interest in Trump team's OneWest Bank probes, 2 Democrats urge   

Two House Democrats want Congress to look into possible conflicts of interest in the Trump administration’s handling of investigations into Pasadena’s OneWest Bank — a bank formerly headed by now-Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Al Green (D-Texas) said...

          Front Row Offers Differentiated Resources for Social Studies Instruction   
Front Row has developed a great reputation over the last couple of years for the differentiated math and ELA resources that it offers to teachers and students. This week at ISTE 17 I sat down with the CEO of Front Row to take a look at the new social studies resources that Front Row is offering.

Front Row's new social studies resources are organizing into fifteen units. The units cover the topics most commonly included in social studies classes in the United States. Some of those unit topics are Civil Rights, the American Revolution, and Economics. Within each topic in you will find articles and discussion questions for your students.

Applications for Education
Front Row lets you choose from multiple versions of the same article to distribute to your students. You can give the same version of an article to all students or give different versions to individual students in your classroom. Front Row has a short diagnostic test for your students to take when they join your Front Row classroom. The results of that diagnostic test can help you identify which version of each article to give to your students.

Register for Teaching History With Technology where you'll learn how to use many more tools like Front Row in your social studies lessons. 

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          TS279: Beauty and the Beast, Class Action Lawsuits, Guest Joel Kim Booster   
This week Bryan was blindsided by the appearance of the new season of Great British Bakeoff on Netflix, while Erin struggles with multiple splinters. Also, Beauty and the Beast finally revealed their exclusively gay moment this weekend and boy was it a disappointment, and women in the workplace may have a harder time filing class action lawsuits against their employer thanks to a new bill by congress. Plus Guest Joel Kim Booster is here to discuss being fired from a Dippin Dots stand, Palm Springs, and coming out to Evangelical parents. Follow Joel Kim Booster on Twitter and Instagram @ihatejoelkim Donate to the Max Fun drive today!
          The Brno Trade Fairs and its Surroundings   
Registration Deadline: Aug 21, 2017; Submission Deadline: Aug 21, 2017

The subject of the competiiton is an urban design idea proposal for the Trade Fairs Brno site and part of the Brno wateworks connected to adjacent terminal and Riviera recreation area, which will show new way of using the development areas and the possibilities of the better integration of the complex to the city organism. The proposal in the scope of the urban study will be processed on the entire territory in accordance with the competition brief (see document P01). During the designing it is necessary to respect the generous urban concept of the Trade Fairs site based on the clearly structured public spaces surrounded by exhibition pavilions with great architectural value.

Competition Goals 

The competiton goal is to obtain quality urban proposals which will be the basis for spatial planning documention change. The proposals should have a unifying concept, long-term sustainability and should naturally and functionally integrate the site into the city organism. The announcer wants to obtain a solution that will strenghten and improve exhibition and congress function of the site and find new functions for currently unused parts of the complex and improve the openess of the area to the public.


Read the full post on Bustler
          Планшет HP Slate 7: 7-дюймовый мини-ПК п/у Android 4.1 (видео)   
Компания HP представила на выставке Mobile World Congress 2013 недорогой 7-дюймовый планшет Slate 7, функционирующий п/у Android 4.1. В основу гаджета положены 2-ядерный процессор, гигабайт оперативной памяти и 8 Гбайт встроенной памяти. В продажу планшет поступит в апреле по цене в 170 долларов
          TS229: Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Vegas Sex   
Yee-haw y'all! This week, Erin and Bryan really stick it to the South and not in the genital way. Erin discusses Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas who strongly and ridiculously opposed a bill for women scientists. Then Bryan looks at the tent revival discrimination in the Bible belt as bigoted laws pass in Mississippi and North Carolina. It's been a week, y'all.
          TS214: Uber,C-sections,CNN,Carol   
Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? Bryan's Uber driver has! He's also pretty grossed out with CNN's disgusting anti-Muslim coverage as well as with the few gay Democratic congresspeople who voted for a bill that require refugees to have stricter, unrealistic background checks. And Erin looks at the overuse of C-sections by doctors. Who did you like better in Carol - Cate Blanchett or Rosie O'Hara?
          TS170:Garbage Keys, CATS, Alabama Equality, Renee Ellmers   
This week, Bryan tried dumpster diving for the first time and then watched The Bachelor and Erin watched Cats stone-cold sober. What a week. Also, Alabama wants to ban not just gay marriages but every marriage and the GOP is back again trying to ban abortion with the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act! And one of their own, GOP Congresswoman Renee Elmers is trying to stop it. Good luck everybody with everything! Subscribe and Rate Us! iTunes Tweet Us!  @gibblertron & @bryansafi Use the Hashtag #tspod Email Us! Like Us! Throwing Shade Facebook Page Old School Listen! RSS Feed
          TS157:Halloween,Party Stores,Lady Bishops & Louie Gohmer   
Happy Halloqueen! This year, Erin and Bryan are giving you three looks - classic Halloween realness, True Detective realness and Gone Girl realness. But that's not nearly as spooky as how the Vatican feels about female bishops or how Republican Congressman from Texas Louie Gohmert feels about gays. Spooky!    Watch Us!  Every Wednesday on Funny or Die Subscribe and Rate Us! iTunes Tweet Us!  @gibblertron & @bryansafi Use the Hashtag #tspod Email Us! Like Us! Throwing Shade Facebook Page Old School Listen! RSS Feed
          House Panel Advances Air Traffic Control Privatization Plan   
The Trump administration’s plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system moved forward in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Tuesday, despite concerted opposition from Democratic members of Congress.
          Move to block Nicole’s candidacy   

Legal moves have been initiated against the Congress of the People (COP) giving the party until today to halt the candidacy of Nicole Dyer-Griffith in the party’s July 9 leadership election.

If not, court proceedings will commence to secure this, according to a pre-action protocol letter from attorney Alvin Ramroop to COP↔Leader Dr Anirudh Mahabir and COP↔general secretary Clyde Weatherhead. It was sent on Tuesday. Responses were sought from them by yesterday but a requested extension shifted that deadline to today.

Griffith -Dyer is contesting the poll along with Carolyn Seepersad- Bachan and Sharon Gopaul- McNichol.

However, attorney Ramroop, representing COP member Kirt Francis , a former executive officer, wrote the party regarding alleged unlawful ratification of new members and ineligibility of new members to vote at/ to contest leadership election.

The letter claimed COP’s ratification of Dyer-Griffith’s membership in COP↔was null and void since it didn’t meet party constitutional rules. It called for the party to bar Dyer- Griffith from contesting or voting in the election and to have systems in place for a national executive to be elected.

Mahabir said, “I’m not commenting on any letter or whether we received it..... we have no reason to postpone the election at this time,”

McNichol, who said she’d heard of the legal moves , but was not part of it , said she resigned as COP deputy leader and from the COP’s interim “lead team” on February 13 following concerns on “many matters including unorthodox” procedures.

However ,support for Dyer-Griffith has come from Opposition↔Senator Rodger Samuel who said, Her candidacy brings freshness to the party’s helm and she has the propensity to draw youths.,”

COP’s founder, Winston Dookeran, said Dyer- Griffith contacted him on Tuesday asking to speak with her and he confirmed he would be speaking with her .

On Monday, Carolyn Seepersad- Bachan indicated she had support from Dookeran. He’d endorsed her in the 2014 leadership poll.

Dookeran,who’s working overseas, told the T&T Guardian on Wednesday, “Carolyn did speak to me about her candidacy and I told her that I was happy there is a contest and that she has offered herself to stay in the politics. “

“Yesterday (Tuesday), Nicole e-mailed me a request to talk, and I will be more than pleased to do so. Other than that, I have been very much out of T&T, and do hope that the COP may again initiate a healthy, not fake, political narrative that touches the young persons of our country. Although, I am now far off, my hope is that a ‘team effort’ will emerge in our politics.”

Former leader Prakash Ramadhar said he didn’t think former leaders “should get involved in elections save in extreme circumstances , so if I have personal views, I’m not sharing them. But I won’t allow the party to fall,”

“Many clamoured for leadership for years, but weren’t willing to do the work and criticised without assisting. I saw it fit for those clamouring to take leadership to see what improvements they may or can bring until the next election.”

“ I learned we must always bring together all who are interested in improving citizens’ lives. That includes people you may not wish to befriend, but if we have a common goal, I’m willing to work with anyone on ideals COP espouses. In politics, you have the good, the bad and the ugly and you have to be able to work with as many to achieve power to make the necessary changes.”

          32 million people would lose coverage if Obamacare was repealed   

Republican senators are skittish enough that their health care bill would leave 22 million people more without health insurance by 2026, compared to Obamacare.

They likely won't be too keen on President Trump's suggestion to just repeal Obamacare immediately and replace it later if they can't get enough support to pass their bill.

That move would probably leave 18 million more people without coverage in the first year after its enactment and 32 million more by 2026, according to a Congressional Budget Office report that looked at an earlier GOP bill to repeal Obamacare.

It would also cause premiums on individual market policies to increase by up to 25% the first year and to nearly double by 2026.

All this would happen mainly because the individual mandate -- which requires nearly all Americans to get coverage or pay a penalty -- would be repealed. But some insurers would also likely pull out of the market, the CBO said. The remaining carriers would likely raise rates dramatically because the remaining enrollees would tend to be older and sicker.

This is one reason why Republican lawmakers in both the House and the Senate moved away from a straight repeal of Obamacare without a replacement bill. That left insurers, consumers and other Republican members in a tizzy. Only 19% of Americans supported repealing Obamacare first and replacing later, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released in March.

That hasn't stopped some conservative GOP members from pushing for a full repeal. Both Senators Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Rand Paul of Kentucky have recently broached the topic with Trump, likely leading to his tweet Friday morning.

While senators are expected to ignore Trump's suggestion, it does inject more uncertainty into the future of Obamacare and the individual market. And that's the last thing insurers need.

Already, many are raising rates or even dropping out of the individual market completely for 2018. Some 36 counties in Nevada, Ohio and Indiana are at risk of having no carrier on their exchanges next year, according to Kaiser.

Their main concerns: the mandate that everyone have insurance and the cost-sharing subsidies for lower-income Americans.

Insurers are brushing off the president's comments, saying they are moving forward with the efforts in Congress.

"We're focused on making recommendations to improve the [Senate bill], and on ensuring a stable 2018," said Kristine Grow, a spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group.

Follow this story

          TS51: Gay Twitter, Congressman Joe Walsh, How Erin and Bryan Met, Hugh Jackman   
Throwing Shade is almost one year old! So Bryan and Erin get nostalgic as they reminisce on how they first met and how that led to a friendship without any benefits. They also throw some shade at gay hate on Twitter, the insanity that is Joe Walsh, and also play a game of Shade/No Shade that involves professional walking-out-of-the-ocean model Hugh Jackman. Woop'em Gangnam style!  Subscribe and Rate on iTunes @gibblertron & @bryansafi #tspod Official Max Fun Page Facebook page RSS Feed
          Can Trump Succeed Where Reagan Failed?   
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

People with family members who were killed by undocumented immigrants meet with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on June 29, 2017.

On Thursday, the House passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which proposes to withhold federal funding from localities that refuse to cooperate with Trump administration immigration measures aimed at criminal noncitizens and other undocumented people. The bill would also allow individuals and close family members of individuals who are victims of felonies committed by undocumented immigrants who have been released from local or state custody against the advice of federal authorities to file suit against states.

The day before, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the new president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, called on Congress to work on bipartisan immigration and criminal justice law reforms, adding that cities could use more federal assistance to fight terrorism and crime, and provide mental illness, substance abuse, and reentry programs.

Landrieu said in a letter to House members that local leaders do not want their law enforcement officers involved in federal immigration detention activities, nor do they want to be put in legal jeopardy for possible violations of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. (A related bill known as Kate’s Law would establish new mandatory minimum prison terms for deported criminals who return to the United States.)

The sanctuary cities battle, like so many of Trump’s hastily conceived and poorly executed policies, appears headed for another showdown, either when the bills arrive in the Senate, or, in the unlikely event that the upper chamber drums up the 60 votes needed to approve them, almost certainly in the courts.

While the Trumpian turmoil is new, past presidents’ attempts to compel localities to comply with federal policies have met with mixed success. A new report, “Reagan vs. Cities: The 20th Century Battle Over South African Apartheid & Lessons for the Trump Era,” from Jobs to Move America and the Center for Media and Democracy, details the 40th president’s efforts to stamp out the U.S. anti-apartheid movement by several means, including denying federal funds to cities and states that took actions against companies that did business in South Africa.

The report explores the mixed outcomes for two cities that sought to stand their ground against this federal overreach. In 1984, the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the backing of the Justice Department, threatened New York City with the loss of transportation dollars unless the city revoked a local ordinance preventing city officials from contracting with businesses that operated in South Africa or used materials from the country. Although Mayor Ed Koch complained all the way up to President Ronald Reagan, the feisty New Yorker finally backed down, declined to take the matter to the courts, and finally reworked the measure to satisfy federal officials and preserve the city’s federal funding.

Two years later, Baltimore, which had crafted a local ordinance requiring city pension funds to divest $1.1 billion from entities that did business with South Africa, also came under fire. The trustees of the pensions funds and the funds’ beneficiaries (who feared significant financial losses in the short timeframe the funds had to comply with the divestment ordinance) joined forces to take the city to court.

The State Department and the National Security Council submitted briefs supporting the trustees and beneficiaries. But Baltimore ultimately prevailed in the state courts, and the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case. By 1991, nearly 100 cities in 28 states had taken a variety of actions against companies doing business in South Africa.

Although an early attempt by Trump to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities was roundly criticized as unconstitutional (the president aimed to usurp powers granted to Congress) and ultimately blocked by a federal judge, Republicans in Congress have stepped up to take their turn at the issue. Federal courts likely will have the final word on whether the federal government can compel states to assist in immigration enforcement activities or whether such provisions infringe on state powers.

Congress can indeed attach conditions to funding, especially if the funding is related to a specific purpose like law enforcement. Since the Supreme Court has indicated its willingness to consider wider immigration questions like those posed by the administration’s travel ban, it is unlikely that the high court would decline to weigh in, as it did in the Baltimore pension funds question.

Like the anti-apartheid activists, sanctuary cities supporters may find that public response to the crisis may compel different responses from Washington. Grassroots efforts to protect undocumented people have sprouted up all over the country; nearly 650 of the country’s more than 3,000 counties have placed limitations on local law enforcement assistance to federal immigration detention efforts.

But the support for such measures is far from solid in the country at large. Lawmakers in more than 30 states have introduced bills to curb cities’ abilities to weigh in on immigration enforcement. A new Gallup poll shows that Americans’ interests in decreasing the numbers of immigrants admitted to the country have not shifted dramatically.

The “Reagan vs. Cities” report also notes that in addition to cutting off federal funds and other measures, Trump’s tactics include “a public relations strategy aimed at vilifying opponents.” The court of public opinion, however, isn’t always malleable. Reagan may have been the “great communicator,” but he was mostly unable to compel cities and states to abandon divestment and other economic strategies aimed at crippling South African apartheid. Trump, if anything, is more of a great alienator than communicator, who will ultimately run up against the numerical impossibility of deporting millions of undocumented people.

          Bridging the Mind-Body Gap in Health Care   
(Photo: Shutterstock)

After the birth of her youngest son nearly 20 years ago, Elay Nantz of Colorado developed carpal tunnel syndrome in her right hand, sank into post-partum depression, and attempted suicide. After a three-month stay at a Colorado psychiatric hospital, she endured a carousel of specialists who only wanted to know “What do you want?” or “What do you need?” and then wrote countless prescriptions. If she stood her ground and said the pills weren’t working, they would refer her to another doctor. Two of her four psychiatrists even fell asleep during her counseling sessions. Eventually, she stopped seeking treatment.

Nantz has struggled with depression for most of her life and has bounced in and out of doctors’ offices. She felt that the mental health system just saw her as a wallet to rifle through. “None of them gave a crap about me,” she says.

After she had surgery on her hand in 2009 and began physical therapy, her health improved. But after Nantz got divorced in 2010, she lost her private insurance and went on Medicaid—which her physical therapist did not accept. Her hand grew weak and shook so much that she could not hold a fork. It would tumble to the ground and stay there until one of her three children picked it up. A bad day would lead to deeper depression. She felt worthless.

The combination of depression and carpal tunnel meant she could not work and provide for her children. Her thoughts turned to suicide again: “I felt like the only exit I could see was me dying—my head was a mess—like I was in a cave and I couldn’t get out,” she told The American Prospect. “I was getting ready to kill myself.”

Nantz believed that the health-care system simply viewed her as a depressed woman with shaky hands rather than a 45-year-old mother of three who wanted to work and care for her family. But after running out of other options, she decided to try counseling one more time. In 2015, she met Dr. Yaira Oquendo-Figueroa, a staff psychologist at a Salud Family Health Center in Denver.  

Oquendo-Figueroa took an “integrated care” approach to Nantz’s problems that focused on breaking through the institutional barriers that separate mental and physical health care.  In integrated care settings, behavioral health specialists work together with primary-care doctors to treat individual patients. An ongoing relationship between physicians and a patient is the basis of primary care, and it provides a pathway for coordinating mental health treatment.

Oquendo-Figueroa listened carefully to Nantz’s problems and helped her develop the mental “tools” to steer her thoughts in a positive direction. She also connected her with an acupuncturist to treat her carpal tunnel. “She changed my life and the perception of everything,” Nantz says of Oquendo-Figueroa. “I think she’s a magician.”

Mental and physical care have long occupied distinct silos in the American health-care system. However, if Congress has its way, the treatment gulf between these two areas could become even wider, particularly for poor and low-income people who rely Medicaid, the largest health insurer in the United States.

Medical professionals like Oquendo-Figueroa have redoubled their efforts to offer a program of treatment that addresses psychological issues and physical ailments in tandem—which can go a long way to helping patients like Nantz. “You can’t separate the head from the body,” the doctor says.

Primary-care physicians see the majority of patients with mental health problems in the United States, but they are not trained to provide specialized treatment for mental illnesses. According to Benjamin Miller, a University of Colorado’s School of Medicine psychologist who specializes in linking mental and physical care, fewer than 4 percent of primary-care physicians accurately screen for depression. There has been little change in the percentage of adults who use mental health services, or who report an unmet need for mental health services. Two-thirds of doctors say that they can’t get their patients access to outpatient mental treatment because of a shortage of workers, lack of coverage, or inadequate coverage.

Meanwhile, suicide rates in America have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past 15 years and, of the 20 percent of Americans who suffer from mental illness, only about one-fifth get treatment. “The U.S. health-care system [has] two cultures of care that isolate the mind from the body, and mental health has fallen victim to that,” says Miller.

In the 1970s, Salud Family Health Center opened in northeast Colorado to serve patients who were historically underserved or completely uninsured, like the state’s migrant farm workers. In 2013, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized Salud as a “patient-centered medical home,” a health-care delivery model that promotes strategies like integrated care. This model upends the traditional health-care system by providing mental health care in primary-care settings, where it is most accessible.

For many people, primary-care clinics and doctors’ offices are a safe haven. “People want an [ongoing] relationship with someone, they want to feel connected [and] to know you’re they’re for them,” Miller says. He believes that nurturing these relationships provides patients with an avenue to discuss and manage mental health issues before they become serious.

The Colorado health center includes a mobile legal team that advocates for patients, especially undocumented immigrants or Medicaid recipients who live paycheck to paycheck. The center also sends behavioral health professionals around the clinic to meet patients in other departments. “Let’s say that a patient is coming for a dental cleaning, and the hygienist concludes that the patient may be anxious or depressed,” says Oquendo-Figueroa. “I go there and do a consult right there in the dental area.”

While that practice may seem invasive to people who have health-care plans that cover behavioral therapy, a dental clinic might be the only time that some Medicaid or Medicare recipients can talk to a mental health professional.

Washington State’s Mental Health Integration Project features telepsychiatry to help treat low-income patients on Medicaid and Medicare. Encouraging patients to stay in touch with care managers and consulting psychiatrists over the phone allows those health centers to reach more people, and not just during regular visits.

Anne Shields, the associate director of the University of Washington’s Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions program sees e-medicine as one possible solution to a shrinking, aging workforce of psychiatrists, especially in rural areas of the country where there were never many specialists to begin with. From 1995 to 2014, while the total number of physicians in the United States grew by 45 percent, the number of psychiatrists only increased by 12 percent. In 2010, 59 percent of psychiatrists in the United States were 54 years old or older. “Primary-care settings are very diverse, small practices,” Shields says. “Rural health centers have no more than three people working and they’re not going to be able to hire a behavioral health-care manager.”

While health-care staffing often determines the number and types of services a hospital provides, integrated care relies on coordination between doctors to identify the specific treatments that will work for an individual patient. Using this approach, a small rural health center can strive to provide the same high-quality integrated care that an urban hospital system does.

Yet despite the health benefits that integrated care provides, the American health-care system continues to rely on traditional strategies. Treating mental and physical conditions separately has not only prevented vulnerable populations from accessing treatment, but it has also driven up those costs. Miller has calculated that, on average, physical conditions cost twice as much per person per month to treat when there is a mental illness present as well.

Moreover, mental health crises often play out in emergency rooms, which are the least efficient and most expensive care locations. Integrated care has reduced the patients’ reliance on emergency room treatment by focusing on preventative services, and targeting mild or moderate symptoms before they become severe.

The Cherokee Health System in Tennessee found that integrated care patients used emergency services 68 percent less than the regional average; specialty care 42 percent less; and hospital care 37 percent less. These savings amounted to a 22 percent discrepancy between CHS’s total cost and the regional average.

Most health-care networks prioritize people with serious mental illnesses over patients with mild or moderate symptoms, which prevents people from getting the help they need earlier. “The bulk of mental health services are in the public system, but people can’t get those services until they have had many crises,” says Debbie Plotnick, a vice president of Mental Health America, one the nation’s leading mental health advocacy groups.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress could tear wide open the existing gap between having insurance that covers mental health treatment and having access to that treatment with their plans to undo the Affordable Care Act. The ACA repeal proposals fail the two-step process Miller of the University of Colorado uses to evaluate potential reforms: “Does this continue to further fragment our experience with health?” he says. “And does this limit my patient’s ability to get access to mental health treatment where they want it?”

Moreover, transforming Medicaid into a block grant program means that mental health programs would take a significant hit as state officials search for savings to offset the federal cuts. Miller believes that integrated care programs would be the first to go, forcing medical professionals to make difficult decisions about whether they can marshal the resources to help people like Nantz. Repealing the ACA would simply take programs designed to bridge the gap between mental and physical illnesses backward—states, Miller says, “can’t take a chance on this right now.” 

          Study highlights Democrats’ campaign hurdles in 2018   
The Buzz is the Register’s weekly political news column. Ardent opposition to President Donald Trump is motivating veteran and first-time activists in Orange County’s four Republican congressional districts, but unseating the incumbents remains an uphill road. Three of those GOP members won reelection by more than 10 percentage points last year. And while polls show […]
          One Year After Whole Woman’s Health Ruling Little Has Changed   
The ruling was welcomed by women and clinics across the country, as dozens of other states had passed hundreds of targeted restrictions on abortion providers since 2010, but the devastating impact of the laws had already been felt by many.
          After 45 Years of Title IX, Advocates Hold Briefing on Law’s Successes and Failures   
Last week, Title IX – the 1972 legal provision which prevents sex and gender-based discrimination in education – turned 45 years old. In honor of the anniversary, feminist groups briefed Congress on the victories Title IX has won, as well as the ways in which the law continues to fall short.
          Feminist Majority Foundation Holds Congressional Briefing on Progress for Afghan Women and Girls   
Featured presenters included Dr. Sima Samar, former Afghan Minister of Women’s Affairs and current Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission; Gaisu Yari, former advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs and a masters’ student in International Relations at Colombia University; and Belquis Ahmadi, Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace.
          Koch Brothers Take Aim at Republican ‘Moderation’ and the Constitution   
The Republican Party isn’t extreme enough. So say the Koch brothers, who are threatening to withhold the $400 million they have promised to inject into the 2018 electoral cycle. Members of the U.S. Congress have received their marching orders: Repeal the Affordable Care Act (in other words, replace “Obamacare” with “Trumpcare”) and lavish billionaires with More
          Maryland to become first state with law to protect Planned Parenthood   

Maryland on Saturday will become the first state in the nation with a law to protect funding for Planned Parenthood from a possible federal cutoff.

Legislation ensuring that the state will cover the cost of the group's health care services in Maryland if Congress blocks it from receiving federal...

          Paul Simon - Graceland    
Il rock ha combattuto molte battaglie. Di certo ne ha vinta una, quella contro l’apartheid in Sudafrica. Una battaglia che ha combattuto appoggiando in ogni momento Nelson Mandela e l’African National Congress, sostenendo la lotta con migliaia di concerti e manifestazioni in tutto il mondo, e con alcuni dischi memorabili. Quando Paul Simon incise “Graceland” l’apartheid era ancora in vigore. Simon ruppe l’embargo che isolava il regime di Pretoria dal resto del mondo e andò a suonare con i migliori musicisti sudafricani, realizzando uno dei più memorabili album che la storia del rock abbia mai visto, canzoni profondamente americane che incontravano i ritmi e le armonie dell’Africa. Ernesto Assante e Gino Castaldo raccontano come nacque quello straordinario disco nel nuovo appuntamento di “Lezioni di Rock”.
          Big Moves on Outer Space   
Flanked by legendary astronauts including Buzz Aldrin, President Trump announced the reformation of the National Space Council. It is tasked with the pursuit of "grand ambitions," a mission very much in the Trump mindset.

Meanwhile, in Congress, a motion to split the Air Force in order to establish a Space Corps survived its first hearing.

Early stages, but these moves represent an attempt to restore a part of what "Made America Great" in the eyes of the earlier generation. Buzz Aldrin's father's generation dreamed up Buck Rogers: Aldrin himself went to the moon. The greatness of that has never been equaled, and so far, it has never been surpassed.

I don't know if I believe that Federal bureaucracies still have the capacity to do things that are Great in that capital-letter sense. Maybe not. But at least they're aiming in the right direction.
          Confidence in Institutions Poll   
We look at this poll every year, more or less. This year's results are unexpected: American confidence in institutions is up, at a level not seen since Obama first took office.

More, this poll defies the trendline I've been worried about over previous years. The decline in faith in institutions has chiefly affected the non-coercive institutions: the consistently highly placed winners were the police, the military, and the criminal justice system. Congress, newspapers, churches -- all the non-coercive branches fared worse and worse. This year, that reversed to some degree.

There's a big partisan split in a couple of places, especially faith in the Presidency (swings near fifty points for both parties) and newspapers (way up among Democrats, down somewhat among Republicans). SCOTUS shows a zero shift among Democrats, but a big gain among Republicans -- no doubt the outcome of the Gorsuch fight.

But that doesn't hold everywhere. Many institutions show compatible shifts, including things like organized labor (Republicans up by two, Democrats by a little more), church (1/3), and public schools (9/5). At least some of the ways in which we deal with each other nonviolently are tracking up a bit, and that's kind of surprising given the political climate.
          NRA spokesperson "proud" of controversial NRA ad that smeared anti-Trump resistance movement   

National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch doubled down on her earlier video that characterized dissent against President Donald Trump as “the violence of lies” that needed to be countered with the “clenched fist of truth.” Loesch said she was “proud” of the video and “endorse[d]” it “personally.”

In the ad, which was originally posted on the YouTube page of NRA’s news outlet NRATV in April 2017, Loesch claimed that in their opposition to Trump, left-wing Americans “scream racism, and sexism, and xenophobia, and homophobia, [and] bully and terrorize the law-abiding until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.” She went on to say the only way to save “our country and our freedom” is with “the clenched fist of truth.”

The video drew widespread criticism after NRATV reposted it on its Facebook page on June 28. In a June 29 article, Vox’s Zack Beauchamp called the video “chilling” and said it “comes this close to calling for a civil war against liberals.” The same day, ThinkProgress’ Aaron Rupar wrote a piece saying the video “stops just short of calling for violence against … progressives.”

During the noon edition of NRATV’s program Stinchfield, which provides live updates at the top of the hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST, Loesch, who is also an NRATV commentator, doubled down on the spot, calling it a “fantastic ad” that “holds up a mirror to the violent aspects of the left.” Loesch denied that she was inciting violence in the ad, saying that she meant “meeting that violence with simple truth and simple peaceful ideas”: 

GRANT STINCHFIELD (HOST): Dana, this video is like two and a half months old. I’m glad it's getting attention, it got some attention before. More people to watch it, the better in my book.

DANA LOESCH: Absolutely, and Grant, I want to make one thing perfectly clear, I am proud of this ad and I endorse personally the message of this ad. It’s a fantastic ad and it holds up a mirror to the violent aspects of the left. And, Grant, we have seen this time and time again. We saw this violence in Chicago during the campaign for the general election. We saw this violence in the streets of Washington, D.C., during the inauguration -- where there were not just a few, mind you, but a number of a very far leftists who thought that breaking store windows, arson, property damage, physical assault, setting fires in the middle of the street, et cetera, et cetera -- that these were all forms of protected speech and that they were generally acceptable forms of dissent to a fair election. And then of course, Grant, we have seen time and time again on college campuses, individuals react so physically, hostilely to a simple difference of opinion. And so they set fire on their college campuses and once again we see arson, and we see property destruction, and we see physical assault over and over again. I know, Grant, that I don't have to remind you or anyone else of what happened sadly just two weeks ago when a leftist went to a ballfield with a list of Republican congressmen and decided to open fire on GOP congressional members because they were simply Republicans. Now with this ad, Grant, when I say the clenched fists of truth, I mean the clenched fists of truth. And this is where I get the inspiration for that line. Everybody knows what this is, right? Everybody can recognize this? It’s the symbol of the resistance movement. It’s the symbol of the movement that by and large has sanctioned the violence of which I speak. It has sanctioned the arson, and the property destruction, and it has sanctioned the physical assault. So, I didn’t say meet fist with fist. And I didn’t even mention anywhere in this ad to go and purchase a firearm. I specifically, Grant, said clenched fist, not of physical altercation like they promote, but of truth. Meeting in the battleground of ideas, meeting that violence with simple truth and simple, peaceful ideas. That is what we have always been about, and even in the face of continued aggression and violence and destruction from the left, that is what we will continue to be about. 

          Bret Stephens and MSNBC’s hiring spree: The network keeps moving right   

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Update: MSNBC and Greta Van Susteren have agreed to part ways.

MSNBC is now a pasture for pseudo-intellectual conservatives. Climate denier and Iraq War booster Bret Stephens is just the latest right-wing hire at the network.

In recent months NBC News Chairman Andy Lack has overseen a hiring spree of right-wing pundits and former Fox News personalities. The stable includes Hugh Hewitt, Megyn Kelly, Charlie Sykes, Greta Van Susteren, and George Will. They join other conservatives at the network: Elise Jordan, Steve Schmidt, Michael Steele, Rick Tyler, Nicolle Wallace, and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough. This is to say nothing of NBC News contributor and Trump apologist Mark Halperin; and given their frequent appearances, it may be just a matter of time until David Frum, a speechwriter for then-President George W. Bush, former George W. Bush chief of staff Andy Card, and neocon Bill Kristol join the network as well.

Compared to CNN’s boorish Trumpists or the state media apparatchiks at Fox News, the common thread among MSNBC conservatives is a certain pretentious shine. They’re frequently just arguing that President Donald Trump is the wrong type of conservative, when in fact Trump is the apotheosis of everything conservatism has been careening toward for some time. (The exception is Hugh Hewitt, who is now just a huge Trump booster after vacillating during the campaign.) 

Many of these hires have direct, intimate connections to Bush, the most disastrous president in decades. Card, Frum, Jordan, and Wallace worked in the Bush administration, and Stephens, Kristol, Will, Scarborough, and Hewitt were all huge cheerleaders for the Iraq War. And that history matters. Two major media institutions, including a newspaper of record, are now paying Stephens essentially just to troll liberals with climate denial and to push America towards a war with Iran.

You can separate Lack’s hiring spree into two buckets: pundits and brands. Neither offer much value in the long run. In this media environment, opinions are cheap (including mine!). Everyone has one and most of them stink. There’s no long-term return on opinions (and no lack of people wanting to get on TV to share theirs).

Adding brands like Megyn Kelly or Greta Van Susteren is equally pointless. It’s no wonder that both of these shows have failed. There’s simply no audience for them outside the Fox News bubble. Particularly with Kelly, NBC News executives seem completely unaware that her entire show at Fox News was built around racial dog-whistling (with occasional moments of bucking the party line).

Also, as Ryan Grim noted, it is the progressive shows that Lack hasn’t touched that are succeeding the most.

Rather than spending all this money on right-wing pundits and big names, the true value-add for news networks now is reliable and aggressive journalism. That’s hard to do. It’s expensive. It’s time-consuming. But it’s ultimately what will define NBC News and MSNBC.

          Democrat from Las Cruces jumps in race for Congress   
A Democrat from Las Cruces on Thursday announced his campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, although it remains unclear if the seven-term congressman will seek re-election to Congress, run for governor or pursue something else. Although the general election isn’t until November 2018, David Baake said he’s not waiting to get his congressional […]
          China Unicom & Cavium Trial M-CORD   
Demonstrates platform combining ThunderX ARM V8.1 workload optimized data center server processors and XPliant SDN fabric at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017.
          Cancer Chief: Congress Must Deal With Trump Budget Uncertainties   
Interim National Cancer Institute Director Doug Lowy visited Purdue Thursday as part of a survey of Indiana college research initiatives.
           Measure forces Congress to examine post-9/11 war powers role    
WASHINGTON (AP) - A stunning move this week by a House panel to force a debate on new presidential war powers revealed mounting frustration that Congress has...
          Universe's unfolding story set to music in composer’s new oratorio    
Eco Catholic

Eco Catholic: Composer Sam Guarnaccia's "Emergent Universe Oratorio" will be performed Friday night in Cleveland as part of the World Union of Jesuit Alumna congress.

          GOP's Plan B for Obamacare repeal began with quiet push from Koch network   

President Trump’s surprise suggestion Friday that deadlocked Senate Republicans shift their focus to simply repealing Obamacare — and worry about replacing it later — has its roots in a Koch network proposal that has been shopped around Congress for months.

The influential Koch network, backed...

          Look at possible conflicts of interest in Trump team's OneWest Bank probes, 2 Democrats urge   

Two House Democrats want Congress to look into possible conflicts of interest in the Trump administration’s handling of investigations into Pasadena’s OneWest Bank — a bank formerly headed by now-Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Al Green (D-Texas) said...

          Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Israeli trial   

Thirty-two Democratic members of Congress have urged the secretary of state to help an Arab activist who is going on trial in Israel. In a letter sent Wednesday, the lawmakers asked Rex Tillerson to utilize his influence in the case of Issa Amro, who is facing charges connected to protests he organized in Hevron.

          Investigan las Gafas infrarrojas para que podamos ver a oscuras   

Hasta ahora, el equipo de Neshev ha demostrado la capacidad de los nanocristales en convertir en espectro visible ondas infrarrojas de alta intensidad generadas por un láser. Los resultados fueron presentados en el Australian Institute of Physics Congress en Brisbane, Australia, la semana pasada. No obstante, ver en la oscuridad y a distancia un objeto…

The post Investigan las Gafas infrarrojas para que podamos ver a oscuras appeared first on LO + EN LA RED.

          Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Could Ship With New ISOCELL Dual Camera Technology   
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Could Ship With New ISOCELL Dual Camera Technology Samsung is officially owns an image sensor brand. Adding to its many product segments—smartphones, televisions, displays, washing machines, and the list goes one—Samsung today introduced its image sensor brand called ISOCELL at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Shanghai. Fittingly enough, the new brand is named after Samsung's own ISOCELL
           Trump urges GOP to repeal Obama law now, replace later    
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump urged divided congressional Republicans on Friday to break their logjam over dismantling President Barack Obama's...
          Trump Urges GOP To Repeal Obama Law Now, Replace Later   

President Donald Trump urged divided congressional Republicans on Friday to break their logjam over dismantling President Barack Obama’s health care law by “immediately” repealing it and replacing it later, a formula that GOP leaders dismissed months ago as politically unwise. Trump’s early-morning tweet embraced a sequential approach favored by only a handful of conservatives eager to take quick action on one of the party’s foremost priorities — repealing Obamacare, something Republicans have long promised to do. But his suggestion threatened to sharpen divisions between conservatives and moderates, who are leery of stripping coverage from millions of constituents without something to substitute for it. “If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” Trump tweeted. Supporters of that idea include Sens. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Rand Paul, R-Ky. House and Senate leaders long ago abandoned initial thoughts of first erasing Obama’s law, and then replacing it. Such a step-by-step approach would leave Republicans vulnerable to Democratic accusations that they were simply tossing people off coverage without helping them obtain medical care. It could also roil insurance markets by prompting insurers to flee or boost premiums because of worries over whether, when and how Congress would replace the statute. And the idea would leave unresolved the quandary stumping lawmakers today — how to replace Obama’s system of online insurance markets, tax subsidies and an expanded Medicaid with something that will get enough Republican votes to pass Congress. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined to comment on Trump’s tweet. Underscoring the fissures within the GOP, conservative group leaders welcomed Trump’s suggestion but said it didn’t go far enough because it could open the door to a subsequent bipartisan compromise to replace Obama’s law. They accused McConnell of not wanting to go far enough and protecting GOP moderates who want to keep parts of the statute, such as insurance coverage requirements. “It’s distressing to see so many Republicans who’ve lied about their commitment to repeal. Mitch McConnell wants to amend Obamacare,” Ken Cuccinelli, president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, said in a conference call. Mimicking a southern accent, the New Jersey-born Cuccinelli said, “Root and branch, root and branch,” repeating an expression McConnell once used about how thoroughly he wanted to repeal the Obama law. On Thursday, Senate Republicans were considering breaking a stalemate over what their replacement bill should do by preserving a tax boost Obama’s law imposed on high earners. Keeping that tax increase in place was a bid to woo party moderates and rescue their sputtering push to repeal his health care overhaul. The break from dogma by a party that has long reviled tax boosts — and most things achieved by Obama — underscores McConnell’s feverish effort to rescue the Senate legislation from the brink of possible defeat. The money from the tax boost would instead be used to bolster proposed health care subsidies for lower-income people. The change, proposed by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would give a more populist flavor to the bill. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that as the legislation now is written, it would boost out-of-pocket costs for many poor consumers and produce 22 million uninsured people while cutting around $700 billion in taxes over a […]

The post Trump Urges GOP To Repeal Obama Law Now, Replace Later appeared first on Yeshiva World News.

          Look at possible conflicts of interest in Trump team's OneWest Bank probes, 2 Democrats urge   

Two House Democrats want Congress to look into possible conflicts of interest in the Trump administration’s handling of investigations into Pasadena’s OneWest Bank — a bank formerly headed by now-Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Al Green (D-Texas) said...

          Trump Isn’t Draining the Swamp, He’s Drowning Diplomacy   
Trump and the GOP Congress have plans to decimate the entire federal workforce, and they're starting with the State Department.
          How Trump Lost His Natural Congressional Power Bloc   
Trump could have built a bipartisan power bloc in Congress, but he missed the chance.
          Measure forces Congress to examine post-9/11 war powers role   
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A stunning move this week by a House panel to force a debate on new presidential war powers revealed mounting frustration that Congress has for too long dodged one of its most important responsibilities: to decide whether to send American fighting forces into harm&apos;s way....
          House spending bill would scrap military authorization in rebuke to Trump on Syria, ISIS   

House appropriators set in motion Thursday a repeal of the congressional authorization underpinning the U.S. military effort against the Islamic State and recent strikes in Syria, a move that serves as a rebuke of President Donald Trump's foreign policy and a demand that he present Congress with...

          Castro’s Puppet Works for ‘Progressive Congress’   
Accuracy in Media A former AFL-CIO political director, who is now running a project to establish a “progressive Congress,” walked away in disgust last week when I tried to question her about a trip she had made to Castro’s Cuba. The exchange, such as it was, occurred at the “Take Back the American Dream” conference […]
          Qualcomm Snapdragon 450: tăng cường hỗ trợ camera kép và LTE tốc độ cao   
Trong khuôn khổ Hội nghị Di động Thế giới Thượng Hải 2017 (Mobile World Congress Shanghai), Qualcomm cho ra mắt nền tảng di động Snapdragon 450, thành viên mới thuộc gia đình nền tảng di động Snapdragon 400.
          Projected Drop in Medicaid Spending Heightens Hurdle for G.O.P. Health Bill   
A Congressional Budget Office analysis showing a 35 percent decrease after two decades created a fresh challenge for Republican leaders trying to muster support for their repeal bill.
          Your Money: Plan on Growing Old? Then the Medicaid Debate Affects You   
Here’s how the various Republican health care bills germinating in Congress might affect Medicaid — and how they could reduce your options in old age.
          GST launch divides opposition   
The Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Left, the BSP, the DMK, the RJD and some other parties boycotted the event, dubbing it as a "tamasha" (drama). The NCP, a key constituent of the Congress-led UPA, broke away from the Opposition ranks
          Congress MP sits on dharna at Parliament house over GST   
The Rajya Sabha member from Telangana, Anand Bhaskar Rapolu, alleged that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) would destroy the textile sector which would lead to suicides by workers in the labour-intensive industry.
          Governo liga pagamento de bônus para servidores a licenças ambientais   
No momento em que o Congresso Nacional discute regras para flexibilizar a emissão de licenças ambientais e reduções de florestas protegidas, o Ministério do Meio Ambiente (MMA) publicou uma portaria...

<strong>Leia mais no <a href="" target="_blank"> Portal do Servidor Federal</a>.</strong>
          Exoneração de servidores estáveis volta ao debate   
A proposta (PLS 116/2017 – Complementar) que autoriza a demissão de servidor público por insuficiência de desempenho volta a ser mencionada no Congresso Nacional. O senador Hélio José (PMDB-DF),...

<strong>Leia mais no <a href="" target="_blank"> Portal do Servidor Federal</a>.</strong>
          APC has succeeded in dividing Nigeria – Chekwas   

NATIONAL Chairman of United Progressive Party (UPP),Dr. Chekwas Okorie yesterday stated that the All Progressive Congress (APC)has succeeded in dividing Nigeria along primordial cleavage more than any government before it.

The post APC has succeeded in dividing Nigeria – Chekwas appeared first on Vanguard News.

          Qualcomm and 360 Discuss Shared Connected Families Vision, Launch 4G Kid Watch Powered by Snapdragon Wear for China   

At Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), and 360, one of the largest internet security companies in China, today announced that the two companies are working on 4G kid watches and are launching 360's first product for this industry, 360 Kids Watch 6S, based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100 platform. The 360 Kids Watch 6S combines the Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform with the 360 OS for Wear operating system,...

Read the full story at

          Author Rues the “Triumph of Cynicism over Integrity”   

In his book titled Eminent Disdain: The Triumph of Cynicism over Integrity in 21st Century America (AuthorHouse, 2009), businessman and political independent Bromwell Ault takes the politically conscious back to the previous decade, to America's most pressing issues of the time. -   - Eminent Disdain explores the issues that remain persistent challenges for whoever sits in the White House or dominate the Congress: the Iraq War (the most notable error of the younger Bush's presidency), th...

Read the full story at

          5th Annual Washington Kastles Charity Classic Returns Thursday, July 27   

Republicans and Democrats come together for the Washington Kastles Charity ClassicWASHINGTON, June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington Kastles have announced that the 5th Annual Washington Kastles Charity Classic will take place on Thursday, July 27th in Kastles Stadium at the GW Smith Center. Pairing Republican and Democratic Members of Congress,...

          Look at possible conflicts of interest in Trump team's OneWest Bank probes, 2 Democrats urge   

Two House Democrats want Congress to look into possible conflicts of interest in the Trump administration’s handling of investigations into Pasadena’s OneWest Bank — a bank formerly headed by now-Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Al Green (D-Texas) said...

          The United States Congress: Decorum Lost   
Lord, what would the Founders say if they read the letter from the Congressional Black Caucus to President Trump indicating their desire to “educate” him on all things relating to—what else—the Black community?  It is one thing to enfranchise a group in our representative government; but to be condescended to by them in this manner?  […]


October 2, 2017 to October 5, 2017

Futurecom is the largest Telecom & IT Event in Latin America, with a special focus in Brazil. Its 19th Edition will be held in São Paulo, from October 2nd to 5th, at the Transamerica Expo Center. A Trade Fair with 22,000sqm receives representatives from 45 countries, and an outstanding International Congress has approximately 300 speakers and panelists and 5 conference rooms in 4 days. The previous Futurecom event counted with more than 300 exhibitors showing their products, solutions and applications for 13,500 unique attendees, in a great environment for business development. Most of Worldwide ICT companies exhibit at Futurecom, as well as Brazilian Fixed and Mobile Operators. Take part!

MMA Members discount: 20%

More Info

          Measure forces Congress to examine post-9/11 war powers role   
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A stunning move this week by a House panel to force a debate on new presidential war powers revealed mounting frustration that Congress has for too long dodged one of its most important responsibilities: to decide whether to send American fighting forces into harm&apos;s way....
          Trump says Repeal, Replace Later and Self-employed/Small businesses might lose affordable coverage!!!   
Like Trump's comment that took the nations breath away...:

Yet House and Senate Republican plans are getting trashed, not surprisingly, in this most recent poll:

So if Republicans can't prevent 23 million people from losing their health care insurance with a new plan, at least just dump the Affordable Care Act outright?

Dumb doesn't begin to describe taking this kind of chance with 8 percent of the economy. But get a load of what his in-the-tank true believing followers think:
Among Republicans, Trump wouldn't bear the brunt of the blame if Congress is unable to repeal and replace Obamacare. Just 6 percent would blame him, and half said they would blame congressional Democrats. Another 20 percent said they would blame GOP lawmakers.
Of course Republicans are only doing what voters wanted them to do...see graph....

The Senate's Better Care Act adds mind-boggling costly complexity to the U.S. health care system. 

For me, an "all payer system" is simple; every doctor is your doctor, every hospital is your hospital. No bills, no worries ever. .

Waaayyyyyy too easy say Republicans, who want us to spend days, months and years maneuvering through their nightmarish and complicated idea of free market freedom. One idea is so ridiculously convoluted and costly that it numbs the mind, making people join a group formed to manage health policy...seriously?
KFFDotOrg: Association Health Plans for Small Groups and Self-Employed Individuals under the Better Care Reconciliation Act: The Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), includes a provision to create new association health plan options for small employers and self-employed individuals ... the ACA requirement that premiums cannot vary based on health status does not apply in the large group market. Neither does the requirement for policies to cover ten categories of essential health benefits. 

SBHPs would be able to set premiums for small firm and self-employed members based on health and risk status ... However, in the event a covered individual becomes seriously ill or injured, nothing under federal law would prevent the SBHP insurer from raising the premium for that small employer or self-employed individual, even to unaffordable levels. This could lead to premiums in the traditional small group market becoming much higher for employers who need to seek coverage there ... making health insurance less affordable for sick individuals and small groups who would have to rely on them, and potentially not available at all.

          Paul Ryan floats 22 Million "people will choose not to buy something they don't want," like health insurance?    
Paul Ryan's ingeniously comical spin on the GOP's serious problem of causing 22 or 23 million Americans to lose their health insurance coverage has exposed him as a phony overrated policy wonk. From PolitiFact: 

Spin Me Round Round: Of course it's not true, because Americans will "choose" to drop their insurance coverage because they can't afford the premiums and/or deductibles. And because they're... longer eligible for Medicaid. The CBO said two-thirds of the 22 million without insurance would lose out through cuts in the Medicaid program.
Twitter corrections followed as well, embarrassingly so for a guy known for his "fiscally conservative" tax cut pledge:

Pretty simple stuff. Remember, they're in charge now.

A Reduced Medicaid Plan Reduces Insured? Ah, yea, that's the Problem? Ryan really said this too, as if it was a benefit. Not getting the same kind of attention but just as pathetic, he took the leap...

Paul Ryan classic: "What they're basically saying at the Congressional Budget Office is that, if you're not going to force people to buy Obamacare, if you're not going to force people to buy something they don't want, then they won't buy it. It's not that people are getting pushed off a plan. It's that people will choose not to buy something that they don't like or want."

          Cancel August recess for Congress, group of Senate Republicans say   
The Senate is scheduled to leave Washington by July 28 and not return to Capitol Hill until Sept. 5
          A room full of Republicans just addressed climate change, here’s why   

The House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment recognizing climate change as a threat to national security. The amendment tells the defense secretary to take steps to address it.

The post A room full of Republicans just addressed climate change, here’s why appeared first on

          Trump says Congress should repeal Obamacare now, replace it later   
The president said after the election that Obamacare would be repealed and replaced "simultaneously" so millions wouldn't lose coverage
          Evan F. Moore: Baseball shooting victim Scalise owes life to those he wants to strip of liberties    
It has to be a weird feeling for a white man who has used racist and anti-gay rhetoric to have his life saved by a black man and a gay black woman.House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was one of five people shot when a gunman opened fire at congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14.Scalice spent several days in critical condition and was recently released from the intensive care unit. The Republican congressman owes his life to people whom he previously [...]
          "Internment Camp"   

Carlos Vera is with Pay Our Interns.

Senator Feinstein, one of the richest members of Congress, doesn't pay her interns. Senator Harris has "pledged to pay beginning in the Fall."

In the Huffington Post: Congress Called Out For Not Paying Interns:

The extent of the problem the report outlines is startling. In the U.S. Senate, 51 percent of Republicans pay their interns, while only 31 percent of Democrats offer paid internships. The rates in the House of Representatives are even worse, with 8 percent of Republican representatives and 3.6 percent of Democratic representatives paying their interns.

Interesting---and surprising---to learn that the Repugs are better overall about paying their interns than the Democrats. Good---and not surprising---to see that Bernie Sanders pays his interns.

See also Interns: Working for free and Internment Camp.

          Comment on Buhari’s Administration Is Managed By Criminals – Dino Melaye by You Can't Pitch Me Against Buhari, Melaye Tells Sahara Reporters   
[…] at the Sheraton hotel where he was quoted that the All Progressives Congress-led administration of President Buhari is running criminocracy; which he called the government of the criminals, for the criminals and by the […]
          Мобильные сети 5G заработают в Китае уже в 2019 году   
В ходе своего выступления на Mobile World Congress 2017, который в настоящее время проходит в Шанхае, председатель правления China Mobile Communications Corp — крупнейшего мобильного оператора в мире — Шан Бин заявил, China Mobile приступит к тестированию сетей 5G уже в 2019 году.
          Analysis: For GOP Congress, an imperative on health care    
Congressional Republicans are stymied over health care. But after seven years of promising to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's law, they risk political disaster if they don't deliver.
          Maryland to become first state with law to protect Planned Parenthood   

Maryland on Saturday will become the first state in the nation with a law to protect funding for Planned Parenthood from a possible federal cutoff. Legislation ensuring that the state will cover the cost of the group's health care services in Maryland if Congress blocks it from receiving federal funding is among the more than 250 bills passed by the General Assembly that will become law July 1. The new laws include Republican Gov. Larry Hogan 's plan to offer tax breaks for manufacturers who bring new jobs to economically disadvantaged parts of the state, as well as his proposal to expand technical education.

          State Bank Of Travancore, Maharashtra, Nagpur, Congress Nagar- Nagpur,   

District: NAGPUR

IFSC Code: SBTR0000602 (used for RTGS and NEFT transactions)

MICR Code: 440009003

          BIAFRA: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Disown Nnamdi Kanu   
BIAFRA: Ohanaeze Ndigbo Disown Nnamdi Kanu

Published by Family Writers Press

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Frowns At Kanu’s Activities

Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Thursday descended and distanced itself from Kanu and his IPOB organisation.

Chief John Nnia Nwodo, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, made the stand of the body known while addressing members of the Anambra State House of Assembly at the Legislative Complex, Awka, Anambra State.

Nnamdi Kanu and Nnia Nwodo
Nwodo, who was particularly not happy with the statement credited to Kanu that governorship election should not hold in Anambra in November, said Kanu had breached the undertaking he took before him (Nwodo) when he was released from detention.

“I’m just being paternal. The way I commended them as my children is the way I have the right to chastise them when they go wrong. We don’t need this heat up”, Nwodo said.

“News that reached us in the past few days that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, has declared that there will be no election in Anambra in November is shocking and disturbing. I hereby countermand that declaration as president general of Ohanaeze.

“Whereas Ohanaeze understands the marginalisation and unfair treatment of Igbos which have given rise to self-determination movements in Igboland, leaders of these movements must not arrogate to themselves the supreme leadership of Igboland.

“Statements of the kind credited to Nnamdi Kanu are provocative, misleading and unproductive. Why should Anambra people be denied the opportunity to choose their own leader? Why should any of us who are not from Anambra, no matter how highly placed, descend to the arena and dictate for Anambra people when to vote, whether to vote or who to vote for?

“Anambra, nay Igbos, are still part and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yes, we are not happy with our treatment in Nigeria. Yes, some of us want Biafra. Yes, some of us prefer a restructured Federal Republic of Nigeria. But the fact remains that we are still part and parcel of the present Federal Republic of Nigeria, bound by its laws, no matter how repressive or unjust”, Nwodo said while addressing the legislators.

Continuing, he said, “Our approach to reforms of our laws even if it leads to self-determination or restructuring must be lawful. We must convince other Nigerians of our point of view, we must strive to make others share our convictions.

“Our language must be civil, respectful and lead to consensus building. We must resist any attempt to turn division amongst us, as to which way we must go, become a source of altercations between us.

“As we speak very many of our people living in Northern Nigeria are in complete awe and consternation regarding how safe they will be after October 1st. Other Northerners living amongst us are also worried.

“The Inspector General of Police has taken public notice of Nnamdi’s comments inviting a possible invasion of Anambra by the Nigerian police, increasing the already existing siege of our people which lead to daily extortion on our highways. All these developments have arisen out of unguarded utterances.

“I find no venue more suited for the statements I make here. Every constituent part of Anambra is represented here. I believe that the honourable members here are competent enough to carry the Ohanaeze message to every nook and cranny of Anambra State”.

Nwodo, who said the organisation would visit other houses of Assembly in Igbo speaking states, said, “We are happy with the peace that exists here. We are happy with the steady progress Anambra has registered over the years. The next election can only improve not retard it.”

Igbos Must Not Be Divided

Earlier, Chief Willie Obiano, Anambra State governor, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Legislative Matters, Chief Chiedozie Ezeugwa, said that the state government was committed to the Igbo cause and would continue to do everything to support the Ohanaeze in protecting the interest Igbos.

Mrs. Rita Mmaduagwu, Speaker of Anambra Assembly, and a former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, in their speeches said Igbos should avoid being divided in whatever cause they pursue in the prevailing circumstance, adding that the time to listen to Igbos has come.

It would be recalled that on Wednesday Kanu in Umuahia, Abia State, was unanimously chosen by seven pro-Biafra groups as leader of all groups agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra.

Announcing the decision of the groups under the banner of Biafra Peoples National Council (BPNC) at Nnamdi Kanu’s country-home at Afara Ibeku in Umuahia North Council, the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Uchenna Madu, said Kanu’s sincerity, focus and doggedness in the struggle towards realisation of Biafra made the pro-Biafra groups to ask him to lead them.

The groups, according to him, are MASSOB, Eastern People’s Congress (EPC), Biafran Revolutionary Organisation (BRO), Joint Revolutionary Council of Biafra (JRCB); World Union of Biafran Scientists (WUBS), Biafran Liberation Crusaders (BLC), Salvation People of Biafra (SPB) and IPOB.


          IPOB: Pro-Biafra groups forge common force, make Nnamdi Kanu overall leader   
IPOB: Pro-Biafra groups forge common force, make Nnamdi Kanu overall leader

By Anayo Okoli

Published by Family Writers Press

UMUAHIA – SEVEN pro-Biafra groups Wednesday  agreed to work together under the leaders of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, with the aim of achieving faster the their quest for referendum that will lead to the emancipation of Republic of Biafra.

The groups said that they decided to work together so that they would be speaking with one voice seeking for one objective of securing the Republic of Biafra.

Well over 5000 people from the various groups converged on Afaraukwu, native home of Nnamdi Kanu to witness his appointment as the over leader of Biafra. The groups were the Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Biafran Revolutionary Organization, BRO, Eastern People Congress, EPC, Joint Revolutionary Council of Biafra, JRCB, Biafra Liberation Crusaders, BLC, and Salvation People of Biafra, all of who agreed to work indiscriminately with the Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB to pursue the Republic Biafra. Rising from a closed down with Kanu, Comrade Uchenna Madu addressed journalists on their decision. He said the decision was to work together and speak with one voice under a central leader, saying however that all the groups still exist but would be speaking with one voice more so as the quest for referendum hits up.

“Distinguished members and great people of Biafra and supporters of divine mission of emancipation of the land of Biafra from the oppressing Nigeria State, we salute you. Today as we stand in this holy land of Bifra in unique and brotherly gathering to honour our own brother who distinguished himself in the self determination struggle for Biafra actualization and restoration. “Today in honour of our supreme leader, Chukwu Okike Abiama and in remembrance of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, we the people of Biafra under the representation of all the pro-Biafra groups hereby adopt and declare our brother, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu as the new leader of Biafra Nation, whose under his leadership, through the grace of Chukwu Okike Abiama shall the people  of Biafra rest. “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s leadership shall bring unity, peace, progress and brotherly love among the esteemed people of Biafra through the instrumentality of mutual and intimate understanding among the pro-Biafra groups”, the declaration read by MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu said.

Kanu Reacts In his reaction, Nnamdi Kanu said that he was humbled by the decision of the various groups and assured that h would not let them down. “I am humbled by this decision of the groups, we started together and we have all ended up together because we are sincere and purposeful. I am not in the habit of letting my friends down, that thing you said I cannot do is what I will down. “Everybody will be carried along; if I am invited for any meeting I will take some people along. Today is a great day for Biafran all over the world.

Today we have shamed our enemies think that we cannot come together, who think that if when we get Biafra we will kill ourselves, we have shamed them”. In answer to a question, Kanu said he did not believe in the restructuring of Nigeria being called by eminent Nigeria, saying that Nigerian Government would not keep any agreement reached in the restructuring exercise. According to him, it is a referendum or nothing.

He said that Aburi agreement was reneged by Nigerian Government and that the 2014 National Conference was dumped where it was coated by dust until the Biafra agitation became intense and it was remembered. On whether the IPOB has formerly written to the United Nations demanding referendum, Kanu said that the best letter was the continuous civil disobedience which he said serves as “handwriting on the wall for the Government, they wake up to see it every day”. “We are going to compel the powers that be to recognize the inevitability of the referendum. Man made the law, man will change it. We will continue to deploy civil disobedience. It is not war, it is self-determination”, Kanu said.


A United Nations observer, Prof. Nwaimo Emma was around yesterday to see what was going on. According to Nwaimo, who said he is a professor of religion, he was overwhelmed with the crowd he saw and said that he would report back to the United Nations the true position of what he observed.


Meanwhile, the leader of Afenifere Youths, Eric Olawale has said that the Afenifere youths have totally lost confidence in the leadership of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris over his failure to arrested the Arewa Youths who gave the Igbo quit notice from the North. Olawale also said that they have lost confidence in the Northern governors over the same issue, saying with their action they have failed to provide leadership. Olawale who said he was in Umuahia in solidarity with Nnamdi Kanu and other pro-Biafra groups, said that they are also keenly interested in having Oduduwa Republic. He said that they came to give support to Kanu because they all part of Southern Nigeria, and will not watch and see their brother being punished.

          House spending bill would scrap military authorization in rebuke to Trump on Syria, ISIS   

House appropriators set in motion Thursday a repeal of the congressional authorization underpinning the U.S. military effort against the Islamic State and recent strikes in Syria, a move that serves as a rebuke of President Donald Trump's foreign policy and a demand that he present Congress with...

          Legal Marijuana Sales in Nevada: Eight Things You Need to Know   

This article was published in collaboration with AlterNet and first appeared here.

As of 12:01am Saturday, legal adult marijuana sales begin in Nevada. And they will commence immediately, with dispensaries on the Las Vegas Strip announcing plans to be open to usher in Sin City's newest attraction.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]But don't go lighting up on the Strip! Smoking in public is not allowed.

Nevada now joins Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington in allowing people to legally buy and sell weed in pot shops. It's the first of the states where voters legalized it at the polls to see shops open, getting out of the gate ahead of California, Maine, and Massachusetts.

That's because the state fast-tracked legal pot sales by granting licenses to a few dozen existing medical marijuana dispensaries in order to let them sell to any adults while officials finalized regulations for the legal marijuana market, which was mandated to begin by January 1, 2018.

So, now that you can add legal weed to Las Vegas's allures, here are a few things you need to know:

1. How much can I buy? Visitors and residents alike can purchase up to an ounce of buds and up to an eighth-ounce of marijuana edibles.

2. Where can I buy it? Look for medical marijuana dispensaries that have been granted recreational sales licenses. Those are clustered in the Las Vegas and Reno areas, including dispensaries on the Strip. There's a complete list of dispensaries here, but remember, not all have the recreational sales okay, so if you're about to go shopping, contact them directly to find out.

3. What do I need? You need to be at least 21 and have government-issued ID that says so. If you're a medical marijuana card holder, you don't have to be 21. And you need to have cash. That's because the federal government refuses to let banks handle marijuana business since pot is still federally illegal. Congress is working on this issue, but in the meantime, hit the ATM ahead of shopping.

4. What should I buy? Regular consumers will have a pretty good idea what they like, but novices can consult their budtenders. There will be a variety of high-quality, high-potency strains on sale, both "stimulating" sativas and "enervating" indicas, as well as a dizzying plethora of hybrid strains.

5. What about edibles? Edibles will be on sale, too, in a wide variety of forms, but because of emergency regulations issued Monday by the Department of Taxation, those products can contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose or 100 milligrams per package. That 10 milligram measure is a good one; novice users will certainly feel an impact at that level. But those emergency regs, which also restrict packaging and labeling are likely to produce initial shortages of edibles given the short lag time between their promulgation and opening day.

6. What's it going to cost? Grams will be going for $10 to $15, ounces for anywhere from $150 for bargain buds to $325 for the primo. Edibles prices will depend on the various products.

7. Where can I smoke it? Well, therein lies the rub, especially for visitors. The only places smoking pot is allowed are at your home or on your front porch. There's no smoking it on the Strip, in clubs or casinos, at rock concerts, or any other public place. And there's no smoking it in hotel rooms, either. Either a lot of tourists are going to end up with public smoking citations, or they start making local friends in a hurry, or they end up paying smoke damage surcharges on their hotel room credit card bills, or all of the above. This is going to have to change, especially since estimates are nearly two-thirds of legal pot buyers are going to be visitors. In the meantime, it could make edibles more attractive.

8. Can I take it home with me? Not if you live in a state where it is illegal. And if you live in a state where it is legal, why bother? If you get caught trying to bring it onto an airplane, the TSA won't bust you (since they're looking for terrorists, not tourists), but will turn you over to the local cops, who also won't bust you (since your weed isn't illegal in Nevada), but the hassles might cause you to miss your flight.

          Chronicle AM: WHO Calls for Drug Decrim, NV Legal MJ Sales Start Saturday, More... (6/29/17)   

Massachusetts pols continue to work on a legalization implementation compromise, Nevada legal marijuana sales begin Saturday, a pair of federal sentencing reform bills get introduced, the World Health Organization calls for global drug decriminalization, and more.

[image:1 align:right caption:true]Marijuana Policy

Possible Tax Compromise in Massachusetts. House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) has said he may be willing to move away from the House's position that retail marijuana sales be taxed at 28%, more than twice the 12% envisioned in the legalization initiative and the competing Senate bill. "I suppose there could be some negotiation," he said, referring to a legislative conference committee trying to reach agreement. "I found they are having fruitful conversations, so to speak, so I am hopeful," DeLeo said.

Nevada Legal Sales Begin at 12:01 a.m,Saturday. Nevadans and visitors will be able to legally purchase marijuana as of a minute after midnight Saturday. A few dozen medical marijuana dispensaries have been licensed to sell their products to anyone 21 and over with a proper ID as a stopgap measure before the recreational marijuana sales system goes online next year, and at least some of them will be open Saturday night to take advantage of the commencement of early legal sales. But tourists in particular will have to figure out where to smoke it -- there's no smoking on the strip, in casinos, or hotel rooms.

Medical Marijuana

Nevada Dispensaries Get Tougher Regulations on Edibles as Legal Sales Loom. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) Monday signed a Taxation Department emergency regulation that will impose tougher regulations beginning Saturday, the same day legal recreational pot sales through dispensaries begins. Under the new regulations, edibles can't contain more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose or 100 per package, they can't resemble lollipops or other products marketed to children, they can't look like real or fictional characters or cartoons, and they can't have images of cartoon characters, action figures, toys, balloons or mascots on the packaging.


Cory Booker Files Bill to Encourage States to Reduce Prison Populations. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has filed Senate Bill 1458, "to establish a grant program to incentivize states to reduce prison populations, and for other purposes." The bill is not yet available on the congressional web site.

Keith Ellison Files Bill to Defelonize Drug Possession, End Crack/Powder Cocaine Sentencing Disparity. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) has filed House Resolution 3074, "to reclassify certain low-level felonies as misdemeanors, to eliminate the increased penalties for cocaine offenses where the cocaine involved is cocaine base, to reinvest in our communities, and for other purposes. The bill is not yet available on the congressional website.


UN World Health Organization Calls for Global Drug Decriminalization. The call came in a joint United Nations statement on ending discrimination in health care. One way that nations can do that, WHO said, is by: "Reviewing and repealing punitive laws that have been proven to have negative health outcomes and that counter established public health evidence. These include laws that criminalize or otherwise prohibit gender expression, same sex conduct, adultery and other sexual behaviors between consenting adults; adult consensual sex work; drug use or possession of drugs for personal use; sexual and reproductive health care services, including information; and overly broad criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission."

Human Rights Watch Calls Duterte's First Year a Human Rights Calamity. The New York-based human rights watchdog said Wednesday Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's first year in office was "a human rights calamity" with thousands of people killed in Duterter's war on drugs. "President Duterte took office promising to protect human rights, but has instead spent his first year in office as a boisterous instigator for an unlawful killing campaign," Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement. "Duterte has supported and incited 'drug war' killings while retaliating against those fearless enough to challenge his assault on human rights," he added. Human Rights Watch also slammed Duterte for subjecting critics of his anti-drug campaign to harassment, intimidation, and even arrest. "A UN-led international investigation is desperately needed to help stop the slaughter and press for accountability for Duterte's human rights catastrophe," the group said.

          Mad As Hell   
Wherever you turn, it seems like someone’s angry -- on Facebook and cable news, in street marches and congressional town halls. It would seem that we’ve entered a new era of increased hostility. But how did we, as a nation, get here? Is it possible we’re addicted to outrage? This hour, we explore the advantages and perils of getting mad as hell. A Lovely Day For A Tea Party; Want To Be More Understanding? Get Angry; How 18th Century Philosophers Created Our Age of Anger; The Fury And The Calm of Harvey Milk’s Memory; Addicted to Indignation; Michael Eric Dyson's Message to White America: Get Angry.
          Trump abandons plans for order tightening food aid shipping rules: sources   
President Donald Trump’s administration has dropped plans for an executive order that will require all U.S. food aid to be transported on American ships after members of Congress protested, congressional and aid sources said on Friday. Reuters reported on Thursday that Trump was considering is...
          ‘How do you find your way home each night?’ Olbermann prods Jack Kingston for ‘voter integrity’ shilling   
As states line up in opposition to President Donald Trump’s “voter integrity” commission (that many accuse of promoting voter suppression), one former GOP congressman is accusing them of “Democratic anarchy” — a comment that Keith Olbermann found hilarious. “...
          Russia threatens retaliation if Pentagon bans controversial Kaspersky Lab cybersecurity software   
Communications Minister Nikolay Nikiforov served notice on Friday that the Russian government would retaliate against U.S. companies if Congress bans the Pentagon from using controversial cyber-security software from Kaspersky Lab. In an interview with Bloomberg, Nikiforov said that any “unilateral ...
          What's next: Will the Senate vote on GOP health care bill before the 4th of July?   
Willie Geist and Dylan Dreyer wrap up Sunday TODAY with a look at the week ahead. On the radar, the Senate is planning to hold a vote on the GOP health care bill, but will it happen before Congress leaves for the holiday weekend? And JAY-Z is dropping a new album later this week.
          Now In Effect: New Kentucky Law Expands Health Freedom   
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 29, 2017) – While Congressional Republicans have yet to put forth a bill to get rid of Obamacare, a new Kentucky law went into effect today that will help facilitate healthcare freedom in the state. It will also set the stage for people there to nullify federally run healthcare in practice. A…
          Manmohan takes a jibe at cow vigilantes   
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Manmohan Singh took a jibe at the saffron fringe for killing people in the name of cow protection....
          Restructuring: Between Referendum and Constitution Review   

Esteemed readers, a careful observation of the polity in the last one week suggests that there is a cross-regional consensus to restructure Nigeria’s federalism. Although, many vocal voices have relentlessly canvassed for a smaller, leaner federal government with reduced responsibilities. Pronouncements by governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their […]

The post Restructuring: Between Referendum and Constitution Review appeared first on

          Comment on If you believe the latest lies from the “Campaign to Fix the Debt,” they own you. by Rodger Malcolm Mitchell   
No, it's more like this: For the entire many-billion history of the universe, prior to 1780, there was no such thing as a U.S. dollar. Then, in 1792, suddenly the U.S. Congress <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created laws from thin air, that created the U.S. dollar, also from thin air. Congress <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created as many of those dollars as it wished and gave those dollars the <strong><em>arbitrary</em></strong> value it wished: 1.60 grams of gold. <blockquote>In the Coinage Act of 1834, the 15:1 ratio of silver to gold <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> was changed to a 16:1 ratio by reducing the weight of the nation's gold coinage. This <strong><em>arbitrarily</em></strong> created a new U.S. dollar that was backed by 1.50 g (23.22 grains) of gold. The result of this revaluation, which was the <em>first arbitrary devaluation of the U.S. dollar</em>, was that the value in gold of the dollar arbitrarily was reduced by 6%. In 1853, the weights of U.S. silver coins arbitrarily were reduced. The Gold Standard Act of 1900, arbitrarily created by Congress and arbitrarily signed by the President, provided that: <em>"The dollar consisting of twenty-five and eight-tenths grains (1.67 g) of gold nine-tenths fine, as established by section thirty-five hundred and eleven of the Revised Statutes of the United States, shall be the standard unit of value, and all forms of money issued or coined by the United States shall be maintained at a parity of value with this standard."</em></blockquote> Since then, Congress, the President, and the Federal Reserve Board, arbitrarily have changed the value of the dollar many times, and today the FRB changes the dollar's value by arbitrarily changing interest rates. That is how Monetary Sovereignty works. The U.S. government, unlike state and local governments, is <strong>SOVEREIGN</strong> over the U.S. dollar. It can create as many dollars as it wishes and can make the dollar equal to anything it wishes. By fiat, the government can make the dollar equal to an ounce of gold, a pound of silver or a partridge in a pear tree. It is <strong>SOVEREIGN</strong>.
          House Panel Advances Air Traffic Control Privatization Plan   
The Trump administration’s plan to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system moved forward in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Tuesday, despite concerted opposition from Democratic members of Congress.
          Congressional Budget Office: Farm Subsidies Costing Taxpayers $7.5 Billion More Than Expected   
          Evan F. Moore: Baseball shooting victim Scalise owes life to those he wants to strip of liberties    
It has to be a weird feeling for a white man who has used racist and anti-gay rhetoric to have his life saved by a black man and a gay black woman.House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was one of five people shot when a gunman opened fire at congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14.Scalice spent several days in critical condition and was recently released from the intensive care unit. The Republican congressman owes his life to people whom he previously [...]
          [wanabidii] News Digest: Here's how GST will affect your dating game   
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Today's Headlines

Here's how GST will affect your dating game
As India prepares for its midnight tryst with GST on Friday, your dating game may see a change come July, with pretty much everything you indulge in during your romantic rendezvous coming under the new tax regime.

GST will be India's 'economic freedom': Anil Ambani
Ambani said the world has seen nothing like this before and in less than 48 hours, India will emerge as the biggest free and democratic market in the history of humankind. He also said there are moments in the life of a nation when history is made not in small steps of incremental gain but in giant leaps of ambition.

Only the brave will take on Air India: Anand Mahindra
Media reports have speculated that Tata Group could buy a stake in Air India, which it owned before the carrier was nationalised nearly 70 years ago. Tata is yet to comment. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is to head a committee to decide the quantum of Air India disinvestment

More Business News»

Ice-free areas of Antarctica to increase by 2100: Study
Ice-free areas may increase in Antarctica by 25 per cent due to climate change, leading to drastic changes in the continent's biodiversity, a study warns. They found the melting ice could create up to 17,000 square kilometre of new ice-free area across Antarctica.

Rare Siamese crocodile eggs found in Cambodia
Conservationists have found a nest with 19 eggs from one of the world's most endangered crocodiles. It is boosting hopes for species threatened by poachers and habitat loss. Researchers believe only 400 adults still exist in the wild, the baby crocodiles will be raised at a conservation centre

Iraqi zoo gives rare glimpse of white lion
An Iraqi zoo showed off a rare white lion cub to mark the animal's first birthday this week, as officials revealed that they hoped to welcome another of the rare big cats in the coming weeks.

More Environment News»

Iraq military says it has retaken iconic Mosul mosque

China 'highly alarmed' after reports of Australian spying

Donald Trump: Different strokes

More World News»

In rural Kentucky, solar eclipse preparation keeps town busy

NASA's quieter supersonic jet closer to reality
The US space agency completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) aircraft design. QueSST is the initial design stage of NASA's planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.

Yoga not as safe as thought: Study
Yoga may not be as safe as popularly believed, say scientists who have found that the ancient Indian meditative practice may causes muscle and bone pain and even exacerbate existing injuries.

More Science News»

Moto Z2 smartphone with 64GB internal storage, 4GB RAM spotted online
Lenovo-owned Motorola recently launched its Moto Z2 Play modular smartphone. It seems that the company is now gearing up for the launch of its flagship sibling – Moto Z2. The alleged handset has been spotted on GFXBench benchmarking website, hinting at some of its specifications.

Sony Xperia Z5, Xperia Z4 and Xperia Z3+ to get Android 7.1.1 update
Sony has started rolling out Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for some of its smartphones. The company has started rolling out Android N update for Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia Z3+ and Xperia Z4 tablet.

It's been 10 years since the iPhone was launched, here's how it came about
Apple Inc's iPhone turns 10 this week, evoking memories of a rocky start for the device that ended up doing most to start the smartphone revolution and stirring interest in where it will go from here.

More Technology News»

Plus III admissions 2017: DHE Odisha declares first selection list
The Department of Higher Education (DHE) has declared the first selection list for +3 admissions on their official website today.

TS EAMCET seat allotment 2017 result declared

TN govt's new policy of reserving 85% quota for state board students challenged in High Court

More Education News»

60,000 officers trained, 6.5 million tax payers migrated to GST: Centre to Bombay HC

Without sentencing, verdict not complete; case against Dossa abates
The death of Mustafa Dossa before the pronouncement of sentence has resulted in abatement of his trial. His trial thus cannot be said to culminate into a judgment. Though the fact will remain that the court had found him guilty, however the further process of convicting and sentencing him having remained incomplete, no appeal can lie against an incomplete judgment, said retired high court judge Justice P D Kode.

Indrani Mukerjea's claim of being beaten up in Byculla jail true: Doctor
​Indrani Mukerjea has received some blunt injuries and other (injuries) as well, said a medical officer of JJ Hospital. "Her medical report will be submitted in court, as the medical check-up was ordered by the court," the officer said.

More Mumbai News»

Admission chaos in DU as cut-offs set to drop by 3% in second list

Mob attacks: MEA's different rules for different governments?

Protesters disrupt Delhi Assembly, allegedly beaten up by MLAs
The first day of Delhi Assembly's special session was abruptly suspended for close to an hour after two AAP volunteers dropped pamphlets into the House from the visitors' gallery and shouted slogans against PWD minister Satyendar Jain.

More Delhi News»

Government may table diluted anti-superstition bill

Sandalwood land short of quality saplings

UK architect: Kolar set to get biggest Hoysala-style temple in modern era

More Bangalore News»

2011 attack on Akbaruddin Owaisi: 4 convicted, Mohammed Pahelwan acquitted
The prime accused in the 2011 case of murderous attack on (AIMIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, Mohammed Bin Omar Yafai alias Mohammed Pahelwan, was sensationally acquitted on Thursday by Nampally court. However, 4 out of the 14 who faced trial were convicted by the court.

Telangana-Fiber to be turned into private firm
The Telangana government has decided to establish T-Fiber as a private limited company under the Companies Act 2013.

'Taakis' razed, turned into swanky commercial bldgs
Popularly known as taakis, single screen theatres of the Old City are fast becoming a rarity in the area south of Musi river. With several being either demolished, largely abandoned or turned into swanky commercial complexes, residents, who are film aficionados, have few options left in the Old City.

More Hyderabad News»

250 wigs distributed to patients in Cancer Institute in Chennai
When chairperson of Cancer Institute Dr V Shanta spoke at an event on Wednesday for distributing natural hair wigs to cancer patients, she tried to clear various misconceptions about the disease.

CM announces Rs 1,800cr power transmission upgradation for Chennai
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday announced a slew of programmes for various departments, including Rs 1,800 crore worth transmission upgradation programme for Chennai city, with an installation of new substations and feeders.

DVAC is probing gutka scam, Tamil Nadu CM says
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday informed the assembly that the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption is conducting a probe based on a communique sent by the Chennai city police commissioner to the home secretary on the sale of banned gutka by anti-socials, in connivance with a minister and some police officials.

More Chennai News»

Narmada project will take Gujarat to new heights: Modi

Completion of Narmada dam will take Gujarat's development to great heights: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi who arrived at Ahmedabad Airport for his two day visit to state addressed the huge gathering of BJP workers. Modi in his brief address said that the recent completion of the Narmada dam work will take Gujarat development to greater heights in the upcoming decade.

Gujarat Congress demanded roll back of high level of GST on life and health insurance premium

More Ahmedabad News»

Allahabad Development Authority to help city build on strengths
Authority Identifies Five-Pillar Approach

Cheoki to turn into satellite station
As the city prepares for Ardh Kumbh 2019, the facilities at Cheoki station of NCR would also be upgraded.An amount of Rs 50 crore has been earmarked for the purpose.

Household herb Chandrashoor fights diabetes

More Allahabad News»

Kangaroo mother care helps Odisha in sharp decline IMR

GST: Fishing nets, ropes to get costlier
Thousands of fishermen are now worried about their livelihood as they have to invest more in fishing net and rope when the Goods and Service Tax (GST) comes into being on July 1.

Panel recommends sale of Mahaprasad by administration
At present, the Mahaprasad is sold in Ananda Bazaar by a section of priests of Suar Nijog of the temple, leading to discrepancy in prices of the holy food.

More Bhubaneswar News»

          President Trump urges GOP to repeal Affordable Care Act law now, replace later   
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump urged divided congressional Republicans on Friday to break their logjam over dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law by "immediately" repealing it and replacing it later, a formula that GOP leaders dismissed months ago as politically unwise.

Trump's early-morning tweet embraced a sequential approach favored by only a handful of conservatives eager to take quick action on one of the party's foremost priorities — repealing Obamacare, something Republicans have long promised to do. But his suggestion threatened to sharpen divisions between conservatives and moderates, who are leery of stripping coverage from millions of constituents without something to substitute for it.

"If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!" Trump tweeted.

Supporters of that idea include Sens. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Rand Paul, R-Ky.

House and Senate leaders long ago abandoned initial thoughts of first erasing Obama's law, and then replacing it.

Such a step-by-step approach would leave Republicans vulnerable to Democratic accusations that they were simply tossing people off coverage without helping them obtain medical care. And the idea would leave unresolved the quandary stumping lawmakers today — how to replace Obama's system of online insurance markets, tax subsidies and an expanded Medicaid with something that will get enough Republican votes to pass Congress.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declined to comment on Trump's tweet.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans were considering breaking a stalemate over what their replacement bill should do by preserving a tax boost Obama's law imposed on high earners. Keeping that tax increase in place was a bid to woo party moderates and rescue their sputtering push to repeal his health care overhaul.

The break from dogma by a party that has long reviled tax boosts — and most things achieved by Obama — underscores McConnell's feverish effort to rescue the Senate legislation from the brink of possible defeat.

The money from the tax boost would instead be used to bolster proposed health care subsidies for lower-income people.

The change, proposed by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would give a more populist flavor to the bill. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that as the legislation now is written, it would boost out-of-pocket costs for many poor consumers and produce 22 million uninsured people while cutting around $700 billion in taxes over a decade — largely for richer people and the health care industry.

"You're increasing the burden on lower-income citizens and obviously alleviating the burden on the wealthy. That is not an equation that works," Corker said. He said he was "very confident" that leaders would address the issue in the updated bill.

Top Republicans also considered an amendment pushed by conservatives to let insurers offer plans with low premiums and scant benefits. To do so, a company would also have to sell a policy that abides by the consumer-friendly coverage requirements in Obama's 2010 statute, which the GOP is struggling to repeal.

Both proposals were encountering internal Republican opposition, and it was uncertain either would survive.

McConnell postponed a vote on an initial version Tuesday because of opposition from conservatives and moderates alike. By this week's end, he wants to nail down changes that would assure the bill's passage after Congress' weeklong July 4 recess. No more than two of the 52 GOP senators can oppose the measure for him to prevail, and there were no indications he'd achieved that margin as senators left town Thursday.

"We're kind of at a stalemate right now, I'd say," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who with Ohio GOP Sen. Robert Portman and others wants to forestall reductions the measure would make in Medicaid.

The Medicaid program for low-income and disabled people has grown dramatically in their states and others, but the Republican bill would cut it, with reductions growing over time.

Under Corker's proposal, the bill would retain Obama's 3.8 percent tax increase on investment income for married couples making more than $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $125,000. Keeping that increase would save $172 billion over 10 years, and moderates want to use that money to make coverage more affordable for poorer consumers.

Conservatives said they opposed the idea, along with the chairmen of Congress' two tax-writing committees: Senate Finance chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and House Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Also in play was a proposal by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to let insurers offer skimpier policies, which conservatives say would lower premiums.

Moderates oppose that, especially if it lets insurers raise premiums on people with pre-existing medical problems.

Republicans also said party leaders agreed to add $45 billion for battling opioids abuse to their bill. They were also considering a proposal by conservatives to let people use tax-advantaged health savings accounts to pay health care premiums.

          Obama Continues Support for Terrorist Groups   

911 Congress on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation allowing relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, the first veto override of his presidency, just four months before it ends. The House of Representatives voted 348-77 against the veto, hours after the Senate rejected it 97-1, […]

The post Obama Continues Support for Terrorist Groups appeared first on Live Trading News.

          UAE Concerned About US House Passing 9/11 Bill   

UAE Concerned About US House Passing 9/11 Bill The House bill will allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts The UAE has expressed concern about the US Congress passing the ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ last week. The House bill, passed last Friday, will allow the families of […]

The post UAE Concerned About US House Passing 9/11 Bill appeared first on Live Trading News.

          Stand up and be counted Mr. & Mrs. Republican.   

Come on Republicans fight, fight, fight.

Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) was the only Republican to vote against Kate’s Law, a law that would impose harsher penalties on...
          Cancel August recess for Congress, group of Senate Republicans say   
The Senate is scheduled to leave Washington by July 28 and not return to Capitol Hill until Sept. 5

          Joe Scarborough says congressman called him after a red-faced Trump went on 'vicious' rant about Mika Brzezinski and blood during healthcare meeting   

Joe Scarborough Mika BrzezinskiMSNBC

Joe Scarborough said Friday that a "very well-known congressman" called him after a meeting during which President Donald Trump ranted about his "Morning Joe" cohost, Mika Brzezinski.

The president on Thursday sparked outrage when he tweeted that Brzezinski once visited his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, while she was "bleeding from a face-lift."

In a Washington Post column published early Friday titled "Donald Trump is not well," Brzezinski and Scarborough wrote "we are both certain" that Trump "is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show."

Trump "for some reason takes things so much more personally with women, he's so much more vicious with women," Scarborough said on "Morning Joe," before recounting the congressman's call.

The president "went on this rant about 'Morning Joe,' in front of 20 members of Congress while he was trying to pitch the health care bill," Scarborough said, adding that Trump brushed him aside when talking.

Scarborough said though that the congressman called because Trump "scared" him.

"He was vicious when he turned from you to Mika," Scarborough recalled the congressman saying. "His face was red. He started talking about blood coming out of her ears, out of her eyes."

You can watch the full clip below:

NOW WATCH: 'I'll ask it one more time': Kellyanne Conway won't say whether Trump thinks climate change is a hoax

See Also:

SEE ALSO: 'Not mentally equipped to continue watching our show': 'Morning Joe' cohosts respond to Trump's attack on Mika Brzezinski

          'Not mentally equipped to continue watching our show': 'Morning Joe' cohosts respond to Trump's attack on Mika Brzezinski   

joe scarborough mika brzezinskiMSNBC

"Morning Joe" cohosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough have responded to President Donald Trump's tweets attacking the pair.

In a Washington Post column published early Friday titled "Donald Trump is not well," Brzezinski and Scarborough wrote "we are both certain" that Trump "is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show."

In tweets Thursday morning, the president called the two "low I.Q. Crazy Mika" and "Psycho Joe." Trump also claimed Brzezinski once visited his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, while she was "bleeding from a face-lift."

"I heard poorly rated @Morning's speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me," Trump tweeted. "She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"

On "Morning Joe" on Friday morning, Brzezinski said, "I'm fine. My family brought me up really tough."

The tweet "doesn't bother me one bit," she said.

Scarborough went further, saying, "We're OK — the country is not."

In Friday's Washington Post column, Brzezinski and Scarborough responded to specific claims Trump made in his tweets.

"Mr. Trump claims that we asked to join him at Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row. That is false. He also claimed that he refused to see us. That is laughable," Brzezinski and Scarborough wrote.

"Mr. Trump also claims that Mika was 'bleeding badly from a face-lift.' That is also a lie."

The column cites pictures from the night showing that "Mika and her face were perfectly intact." CNN's Brian Stelter posted a photo of Brzezinski from the Mar-a-Lago visit in which she looks uninjured:

Brzezinski originally responded to Trump's tweets Thursday by tweeting a photo of a box of Cheerios featuring the words "Made For Little Hands." For years, Trump has taken issue with people saying he has small hands and fingers.

The White House deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, argued Thursday that the president had every right to "hit back" at "the liberal media" and "Hollywood elites" when they criticize him.

The segment that may have triggered Trump's tweeting Thursday morning took aim at a fake Time magazine cover that The Washington Post had learned was hanging at several of Trump's golf clubs and properties.

"Nothing makes a man feel better than making a fake cover of a magazine about himself lying every day and destroying the country," Brzezinski said.

Brzezinski also said Trump was covering his hands on the fake Time cover "because they're teensy."

Top Republicans denounced Trump after the tweets.

"Obviously, I don't see that as an appropriate comment," House Speaker Paul Ryan said. "What we're trying to do around here is improve the tone and the civility of the debate, and this obviously doesn't help do that."

Trump has had a contentious relationship with the MSNBC hosts. Before Trump ran for president, Brzezinski and Scarborough were friendly with him, and they were initially receptive to his candidacy.

But they have since pivoted to criticizing him heavily on-air. In turn, Trump has both praised the pair and criticized them on social media since announcing his candidacy in 2015.

An MSNBC representative told Business Insider,"It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying, and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job."

Allan Smith contributed to this report.

NOW WATCH: 'He started talking about blood coming out of her ears’: Joe Scarborough claims a red-faced Trump ranted about Mika Brzezinski in front of 20 congressmen

See Also:

SEE ALSO: The rise and fall of Trump's relationship with Mika Brezinski, the 'Morning Joe' co-host he just attacked on Twitter

          Trump says Congress should repeal Obamacare now, replace it later   
The president said after the election that Obamacare would be repealed and replaced "simultaneously" so millions wouldn't lose coverage

          Immigration symposium: On immigration matters, the court’s watchwords are caution and deference   

Immigration symposium: On immigration matters, the court’s watchwords are caution and deferenceRichard Samp is Chief Counsel of the Washington Legal Foundation, which filed a brief in Ziglar v. Abbasi on behalf of five former attorneys general and two former FBI directors, and a brief in Jennings v. Rodriguez on behalf of 31 members of Congress. The Supreme Court has long recognized that federal policy affecting aliens, […]

The post Immigration symposium: On immigration matters, the court’s watchwords are caution and deference appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

          Hospital leader, physicians react to healthcare proposal   
After the Senate released its proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) last week, hospital administrators and physicians have begun to weigh in. In a statement released on June 30, the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) said the proposed bill is not consistent with priorities it recommended to the Trump Administration and the Tennessee Congressional Delegation earlier this year and "offers no significant improvements from the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House last month." TMA…

          GOP Senators Postpone Vote On Health Care Bill   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: And let's bring another voice now into the conversation. NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley has been covering this debate for years and years and years... SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: (Laughter). INSKEEP: ...And is here with us and has been listening to Matt Schlapp. Scott, what did you hear there that was noteworthy? HORSLEY: Well, he is right that Republicans have spent more time demonizing Obamacare than they have really selling their own plan. And part of the challenge is philosophically, the Republicans, at least in Congress, envision a health care system where the government plays a smaller role, where there is more consumer skin in the game, that is, consumers bear more of the responsibility. They feel like that'll inject market forces and help to keep costs down. But you have a president, Donald Trump, who has been marketing great care at low costs for everyone. Everyone's going to be taken care of. So there is a
          Poll Shows Low Support For GOP Health Care Bill   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: The Senate will not be voting this week on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell postponed the vote until after the Fourth of July recess once it became clear he didn't have the support he needed in his own party to pass the measure. And that lack of enthusiasm appears to match the mood of the nation. A new NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll finds fewer than 1 in 5 Americans supports the Senate bill, but Republican leaders insist they're not giving up. NPR's Scott Horsley is with us now. Good morning, Scott. SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel. MARTIN: Senator McConnell very much wanted to have this vote this week before the Fourth of July and when all the congress members go home for that recess. He was forced to backtrack. So what now? HORSLEY: Good question. This is a retreat. It's not necessarily a surrender. McConnell says he's still optimistic that he can win the
          After Years of Setbacks, Patent Owners Try to Turn Tide in Congress   
The STRONGER Patent Act of 2017, sponsored by Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, would undo recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have weakened patents. But lawmakers may have other priorities.

          Mental Health Problems Don’t Disappear if You Don’t Have Insurance   

When I first met a patient I’ll call Martha, a transgender Latina woman in her 30s, she was trying to disappear. The hood of her sweatshirt was cinched around her face; her eyes were invisible behind her Jackie O sunglasses.

Before she got to me, Martha had been receiving care at one of the six city mental health clinics that service Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. (Rahm Emanuel had closed six similar clinics in 2012.) After three years there, she was told that her psychiatrist was gone and would not be replaced. But thanks to Illinois’ Medicaid expansion, she now had other options, which is what led her to my workplace, an outpatient behavioral health clinic attached to a Level 1 trauma center and safety net hospital on Chicago’s West Side.

Martha heard voices, and they were cruel. They told her to kill herself; that she was still a man, not a woman; that she would never find love and acceptance. She had experienced trauma beginning in her childhood and continuing ceaselessly, which seemed proof to her that the voices were right.

In the first three months we worked together, Martha was hospitalized four times. I learned that if she did not show up for her appointment I should check the roster of our inpatient facility across the street. Gradually, though, things began to change. The sunglasses came down more often, her internal guard even more so. I learned of the pains of growing up an effeminate boy in a culture that prized masculinity, of knowing that something is different without having the words to name it, of being kicked out of her house. We talked about the good, too. Late-night drag shows, brunches in Boystown, “passing” in the grocery store.

At one point, she went almost a year without being hospitalized. When she did go back following a breakup, it felt different. Instead of stability being an idealized goal, it was something she had experienced and a place to which she could return. She had regained a sense of imagination, an ability to imagine a life lived on her own terms that was not dictated by her illness.

I see many patients like Martha. These are people whose lives seemed like chronicles of unending pain until they were able to gain insurance, many for the first time, through the Affordable Care Act and receive mental health care that helped them enormously. A woman who lives with her drug-addled sister who spits curses at her daily found an outlet for her rage by unloading it weekly in my office. A father who lost his son on the boy’s 21st birthday to Chicago’s random violence can work toward finding a new normal. A mother who killed her 5-year-old son while lost in a psychotic episode can explore her grief.

If these people don’t have health insurance, their problems won’t go away. They will just be forced to find their care elsewhere, in ways that are both more harmful to them and to us. Institutionalization is expensive. Cook County Jail is already the largest provider of mental health services in the city of Chicago, and that will only increase if people lose their insurance coverage. Martha, and my many other patients like her, costs taxpayers far less by engaging in regular outpatient treatment rather than being hospitalized for days at a time several times a year. The human cost is far greater. Not only is Martha’s treatment less costly, she is flourishing in a way that she could not have imagined two years ago when I first met her. But she is scared of what will happen to her if she is no longer able to continue her mental health treatment, and so am I.

We therapists are trained to recognize vicarious trauma—the ways in which our own worldviews can be affected by the level of human misery we encounter on a daily basis. Working with patients like mine is challenging and has real potential to bring us down, to force us into replicating the viewpoint that the poor are somehow a drain on us, whether it’s our resources or our capacity for compassion.

But I don’t think that my experiences with my patients have shown me that they are a drain on our systems. My work with my patients has shown me that with proper care and support, people can make remarkable progress. When I encounter my patients, I feel many things, but I do not feel pity; rather, I am most often amazed at the ability they have found to cope with horrific circumstances and to remain standing. Clinicians who work with survivors of profound trauma call this vicarious resilience. It animates my work.

My patients watch the news. They know there’s a chance they might lose their insurance. If they bring up the issue, I try to assuage their fears. But I don’t know. I hope that the progress that Martha and so many others like her have achieved will not be washed away in favor of tax cuts that take scissors to our already-depleted safety net. Because regardless of whether Martha has insurance, she will still need care. The question facing Congress is whether we will provide her with hope or condemn her to uncertainty.

          GST rolls out past midnight from Central Hall of Parliament; Manmohan skips   
New Delhi: The Goods and Services Tax (GST), India's biggest tax reform since Independence, rolled out past midnight Friday in the precincts of the hallowed Central Hall of Parliament to usher in a new indirect tax regime in an event that sought to evoke memories of the famous 'Tryst with Destiny' night the country got freedom in 1947.

A minute after the stroke of midnight, President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed the button to launch the new indirect tax regime on a digital screen with "GST" emblazoned on it in a golden hue.

Conceived on the principle of 'one nation, one tax, one market', the tax that subsumes 17 central and state levies was launched in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, MPs, chief ministers, state finance ministers, officials of the Centre and states.

Notwithstanding the fact that the GST Law was a consensus product evolved over 14 years, the function in colorfully-decked Parliament House was boycotted by major opposition parties like Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, DMK and Left parties, saying the government was making a spectacle of a legislation for self-promotion, a charge Jaitley rejected. In keeping with his party's decision, former Primer Minister Manmohan Singh kept away from the event. However, MPs and leaders of Congress allies NCP and Samajwadi Party attended the function.

Addressing the gathering, President Pranab Mukherjee said the introduction of GST is a moment of precedent for the country and a matter of personal satisfaction for him because of his role as Finance Minister earlier. "I had always believed that GST was a matter of time and was happy when it was enacted and I gave assent to the Constitution amendment last year," he said.

He said the new law is a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of Indian democracy. The GST Council was a unique experiment under the Indian Constitution because of the shared sovereignty.

In his speech, Modi said the roll out of GST is the best example of cooperative federalism and success of Indian democracy. "The credit for the new law does not go to one party or one government but was a shared legacy of all," he said.

In a veiled rejoinder to opposition criticism of the midnight function in Parliament, the Prime Minister said there cannot be a "better and sacred" venue than the Central Hall for the historic roll out.

The GST process cannot be confined to just economic system but was a collective effort of all, he said, adding it was a product of long discussions among the best brains of the country. "It is an example of Team India's strength and ability," he said.

Referring to the eminent personalities like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Babu Rajendra Prasad who had adorned the Central Hall, Modi said like Patel had integrated the country, the GST would integrate the country economically.

He described the GST as 'Good and Simple Tax' -- good because there will be no tax on tax and simple because there will be only one form of tax. It will also help eliminate black money and corruption because of the transparency it seeks to bring in, he said.

Modi said whatever was lacking in growth and development of the country, GST will provide the opportunity to realise them.

Ahead of the launch, the GST Council slashed the rate of fertilisers from 12 per cent to 5 per cent and of exclusive parts of tractors from 28 per cent to 18 per cent to reduce the burden on farmers.

The launch of GST, which the government claimed would result in reduction of prices of articles of common consumption, also came amidst fears from various business sections that prices would go up under the new regime.

Welcoming the gathering, Jaitley described GST as the biggest and most ambitious tax reform which is an achievement of the country through consensus. It highlights the fact that India can rise above narrow politics and work for country's benefit. In making the GST, neither the Centre nor the states gave up their sovereignty.

He said all MPs, state governments, political parties, state finance ministers and dedicated officials of the Centre and states deserved to be appreciated for realising the project of GST Law.

Jaitley said under GST, the revenues will go up as the compliance goes up and the GDP will also increase.

Parliament's Central Hall has witnessed such a function only on three occasions earlier. First was on the occasion of Independence when first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru made the famous 'Tryst with Destiny' speech. The second was on the occasion of silver jubilee of Independence in 1972 and golden jubilee in 1997.

The GST is expected to check tax evasion and broaden tax base. In the new regime, all filings will be done only through electronic mode to ensure non-intrusive administration. This will minimise taxpayers' physical interaction with the tax officials.

The GST regime seeks to reduce rates of over 50 per cent of items of daily use and charge others at much lower rate of 5 per cent, 12 per cent and 18 per cent.

A higher tax rate is imposed on luxury and sin goods at 28 per cent in the new regime. Certain services like telephone, banking and insurance are expected to feel the pinch of higher taxes.

The GST also promises taxpayers a refund against their sales within 60 days. Similarly, exporters will get refund within seven days. For protection of consumer rights, the new law provides anti-profiteering provisions. In a departure from the normal practice, the GST will be administered together by the Centre and the states.
          GST rolls out past midnight from Central Hall of Parliament   

New Delhi: The Goods and Services Tax (GST), India's biggest tax reform since Independence, rolled out past midnight Friday in the precincts of the hallowed Central Hall of Parliament to usher in a new indirect tax regime in an event that sought to evoke memories of the famous 'Tryst with Destiny' night the country got freedom in 1947.

A minute after the stroke of midnight, President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pressed the button to launch the new indirect tax regime on a digital screen with "GST" emblazoned on it in a golden hue.

Conceived on the principle of 'one nation, one tax, one market', the tax that subsumes 17 central and state levies was launched in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, MPs, chief ministers, state finance ministers, officials of the Centre and states.

Notwithstanding the fact that the GST Law was a consensus product evolved over 14 years, the function in colorfully-decked Parliament House was boycotted by major opposition parties like Congress, Trinamool Congress, RJD, DMK and Left parties, saying the government was making a spectacle of a legislation for self-promotion, a charge Jaitley rejected. In keeping with his party's decision, former Primer Minister Manmohan Singh kept away from the event. However, MPs and leaders of Congress allies NCP and Samajwadi Party attended the function.

Addressing the gathering, President Pranab Mukherjee said the introduction of GST is a moment of precedent for the country and a matter of personal satisfaction for him because of his role as Finance Minister earlier. "I had always believed that GST was a matter of time and was happy when it was enacted and I gave assent to the Constitution amendment last year," he said.

He said the new law is a tribute to the maturity and wisdom of Indian democracy. The GST Council was a unique experiment under the Indian Constitution because of the shared sovereignty.

In his speech, Modi said the roll out of GST is the best example of cooperative federalism and success of Indian democracy. "The credit for the new law does not go to one party or one government but was a shared legacy of all," he said.

In a veiled rejoinder to opposition criticism of the midnight function in Parliament, the Prime Minister said there cannot be a "better and sacred" venue than the Central Hall for the historic roll out.

The GST process cannot be confined to just economic system but was a collective effort of all, he said, adding it was a product of long discussions among the best brains of the country. "It is an example of Team India's strength and ability," he said.

Referring to the eminent personalities like Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Babu Rajendra Prasad who had adorned the Central Hall, Modi said like Patel had integrated the country, the GST would integrate the country economically.

He described the GST as 'Good and Simple Tax' -- good because there will be no tax on tax and simple because there will be only one form of tax. It will also help eliminate black money and corruption because of the transparency it seeks to bring in, he said.

Modi said whatever was lacking in growth and development of the country, GST will provide the opportunity to realise them.

Ahead of the launch, the GST Council slashed the rate of fertilisers from 12 per cent to 5 per cent and of exclusive parts of tractors from 28 per cent to 18 per cent to reduce the burden on farmers.

The launch of GST, which the government claimed would result in reduction of prices of articles of common consumption, also came amidst fears from various business sections that prices would go up under the new regime.

Welcoming the gathering, Jaitley described GST as the biggest and most ambitious tax reform which is an achievement of the country through consensus. It highlights the fact that India can rise above narrow politics and work for country's benefit. In making the GST, neither the Centre nor the states gave up their sovereignty.

He said all MPs, state governments, political parties, state finance ministers and dedicated officials of the Centre and states deserved to be appreciated for realising the project of GST Law.

Jaitley said under GST, the revenues will go up as the compliance goes up and the GDP will also increase.

Parliament's Central Hall has witnessed such a function only on three occasions earlier. First was on the occasion of Independence when first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru made the famous 'Tryst with Destiny' speech. The second was on the occasion of silver jubilee of Independence in 1972 and golden jubilee in 1997.

The GST is expected to check tax evasion and broaden tax base. In the new regime, all filings will be done only through electronic mode to ensure non-intrusive administration. This will minimise taxpayers' physical interaction with the tax officials.

The GST regime seeks to reduce rates of over 50 per cent of items of daily use and charge others at much lower rate of 5 per cent, 12 per cent and 18 per cent.

A higher tax rate is imposed on luxury and sin goods at 28 per cent in the new regime. Certain services like telephone, banking and insurance are expected to feel the pinch of higher taxes.

The GST also promises taxpayers a refund against their sales within 60 days. Similarly, exporters will get refund within seven days. For protection of consumer rights, the new law provides anti-profiteering provisions. In a departure from the normal practice, the GST will be administered together by the Centre and the states.

          Rahul Calls GST Midnight Launch 'Self-Promotional Spectacle', A Tamasha   
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Friday called the midnight launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) "a self-promotional spectacle" of the Modi government, and said the pan-India tax regime was being rushed through in a half-baked way and executed by "an incompetent and insensitive government". "A reform that holds great potential is being rushed through in a half-baked way with a self-promotional spectacle #GSTTamasha," said Gandhi on Twitter. "India deserves a GST r..
          Evan F. Moore: Baseball shooting victim Scalise owes life to those he wants to strip of liberties    
It has to be a weird feeling for a white man who has used racist and anti-gay rhetoric to have his life saved by a black man and a gay black woman.House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was one of five people shot when a gunman opened fire at congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14.Scalice spent several days in critical condition and was recently released from the intensive care unit. The Republican congressman owes his life to people whom he previously [...]
          Deutsche Bank refuses Democrats' demand to reveal Trump's financial details   
Germany's biggest bank has rejected a request by US House Democrats to provide details of President Donald Trump's finances. Deutsche Bank is citing privacy laws. The bank provided multimillion dollar loans to Trump's real-estate business before his political career. "We respectfully disagree with the suggestion that Deutsche Bank freely may reveal confidential financial information in response to requests from individual members of Congress," Deutsche's counsel said in a letter seen by Reuters.
          ENDANGERED SPECIES: Western governors outline plans for ESA overhaul   
The Western Governors' Association this week encouraged Congress to implement reforms to the Endangered Species Act, including measures to encourage state-led conservation efforts as well as increasing funding dedicated to delisting recovered species.
          Pulitzer Winner Tracks Changes In Medicine   
While Congress is still debating the near future of the American health insurance system, how about a refresher course in the healthcare system itself? Sociologist Paul Starr won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1983 book The Social Transformation of American Medicine . It tracks huge changes over the country's life... like the huge rise in money for practitioners, the rise in corporate control, and the constant blocking of a truly national health insurance. And it's newly updated, with a fresh preface and epilogue tracking changes since publication.
          Comment on An Open Letter to Moderates by dhlii   
Separately as things stand I do not think that Republicans can manage legislation. The Health care mess at the moment demonstrates that their margins are too small to accomplish anything that is actually needed and half measures are worse than nothing. I would love to see tax reform - but we need REAL tax reform, not twidlling at the edges. There is not likely to be a second bite at tax reform for another decade. Right now there better off doing small things that are possible. There is a long list of small measures that are not likely to be viewed as controversial enough that Republicans can not pass them on their own that would increase the ability to reign in the administrative state. There are some that might get democratic support. There is substantial talk among democrats all of a sudden regarding "federalism" - returning powers of the federal government back to states. If Trump can manage to pull growth off the 2% peg its has been on for 2 decades - republicans will do well in 2018. If he can not then republicans should not do well. Tax reform would help alot but there is a catch-22 to get the political will to do tax reform properly - republicans need to succeed and build credibility. They should repeal PPACA or atleast bring a straight repeal to a vote in the house and senate. That is what the promised. They never should have promised more. Talk of further reform can happen AFTER that. I would also note I am less afraid of Trump as the head of the executive acting unilaterally within the constraints and powers of the executive. I am not too happy with him as the leader of the GOP pushing legislation. With respect to Congress he seems more interested in scoring points - passing something, than in passing what is needed. Think about that as you think about how much you value compromise. With few exceptions as an administrator Trump seems to be "doing the right thing". He has put mostly good people in place. He sometimes buts heads with them, but ultimately he appears to have vetted them well and is leaving them to do their job their way. Regardless, there is alot he can accomplish. Right now the economy is improving - or appears to be. Given that I have heard a years worth of predictions of coming recession, that is pretty amazing.
          Debt deadline now October, CBO says as deficit spikes   
WASHINGTON (AP) — The drop-dead deadline for Congress to increase the government's borrowing authority and avoid a devastating economic default is ear...
          How advocates are inspiring members of Congress to champion national CBD oil legalization   

Multiple pieces of legislation seek to open research and access for the non-psychoactive cannabis compound cannabidiol, but multiple obstacles remain.

The post How advocates are inspiring members of Congress to champion national CBD oil legalization appeared first on The Cannifornian.

          The Fiscal Cliff: A Love Story   
America, if you're scared by all the talk you've been hearing about the fiscal cliff, take heart: There are reasons for people across the political spectrum to love the cliff. There's a lot for liberals to like in the fiscal cliff, says Matthew Yglesias , who writes wonky articles about economics for Slate. Take the spending cuts. Entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicaid that liberals generally support are left unaffected, while a large share of the cuts fall on the military, which many liberals would be happy to reduce anyway. The combination of tax hikes and spending cuts could eventually send the country into recession. But that probably won't happen, Yglesias says, because at some point in the next few weeks Congress will probably agree on a compromise. That's partly because going off the cliff will let Congress sell a tax increase as a tax cut. Simon Johnson, an economist at MIT, walked me through how that works. A big part of the fiscal cliff is the expiration of
          Why Does The Mortgage-Interest Tax Deduction Still Exist?   
This is the latest story in our series on money in politics . If you have a mortgage on your home, you can deduct the interest from your taxes. It's a popular, well-entrenched policy. But according to one policy adviser to a U.S. senator, "the mortgage-interest deduction, from a purely policy perspective ... makes no sense." It's a view that's supported by a mountain of academic research: The mortgage-interest tax deduction benefits the rich more than the poor, has little effect on home ownership and isn't even really a bargain for homeowners because it raises home prices. So do policy advisers tell members of Congress to fight the mortgage-interest tax deduction? "If you're relatively green in Washington, I suppose that happens. And I suppose you're laughed at," said the adviser, who preferred not to give his name for fear of losing his job. "The mortgage-interest deduction is a sacred cow." Everyone in Washington, D.C., knows that there are many powerful forces making sure that no
          When Lobbyists Pay To Meet With Congressmen    
Yesterday, we reported on the fundraisers that lobbyists hold for Congressmen every day in Washington. Today, we hear what happens inside those events. The stories are part of our series on money in politics . At a typical event, there's a member of Congress and a member of his or her staff who is in charge of collecting the checks. This person is known as the fundraiser. "The fundraiser is standing in the room, and the fundraiser has 35,000 bucks in checks sitting in her pocket right now," says Jimmy Williams, a former lobbyist for the real estate industry. "And we're going to talk about public policy while we take the checks." How much influence do those checks have over public policy? Most of the time, checks don't by votes, Williams says. But they buy access. They buy an opportunity to make your case. The rules are clear: Lobbyists use money from their political action committees to get access to lawmakers. One time, Williams says, he took a couple clients to meet a Congressman
          Senator By Day, Telemarketer By Night   
This is the first story in a Planet Money series on money in politics. We'll have more this afternoon on All Things Considered , and this weekend on This American Life . We think of lawmakers having one job: making laws. But there's a second job most lawmakers have to do. And it's a big job. "I think most Americans would be shocked — not surprised, but shocked — if they knew how much time a United States senator spends raising money," says Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. "And how much time we spend talking about raising money, and thinking about raising money, and planning to raise money." And this second job — the raising-money job — doesn't happen in the nice congressional offices, with the rugs on the floor and landscape paintings on the wall. That would be against the rules. So senators and congressmen go across the street to private rooms in nongovernmental buildings, where they make call after call, asking people for money. In other words, most of our lawmakers are moonlighting as
          Forget Stocks Or Bonds, Invest In A Lobbyist   
Corporations don't lobby Congress for fun. They lobby because it helps their bottom line. Getting a regulation gutted or a tax loophole created means extra cash for the corporation. But getting laws changed can be very expensive. How much money does a corporation get back from investing in a good lobbyist? It's a messy, secretive system so it was always hard to study. But in 2004, economists found a bill so simple, so lucrative, that they could finally track the return on lobbying investment. The American Jobs Creation Act benefited hundreds of multinational corporations with a huge, one-time tax break. Without the law, companies that brought profits earned abroad back to the U.S. had to pay a tax rate of 35 percent. With the law, that rate dropped to just over 5 percent. It saved those companies billions of dollars. In a recent study , researchers Raquel Alexander and Susan Scholz calculated the total amount the corporations saved from the lower tax rate. They compared the taxes saved
          The National Debt: What The Left And Right Agree On   
The congressional supercommittee announced Monday that it failed to come to an agreement on reducing the deficit. After three months of negotiating, the Democrats and Republicans just couldn't agree on how much spending to cut or how high to raise taxes. But this is not a story about how the left and right disagree with each other. In fact, they actually largely agree. Alison Fraser , director of economic policy studies at the right-leaning Heritage Foundation, says this: We are on the wave, of the leading edge of 78 million baby boomers retiring into entitlement programs. So going forward, spending in the future is unsustainable. Bob Greenstein , president of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says this: Over the course of a few decades, the debt would rise to over 100% and then over 200% of GDP and then keep rising. That's not sustainable. Everyone agrees that our nation is pretty deep in debt — about $10 trillion in debt. And they agree that within a decade or
          One Year After Whole Woman’s Health Ruling Little Has Changed   
The ruling was welcomed by women and clinics across the country, as dozens of other states had passed hundreds of targeted restrictions on abortion providers since 2010, but the devastating impact of the laws had already been felt by many.

          Bipartisan Heroin Task Force bills head to Congressional committees   
Infants and veterans, families and felons, doctors and druggists - all are factors in considerations by the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force in the House of Representatives, which issued its nine-point agenda of legislation proposals this week. Continue reading…
          ACA Watch 2017: The Road Ahead for Healthcare Reform   

Over the past week, we’ve seen things really heat up on the healthcare front. Passage of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), by the House marks the first leg of the journey for major reform. Budget reconciliation bills are only able to introduce, or make changes to, those provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that affect the federal budget, e.g. revenue, expenses, and the debt limit. Further, Congress may only use one budget reconciliation action per fiscal year.

The post ACA Watch 2017: The Road Ahead for Healthcare Reform appeared first on OneDigital.

          Brazil Braces for Nationwide Strike Against Reform Bills Today   
By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazilian officials are bracing for what may become a significant nationwide protest today, Friday June 30th, against the government’s labor and social security reform bills in Congress. Demonstrations have been reported around the country, as groups block large urban highways and public transportation comes to […]
          GST Implementation A ‘Tamasha’: Rahul Gandhi   
New Delhi (PTI): Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today dubbed the implementation of GST as a “tamasha”, saying the reform was being rushed through in a “half-baked” manner as a “self-promotional spectacle”. Gandhi, currently abroad on a holiday, hit out at the government, accusing it of being “insensitive” for rolling out GST without planning, foresight and […]
           The Soviet Communist-Party in Disarray - the 28th Congress of the Communit-Party-of-the-Soviet-Union - Rees,EA    
Sakwa, Richard (1994) The Soviet Communist-Party in Disarray - the 28th Congress of the Communit-Party-of-the-Soviet-Union - Rees,EA. Slavonic and East European Review, 72 (4). pp. 770-771. ISSN 0037-6795. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)
          NDC Will Comeback To Power In 2020 - B/A NDC Youth Organiser   
The Brong Ahafo Regional Youth Organizer of the National Democratic Congress,Mr Mohammed Seidu, better known as Maha, has stated that NDC will definitely bounce back to power in 2020 because Ghanaians has lost hope in the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP). quot;Ghanaians had lost hope in the government rsquo;s ability to live up to the ...
          Woyome Stops Oral Examination   
The Supreme Court has set July 4 to rule on an application filed by National Democratic Congress (NDC) businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, seeking to temporarily halt his oral examination by the Attorney General over the GH 51.2 million supposed judgement debt paid to him by the state. The court, presided over by sole judge, Justice A.A. Benin, i ...
          International Health, Nurse Staffing, the Power of Social Media   

I previously posted on this blog in anticipation of attending my first international nursing meeting—the  2017 International Council of Nurses Congress in Barcelona—and wrote about it later in a joint post with AJN’s editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy. There will also be a full report in the August issue of AJN. Based on subsequent reflection, here are [...]

The post International Health, Nurse Staffing, the Power of Social Media appeared first on Off the Charts.

          Last Weekend's NAACP Centennial Celebration Looked Back — and Forward   

As Memphis prepares for a 4th of July weekend, members and guests of the Memphis chapter of the NAACP are still savoring some moments last weekend from the organization’s centennial anniversary luncheon — particularly from keynoters Melissa Harris-Perry, former MSNBC host and Wake Forest professor, and Harold Ford Jr., the onetime Memphis congressman who now works on Wall Street and keeps his hand in politically, also on MSNBC.

There were notable things happening before keynoters Harris-Perry and Ford took their star turns, of course. Local NAACP president Deidre Malone and MC Mearl Purvis kept things moving from the dais, and a series of local dignitaries, including Ford’s successor, current 9th District congressman Steve Cohen and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, had some trenchant things to say — Cohen about the perils of the Trump presidency, Strickland about the need to boost African Americans’ share of local business opportunities.

Arguably, though, the best crowd reaction early on was to remarks by longtime civil rights activist Jocelyn Wurzburg, who (along with Shannon Brown and Roquita Coleman-Williams) was one of three official co-chairs for the event, held at the East Memphis Hilton last Saturday and devoted to the theme “Reflecting on the Past, Remaining Focused on the Future: 100 Years of Civil Rights and Human Rights Advocacy.”

Wurzburg, recipient of numerous citations and the person for whom Tennessee Human Rights Commission's annual Civil Rights Legacy award was named, conflated two tales. The first was about being embarrassed in her early youth when her mother, without asking, signed her up as a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy; the second detailed her response, during a visit to New Orleans, when a resident of that city lamented Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s recent removal of Confederate memorials, including a statue of Robert E. Lee.

The New Orleans native insisted that Lee had been done an injustice, in that the Civil War, in which he led a Southern army, had not been done on behalf of slavery. Wurzburg countered that, “as a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy, I can assure you it was.”

Harris-Perry, utilizing her erstwhile media chops, would wow the NAACP audience with a deceptively stream-of-consciousness rendition, including flamboyant hand-and-arm gestures, of what was actually a tightly organized dramatic presentation, aptly illustrated by a series of slides.

And along with her mastery of the medium (two actually; that of television and that of the lecture hall) came several provocative messages. One was both powerful and original: Taking off from her declaration that America had elected a president who was both “a racist and a pussy-grabber,” she formulated a convincing argument that racial domination, in its various forms, had depended on a distinctly physical domination of black women.

Slavery, which had involved the calculated and merciless separation of children from their mothers, had continued “through us,” Harris-Perry declared. To maintain the current stratified social system, she suggested, “Black women have to give birth,” and thereby to yield up to others “not only the product of our labor but our labor….The people who run this joint are pussy-grabbers.” That, she said, was “the reality of our wombs.”

Noting the incidence of black domestic servants in her paternal ancestry visi-a-vis the fact that her mother’s side was white and relatively privileged, Harris-Perry identified strongly with the former and with the idea of building “from the bottom,” a moral that she said would apply both to the advancement of the NAACP and the redevelopment of a dilapidated Democratic Party. “You always have to start with the least of these, literally, Jesus said. If you start at the top, you will miss so much. If you start at the bottom, you will miss nothing.”

Harris-Perry was the proverbial Hard Act to Follow, but Ford, who came next and last, managed to do just fine.

Professing that he was “glad to be home,” the former 9th District Congressman (who came within an ace of winning a Senate seat as a Democrat in 2006) executed an artful segue from Harris-Perry. Elaborating on the theme of “the power of women,” he recalled the importance of women teachers in his early education, extolled the helpful role played by “women in this district” in the development of his political career, and did some verbal doting on his 4 ½-year-old daughter Georgia.

Ford then shifted to the subject of change and to what he saw as a geometrically increasing demand for it in the society of today, treating the abrupt shift by American voters to Obama in 2008 and, even more precipitously, to Trump in 2016 as a case in point. The silver lining was the fact, as he saw it, that yet another political shift in a wholly different direction could happen, and relatively quickly.

“People want change, and they want it now,” he said, noting the pell-mell transformations of public technology, like the ever-escalating rise in photography via cell phone. He recalled being told two years ago that, within five years from that point, “97 percent of all the pictures in the world” would have been taken.

Ford closed on a note of optimism: “We’ve got to be daring and not afraid of change.” He quoted Babe Ruth to the effect that “Yesterday’s home runs do not win tomorrow’s ball games.”

          Como é estranha a estranheza   
Como é estranho que algumas pessoas achem estranho, que o Governo Michel Temer (PMDB) usará todo expediente para aprovar matérias do seu interesse no Congresso Nacional. Desde Cabral (o descobridor português) é assim. Francamente! Acompanhe o Blog Carlos Santos pelo Twitter clicando AQUI.
          Congresso tem ‘bancada’ de políticos condenados à prisão   
Do Congresso em Foco A autorização judicial para o deputado preso Celso Jacob (PMDB-RJ) conciliar o cumprimento da pena de sete anos e dois meses de reclusão com o exercício do mandato expõe mais que uma situação insólita na política brasileira. Assim como Jacob, o senador Ivo Cassol (PP-RO) e os deputados Paulo Maluf (PP-SP), [...]
          Conservative Lawmakers Ask Congressional Leadership to Cancel August Recess   

One conservative lawmaker is leading the charge in the House of Representatives to ask congressional leadership to cancel lawmakers’ August recess in order to give... Read More

The post Conservative Lawmakers Ask Congressional Leadership to Cancel August Recess appeared first on The Daily Signal.

          Ohio Is Already Rolling Back Parts of Obamacare. How Other States Can Do the Same.   

For years, most Americans have looked to Washington for relief from Obamacare. To be sure, Congress must pass and the president must sign a full... Read More

The post Ohio Is Already Rolling Back Parts of Obamacare. How Other States Can Do the Same. appeared first on The Daily Signal.

          Here Are 3 Reasons the Senate Health Care Bill Should Expand Individual Health Accounts   

As Congress works to undo the damage caused by Obamacare, members are looking for ways to maximize their opportunity to address Obamacare’s problems that drove... Read More

The post Here Are 3 Reasons the Senate Health Care Bill Should Expand Individual Health Accounts appeared first on The Daily Signal.

          Media Coverage of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Improves as Repeal Moves Toward Reality   
The Boston Globe's recent coverage of Obama's pledge to overturn "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," is one of many news stories out this year that fairly tackles the issue. The Globe piece delves into Obama's announcement that more studies need to be done, and more Congressional support is needed, before the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Though the Globe piece's terminology was not quite perfect (use of "gays" rather than "gay men and women" or "gay people"), overall the reporter did a great job keeping the piece fair, accurate, and inclusive of LGBT voices and perspectives. It presented multiple sides to the issue. It quoted expert repeal advocates like the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund (SLDN) and the Palm Center at UC-Santa Barbara. The day after the story's publication, SLDN's executive director, Aubrey Sarvis, opined in the Huffington Post that there is no need for another study on the military ban:
We do not need another report to tell us what we already know and what earlier reports have long since concluded: the sexual orientation of a service member is irrelevant. What is relevant is how well he or she does the job.
The importance of LGBT advocates not only participating in mainstream media news pieces, but also writing opinion pieces like Sarvis' HuffPo column, enriches the ongoing conversation around the military ban. The advent of the blogosphere and LGBT military activism has helped shape the past 15+ years of coverage. Back when the military ban first went into effect, the way the media reported on it was less than fair. In 1996, the New York Times was still referring to gay men and lesbians as "homosexuals" in their military ban coverage. SLDN was regularly quoted, but by today's standards the LGBT terminology missed the mark. By this year, the Air Force Times published a very well-done piece exploring the discrimination transgender veterans face, marking a heightened LGBT visibility in military press. But not all media coverage of LGBT service members has been transformed into fair and accurate in 2009. Last month, GLAAD launched an Action Alert against “Gunny” Bob Newman, host of The Gunny Bob Show on Colorado’s KOA-AM Radio:
Newman used his Clear Channel-owned media platform to make false and defamatory comments about gay service members. Newman suggested that lifting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ban on allowing qualified gay military personnel to serve openly in the armed forces, would lead to greater HIV risk.
Despite setbacks like KOA-AM, the media coverage of LGBT military personnel is on the whole improving. As President Obama's administration continues to make decisions around "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," media coverage will hopefully continue to portray the issues fairly and give voice to our community.
February 5, 2009

          Possible Petraeus replacements? Michigan's Mike Rogers on the list   
While politicians argue over who knew what and when with regard to the FBI's investigation into CIA Director David Petraeus' extra-marital affair, many insiders are speculating over who his replacement will be. Today, the chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times David Sanger wrote about possible replacements. And way down at the bottom of his article, Sanger lists Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers (R-8th District) as a possible replacement: Representative Mike Rogers, Republican of Michigan, is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former F.B.I. official and could sail through confirmation hearings and give a bipartisan air to the administration’s efforts, as Mr. Petraeus did. A Rogers appointment seems less likely next to names like Michael J. Morell, Mr. Petraeus' deputy, and retired C.I.A. operative John O. Brennan. MLive said Rogers' office had no immediate comment. In the meantime, Congressman Mike Rogers is one of those on the Capitol working to find out
          The Cost of Waiting to Drain the Swamp Is High   
Ed Feulner, “Drain the swamp!” It was the battle cry of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Many Republican members of Congress echoed that call as well, riding it to victory — and control of both legislative...

Summary Only: Visit for Full Story!

          Yes, Petty Idiocy Still Rules Society    

Late night loud yowls, most precious Big Cat Beauties... sheesh, geez, what a long busy-overwhelming week for this Big Cat... okay, really who cares about ENEMY-MSM Mika? However, petty idiocy still rules our society...sadly! But come on, Mika looks like a programmed android, and she is STUPID ... all you have to do is look at her, listen to her for a few minutes, and it's obvious--her IQ is not impressive, let's say... and let's get a dose of reality, how obvious is it that President Trump is just fish-hooking these brainless-wonder presstitutes into reacting crazily... MEANWHILE he's doing the real business of being president of these united states. BEHIND THE SCENES.

Yeah, the Kougar couldn't resist this political cartoon. ~smiles~

Okay, according to Sorcha Faal of there is a plot to possibly assassinate President Trump during the G20, when The Donald and Putin are supposed to meet... thus, to blame it on the Russians and cause a world war.




Save Me The Feigned Outrage Over Trump’s Mika Brzezinski Tweet

Paul Joseph Watson | The media has spent the last 2 years viciously attacking Trump over his appearance.




Senate Banking Committee features Sen. Corker plan to hand mortgage market to Wall Street and big banks



Catholic church involved in child sex once again 



Fake news ringleader hides from press 



Trump admin could launch false flag blamed on Assad

Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov warns that the United States is preparing a false flag “provocation” as a pretext to launch a military assault on Syria.
Responding to a CNN report that the U.S. “has ships and aircraft in place to strike Syria,” if ordered to do so by the President, Pushkov cautioned that this could be the precursor to a staged incident.
“The United States put its Navy and Air Force on alert, and is just waiting for an excuse to strike Syria. Assad will not give them one.” This, Pushkov wrote, makes it “the perfect time for a provocation.”
США привели в готовность силы ВМФ и ВВС и ждут лишь предлога для удара по Сирии. Асад им предлога не даст. Идеальное время для провокации.
Earlier this week, the administration warned Bashar Al-Assad that the U.S. was aware of new preparations for a chemical attack and that he would pay a “heavy price” for any such action.
This was followed up by a tweet from Ambassador Nikki Haley in which she asserted, “Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.”
Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.
On Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated that the Trump administration’s warning to Assad had been “successful,” but Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova took the move as “a warning sign of an intervention.”
“The campaign, which was started by the US and is being backed by London and Paris, on the alleged chemical attack that is claimed to be prepared by Damascus, is not original, it’s a textbook script, which has already been used in several countries in the region,” Zakharova said.
“The situation seems to be a massive provocation, both military and information-wise, a provocation which targets not only the Syrian leadership, but also Russia,” she added.
Back in April, the Trump administration launched 59 cruise missiles against a Syrian airfield claimed to be the base for government aircraft that carried out a chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun.
The decision caused a split amongst Trump’s base because he specifically ran on the promise of not getting the United States entangled in more Middle Eastern conflicts that lead to the overthrow of secular leaders.
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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of and Prison




Legislation is "propping up" insurance companies

Senator Rand Paul continued to voice stern opposition to the Obamacare replacement legislation Friday, saying it isn’t even ‘Obamacare lite’ anymore, and instead is more like ‘Obamacare plus’.
Appearing on “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” last night, Paul noted that the Republican legislation may actually provide more subsidies than Obamacare.
“[W]hen we look at the bill, we actually find that with the Obamacare subsidies, not only are we keeping them, we may actually be providing more subsidies than Obamacare has.” Paul exclaimed.
“Our early estimates on the bill are that the bill may spend more in the next year or two than Obamacare does.” Paul added.
“And so, it’s hard for us to get our mind around that this is a repeal bill if we’re spending more, keeping all the subsidies, and then we’re going to start a brand new federal entitlement program where we give insurance companies money.” the Senator explained.
“I keep reading it and…it sounds like Obamacare to me. It doesn’t even sound like Obamacare-lite. In some areas, it may be Obamacare-plus, on the subsidy side.” he urged.
Paul also warned that the bill “subsidizes the death spiral of Obamacare.”
“It dumps a bunch of federal money, taxpayer money, or borrowed money into the insurance industry and says, ‘Hey, please lower the prices if we give you money.’” Paul told viewers.
In a further appearance on Morning Joe Friday, the Senator said that the so called healthcare overhaul is actually centered around “propping up” insurance companies.

“The insurance companies make all the money; all of this is predicated upon still propping up the insurance companies.” Paul said, adding that “you should be able to get insurance for $1 a day. I mean, you really should.”
The Senator argued that the legislation will amount to more “bailing out” of insurance companies.
“I want the bill to look more like a repeal bill. I promised people I was going to repeal it; I didn’t promise people that I was going to replace it with a federal program of bailing out insurance companies,” Paul asserted.
“I mean, we could do this for cars,” he added. “New cars are expensive. We could have a car stabilization fund.” he further argued.
In an interview with Breitbart, Paul noted that “The bill keeps ten of twelve Obamacare regulations that causes the prices of premiums to spiral upward.”


  • Trump has been tweeting ugly stuff that is beneath the dignity of the presidency on a regular basis since before he became president. But when he directs one of those tweets at a conservative white lady and suddenly Republicans in Congress are upset.

          McConnell tries to scare his right flank by talking to the NYT   
I'm convinced this is just McConnell's threat to Republican hard liners that unless they got on board and drop their opposition to his version of TrumpCare, McConnell will cut a deal with Democrats to shore up ObamaCare.

I'm happy to be wrong. There are certainly a lot of ways the ACA could be improved. I just can't imagine this Congress doing any of those things.

          Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize – Friday at 10 p.m.   
Enjoy this tribute to singer-songwriter Joel, recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
          Video: Both Sides Spin CBO Numbers   

In this week’s video with, CNN’s Jake Tapper looks at how members of both parties are spinning the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of how many people will be insured under the Senate health care bill.

The post Video: Both Sides Spin CBO Numbers appeared first on

          Republican Congressman Says He Shouldn’t Pay For Maternity Leave Because He Has An X Chromosome   

Republican representative Pete Olsen recently told a conservative radio show that he shouldn’t be required to foot the bill for prenatal care and maternity leave for American women (as the Affordable Care Act does) because he and other men have X Chromosomes. And you thought Donald Trump was the worst sexist in D.C. Ring of

The post Republican Congressman Says He Shouldn’t Pay For Maternity Leave Because He Has An X Chromosome appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          Nikki Haley May Have Acted Illegally by Endorsing a Republican Candidate   

A watchdog group is calling out U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley for potentially violating the Hatch Act when she endorsed a GOP candidate. Haley’s alleged violation occurred on June 19 when she retweeted a post from President Trump openly endorsing Ralph Norman, a South Carolina congressional candidate. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) penned

The post Nikki Haley May Have Acted Illegally by Endorsing a Republican Candidate appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          Trump Tells Republicans To Destroy Obamacare Now, Replace It Some Other Time   

Donald Trump told Republicans in Congress that if they aren’t able to pass their healthcare bill then they should simply repeal the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – and then worry about replacing it later. This would result in millions of people immediately being kicked off their health insurance plans and cause a severe market

The post Trump Tells Republicans To Destroy Obamacare Now, Replace It Some Other Time appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          Republican Who Said Poor People Shouldn’t Buy iPhones Wants Taxpayers To Pay His Rent   

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz might be leaving office this week, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to convince America that members of Congress should be entitled to a $2,500 a month housing stipend to pay for their living areas in Washington, D.C. The man who once said that poor people need to choose between

The post Republican Who Said Poor People Shouldn’t Buy iPhones Wants Taxpayers To Pay His Rent appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          We Have To Hold Congress To The Rules They Make For The Rest Of Us – Thom Hartmann Program   

Thom has his weekly chat with Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI, 2nd District) as they discuss current events, what’s going on with Congress and the Trump administration, and take calls from listeners on their concerns.

The post We Have To Hold Congress To The Rules They Make For The Rest Of Us – Thom Hartmann Program appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          Yeah, They Think It's On Its Way -- And Soon!   
Most voters continue to think President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans will make significant changes to Obamacare in the near future, but most also worry those changes will go too far.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters think it’s at least Somewhat Likely that President Trump and Republicans in Congress will make significant changes in Obamacare in the next six months. Thirty-one percent (31%) believe changes in President Barack Obama’s health care plan are unlikely. These figures include 35% who say it’s Very Likely changes are coming and 11% who feel they are Not at all Likely.

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on June 26-27, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
          Republicans Have Done Nothing For The American People Since Lincoln – Mike Malloy Show   

Radio talk show host Mike Malloy talks about the Republicans trying to save face after delaying the vote in the Senate for a replacement of Obamacare. “Facing growing opposition from members of his own party, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed the vote on the Republicans’ healthcare bill until after Congress’s 4 July recess.”

The post Republicans Have Done Nothing For The American People Since Lincoln – Mike Malloy Show appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.

          Want Something Done? Elect a Woman.   

If the voting public is frustrated with the ineffectiveness of Congress, electing women and giving them the political power they need to get things done is a two-pronged approach to changing the game.

The post Want Something Done? Elect a Woman. appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

          Hatewatch Headlines 6/30/2017   

Even some gun owners angry at new NRA recruitment video; a lawyer who battled discrimination suits picked to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; sovereign citizen cases on the rise; and more.

New York Times: Right-wing extremism on the rise in Germany.

Lawyers Committee: There’s a lack of adequate national data on hate crimes.

NBC: Law enforcement agencies investigating a fast-rising number of “paper terrorism” cases involving sovereign citizens.

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT): The Trump Administration disregards and undermines the civil rights of all Americans.

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Teen-age transgender girl murdered in Athens, Georgia.

Huffington Post: Even gun owners angry at new NRA recruitment video.

Talking Points Memo: A Washington labor lawyer who defended large companies against discrimination lawsuits is picked by the Trump Administration to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

NBC-Connecticut: Shirt covered with anti-Muslim slurs left outside the home of the president of the Islamic Center of Central Connecticut.

Media Matters: Newt Gingrich calls the Congressional Budget Office “part of the deep state.”

          Here are 7 education items on Congress' 'honey-do' list   
A bill to reauthorize the federal career and technical education law is so popular that it recently got unanimous approval from House lawmakers. Is there any other big K-12 bill that will get the same kind of love? Don't bet on it. That doesn't mean federal lawmakers don't have a "honey-do" list when it comes to education policy. True, the Every Student Succeeds Act covers a lot of the ground when it comes to public schools.
           Post combustion in cupola for pollution control    
Viswanathan, NN and Srinivasan, MN and Lahiri, AK (1998) Post combustion in cupola for pollution control. In: 101st Casting Congress of the American-Foundrymens-Society, Apr 20-23, 1997, Seattle, Washington.
           Scientific rationale toward cupola design    
Viswanathan, NN and Lahiri, AK and Srinivasan, MN (1998) Scientific rationale toward cupola design. In: 101st Casting Congress of the American-Foundrymens-Society, 20-23 Apr. 1997, Seattle, Washington.
          Heartland Institute Names Former Congressman Tim Huelskamp Incoming...   

Huelskamp Will...

(PRWeb June 29, 2017)

Read the full story at

          6/30/2017: NEWS: REPEAL AND REPLACE?   

What should Congress do when it comes to health care?
          6/30/2017: OPINION: Pass the Senate measure ASAP   
To suggest that Congress must choose between fixing the Affordable Care Act and passing the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act misses a key point: Even if the Senate bill becomes law, we will still need to fix the ACA. The National Retail...
          Scientist Deborah Swackhamer: EPA Asked Me To Change Testimony To Congress | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC   
[+1] Discussion by Real Music on 06/30/17 7:33 AM Replies: 5 Views: 80
Tags: Politics
Last Post by Real Music on 06/30/17 11:45 AM
          Do members of Congress deserve government subsidized health insurance?   
Right now many members of Congress are fighting the concept that health care should be an entitlement (some would say a right). Not only do they offer no realistic assistance for the 28 million who remain uninsured, some members are supporting policies that would cause another 22 million to lose their insurance.
          Measure forces Congress to examine post-9/11 war powers role   
WASHINGTON (AP) " A stunning move this week by a House panel to force a debate on new presidential war powers revealed mounting frustration that Congress has for too long dodged one of its most important responsibilities: to decide whether to send American fighting forces into harm's way.The measure crafted by Rep. Barbara Lee of California, an anti-war Democrat and the only member of Congress to oppose the post-Sept. 11, 2001, authorization, demands a debate on new war powers to [...]
          Summer looms with GOP stuck on health care, budget, taxes   
WASHINGTON (AP) " Republicans are stuck on health care, can't pass a budget, and hopes for a big, bipartisan infrastructure package are fizzling. Overhauling the tax code looks more and more like a distant dream.The GOP-led Congress has yet to salt away a single major legislative accomplishment for President Donald Trump " and a summer of drift may lead to a logistical nightmare this fall.Instead, Trump's allies appear both divided and indecisive, unable to deliver on his [...]
          Measure forces Congress to examine post-9/11 war powers role   
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A stunning move this week by a House panel to force a debate on new presidential war powers revealed mounting frustration that Congress has for too long dodged one of its most important responsibilities: to decide whether to send American fighting forces into harm&apos;s way....
          Congress Home for 4th of July Week: Tell Them to Fix the Highway Trust Fund   
By Dave Bauer, senior vice president, government relations, ARTBA The week surrounding Independence Day is a prime opportunity to reach your senators and representative as most will be at home meeting constituents.  With issues like health care, foreign affairs, and Russia investigations consuming much of the media’s attention, it is important members of Congress know […]
          Both Sides of Capitol Hill Advance Aviation Bills   
By Dean Franks, vice president, congressional affairs, ARTBA The House and Senate took important steps toward meeting a September 30 deadline for reauthorizing the federal aviation programs before departing on a week-long recess for the 4th of July holiday.  The House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee and Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation (CST) Committee passed differing […]
          32 House Dems Sign Anti-Israel Letter from Pro-Hamas, pro-BDS Groups   

There are few surprises here. Just the inevitable descent of the Democrats into the fever swamps of hatred and extremism. 

According to the anti-Israel group behind the Congressional letter, “The effort to gather signatories to the letter was supported by a coalition of human rights organizations including U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine.”

American Muslims for Palestine has been linked to Hamas. Jewish Voice for Peace, which is neither Jewish nor peaceful, is a BDS group. This is what the Dems are mainstreaming.

32 Democrats in Congress signed on to a letter circulated by a group that even the ADL had described as having its "organizational roots in the now-defunct Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), an anti-Semitic group that served as the main propaganda arm for Hamas in the United States."

It won't surprise you to learn that Keith Ellison tops this list. Or that  Betty McCollum, Earl Blumenauer and Mark Pocan are also there. Pocan recently got caught sponsoring an anti-Israel forum. And is turning into a reliable anti-Israel hack on the Hill.

Then there's Hank Johnson, who called Jews terminates, Barbara Lee, James McGovern, Andre Carson, Anna Eshoo, John Conyers, Luis Gutierrez, Peter DeFazio, Marcy Kaptur, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Karen Bass, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Roy Khanna, Zoe Lofgren, Bobby Rush, Peter Welsh, David Price, Alan Lowenthal, Donald Beyer, Chellie Pingree, Salud Carbajal, Gwen S. Moore, Danny Davis, Jackie Speyer, Jared Huffman, Tulsi Gabbard and Pramiya Jayapal. 

So there's the usual Prog caucus gang. And a sizable heaping of Congressional Black Caucus people. Anyone with a leftover crush on Tulsi Gabbard as the one good Dem would do well to drop it. 

A particular note of disgrace here has been struck by Alan Lowenthal. The leftist won his last race by a limited margin. It remains to be seen what the voters will think of his role in this.

          Kate's Law and Sanctuary City Crackdown Pass House   

It's a start. But the real battle will be in the Senate.

The White House has statements of support for both H.R. 3003 – No Sanctuary for Criminals Act and H.R. 3004 – Kate’s Law on its site indicating that President Trump would sign them. The challenge though would be in the Senate.

The Senate is the last best hope of the left. The left is gambling that time will drag on and they can make major gains in the midterm elections. If that fails and bills like these pass, their only fallback plan is to continue the judicial coup, this time against both the executive and legislative branches of government. And that really might be a bridge too far.

No Sanctuary for Criminals is particularly explosive because it threatens to sanction sanctuary cities. The judicial coup currently stands in the way. But a judicial coup against Congress and the White House would be unsustainable.


          Fact Checking Network Gets Backing From Soros, Radical Iranian Tycoon   

Good news. Your "facts" are about to be "checked" by George Soros.

If the whole fact checking paradigm that the media has blackmailed Facebook and Google into rolling into their results hadn't been sufficiently poisoned by naked partisanship and left-wing politics, the presence of the amateur embattled left-wing activists at Snopes, here comes the death knell for its credibility.

"Fact-checking has never been this important. Come define its future" is the Poynter headline. But its future has already been defined, the cheerful posting informs us, by its funders.

Thanks to $1.3 million in grant funding from the Omidyar Network and the Open Society Foundations, the IFCN can now expand its work. New initiatives will include an innovation fund to reward new formats and business models for fact-checking, an impact tracker to help evaluate and monitor the efficacy of this type of work, and a tool to turn the links fact-checkers use into a searchable database of trustworthy primary sources.

Everyone knows who radical leftist billionaire George Soros is.

Soros is the left's biggest radical sugar daddy. But somewhere up there, particularly for pro-terror sites, is Iranian tycoon Pierre Omidyar. 

Pierre Omidyar has financed a war on national security and Israel through anti-American sites such as The Intercept. 

When you understand that this is where the "international fact checking network" is getting its financing, you understand the kind of "fact checking" it will be doing. And whom you can expect to be doing it.

Facebook and Google's embedding of partisan left-wing "fact checking" sites is one of the greatest assaults on freedom of expression on the internet. And now the partisan sites are about to fall further into the fever swamps of left-wing extremism.

Congressional Republicans should call out Google and Facebook for their double standard in advocating Net Neutrality while pushing Opinion Bias.

          Republicans Force Pentagon to Push Global Warming   

Every time you think Congress has hit rock bottom, they manage to exceed your expectations.

The House Armed Services Committee’s annual defense policy bill will include a provision requiring a Defense Department report on the effects of climate change on military installations.

Why? You're wondering.

Why is the Pentagon going to be wasting time providing ammo and employment to leftists to continue Obama's corruption of the military into a social justice organization instead of focusing on the somewhat more pressing national security threats that we face, ranging from terrorism to nuclear war to China's escalation?

Why are we going to see these same reports and the leftists writing them being touted in a larger push to impose carbon taxes and other Warmunist plans to raise the prices of everything with the profits going to their special interests and agendas?

Because a Dem proposed it and enough Pubs backed it.

The amendment — brought up by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) in the readiness portion of Wednesday’s markup — instructs each military service to come up with a list of the top 10 military installations likely to be affected by climate change over the next 20 years.

Such a provision aims to ensure that the Defense Department “is prepared to address the effects of a changing climate on threat assessments, resources and readiness,” according to the amendment language.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was the sole lawmaker to speak out against the amendment, claiming it instructs the Pentagon “to take their eye off the ball.”

“We have heard testimony in front of this committee consistently about the array of imminent threats we face … the Russians, Chinese, ISIS, al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea. … There is simply no way that you can argue that climate change is one of those threats. Not even close,” she said. “There is no evidence that climate change causes war.”

She continued: “North Korea is not developing nuclear tipped ICBMs because the climate’s changing. ISIS and al Qaeda are not attacking the West because of the weather.”

You would think that this would be the Republican position... you would think.

But several of her Republican colleagues, including Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), disagreed with her take.

“There is a line in the play ‘1776’ about the Declaration of Independence: ‘I’ve never seen, heard nor smelled an issue so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about.’ There’s nothing dangerous about talking about it. It’s a report,” Bishop said.

I'm glad that Bishop is taking his inspiration for national security policy from musicals. 

There's a big difference between "talking about it" and making it a priority to produce reports validating a leftist talking point. How about having the Pentagon produce reports discussing the threat of Islamic immigration to bases.

Suddenly, that will be an issue too dangerous to be talked about. Even though it, unlike the Great Flying Global Warming Monster whom the left worships, is actually a national security threat. 

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) backed up Bishop’s line of thinking. “It’s just a report and there are strategic implications that we need to be aware of,” he said.

That's politese for "I have no idea hat any of this is about, but let me stay on the safe side and not stick my neck out."

Rep. Susan Davis (R-Calif.) called the amendment “a start.”

Climate change “is one of those issues that is sort of in that bucket that we ignore at our own peril,” Davis said.

The leftist corruption of the GOP is another of those issues.

This is what happens when there's no organized agenda, no comprehensive messaging, and no understanding of the threats and problems we face.

          GOP's Plan B for Obamacare repeal began with quiet push from Koch network   
President Trump’s surprise suggestion Friday that deadlocked Senate Republicans shift their focus to simply repealing Obamacare — and worry about replacing it later — has its roots in a Koch network proposal that has been shopped around Congress for months.

The influential Koch network, backed... Reported by L.A. Times 1 hour ago.
          Comment on The Righteous, Seduced by Secret Combinations by SWS   
Its really a shock to see LDS congressmen toss their integrity aside to support such a vile, amoral, dishonest, self-serving windbag as trump. Even more disturbing perhaps, is their aggressive partisan disrespect and obstruction of President Obama and his administration- he is a decent man who loves this country and worked every day for the people. And, that very secret meeting that several Republicans attended, vowing to obstruct anything and everything Pres. Obama tried to accomplish was a deal made in darkness- they vowed to obstruct even things that were for the good of the country because they wanted him to be a 1 term president- that is pretty evil. That meeting is a "secret combination". Republican hatred is still burning, even though the majority of Americans do not want the Affordable Care Act repealed, Mitch McConnell is trying to force it through anyway. The ACA can be fixed, but their hatred of Pres. Obama is the main reason they want it repealed. Trump is clearly trying to erase the existence of Pres.Obama from the pages of history, which is why McConnell & Ryan are supporting Trump, even supporting him on stupid things like withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord- putting the US in the same category with Nicaragua and Syria. The Trump, Ryan & McConnell team is a secret combination. McConnell's closed door creation of a terrible healthcare plan, with plans and schemes to push it through Congress is a secret combination. The GOP & Trump's plan to slash taxes for the very wealthy & corporations, while taking away, privatizing or gutting every aspect of government that helps people, will turn our government into a one primarily run by the wealthiest families and big corporations- rolling back regulations on pollution is one example of placing corporations over the welfare and health of people. Some in the religious right are also part of this secret combination- by diverting funds from public Education to private/religious schools, generations of Americans will be taught ideas as science that have nothing to do with science, they will teach their stereotypes and their irrational fears- they will turn this country into the pre-apocalyptic nation they are longing for. Talk of the Illuminati is an old story as well- mostly based on conspiracies without any real proof. But, these secret meetings, secret agendas that will redefine the U.S. and our freedoms is very real is happening in front of our faces. Other groups the right accuses of practically everything, just want their civil rights, equal rights, and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Orrin Hatch, Lee, Chaffetz & Heller have all shown their cruelty in their votes and are or have been part of these secret combinations. Orrin Hatch doesn't even appear to have a soul anymore.
          Dozens of Dems Support Bill to Create Panel That Could Remove Trump From Office   

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin (Md.) has introduced a bill that would create a congressional oversight commission that could declare the president incapacitated, leading to his removal from office under the Constitution's 25th Amendment.

The post Dozens of Dems Support Bill to Create Panel That Could Remove Trump From Office appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

          Now scheduling a one month tour for Cashed Out by Michael H. Rubin   
Now scheduling a one month tour for Cashed Out by Michael H. Rubin

This tour will be August 15- September 12 (weekdays only)

I am scheduling reviews, guest blogs, interviews and spotlight stops

pdf available for reviewers 

To participate in this tour please send:

Your blog name and url

A couple suggested dates during the tour

Please let me know if you wish to review

Cashed Out
Michael H. Rubin


August 15, 2017

Book Description:

One failed marriage. Two jobs lost. Three maxed out credit cards. “Schex” Schexnaydre was a failure as a lawyer. Until three weeks ago, he had no clients and no cash -- no clients except for infamous toxic waste entrepreneur G.G. Guidry, who’s just been murdered, and no cash, except for  the  $4,452,737 Guidry had stashed with him for safekeeping.

When Schex’s estranged ex-wife, Taylor, is accused of Guidry’s murder, she pleads with Schex to defend her. He refuses, but the more he says no to Taylor, the deeper Schex gets dragged into the fall-out from Guidry’s nefarious schemes, ending up as the target of all those vying to claim Guidry’s millions for themselves.

About the Author:

A nationally-known speaker and humorist as well as a full-time attorney, Michael H. Rubin has had a varied career. He has also been a professional jazz pianist in the New Orleans French Quarter, a radio and television announcer, and an adjunct law professor. His debut novel, “The Cottoncrest Curse,” received the Book-of-the-Year Gold Award at the annual meeting of the American Library Association in 2015 and was named the top thriller/suspense novel published by a university or independent press. Rubin is the winner of the Burton Award, given at the Library of Congress, for outstanding writing, and is a member of the Author’s Guild, the International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the International Association of Crime Writers.

          New Delta board owes taxpayers due diligence   
Written by Shelon Arbuckle
Friday, 26 December 2008
The decision to build a college campus in Mountain House raises questions.

San Joaquin County Supervisor Leroy Ornellas said nobody put a gun to the head of the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees in regard to the college’s decision to build a campus in Mountain House.

That’s probably true, but with a board member (Maria Elena Serna) who was willing to compromise her reputation and ethics for $1,600, future payoffs would have been negotiated and promises made behind closed doors.

Dean Andal, who ran for Congress and lost in November, has a stake in future revenues at Mountain House. Thanks to the voters, he didn’t beat out Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.

The only ones now pointing guns at the new board of trustees seems to be Ornellas and Mountain House developer Gerry Kamilos, and now they’re pushing the new Mountain House Community Services District board members to load theirs.

What’s in it for them? Property values.

What’s in it for the taxpayers? Future commitments involving more bond elections to complete the project and more money to establish public transportation in that area.

I hope that before anything else is done at Mountain House, in reference to the south county Delta College campus, the new board will investigate everything before making any final decisions. The taxpayers made a decision and voted in November to eliminate the old board for the bad choices made in regard to this potential white elephant (the south campus called Mountain House).

There are so many unanswered questions: Where are the portables and on whose land will they be placed? Who will receive rent, and for how long will they get it? How much is the rent? Is it, as Ornellas and Delta President Raul Rodriguez have said, too expensive to move out of Mountain House? Where are the binding contracts, what contracts can be relocated and what is just another threat of pending lawsuit by Kamilos?

The Mountain House land purchased may not be good in today’s market, but it can be sold by the college when the value returns.

We should let our new board members have the time to have every question answered and every rock turned over. They will have to justify this bad decision with truthful facts, not threats, if they continue down this same path.

They owe this to the people — the taxpayers and the students — not the few who had and have hidden agendas for this monstrosity of waste.

•Shelon Arbuckle is an 21-year resident of Tracy and has been self-employed for 18 years as a printer repair technician and toner supplier. She lived in Alaska for eight years and served on a parks and recreation commission.

          LibVibe - 15 May 2008   
Click here to listen to the five-minute newscast, anytime.

Stories reported:
Congressman takes aim at Second Life in libraries (1, 2); Downtown library plan scrapped in favor of luxury hotel; Arson at library; Cuts may add layer of dust to library shelves; Man charged with stealing $24K in library books and CDs; Library gets $25M donation.

          LibVibe - 17 April 2008   
Click here to listen to the seven-minute newscast, anytime.

Stories reported:
State of Libraries (1, 2); Officials: library cuts devastating (1, 2, 3, 4); Library visitor arrested in child porn probe; Librarians target of ID theft; Library of Congress Experience (1, 2); Library of Congress partners with History Channel; Seattle City Librarian resigns; Cleveland PL director to retire; Saying goodbye to the old library.

          LibVibe - 3 April 2008   
Click here to listen to the eight-minute newscast, anytime.
  • Author of new book tells LibVibe - and you - how we can renew librarianship
  • No other library news source brings you the voices of people in the news
Stories reported:
Union ratifies deal with library; EPA to reopen libraries (1, 2, 3, 4); City to shut down five libraries (1, 2); Two towns weigh privatizing libraries; Library deficits deepen; Renewing Professional Librarianship; Three arrested in kickback scheme involving Sacramento library; Man charged with stealing library's historic documents (1, 2, 3).

          LibVibe - 7 January 2008   
Click to listen to the seven-minute newscast, anytime.

Stories reported:
Anger at library cuts; Congress earmarks $3 million to reopen closed EPA libraries; New chapter for metro libraries (1, 2); Most literate cities; Reference library gets $30 million renovation; OCC sees new library (story, site); A childish misplacement of vigilance at the library; Librarian wins couch potato contest (1, 2).

Alibris 135x80px
Save $2 on any order of books, movies or music.
Use promo code HAPPY2008 through 1/12/08!

          The World Is Now $217,000,000,000,000 In Debt And The Global Elite Like It That Way   

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The borrower is the servant of the lender, and through the mechanism of government debt virtually the entire planet has become the servants of the global money changers.  Politicians love to borrow money, but over time government debt slowly but surely impoverishes a nation.  As the elite get governments around the globe in increasing amounts of debt, those governments must raise taxes in order to keep servicing those debts.  In the end, it is all about taking money from us and transferring it into government pockets, and then taking money from government pockets and transferring it into the hands of the elite.  It is a game that has been going on for generations, and it is time for humanity to say that enough is enough.

According to the Institute of International Finance, global debt has now reached a new all-time record high of 217 trillion dollars

Global debt levels have surged to a record $217 trillion in the first quarter of the year. This is 327 percent of the world’s annual economic output (GDP), reports the Institute of International Finance (IIF).


The surging debt was driven by emerging economies, which have increased borrowing by $3 trillion to $56 trillion. This amounts to 218 percent of their combined economic output, five percentage points greater year on year.

Never before in human history has our world been so saturated with debt.

And what all of this debt does is that it funnels wealth to the very top of the global wealth pyramid.  In other words, it makes global wealth inequality far worse because this system is designed to make the rich even richer and the poor even poorer.

Every year the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows, and it has gotten to the point that eight men have as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people on this planet combined

Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam today to mark the annual meeting of political and business leaders in Davos.

This didn’t happen by accident.  Sadly, most people don’t even understand that this is literally what our system was designed to do.

Today, more than 99 percent of the population of the planet lives in a country that has a central bank.  And debt-based central banking is designed to get national governments trapped in endless debt spirals from which they can never possibly escape.

For example, just consider the Federal Reserve.  During the four decades before the Federal Reserve was created, our country enjoyed the best period of economic growth in U.S. history.  But since the Fed was established in 1913, the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen by approximately 98 percent and the size of our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

It isn’t an accident that we are 20 trillion dollars in debt.  The truth is that the debt-based Federal Reserve is doing exactly what it was originally designed to do.  And no matter what politicians will tell you, we will never have a permanent solution to our debt problem until we get rid of the Federal Reserve.

In 2017, interest on the national debt will be nearly half a trillion dollars.

That means that close to 500 billion of our tax dollars will go out the door before our government spends a single penny on the military, on roads, on health care or on anything else.

And we continue to pile up debt at a rate of more than 100 million dollars an hour.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government will add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt once again in 2018…

Unless current laws are changed, federal individual income tax collections will increase by 9.5 percent in fiscal 2018, which begins on Oct. 1, according to data released today by the Congressional Budget Office.


At the same time, however, the federal debt will increase by more than $1 trillion.

We shouldn’t be doing this, but we just can’t seem to stop.

Let me try to put this into perspective.  If you could somehow borrow a million dollars today and obligate your children to pay it off for you, would you do it?

Maybe if you really hate your children you would, but most loving parents would never do such a thing.

But that is precisely what we are doing on a national level.

Thomas Jefferson was strongly against government debt because he believed that it was a way for one generation to steal from another generation.  And he actually wished that he could have added another amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would have banned government borrowing…

“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”

And the really big secret that none of us are supposed to know is that governments don’t actually have to borrow money.

But if we start saying that too loudly the people that are making trillions of dollars from the current system are going to get very, very upset with us.

Today, we are living in the terminal phase of the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet.  Every debt bubble eventually ends tragically, and this one will too.

Bill Gross recently noted that “our highly levered financial system is like a truckload of nitro glycerin on a bumpy road”.  One wrong move and the whole thing could blow sky high.

When everything comes crashing down and a great crisis happens, we are going to have a choice.

We could try to rebuild the fundamentally flawed old system, or we could scrap it and start over with something much better.

My hope is that we will finally learn our lesson and discard the debt-based central banking model for good.

The reason why I am writing about this so much ahead of time is so that people will actually understand why the coming crisis is happening as it unfolds.

If we can get everyone to understand how we are being systematically robbed and cheated, perhaps people will finally get mad enough to do something about it.

          On This Day in Math - June 30   

You know we all became mathematicians for the same reason: 
we were lazy. 
Max Rosenlicht

The 181st day of the year; 181 is the 9th palindromic prime number.

and the 181-digit palindromic number made up of all 7's except for the center being 181 (7777...7718177...77777) is a palindromic prime with a palindromic prime decimal length.

181 is the both the difference and the sum of consecutive squares:
\( 181 = 91^2 – 90^2 = 9^2 + 10^2 \)

 Every natural number greater than 181 can be written as sum of cubes of the first two primes. (students might be asked to find all examples of numbers less than 181 that can be written in this fashion, such as 35= 23 + 33)

1686 The Royal Society made the decision to publish De Historia Piscium, a lavishly-illustrated history of fishes by John Ray and Francis Willughby. The books was beautiful, but turned out to be such a poor seller that the Society almost went bankrupt. At one point Edmond Halley's salary could not be paid during the same period when he was trying to get Newton to complete his epic masterpiece, The Principia. Fortunately for science, Halley accepted a deal for something like one-hundred copies of the fish book, and then mostly funded the publication of Newton's classic himself over the next year. I don't know if Halley ever managed to sell any of the De Historia Piscium that he took in lieu of salary. *PB old notes.

1737 John Harrison, after positive results on the test of his first sea-clock, receives the first money awarded by the Board of Longitude (23 years after the Act to create the Board). Harrison received 500 Pounds, 250 Pounds to be paid immediately, and another 250 Pounds after completing a second clock that passes testing at sea. *Derek Howse, Britain's Board of Longitude: The Finances 1714-1828

1742 Euler replied (see June 7 post) in a letter dated 30 June 1742, and reminded Goldbach of an earlier conversation they had (" Ew vormals mit mir communicirt haben.."), in which Goldbach remarked his original (and not marginal) conjecture followed from the following statement, “Every even integer greater than 2 can be written as the sum of two primes,” which is thus also a conjecture of Goldbach. In the letter dated 30 June 1742, Euler stated:“Dass ... ein jeder numerus par eine summa duorum primorum sey, halte ich für ein ganz gewisses theorema, ungeachtet ich dasselbe necht demonstriren kann.” ("every even integer is a sum of two primes. I regard this as a completely certain theorem, although I cannot prove it.")*Wik
As of this date, no one else has proved it either. It is one of the oldest open questions in mathematics.

1812 Congress authorized the President of the US to issue interest bearing Treasury Notes for the first time in history.  The interest was fixed at "five and two-fifths per centum a year."  *Kane, Famous First Facts (students might calculate the present value of a $100 investment on that date compounded to the present)

1808 Humphry Davy announced he had separated the element boron. However, working independently, French chemist, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac had announced* the same accomplishment nine days ealier, on 21 Jun 1808.  *TIS

1860 Oxford evolution debate took place at the Oxford University Museum on 30 June 1860, seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Several prominent British scientists and philosophers participated, including Thomas Henry Huxley, Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, Benjamin Brodie, Joseph Dalton Hooker and Robert FitzRoy.
The debate is best remembered today for a heated exchange in which Wilberforce supposedly asked Huxley whether it was through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed his descent from a monkey. Huxley is said to have replied that he would not be ashamed to have a monkey for his ancestor, but he would be ashamed to be connected with a man who used his great gifts to obscure the truth *Wik

1894 Tower Bridge opens, In 1886, the foundation stone of the Tower Bridge in London, England was laid (over a time capsule) by the Prince of Wales. The need to cross the River Thames at this point had become increasingly urgent for many years, and finally the necessary Act was passed in 1885. The bridge, designed by Mr. Wolfe Barry, CB, was completed at a cost of about £1,000,000. To permit the passage of tall ships between the towers, two bascule spans, each of 100-ft length, are raised. The side spans to the towers are of the more familiar suspension type. Pedestrians can traverse a high-level footway nearly at the top of the towers, even when the bridge is raised. It was officially opened 30 Jun 1894, by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, on behalf of Queen *TIS

1905 Albert Einstein's paper, "On the electrodynamics of moving bodies" (special relativity) is received at the Journal Annalen der Physik.
"Einstein develops the special theory of relativity in this paper. His concern, as he makes clear in the introduction, is that then current electrodynamics harbors a state of rest, the ether state of rest, and the theory gives very different accounts of electrodynamic processes at rest or moving in the ether. But experiments in electrodynamics and optic have provided no way to determine which is the ether state of rest of all inertial state of motion. Einstein shows that Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics has in fact always obeyed a principle of relativity of inertial motion. We just failed to notice it since we tacitly thought that space and time had Newtonian properties, not those of special relativity. " *John D Norton, Einstein, 1905,

1908 A Comet(?) explodes above Tunguska, Siberia. *VFR In 1908, at around 7:15 am, northwest of Lake Baikal, Russia, a huge fireball nearly as bright as the Sun was seen crossing the sky. Minutes later, there was a huge flash and a shock wave felt up to 650 km (400 mi) away. Over Tunguska, a meteorite over 50-m diameter, travelling at over 25 km per second (60,000 mph) penetrated Earth's atmosphere, heated to about 10,000 ºC and detonated 6 to10 km above the ground. The blast released the energy of 10-50 Megatons of TNT, destroying 2,200 sq km of forest leaving no trace of life. The Tunguska rock came out of the Taurid Meteor storm that crosses Earth's orbit twice a year. The first scientific expedition for which records survive was made by Russian mineralogist Leonid Kulik in 1927. *TIS

1945 The first distribution of John von Neumann's First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC, containing the first published description of the logical design of a computer with stored-program and instruction data stored in the same address space within the memory (von Neumann architecture)*Wik

1946 ENIAC formally accepted by the government. See 2 October 1955*VFR

In 1948, the transistor was demonstrated by its inventors, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, scientists at the Bell Telephone Laboratory in Murray Hill, NJ.* It was a simple, tiny device utilizing the electronic semiconducting properties of a germanium wafer. The transistor represented a significant advance in technology. As it was developed over the next few years, it was incorporated into electronic equipment as a functional replacment for the vacuum tube. Such use of transistors provided great savings in space and electrical power consumption. This made possible the small portable, battery-powered transistor radios which were sold to the public by late 1954.*TIS

1954 Solar eclipse in Britain. The about 3 minutes totality was visible in the Faroes and the southern line was crossing the northernmost Shetland. Many people in England do remember this eclipse and is often mistaken as total for those who saw a large partial eclipse. The eclipse track traveled across Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Byelorussia, and Russia. *NSEC

1955 Sperry Rand formed. In 1955 Sperry acquired Remington Rand and renamed itself Sperry Rand. Acquiring then Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation and Engineering Research Associates along with Remington Rand, the company developed the successful UNIVAC computer series and signed a valuable cross-licensing deal with IBM. *Wik

1972 The International Time Bureau adds the first leap second to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). *Wik

A group of scientist boarded a prototype French Concorde airplane to chase a solar eclipse. The eclipse promised a luxurious view if you stood at the right place on the planet: a maximum of 7 minutes and 4 seconds as the moon passed over the Sahara Desert. It would be just 28 seconds short of the longest possible eclipse viewable from Earth; in the preceding several hundred years, there had only been one eclipse longer than this one, and there would not be a longer total solar eclipse until June 2150. Not satisfied with one of the longest eclpises in recent history, the group managed to negotiate a viewing flight on the still in testing Concorde. Closing in at maximum velocity, Concorde would swoop down from the north and intercept the shadow of the moon over northwest Africa. Traveling together at almost the same speed, Concorde would essentially race the solar eclipse across the surface of the planet, giving astronomers an unprecedented opportunity to study the various phenomena made possible by an eclipse. In one flight, Concorde had given astronomers more eclipse observing time than all the previous expeditions last century—generating three articles in Nature and a wealth of new data. *Motherboard

2011 Mr Ballew finally hung up his spurs and rode off into the sunset with his sweetheart, Jeannie.

2015 A Leap second is added to the clock in the last second before 8pm, so there will be a minute with 61 seconds. Between 1972 and 2012, a leap second has been inserted about every 18 months, on average. However, the spacing is quite irregular and apparently increasing: there were no leap seconds in the seven-year interval between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2005, but there were nine leap seconds in the eight years 1972–1979. *Wik


1748  Dominique Cassini (30 June 1748 – 18 October 1845)  was a French mathematician and surveyor who worked on his father's map of France.  He was the son of César-François Cassini de Thury and was born at the Paris Observatory. In 1784 he succeeded his father as director of the observatory; but his plans for its restoration and re-equipment were wrecked in 1793 by the animosity of the National Assembly. His position having become intolerable, he resigned on September 6, and was thrown into prison in 1794, but released after seven months. He then withdrew to Thury, where he died fifty-one years later.
He published in 1770 an account of a voyage to America in 1768, undertaken as the commissary of the French Academy of Sciences with a view to testing Pierre Le Roy’s watches at sea. A memoir in which he described the operations superintended by him in 1787 for connecting the observatories of Paris and Greenwich by longitude-determinations appeared in 1791. He visited England for the purposes of the work, and saw William Herschel at Slough. He completed his father’s map of France, which was published by the Academy of Sciences in 1793. It served as the basis for the Atlas National (1791), showing France in departments.
Cassini’s Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de l’observatoire de Paris (1810) embodied portions of an extensive work, the prospectus of which he had submitted to the Academy of Sciences in 1774. The volume included his Eloges of several academicians, and the autobiography of his great-grandfather, Giovanni Cassini.*Wik

1791  Félix Savart (June 30, 1791, Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes – March 16, 1841, Paris) became a professor at Collège de France in 1836 and was the co-originator of the Biot-Savart Law, along with Jean-Baptiste Biot. Together, they worked on the theory of magnetism and electrical currents. Their law was developed about 1820. The Biot-Savart Law relates magnetic fields to the currents which are their sources. Félix Savart also studied acoustics. He developed the Savart wheel which produces sound at specific graduated frequencies using rotating disks.
Félix Savart is the namesake of the unit of measurement for musical intervals, the savart, though it was actually invented by Joseph Sauveur.*Wik

1856 Cargill Knott (June 30, 1856 – October 26, 1922) born. He graduated from Edinburgh University and was then an assistant in the Physics department. With Barclay and Fraser he was one of the writers who originally proposed the founding of the EMS. He went to the Imperial University in Tokyo as Professor. He returned to a lectureship in Edinburgh and eventually became a Reader in Applied Mathematics. He became Secretary and Treasurer of the EMS in 1883 and President in 1893 and 1918.*SAU

1880 Birthdate of Rudolf Fueter (30 June 1880 in Basel; 9 August 1950 in Brunnen) who worked with functions with non-commutative variables and also in number theory. *SAU


1660 William Oughtred, (5 March 1575 – 30 June 1660) inventor of the slide rule (1621) and a staunch royalist, died in a transport of joy on hearing the news of the restoration of Charles II. Augustus De Morgan later remarked, “It should be added, by way of excuse, that he was eighty-six years old.” *VFR an Episcopal minister who invented the earliest form of the slide rule, two identical linear or circular logarithmic scales held together and adjusted by hand. Improvements involving the familiar inner rule with tongue-in-groove linear construction came later. He introduced the familiar multiplication sign x in a 1631 textbook, along with the first use of the abbreviations sin, cos and tan.*TIS

1919 John William Strutt 3rd Baron of Rayleigh (of Terling Place)(12 November 1842 – 30 June 1919) was an English physical scientist who made fundamental discoveries in the fields of acoustics and optics that are basic to the theory of wave propagation in fluids. He received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904 for his investigations into the densities of the most important gases and his successful isolation of argon, an inert atmospheric gas.*TIS

*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIA = Today in Astronomy
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia

Feel Good About the Markets? Maybe You Shouldn’t Read This


Traders outside the New York Stock Exchange. Investors have seemed oblivious to claims of Russian interference in the election, the firing of the F.B.I. director and other political turmoil. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times        

Throughout the turbulence of his first months in office, President Trump has been able to point to one bastion of support: the stock market. Earlier this month he tweeted the “great economic news” he thinks the mainstream media has been ignoring: The Dow Jones industrial average was up 16 percent and the Nasdaq up 19.5 percent since his election. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross maintained that the Trump administration had bestowed $4 trillion in gains on investors.
Investors have seemingly been oblivious to claims of Russian interference in the election, the firing of a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the appointment of a special prosecutor. As the second quarter ends this week, 2017 has so far been a banner year, with major indexes hitting records.
But as the bull market rolls on, some see storm clouds on the horizon. “Valuations are high and it’s one of the longest and largest bull markets in history,” said James Stack, president of InvesTech Research. “Bull markets don’t last forever. So the question is, when will the music stop?”
Investors “are on a knife’s edge,” said Michael J. Kelly, global head of asset allocation for PineBridge Investments. With many still scarred by the financial crisis, “they see a potential disaster around every corner.”

This month the so-called Faang stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, which have led the market’s rally — faced a sudden downdraft, which many market watchers called a warning of turbulent times to come.
On June 14, the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates for the second time this year, a move that was widely expected and barely caused a market ripple. But more ominously for stock investors, the Fed also said it would reduce its $4.2 trillion balance sheet and taper its purchases of longer-term government bonds (though it didn’t say how fast), bringing to an end the quantitative easing it undertook after the financial crisis.
And then there’s Mr. Trump himself, whose unpredictability and erratic behavior still have the potential to rattle markets.
So I asked some prominent investors and market analysts whether they were pulling back from stocks, and how they viewed these latest developments.
A Crack in the Faang Stocks
After some of the Faang stocks plunged over 3 percent on June 9, Goldman Sachs compared them to the leading stocks of the tech bubble. But by the end of the month they’d recovered and were again approaching all-time highs.
There’s no question that these market darlings, which together have accounted for a disproportionate percentage of the market’s gains, are expensive, and getting more so. Price-to-earnings ratios range from 39 (Facebook) to 187 (Amazon). Their market caps are so huge they dominate the indexes.
They show up not only in so-called growth funds, but also in value and low-volatility funds. Should they embark on a sustained plunge, a bear market could quickly follow.
The tremor in June was “a warning shot across the bow,” said Bill Smead, the founder of Smead Capital Management in Seattle. The Faang stocks “are showing all the classic signs of being overcooked,” he added. “What magazine hasn’t had Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg on the cover?
There’s no question this can end very badly. But the market can stay irrational for a very long time.
My sense is that there’s one big blowout rally left in these stocks.”

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange this month as Janet Yellen announced the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates. Credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images       
Mr. Stack noted that the Faang stocks had brief sell-offs last June and October, only to rebound. Still, he said, “the Faang stocks will be among the hardest hit in the next bear market due to the amount of money that flowed into them and the high expectations that have driven them higher.”
But like Mr. Smead, he doesn’t expect that to be imminent. “We’re not buying them, but we’re not necessarily saying sell,” Mr. Stack said. He urged investors to rebalance portfolios that have become too heavily weighted in these stocks.
A Tightening Federal Reserve
Everyone I interviewed agreed that the Fed is the most likely catalyst for the next bear market, but that may still be years away.

“Historically it’s difficult to find a bear market that wasn’t triggered to some extent by the Fed,” Mr. Smead said. “But I don’t think unwinding the long bond position as gradually as they’re going to will have a significant impact. What would have an impact is if the Fed is forced to raise rates faster than everyone anticipates. The Fed has prepared investors for one more rate hike this year. That’s where the potential surprise could come. If we see two or three by year’s end, we’re going to see definite headwinds and maybe a market top of some significance.”
Mr. Kelly said the Fed had plenty of room to maneuver before stocks start to be affected. “We just had a once-in-70-year crisis that left very long scars. Businesses basically didn’t invest for eight years. In tightening, the Fed is acknowledging that a monetary policy built on a very fragile economic backdrop is no longer appropriate. But we’re just getting to the point now where people are crawling out of their shells and we’re seeing more normal economic activity.”
Mr. Kelly said bull markets typically last another three to four years after such a point in the economic cycle, and can even go another eight or nine. “Bull markets die from excess, not old age,” he said.
Mr. Smead agreed. “There’s no question we’re getting closer to normal rates,” he said. “That will be difficult for the stock market when it happens. People will be less willing to be adventurous. But that’s still years away.”
Over at InvesTech Research, “we’re still quite bullish,” Mr. Stack said. “We’re not increasing cash reserves. We are rebalancing towards more defensive and out-of-favor sectors, like consumer staples and health care.”
‘I Wouldn’t Call It a Trump Rally’
“The risks don’t lie with potential charges of obstruction of justice or even impeachment,” Mr. Stack said. “For political mayhem to upset the economic apple cart, it has to irreparably damage confidence at the consumer and business level. So far we don’t see that happening. Consumer confidence and consumer sentiment measures are at 16-year highs, and C.E.O. confidence in April was the highest since 2004.”
Nor have investors given up hope that a Republican Congress will still deliver business-friendly corporate tax reform and a pro-growth overhaul of the tax code, despite the president’s troubles.
At the same time, “Trump shouldn’t be looking to the market for vindication,” Mr. Smead said. “I wouldn’t call it a Trump rally. He’s basically riding on the Obama years. “
His bottom line: “We don’t pay much attention to politics, and that’s been a good thing.”

          Gun law that could change everything   
Pro gun groups in the United States are ramping-up their campaigns, seizing the initiative while they have a friend in the White House, and pressing Congress to pass a series of measures that critics warn would increase America's...
          Machine Learning Style Transfer For Museums, Libraries, and Collections   

I putting some thought into some next steps for my algorithmic rotoscope work, which is about the training and applying of image style transfer machine learning models. I'm talking with Jason Toy (@jtoy) over at Somatic about the variety of use cases, and I want to spend some thinking about image style transfers, from the perspective of a collector or curator of images--brainstorming how they can organize, make available their work(s) for use in image style transfers.

Ok, let's start with the basics--what am I talking about when I say image style transfer?  I recommend starting with a basic definition of machine learning in this context, providing by my girlfriend, and partner in crime Audrey Watters. Beyond, that I am just referring to the training a machine learning model by directing it to scan an image. This model can then be applied to other images, essentially transferring the style of one image, to any other image. There are a handful of mobile applications out there right now that let you apply a handful of filters to images taken with your mobile phone--Somatic is looking to be the wholesale provider of these features

Training one of these models isn't cheap. It costs me about $20 per model in GPUs to create--this doesn't consider my time, just my hard compute costs (AWS bill). Not every model does anything interesting. Not all images, photos, and pieces of art translate into cool features when applied to images. I've spent about $700 training 35 filters. Some of them are cool, and some of them are meh. I've had the most luck focusing on dystopian landscapes, which I can use in my storytelling around topics like immigration, technology, and the election

This work ended up with Jason and I talking about museums and library collections, thinking about opportunities for them to think about their collections in terms of machine learning, and specifically algorithmic style transfer. Do you have images in your collection that would translate well for use in graphic design, print, and digital photo applications? I spend hours looking through art books for the right textures, colors and outlines. I also spend hours looking through graphic design archives for movie and gaming industry, as well as government collections. Looking for just the right set of images that will either transfer and produce an interesting look, as well as possible transfer something meaningful to the new images that I am applying styles to.

Sometimes style transfers just make a photo look cool, bringing some general colors, textures, and other features to a new photo--there really isn't any value in knowing what image was behind the style transfer, it just looks cool. Other times, the image can be enhanced knowing about the image behind the machine learning model, and not just transferring styles between images, but also potentially transferring some meaning as well. You can see this in action when I took a nazi propaganda poster and applied to it to photo of Ellis Island, or I took an old Russian propaganda poster and applied to images of the White House. I a sense, I was able to transfer some of the 1000 words applied to the propaganda posters and transfer them to new photos I had taken.

It's easy to think you will make a new image into a piece of art by training a model on a piece of art and transferring it's characteristics to a new image using machine learning. Where I find the real value is actually understanding collections of images, while also being aware of the style transfer process, and thinking about how images can be trained and applied. However, this only gets you so far, there has to still be some value or meaning in how it's being applied, accomplishing a specific objective and delivering some sort of meaning. If you are doing this as part of some graphic design work it will be different than if you are doing for fun on a mobile phone app with your friends.

To further stimulate my imagination and awareness I'm looking through a variety of open image collections, from a variety of institutions:

I am also using some of the usual suspects when it comes to searching for images on the web:

I am working on developing specific categories that have relevance to the storytelling I'm doing across my blogs, and sometimes to help power my partners work as well. I'm currently mining the following areas, looking for interesting images to train style transfer machine learning models:

  • Art - The obvious usage for all of this, finding interesting pieces of art that make your photos look cool.
  • Video Game - I find video game imagery to provide a wealth of ideas for training and applying image style transfers.
  • Science Fiction - Another rich source of imagery for the training of image style transfer models that do cool things.
  • Electrical - I'm finding circuit boards, lighting, and other electrical imagery to be useful in training models.
  • Industrial - I'm finding industrial images to work for both sides of the equation in training and applying models.
  • Propaganda - These are great for training models, and then transferring the texture and the meaning behind them.
  • Labor - Similar to propaganda posters, potentially some emotional work here that would transfer significant meaning.
  • Space - A new one I'm adding for finding interesting imagery that can train models, and experiencing what the effect is.

As I look through more collections, and gain experience training style transfer models, and applying models, I have begun to develop an eye for what looks good. I also develop more ideas along the way of imagery that can help reinforce the storytelling I'm doing across my work. It is a journey I am hoping more librarians, museum curators, and collection stewards will embark on. I don't think you need to learn the inner workings of machine learning, but at least develop enough of an understanding that you can think more critically about the collection you are knowledgeable about. 

I know Jason would like to help you, and I'm more than happy to help you along in the process. Honestly, the biggest hurdle is money to afford the GPUs for training the image. After that, it is about spending the time finding images to train models, as well as to apply the models to a variety of imagery, as part of some sort of meaningful process. I can spend days looking through art collection, then spend a significant amount of AWS budget training machine learning models, but if I don't have a meaningful way to apply them, it doesn't bring any value to the table, and it's unlikely I will be able to justify the budget in the future.

My algorithmic rotoscope work is used throughout my writing and helps influence the stories I tell on API Evangelist, Kin Lane, Drone Recovery, and now Contrafabulists. I invest about $150.00 / month training to image style transfer models, keeping a fresh number of models coming off the assembly line. I have a variety of tools that allow me to apply the models using Algorithmia and now Somatic. I'm now looking for folks who have knowledge and access to interesting image collections, who would want to learn more about image style transfer, as well as graphic design and print shops, mobile application development shops, and other interested folks who are just curious about WTF image style transfers are all about.

          Duncan, Espaillat Introduce Iran-Hizballah Bill   

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) introduced H.R. 3118, the “Iran and Hizballah Western Hemisphere Prevention Act of 2017” to prevent further access of Iran and Hizballah into the Latin America and Caribbean region and disrupt and degrade Hizballah’s illicit networks operating in the region.

Chairman Jeff Duncan – “Threats from Iran and Hizballah in the Western Hemisphere are well-known. Just this Monday, an individual with alleged links to Hizballah was indicted in Miami for drug trafficking after being extradited to the U.S. by Paraguay. Earlier this month, two individuals were arrested for attempting to provide support to Hizballah in Panama, targeting U.S. and Israeli embassies. This follows the foiled plot in Peru by a Hizballah operative in 2014, the attempted assassination of the Saudi Ambassador linked to Iran in 2011, the foiled Iranian plot to blow up JFK airport in 2007, and the horrific terrorist attacks in Argentina in the 1990s.”

“Congress has focused extensively on this issue with several hearings, visits to the region, and legislation. This oversight work led me to realize that the U.S. needs a clearer vision to address Iran and Hizballah’s activities in the Western Hemisphere. This bill calls for a strategy to more closely align various U.S. government actions on these issues, develop a counter-network disruption campaign, and review relevant sanctions related to Hizballah to assess their use and effectiveness. It will also prioritize engagement with countries in the region to develop counter-organized crime legislation, work towards declaring Hizballah a terrorist organization, and address Hizballah’s illicit networks in the region.”

Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) – “Hizballah is one of the most deadly terrorist organizations in the world and we have witnessed its devastation throughout the Middle East. There are growing threats by Iranian and Hizballah organizations against U.S. national interests in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean, and the Iran and Hizballah Western Hemisphere Prevention Act would allow us to prioritize our bilateral diplomatic response and engagement with regional allies in a comprehensive effort to build our capacity to monitor and prevent hostile activities and security threats by terrorist organizations, such as Hizballah, throughout the Western Hemisphere.”  

*Original Cosponsors include Representatives Michael McCaul (TX-10), Dan Donovan (NY-11), Ron DeSantis (FL-06), Norma Torres (CA-35), Tom Suozzi (NY-03), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Ted Yoho (FL-03), Christopher Smith (NJ-04), and Ted Lieu (CA-33)

*A Section-by-Section can be found HERE.


          Duncan Votes For Immigration Enforcement Legislation   

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jeff Duncan voted for two bills (HR 3003 & HR 3004) to crack down on illegal immigration, increase penalties for deported felons who return to the country illegally, withhold federal law enforcement grant dollars from so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions, and give victims of illegal immigrant crimes the right to sue “sanctuary cities.”

“Two years ago this weekend, Kate Steinle was walking on a pier in San Francisco with her father.  She was murdered in cold blood, allegedly by an illegal immigrant who had already been convicted of seven felonies and been deported five times. 

“Kate Steinle isn’t the only victim of illegal immigrant crime, only one of the more publicized victims.  Earlier this month in Reston, Virginia, an illegal immigrant member of the infamous MS-13 gang allegedly murdered a 16-year old girl who was walking to her mosque on a Sunday morning.   These crimes have become all too common, and are completely preventable if our government did a better job securing our border and enforcing our immigration laws.”

“That’s why I was proud today to support ‘Kate’s Law’ and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. It is time for us to Make America Safe Again. Make no doubt, we have a long way to go to make our country safe from illegal immigrants. We need to beef up interior enforcement and border enforcement, and we need to complete the physical barriers on our southern border as demanded by the Secure Fence Act of 2006. But today’s actions are a good start. I will continue to work with President Trump and my colleagues in the House to secure our country from the threats of terrorism and illegal immigration.”

Congressman Duncan spoke in favor of the bills on the House floor today. Video of that speech can be found here

# # # 


          The search for meaning   

The other day Fresh Air did a conversation with a reporter about the health insurance battle; one item jumped out at me:

DAVIES: This is FRESH AIR. I’m Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who’s off this week. We’re talking with Sarah Kliff about the Senate health care bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to get it to a vote before the July 4 recess but has postponed action because he can’t get enough support for it to pass. Sarah Kliff is senior policy correspondent for Vox and co-host of its podcast “The Weeds.”

When we left off, Kliff had explained that the Congressional Budget Office found the bill would leave millions more uninsured and would increase health

Read the rest

          State Single Payer And Medicaid Buy-In: A Look At California, New York, And Nevada   

An illustration of the US map

Rising insurance premiums, lack of access, uncertainty, and commotion around Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal, have all contributed to the growing discontent and unease surrounding health care reform. Pressure to act continues to mount. Insurance titans Humana, United Healthcare, and Aetna have all rolled-back participation on the ACA Marketplaces. Anthem recently announced that it would exit the Ohio health insurance Marketplace, potentially leaving at least 18 counties without an exchange plan next year. Missouri and Washington State are also facing similar Marketplace participation issues. States such as Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have seen individual market exchange premiums increase more than 45 percent since 2016. Furthermore, participating exchange plans are asking for steep rate increases for next year—averaging between 11.1 percent and 44.7 percent.

These events have contributed to an economic and political climate ripe for disruptive legislation. While Congress and the current administration pursue solutions to address premium and access issues, more states are inserting themselves in the conversation. More than a dozen states have explored options to leverage federal 1332 and 1115 waivers, which would provide flexibility to develop market stabilizing programs and regulatory changes to their respective individual and Medicaid markets. More recently, a few state legislatures have leap-frogged one-off programs such as reinsurance or high-risk pools, and sought to create a truly different market structure. Three states’ legislatures, California, New York, and Nevada, have developed high-profile state-driven solutions to address consumer access and price-related concerns. While state-led waiver initiatives such as those from Alaska and Oklahoma are meant to provide an incremental stabilizing force to their respective markets, the models that California, New York, and Nevada legislatures proposed could fundamentally reshape the framework of state health markets more akin to what Massachusetts did 11 years ago.

State Models

These state legislative developments are essentially falling into two camps, termed “state single payer” and “Medicaid buy-in.” State single payer describes almost any system that creates a single coverage mechanism for health care that is administered through a centralized authority. California and New York fall into this first bucket. The Medicaid buy-in proposal that the Nevada legislature approved did not expand the Medicaid program to everyone, but it attempted to leverage the structure and negotiated rates of the Medicaid program to enable commercial insurance carriers to replicate these features in the private market.


On June 1, 2017, the California State Senate passed SB 562 23-to-14, creating what is known as “Healthy California”—a program intent on eliminating the segmentation of the health insurance market into different coverage types such as Medicare, Medicaid, employer-sponsored, and individual insurance. Instead, there would be a single health care market for everyone. The benefits would be simplified as individuals would not be subject to premiums, copayments, or deductibles. Medical, pharmaceutical, dental, vision, and long-term care would be provided to all residents—including undocumented immigrants—free of charge. The state would seek to pay providers Medicare rates, and a nine-person panel would administer the program.

Experts estimate the program would cost approximately $400 billion per year—double California’s current budget. California could cover about $200 billion from current federal and state spending—including Medicaid and Medicare. An additional $100 to $150 billion would come from what employers are already spending. The additional funding needed could involve a 15.0 percent payroll tax, a 2.3 percent sales tax, and/or a business tax increase.

On Friday, June 23, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon decided to hold the bill within the Assembly Rules Committee until further notice. While Rendon’s actions did not entirely kill the bill, it will not be revived until next year. The bill may have a stronger prospect for passage next year if more thoughtful attempts to address financing, care delivery, and cost controls emerge.

New York

On Tuesday, May 16, the New York State Assembly passed a bill (A.5062) that resembles California’s in several core ways. Universal statewide coverage would be provided throughout the state, and enrollees would no longer be subject to out-of-pocket costs or network restrictions. This is the fourth time in recent history that the State Assembly has passed a similar bill.

The savings or costs—depending on who you talk to—range anywhere from $45 billion in savings to a need for $225 billion in tax increases. A hike of approximately $90 billion in annual new tax revenue appears to be the consensus estimate. Identified funding sources would be progressive payroll taxes and/or non-earned income tax increases.


Nevada’s State Assembly and Senate recently passed a bill that was unique in its own merits but not quite as transformative. AB374—known as “Sprinkle care”—after its namesake State Rep. Mike Sprinkle (D) who introduced the bill—focused reforms solely on the individual insurance market and directed the state to contract with insurers to offer a commercial health plan based on the state’s Medicaid coverage. Employer-sponsored insurance and Medicare would have been maintained, but a commercial insurance product resembling the state’s Medicaid coverage would have provided consumers a new option. The plan would have offered a different benefit structure and leveraged the state’s lower Medicaid reimbursement rates.

On June 17, Nevada’s Republican Governor, Brian Sandoval, vetoed the bill hours before it would have become law. The bill’s failure may speak more to its hasty drafting than its potential to serve as a roadmap for future legislation. While Gov. Sandoval expressed concerns of moving too fast too soon without solid factual foundations, a more thoughtful version of Nevada’s plan could serve as a model for future legislation within Nevada or other states.

Exhibit 1 below outlines and distinguishes the three models.

Exhibit 1: Distinctions Among the State Models

 CaliforniaNevadaNew York
Cost$400 billion per year; $200 billion outside current state and federal spendingUnclear$90 billion in annual new tax revenue
Proposed funding source15.0% payroll tax; 2.3% sales tax; business tax increasePossible use of federal income tax creditsProgressive payroll tax; non-earned income taxes, for example capital gains
Administration of benefitsStatePrivate sectorState
Employer-sponsored insurance continuesNoYesNo
Medicare and Medicaid continue as separate programsNoYesNo
Reimbursement ratesMedicarePossibly MedicaidMedicare
1332 waiver neededYesYesYes
1115 waiver neededYesUnclearYes

Possible Implementation Scenarios

First off, it’s important to note that any single-payer model proposed by California and New York are likely years away from implementation as significant market restructuring and government infrastructure would need to be in place to enact such a drastic shift. Nevada proposed its solution be implemented in 2019, which was aggressive given that much of the plan’s details were not fully developed (the original bill is only four pages).

We foresee three potential scenarios playing out across the state legislative movements: limited adoption, a Massachusetts-like scenario in which the federal government uses a state’s plan as a blueprint for national reform, or nothing happens at all.

Under the limited adoption model, a state such as California passes a single-payer model, and other like-minded and potentially neighboring states adopt similar models over time. For example, one could envision California passing a bill that Oregon and Washington later adopted and tweaked according to the needs of their specific populations. Further adoption would be limited, however, given many states’ reticence to increase taxes, adversely affect their labor markets, and abandon private-sector solutions.

In a Massachusetts-like scenario, a state such as New York, California, or some other state adopts a single-payer model that serves as a template for a federal single-payer approach. Just as Massachusetts provided a roadmap for the ACA’s enactment, a trailblazer state could provide a workable model for an expanded federal government single-payer program.

A final scenario assumes that states either do not pass single-payer or other disruptive models given consumer and business community pushback or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not grant federal waivers necessary to implement the programs. As to the latter point, there will be a host of regulatory hurdles and waiver applications necessary under any of these models, and getting approval could be challenging despite the prospect of increased waiver flexibility within the current administration.

Let us consider Nevada, given that it was likely the least disruptive of the three proposals. The designation of a commercialized Medicaid policy as a Qualified Health Plan and the potential application of federal tax credits toward such a product may have required the use of Section 1332 to apply for a State Innovation Waiver. Alternatively, current federal law prohibits a state from using federally matched Medicaid funding to reimburse a health care provider for services provided to a person who earns more than 138 percent of the federal poverty level or for other expenses that are unrelated to the administration of Medicaid. To the extent that the Nevada Care Plan relied on state or federal Medicaid dollars, the state may have also needed to consider applying for a Section 1115 or similarly oriented Medicaid waiver. These waivers were never crafted, and it’s unknown if the current administration would have been receptive to these changes.

At least for the short run, the “nothing happens” scenario has a high probability of playing out. Other states have tried and failed to create single-payer systems in the past. For example, consider the original Washington State effort in the early 1990s, Vermont’s attempt a couple years ago, and Colorado’s failed ballot measure last year.

Potential Local And National Impact

What would happen to markets if states passed legislation resembling any of these models? The answer depends on the model. In the California and New York scenarios, private insurance companies and brokers would cease to operate within the state. If a single-payer model spread to other states and/or the federal government, then the insurance and brokerage markets would be decimated. It is beyond this post’s scope to discuss in meaningful detail consumer implications associated with the various models. One thing is certain, consumer premium, coinsurance, and copayment responsibilities would either drop completely or be heavily reduced. Accessibility would improve in the sense that more people would have coverage, but it would also depend on agreed reimbursement rates and the percentage of providers who would be willing to accept new patients. Even if a state passed legislation, implementation could eventually become unworkable as was the case in Vermont.

In a Nevada-like scenario, private payers would continue to compete for Medicaid insurance lives as the state leverages aspects of the Medicaid program to reform commercial markets. Brokers would continue to sell group and individual market plans. Employers would continue to offer insurance, although fewer would likely offer over time given the tax advantages associated with qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements.

Regardless of what scenario occurs, the broader industry trend of states engaging in thoughtful attempts to innovate amid difficult market conditions is one that will likely have broader impacts across the country. While the US health insurance system is unique in its reliance on the private market to facilitate and manage health care coverage, much of the regulatory construct of the market is still shaped by the federal government. As more states seek to develop their own unique systems and solutions, we appear to be in a time where states are truly the laboratories of health care policy.

          Democratic Ideas On ACA Improvements; More From CBO On BCRA Medicaid Cuts   

On June 28, 2017, the New York Times reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, facing difficulty in corralling 50 Republican Senators to unite behind a version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, has suggested he might turn to the Democrats for help in shoring up the deteriorating situation under the ACA if he cannot get Republicans in line. If he does so, he may find that Democrats have both a proposed diagnosis and cure for the most immediately pressing problems facing the individual insurance market.

On June 28, 2017, the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions released a joint report entitled “A Manufactured Crisis: Trump Administration and Republican Sabotage of the Health Care System.” The report details how individual market stability is being undermined by the uncertainty created by President Trump’s repeated threats to withhold reimbursement from insurers that are legally required to reduce cost sharing for 7.1 million exchange enrollees, coupled with his ambivalence regarding the enforcement of the individual mandate. The report includes numerous quotes from insurance regulators and insurers from nearly 20 states and nationwide warning that uncertainty regarding cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments and individual mandate enforcement is causing insurers to raise premiums and exit individual insurance markets.

Also on June 28, 2017, Senator Jean Shaheen, joined by 20 Democratic Senators, introduced the Market Certainty Act. (text) This bill would clarify that funds were permanently appropriated to fund the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reductions. It would also expand eligibility for the CSRs, making them available to individuals with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. It would increase the amount of cost-sharing reductions so that individuals with incomes between 100 and 200 percent of FPL would be responsible for only 5 percent of cost sharing on average; individuals with incomes between 200 and 300 percent of FPL for 10 percent, and individuals with incomes between 300 percent and 400 percent of FPL for 15 percent.

Under current law, individuals between 100 and 150 percent of FPL must pay 6 percent of costs on average; individuals between 150 and 200 percent of FPL, 13 percent; individuals between 200 and 250, 27 percent; and individuals above 250 percent of FPL, 30 percent.

Under the Republican Better Care Act, cost sharing reductions would be funded at current levels through 2019 and then repealed. After that, consumers would be responsible for 42 percent of health care costs on average under plans that could be purchased with premium tax credits available to individuals with incomes below 350 percent of FPL. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the deductible for an individual at 75 percent of FPL under the Better Care Act would be half of annual income, and that few low-income individuals would purchase coverage with such little value.

Senator Shaheen’s proposal, coupled with reinsurance legislation offered by Senator Shaheen and other Democrats earlier in June, could go far toward stabilizing individual insurance markets, luring insurers back into markets they have abandoned and lowering premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits for insured Americans.

As noted in the Democratic staff report (and by others), the uncertainty regarding the commitment of the Trump administration to continuing cost sharing reduction payments is a major factor contributing to destabilization of individual insurance markets. (Anthem has apparently announced it is leaving 14 counties in Nevada, leaving 61 bare counties in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, and Nevada for 2018.) Given this situation, a frequently asked question posted at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid website on June 28, 2017, strikes a note of irony. The FAQ describes in detail procedures that insurers must follow to address discrepancies in their cost-sharing reduction payment reconciliation data for 2016. CMS will notify insurers regarding overpayment or underpayment of CSRs for 2016 on June 30, 2017. Insurers have until August 11 to notify CMS of data discrepancies. It is all very technical, but illustrates again that while at the policy level storms are raging in the individual insurance market, at the technical level the engines keep chugging along.

CBO Projects Medicaid Cuts In Senate GOP Bill Would Reach 35 Percent By 2036

On June 28, 2017, the CBO released a supplement to its June 26 Better Care Reconciliation Act cost estimate. The supplement was requested by the Democratic ranking members of the Budget Committee and Finance Committee. It addresses the effects of the BCRA on Medicaid spending beyond 2026. The CBO recognizes the limits to its ability to make very long-term spending projections but does predict how the BCRA would affect spending through 2036.

The BCRA imposes a per-capita cap on federal Medicaid funding growth for some groups of enrollees beginning in 2020, and reduces the cap as of 2025 so that federal funding growth rates for all groups would be pegged to the consumer price index for all urban consumers. CBO had earlier estimated that BCRA’s Medicaid provisions would reduce federal Medicaid spending by 26 percent as of 2026—a $160 billion cut in spending for that year—compared to spending under current growth rates.

The CBO projects that the gap between federal Medicaid spending under the BCRA and under current law would widen to 35 percent by 2036. The CBO projects that Medicaid costs to maintain current services will grow at an annual rate of 0.7 percent above GDP growth in 2027, which will rise to a 0.9 percent annual excess growth rate above GDP growth by 2036. General increases in cost in the health care system attributable in part to new technologies will drive the cost of services higher while Medicaid programs will have to replace federal spending by state spending, cut provider payment rates, reduce benefits, restrict eligibility, or find some way to provide services more efficiently.

CBO believes that dollar projections 20 years out are misleading and thus gives its spending projections in terms of percent of GDP. In the absence of the BCRA, Medicaid spending would account for 2 percent of GDP for 2017 and 2.4 percent by 2036. CBO projects that under BCRA, Medicaid spending will account for 1.6 percent of GDP in 2036, a 35 percent cut. Medicaid would be a very different program in 2036 than it is now.

          What Makes Covering Maternity Care Different?   

The United States has a higher maternal mortality rate than any other developed country, but federal policy makers are considering reducing access to insurance coverage for pregnancy care. Last week, the US Senate released the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, following the passage of the American Health Care Act in the US House of Representatives. Both pieces of legislation would allow states to waive out of the requirement that insurance plans in the individual market cover maternity and newborn care, as part of efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The ACA requires that all individual market health insurance plans cover 10 essential health benefits, including maternity and newborn care. Ever since the passage of the ACA, some people have objected to the maternity requirement, claiming it is unfair to men and some women who do not expect to become pregnant. The maternity requirement seems to be targeted more publicly than other essential health benefits, such as pediatric services, mental health and substance use services, and prescription drug coverage. This raises the question: Is maternity care different than other medical services?

Maternity care is different.

When a woman receives maternity care, the health care services are provided to the woman, but lasting benefits of maternity care affect both the woman and the child. The importance of maternity coverage in improving child health has long been recognized in our public health programs. The oldest federal-state partnership, the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program, has aimed to improve the health of mothers and children since 1935, in part by providing access to comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care. Medicaid has had a special category covering pregnant women up to a higher-income level than other adults for 30 years, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides affordable coverage to pregnant women up to a minimum of 185 percent of the federal poverty level. CHIP coverage for pregnant women technically covers the “unborn child” and not the woman. This is an important distinction because it is a reminder that the intent of the coverage is to improve health outcomes for children. Reducing infant mortality and improving health outcomes for children is an important public health goal that is extended through the ACA by requiring insurance coverage of maternity and newborn care, but it should not be the only goal of maternity coverage.

We cannot ignore the importance of maternity care for the health of women, in addition to the health of children. Routine prenatal care improves health outcomes for women by identifying treatable complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and ectopic pregnancies. Postnatal care screens for postpartum depression and infection. If a woman does not have health coverage for her pregnancy, she may forgo prenatal and postnatal care that could identify risks and help her and her provider take steps to prevent life-threatening complications.

Yet, just as the policy discussion to eliminate access to insurance coverage for pregnancy services occurs, women are dying from preventable complications of childbirth in the United States. A recent study by the CDC Foundation found that 60 percent of maternal mortality deaths are preventable. There are numerous factors besides health coverage that result in the high maternal mortality rate in our country. However, taking away access to affordable coverage for pregnancy care will no doubt place women’s health at risk.

We do not need to imagine what the future of maternity coverage would be without a benefit requirement. Less than 10 years ago, because there was no federal maternity requirement in the individual insurance market, women in three-quarters of the states were often unable to find or afford maternity coverage. At the time, only 12 states imposed a requirement on individual market insurers to cover maternity benefits.

In many states, the only way to purchase maternity coverage on the individual market was by purchasing a rider in addition to a health insurance plan. A rider is supplementary insurance, available for an additional premium cost that provides coverage for benefits not otherwise covered in the base policy. Riders varied but generally cost thousands of dollars a year, sometimes more than the base premium. For example, under a rider offered in Topeka, Kansas, a woman would have paid $9,682 between the annual cost of premiums just for the maternity rider and the deductible for her maternity rider and care. In addition, riders often covered only a small proportion of pregnancy related costs, with annual maximums as low as $2,000.

In its analysis of the House bill, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that maternity riders will cost more than $1,000 a month if states waive out of the maternity coverage requirement. The CBO also estimated that the cost of pregnancy care and delivery will be $17,000 for women covered by private insurance. The actual health care charges, which a woman without insurance might be billed, may be almost double—in 2010, the average billed costs of prenatal care alone was about $6,200. Women could face similar bills for a stillbirth or later-term miscarriage. Without maternity coverage, children start their life in a family in economic hardship because they are born into families facing thousands of dollars of medical debt.

For three years now, women have had options to purchase comprehensive insurance with maternity care outside of employer-based coverage. Many women purchasing this coverage are also eligible for tax subsidies that reduce their premium and cost sharing, making both the coverage and care more affordable. We have moved forward toward ensuring that all women in the United States have access to affordable prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal services. Eliminating the requirement for health insurance plans to cover maternity would place the health of women and children at risk and place financial hardship on families welcoming a new child.

          Minneapolis Just Adopted a $15 Minimum Wage in a Landslide Vote   
City council members credit the hard work of grassroots labor organizations.

The Minneapolis City Council passed a law Friday making it the first Midwestern city to adopt a $15 minimum wage, increasing the salaries of 71,000 workers by 2024. 

With the historic vote, Minneapolis joins a growing wave of progressive U.S. cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C., where the Fight for $15 movement and other grassroots organizations have scored major labor victories.

Before the vote, which passed 12-1, Minneapolis city council members credited activists and organizers from Fight for $15 and Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha for pushing the bill forward. 

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) tweeted a video of himself singing "Money (That's What I Want)" in celebration of the news. 

“Keep it up. We’re going to fight here in Washington, you guys are fighting there in Minneapolis, we’re fighting all over the country so the American people can get a raise,” Ellison said. 

In May, Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, alongside Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Senate introduced a $15 minimum wage bill that has little chance of passing in a Republican-controlled Congress. 

In the face of austerity and social safety net cuts in the federal government, grassroots organizers and activists are looking more and more to local and state arenas to implement policies that combat poverty and inequality. 


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          Missed it by that much: CBO’s Obamacare enrollee lie   

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          House Budget Committee takes step to restoring fiscal sanity with $200 billion of real cuts to so-called ‘mandatory’ spending over next decade   

By Robert Romano 69 percent of the $3.8 trillion federal budget consists of so-called “mandatory” spending. That is, $2.7 trillion of spending that occurs automatically whether or not Congress votes to adopt a budget or even pass a single appropriations bill — a constitutionally dubious process, but there it is. Much of it includes things like Social Security ($910.2 billion), […]

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          Ad tax would be bad business   

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          Op-Ed: Why Trump supports health bill even many Republicans can't get behind   
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          Staycation Fun with the Sounds of SummerFest   

Staycation Fun with the Sounds of SummerFest Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is celebrating the summer with the Sounds of SummerFest!  If you are looking for a short road-trip or a staycation and live near the Washington D.C./National Harbor area, this might just be the right place for you! Last weekend, the Gaylord National […]

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          Measure forces Congress to examine post-9/11 war powers role   
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A stunning move this week by a House panel to force a debate on new presidential war powers revealed mounting frustration that Congress has for too long dodged one of its most important responsibilities: to decide whether to send American fighting forces into harm&apos;s way....
          "The Carmichael Show" Has Been Canceled After Jerrod Carmichael Announced He's Leaving   

Matthias Clamer / NBC

After three seasons, NBC's The Carmichael Show, a comedy built around Jerrod Carmichael, has been canceled after the stand-up comedian announced he's leaving.

“For three seasons (okay 2.5), I got to make a show that I love with my friends. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was 13. Now, I’m excited to go make other things that I love. Thank you to every person who worked on or watched The Carmichael Show,” he said in a statement to Deadline.

In light of Carmichael's exit, NBC and 20th Century Fox, which produces the show, have confirmed it's been canceled. “We are enormously proud of The Carmichael Show and Jerrod's talent and vision to do a classic family sitcom that also taps into issues and relevant stories from the real world," Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, and Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, said in a joint statement. "We thank and salute the cast, crew, and producers — and especially Jerrod — for three critically-acclaimed seasons.”

20th Century Fox TV presidents Jonnie Davis and Howard Kurtzman said in a joint statement: "The Carmichael Show was such a wonderful show that we choose to focus today not on its loss but on the three incredible seasons we had the pleasure to produce. We are thankful to the brilliant Jerrod Carmichael and his talented cast, and to showrunner Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, our fantastic writers and devoted production team. It’s a rarity that a comedy series tackles the social and political issues of the day in such a clever and hilariously funny way. This show was special, and we will miss it."

The news comes weeks after Carmichael took NBC to task for pulling an episode about a mass shooting that was set to air the same day as the Alexandria shooting. “I understand a corporation making that decision, but really, to me, what it says is that you don’t think America is smart enough to handle real dialogue and something that reflects real family conversations and something that feels honest and true and still respects the victims,” he said on Netflix's Chelsea. "To pull that is just criminal. It seems to do a disservice to the viewer, it does a disservice to you, it does a disservice to all of us.”

Season 3 of The Carmichael Show is currently airing on NBC and the series finale is set to air in August.

          White House: Liberal Media Gave 1 Minute to Tax Reform, 353 Minutes to "False Narrative on Russia"   

During the White House press briefing on Thursday, Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders cited data from a Media Research Center study showing that the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news shows devoted 55% of their entire coverage, since mid-May, to "pushing a false narrative on Russia."

During the briefing, several reporters asked Sanders about a tweet by the president, in which he criticized the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe program, and whether  tweeting took attention away from the president's legislative agenda.

Sanders said President Trump often tweets on policy issues but the liberal media apparently do not want to discuss those messages, only the more controversial ones about media or personalities.

"I think the president would love us all to focus on the legislative agenda a whole lot more," she said. "You look at the coverage over the last month of the extended period between May and June, all of the major networks, if you look at their coverage and what they are talking about, they spent one minute in the evening newscast talking about tax reform.

She continued, "Three minutes on infrastructure. Five minutes on the economy and jobs. Seventeen minutes on health care, and 353 minutes attacking the president and pushing a false narrative on Russia."

Those numbers were gathered by the Media Research Center in a June 27 study entitled TV News Is Obsessed With Trump-Russia Probe, which was published by NewsBusters, a division of the MRC.

"I mean look at that in comparison," said Sanders.  "If you guys want to talk about legislative agenda and focus on policy and priorities, you guys get to help set that table."

"Three hundred and fifty-three minutes of attacks against the president and driving a false narrative and one minute on tax reform," she said.  "That's over the course of a month. The numbers don't lie."

The study examined the evening news casts at ABC, CBS, and NBC from May 17 - when Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed - to June 20.

For all that coverage, the study found "353 minutes of airtime devoted to the Russia probe, or 55 percent of all coverage of the Trump presidency during those weeks."

"The networks' relentless coverage of Russia meant little airtime was spent on important policy topics, as the investigation garnered 20 times more attention than the new health care bill, 100 times more attention than the administration's push to improve the nation's infrastructure, and a stunning 450 times more coverage than the push for comprehensive tax reform," MRC Research Director Rich Noyes inhis report.

The networks devoted less than one minute to tax reform over the course of five weeks. The economy and jobs? 5 minutes. New Cuba policy? 5 minutes. Infrastructure spending? 3 minutes.  Climate change got 47 minutes.  But the Russia/Comey investigation was the priority of the networks with 353 minutes in coverage.

"TV's obsession with the Russia investigation flies in the race of what the public says it actually cares about," reports Noyes. "According to a Harvard-Harris poll released late last week, ‘a majority of voters believe the Russia investigations are damaging to the country and are eager to see Congress shift its focus to healthcare, terrorism, national security, the economy and jobs.'"

"Given the disconnect, it should be no surprise that half of all voters see the media as biased against Trump," said Noyes, "compared to only four percent who think the media are pro-Trump, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, with two-thirds of Republican respondents (68%) saying media coverage of the president is ‘poor."

At the White House, Sanders further remarked, "The media's focus on priorities-they don't line up with the rest of America. Right now we've got our economies growing, the stock market is up, unemployment is down, jobs are back and ISIS is on the run. America is winning and that's what we would like to talk about.

"But you guys constantly ignore that narrative."

Disclosure: The Media Research Center is the parent organization of 

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          Israel, American Jewry and Trump's GOP   

Earlier this month Norway, Denmark and Switzerland did something surprising.

Norway announced that it was demanding the return of its money from the Palestinian Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Secretariat, for the latter's funding of a Palestinian women's group that built a youth center near Nablus named for PLO mass murderer Dalal Mughrabi.

Denmark followed, announcing it was cutting off all funding to the group.

And last week, the Swiss parliament passed a resolution directing the government to amend Swiss law to block funding of NGOs "involved in racist, antisemitic or hate incitement actions."

For years, the Israeli government has been urging these and other European governments to stop funding such groups, to no avail. What explains their abrupt change of heart?

In two words: Donald Trump.

For years, the Obama administration quietly encouraged the Europeans to fund these groups and to ratchet up their anti-Israel positions. Doing so, the former administration believed, would coerce Israel to make concessions to the PLO.

But now, Trump and his advisers are delivering the opposite message. And, as the actions by Denmark, Norway and Switzerland show, the new message is beginning to be received.

If the US administration keeps moving forward on this trajectory, it can do far more than suspend funding for one terrorism-supporting Palestinian NGO. It can shut down the entire BDS industry before Trump finishes his current term in office.

To understand what can and ought to be done, it is first important to understand the nature of the BDS movement. Under the catchphrase BDS, two separate campaigns against Israel and against Jews are being carried out.

The first BDS campaign is a campaign of economic warfare. The focal point of that campaign is Europe. The purpose of the campaign is to harm Israel's economy by enacting discriminatory, anti-Israel trade policies and encouraging unofficial consumer and business boycotts of Israeli firms and products.

The US Congress can end this economic war against Israel by passing laws penalizing European states for engaging in trade practices that breach the World Trade Organization treaties. The US Treasury Department can also push strongly and effectively for such an end in its trade negotiations with the EU. The Treasury Department can also investigate whether and how EU trade practices toward Israel constitute unlawful barriers to trade.

Unlike the situation in Europe, where the BDS economic war against Israel is fairly advanced, efforts in the US to mount economic boycotts of Israel hit an iceberg early on due to the swift preemptive actions taken by state legislatures.

In 2015, then-South Carolina governor Nikki Haley became the first governor to sign a law barring her state government from doing business or investing in companies that boycott Israel. Last week Kansas became the 21st US state to pass an anti-BDS law along the same lines. Last month, all 50 state governors declared opposition to BDS.

The second BDS campaign being carried out against Israel is a form of political and social warfare.

Its epicenter is US academia. Its purpose is to erode US support for Israel, by making it politically unacceptable and socially devastating to publicly voice support for Israel on college campuses and more generally in leftist circles.

As is the case with the economic BDS campaign, the best way to defeat political BDS is through state and federal government action. If state and federal governments withheld funding to universities and colleges that permit BDS groups to operate on their campuses, campus administrators, who to date have refused to lift a finger against these hate groups, would be forced into action.

If the US Education and Justice departments opened civil rights investigations against major BDS groups for antisemitic bigotry, campus administrators would finally begin banning them from their campuses.

For many Israelis, the notion that defeating BDS is a job for the US government rather than for grassroots, American Jewish activists, will come as a surprise.

When Israelis think about the BDS movement, they tend to think that the American Jewish community is the place to turn for assistance.

This is not merely incorrect.

As two studies published in the last few weeks show, the notion that Israel can look to the American Jewish community for help with anything is becoming increasingly dubious.

To be sure, there are several American Jewish groups that devote massive resources to combating BDS on campuses. But their actions are tactical.

They fight specific BDS resolutions coming to votes before student councils. They train pro-Israel students to defend Israel to their peers.

While helpful, none of these actions constitutes a serious challenge to the movement.

On a strategic level, the effective moves made to date against BDS have been initiated by Republicans.

Alan Clemmons, the South Carolina lawmaker who initiated the anti-BDS bill in his statehouse and has since gone on to spearhead the state government anti-BDS drive nationally, is a Christian Zionist.

Clemmons didn't act out of concern for South Carolinian Jews. The Jewish community of South Carolina numbers a mere 20,000 members. The state-by-state anti-economic BDS campaign is neither the brainchild of any major Jewish group nor the product of their efforts.

So, too, to the extent that the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress take action to defeat BDS on campuses and in Europe, they won't be answering the call of their Jewish constituents. American Jews vote overwhelmingly for the increasingly anti-Israel Democratic Party. And while making up a mere 2% of the US population, American Jews contributed 50% of the donations to the Democratic Party in the 2016 elections.

This then brings us to the two studies of the American Jewish community and its future trajectory.

The first study was published by the Jewish Agency's Jewish People Policy Institute. It analyzes the data from the 2013 Pew survey of American Jewish attitudes. The Pew survey demonstrated that the Jewish identity of American Jews is growing increasingly attenuated and superficial.

Famously, the study noted that while 19% of American Jews said that they view observance of Jewish law as an essential part of their Jewish identity, 42% said they viewed having a good sense of humor as an essential part of their Jewish identity.

The JPPI study analyzed the Pew data regarding rates of marriage and childbearing among American Jews aged 24-54. The study started with the data on intermarriage. Sixty percent of non-haredi American Jews are married to non-Jews. A mere 32% of married American Jews are raising their children as Jewish to some degree.

From there, the JPPI study considered marriage and childbirth rates in general. It works out that a mere 50% of American Jews between 24 and 54 are married. And a mere 40% of American Jews between those ages have children living with them. In other words, the majority of adult American Jews are childless.

The JPPI study tells us two important things.

First, in the coming years there will be far fewer American Jews. Second, among those who are Jewish, their Jewish identity will continue to weaken.

Clearly, it would be unwise for Israel to believe that it can depend on such a community to secure its interests in the US for the long haul.

The second study shows that not only can Israel not expect the American Jewish community to help it maintain its alliance with the US. The number of American Jews willing to spearhead anti-Israel campaigns is likely to grow in the coming years.

The second study was produced by Brand Israel, a group of public relations experts that for the past decade has been trying to change the way young Americans think about Israel. The idea was to discuss aspects of Israel that have nothing to do with the Palestinians, with an emphasis on Israel as a hi-tech power. The hope was that by branding Israel as the Start-Up Nation, leftists, who support the Palestinians, would still support Israel.

Fern Oppenheim, one of the leaders of Brand Israel, presented the conclusions of an analysis of the group's work at the Herzliya Conference this week and discussed them with the media. It works out that the PR campaign backfired.

Far from inspiring increased support for Israel, Oppenheim argued that the hi-tech-centric branding campaign made leftist American Jews even more anti-Israel. She related that over the past decade, there has been an 18-point drop in support for Israel among US Jewish students.

To remedy the situation, which she referred to as "devastating," Oppenheim recommended changing the conversation from hi-tech to "shared values."

The problem with Oppenheim's recommendation is that it ignores the problem.

Young American Jews aren't turning against Israel because their values are different from Israeli values. By and large, they have the same values as Israeli society. And if they know anything about Israel, they know that their values aren't in conflict with Israeli values.

Young American Jews are turning on Israel for two reasons. First, they don't care that they are Jewish and as a consequence, see no reason to stick their necks out on Israel's behalf.

And second, due in large part to the political BDS campaign on college campuses, supporting Israel requires them to endanger or relinquish their ideological home on the Left. Since their leftist identities are far stronger than their Jewish identities, young American Jews are joining the BDS mob in increasing numbers.

This then brings us back to BDS.

The only way to diminish the groundswell of American Jews who are becoming hostile toward Israel is to defeat the forces of political BDS on campuses. To do this, Israel should turn not to the Jewish community but to evangelical Christians, the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress.

As for the American Jews, Israel needs to stop viewing the community as a resource and begin to view it as a community in crisis. To this end, the most significant contribution Israel can make to the American Jewish community - particularly to non-Orthodox American Jews - is to encourage them to make aliya. Assuming that current trends will continue, the only way non-Orthodox American Jews can have faith their grandchildren will be Jewish is for a significant number of them to make aliya.

No, this won't appeal to all American Jews. But nothing Israel does will. Israel's job isn't to reach the unreachable. It is to protect its alliance with the US and to help the Jews that remain in the room. 

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A version of this piece also appeared on The Jerusalem Post.



          Keeping a Promise to the Polish People   

President Trump has a chance to set things right with America's most faithful ally.


It's unsurprising that the White House recently scheduled a presidential visit to Poland in conjunction with the upcoming G-20 Summit. The U.S. State Department describes this Central European country of 38.6 million people as a stalwart ally and "one of the United States' strongest partners on the continent in fostering transatlantic security and prosperity regionally, throughout Europe, and the world."

What is surprising is that, despite historical ties dating back to the American Revolutionary War, the strong alliance, and a robust domestic Polish-American population of about 10 million, the U.S. government hasn't found a way to treat Polish citizens the same way as it does those living in most other European countries when it comes to visiting the United States. Since it shed communism in 1989 after 42 years of domination and became a free and democratic state, Poland has unsuccessfully tried to gain entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

The U.S. failure to grant VWP status to Poland is an embarrassment to many Americans as well as a major disappointment and irritant to Poles and a succession of its leaders. Poland's former president and Nobel Laureate Lech Walesa described VWP entry as a "matter of honor" for Poland.

In a speech before the Polish American Congress in September 2016, Candidate Trump promised to remedy this problem by making it possible for Poland to become part of the VWP. His promise echoes that of his presidential predecessor, Barack Obama, who promised to do the same several years earlier but didn't deliver. Several previous attempts by U.S. Congress members to legislate a fix to bring Poland into the program have also failed. Congress is now considering The Poland Waiver Act of 2017 (H.R. 2388).

What is the VWP? The U.S. established the VWP in 1986 primarily to facilitate commerce and tourism between friendly nations. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security administers the program in consultation with the State Department. Since its inception, the program has evolved into a security partnership with special passport and security upgrades to detect and prevent terrorists, criminals, and other mala fide actors from entering each country. There are presently 38 countries in VWP, 29 of them European. The program features reciprocal agreements allowing citizens to travel on business or pleasure without visas and no application fees between member countries for up to 90 days.

What has Poland done to gain VWP entry? Three important ingredients for gaining VWP status are national wealth, a high Human Development Index, and a low-security risk. Poland scores well on each count. It has seen its economy dramatically grow to 25th in the world at $1.1 trillion. The 2017 United Nations Development Report classified Poland as a "very high" Human Development Index country with its 78 years average life expectancy, 99.8 percent literacy rate for males and females, and $27,700 plus average annual income. And with its strong American ties, NATO membership, participation in the Afghanistan and Iraq military coalitions, and the general absence of radical Islamic terror attacks on its soil Poland clearly isn't a security threat. Moreover, it has implemented and adopted VWP-related security measures and information-sharing protocols asked of them by the U.S. government.

What is preventing Poland's VWP entry? A provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act which requires a visa refusal rate of 3 percent or less to qualify for the program - and Poland's FY 2016 visa refusal rate according to the State Department is 5.7 percent, which although is a dramatic drop from previous years still doesn't pass the congressionally-mandated program muster. The State Department reported that 186,555 Polish citizens applied for nonimmigrant visas to visit the U.S. for business or pleasure. Each paid a non-fundable fee of $160. Of the applicants, U.S. consular officers refused to approve visas for 10,060 of them.

However, using the visa refusal rate alone to exclude a country from the program can be somewhat misleading. For example, the prime concern for U.S. immigration officials is not necessarily the percentage of visa refusals by U.S. consular officers, but the actual number of nonimmigrants from VWP and other countries who overstay their 90-day visit. DHS's FY 2016 Overstay Report reveals that VWP members United Kingdom had 20,670 suspected overstays; Germany had 18,780; Italy had 14,896; Spain had 11,716; and France had 10,358 compared to non-VWP Poland's 2,787 suspected overstays!

President Trump can take the following actions to facilitate Poland's VWP entry and/or make it easier for Polish citizens to visit the United States. One, he can urge Congress to pass the Poland Waiver Act of 2017; two, he can ask the DHS and State Department secretaries to determine the reasons why Poles are being refused visas at a greater percentage than INA requires and to determine if any legal and administrative remedies are available for Poland to achieve a lower rate; and three, ask the Secretary of State to determine if the $160 visa application fee for Polish citizens can be legally waived - as it has been for VWP member countries and like the Polish government has already done for U.S. citizens traveling to Poland.

One is hard-pressed to find a better friend and more loyal U.S. ally than Poland. For that reason, President Trump should keep his promise and use his leadership ability and/or executive power to ensure this matter doesn't languish in the Federal bureaucracy or Congress any longer. Making it easier for the Poland's citizens to visit the U.S. on business and pleasure would further cement the bilateral relationship and surely please millions of them and their American cousins.

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A version of this piece also appeared on

          State Officials Make Legal Threat Against DACA   

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state Republican attorneys general sent a letter Thursday threatening to sue if the Trump administration does not “phase out” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, under which more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, many of them now college students, have obtained two-year, renewable work permits and protection against deportation.

Trump has sent mixed messages about the DACA program, which was established by former President Obama in 2012. During the campaign Trump said that he would “immediately terminate” what he described as an “illegal executive amnesty” program. Since his election he has softened his tone and said he would deal with DACA “with heart,” but he has not pledged to continue it. A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security said earlier this month that the program “continues to be under review with the administration.”

The 10 attorneys general that sent the letter threatening to sue over DACA were all part of a 26-state coalition that sued over another Obama-era program known as DAPA, which would have extended DACA-like protections to parents of American citizens and permanent residents. The Trump administration earlier this month rescinded the DAPA program, which was blocked by court order from ever going into this effect, saying there was "no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy."

In rescinding DAPA, however, DHS clarified that current beneficiaries of DACA will continue to be eligible to seek a two-year extension of their status upon expiration and that “no work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates.”

In the letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the 10 state attorneys general said that if the administration refuses to phase out the program, which they describe as "unlawful" in that it "unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress," they will amend their lawsuit against DAPA to challenge the DACA program as well.

Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, condemned the attorneys general who sent the letter, saying in a statement that "their evident xenophobia is not remotely consistent with the trajectory of our nation's history and future progress."

"MALDEF urges the president not to cave in to the toothless threat in today's Texas letter," Saenz said. "Presidential authority does constitutionally extend to protecting DACA recipients, whom the president has repeatedly declared worthy of protection. We urge the president to fight to vindicate that authority."

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          Gov. Hutchinson says major change needed in Senate health legislation   
Gov. Asa Hutchinson outlined four major changes he'd like to see in Republican-backed health legislation pending in the Senate.

In short, he said — if in more diplomatic words — the bill as written would be devastating to Arkansas. Hutchinson chose to put it more kindly. He said the Senate was moving in "the right direction" and said "the status quo is not acceptable."

But he added: "There have to be significant changes in the current draft in order to give states like Arkansas options for the future and to continue coverage and not have a $500 million per year gap in our economy."

He said he'd spoken to Arkansas's senators about this, but referred questions about their reaction to them. To date, Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman have resisted saying much of anything about the legislation, though Cotton was one of 13 white male Republicans who participated in the secret drafting.

The shortcomings have been self-evident for some time in states like Arkansas that took advantage of the Medicaid expansion provided through the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. House-passed and Senate-proposed legislation would obliterate the Medicaid expansion and also severely restrict traditional Medicaid coverage for the elderly and disabled by going to per capita distributions to states. Both changes would devastate Arkansas, with a large traditional Medicaid population and more than 300,000 people now covered by the Medicaid expansion. Hutchinson said the state was already making changes to reduce costs and state cooperation should be a goal of congressional action. Some 60,000 would lose coverage by reducing coverage for those making 138 percent of the poverty level to 100 percent and by instituting work rules.

Hutchinson suggested these changes in what's under consideration:

* Exempt those elderly, blind and disabled covered by traditional Medicaid from the per capita cap on spending. Otherwise, the cost would be shifted to the state, he said. (He said later it was OK to put children's coverage, Arkids, under a per capital program because they were generally lower cost.)

* If the federal government moves to block grant funding for Medicaid, Hutchinson said the funding should include in the figuring the Medicaid expansion population. Some states didn't take the money. If the pot is redivided to cover all states equally, those who expanded will lose and those who didn't will gain. "This puts us in a difficult position to manage and maintain coverage," Hutchinson said. If the population is considered, he said, "the state can assume the risk and create savings and ensure coverage of the working poor."

* Senate legislation must "redesign" the tax credits, or subsidies, for those covered in the health insurance marketplace. Hutchinson echoed critics of the Senate legislation who say the subsidies are so small as to be worthless.  "If the subsidy is not sufficient, an individual will decide they can't afford it." He said "there have to be sufficient subsidies to make it work."

* The states must be given "flexibility" on how they spend money received under per capita reimbursements. He didn't specify some examples of what he had in mind. In some states, though, flexibility has meant not providing certain services (birth coverage for example) and measures co-pays, work, drug testing and other sometimes controversial ideas.

Hutchinson acknowledged that the Medicaid expansion, now known as Arkansas Works, by law must end if federal support is reduced. That's not an immediate concern because actual reductions won't occur for several years into the plan now outlined in Senate legislation. "They've given us a long glide path," he said.

Timing noted: Hutchinson finally weighed in with criticisms that have been voiced for weeks by many others following a week in which the Senate leadership's plan for a quick vote on the GOP fill apart because of he couldn't keep all Republican senators on board.

Noted too: Hutchinson refused to talk taxes — either those to pay for his expanded vision of health coverage and the windfall for the wealthy envisioned in the pending bill.

Just yesterday, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families gave some idea of the blow the Senate bill would deliver to rural health care.

          GOP bill would cut Medicaid by 35%, but...   
Braggart accountant and WI US Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Stupidville), calculates his party's Medicaid bill cuts this way: "I don't think anybody is proposing any cuts.
Ron Johnson, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
You can read the latest Congressional Budget Office analysis that points to Medicaid spending cuts escalating from 26% to an eventual 35% in this Washington Post story.

          Congress To Holder: Quit   
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          Sen. Cory Booker On Health Care And The Democrats' Future   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: With Republican senators delaying a vote on their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, many lawmakers on the left now see an opportunity, among them New Jersey's Cory Booker. Just outside the Capitol the other evening, Senator Booker and Congressman John Lewis were chatting about health care. And before long, a crowd gathered around with concerns of their own. CORY BOOKER: And it was just a beautiful night. There was something magical about it in the sense that it was spontaneous, but so authentic in the sense that I think you could stand on any street corner in America and you're going to have people walking by who have been touched by Medicaid and aspects of this bill that would threaten the gains that they've made or one of their family members have made. INSKEEP: Rachel Martin talked with Senator Booker about whether the Senate Democrats and Republicans can work together. RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Where do you see common
          With The Senate's Health Care Vote Delayed, What's Next For Democrats?   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: To health care now - both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are complaining that they aren't working together. Here's Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaking on the Senate floor yesterday. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) MITCH MCCONNELL: It's unfortunate that our Democratic colleagues refuse to work with us in a serious way to comprehensively address Obamacare's failures in the seven years since they passed it. MARTIN: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had this response. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) CHUCK SCHUMER: We Democrats are genuinely interested in finding a place where our two parties can come together on health care. MARTIN: So what is the next move for the Democrats? Tom Perez is the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He's with us in the studio. Thanks for coming in this morning. TOM PEREZ: Always a pleasure. MARTIN: Do congressional Democrats really want to work with Republicans to try to
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          The health of a hospital   
The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

When Arkansas expanded Medicaid in 2014, Mike Haynes signed up for health insurance for the first time in his adult life. "Before that, I really couldn't afford it," he said. "One income in the state of Arkansas is very tough when you're raising two children. I did it, but I couldn't afford fringe benefits, so to speak. I had to feed my kids and put clothes on them."

Haynes, 63, is a real estate agent in Mountain Home. His children are grown now, but things remain tight. "We're eating bologna, not steak," he said. His wife has multiple sclerosis and can no longer work (she qualifies for the traditional Medicaid program through her disability benefits), and Haynes' income fluctuates dramatically with the housing market. In 2014, "paychecks were few and far between," he said, and he signed up for coverage under the state's Medicaid expansion, which offers coverage to Arkansans who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (that's $16,400 for an individual or $33,600 for a family of four).

A year later, his wife encouraged him to go in for a routine physical, and he ended up being diagnosed with prostate cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma. "It was an eye-opener, extremely scary," Haynes said. "All of a sudden your whole world changes."

The doctor told him that if he hadn't come in, he had two years left to live. Now, he's in remission after a dozen sessions of chemotherapy. "I can't stress enough how much it meant to me to have coverage," Haynes said. "I knew I wasn't going to lose my house and everything else." Before getting coverage, Haynes had always avoided going to the doctor because he assumed he wouldn't be able to pay the medical bills, and he said he would never have gone in the first place without health insurance.

"Two things saved my life: Obamacare and my wife," Haynes said. "That's the truth."

Haynes has been able to get his treatment at Mountain Home's Baxter Regional Medical Center, recently named one of the top 100 rural and community hospitals in the nation by the National Rural Health Association.

The Medicaid expansion has been just as vital to Arkansas's rural hospitals as it has been to patients like Haynes, said Ron Peterson, Baxter Regional's CEO. The reduction in uncompensated care has led to a $4.2 million annual positive impact for the hospital, Peterson said. "The expansion meant the difference between us running in the red vs. running in the black," he said.

Arkansas is one of 31 states — few in the South — that expanded Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults like Haynes as part of the Affordable Care Act. The state used a unique approach known as the private option — later rebranded "Arkansas Works" — which uses Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance for the newly eligible population. The federal government pays for most of the costs through funds made available by the ACA.

The ACA's crafters essentially made a deal with hospitals: The ACA cut Medicare reimbursements, but the reduction in uncompensated care through the Medicaid expansion helped offset some of those cuts. Without that offsetting boost, some of the state's smaller rural hospitals might not be able to survive. A hospital like Baxter — the fifth most Medicare-reliant hospital in the nation, according to Moody's, thanks to the community's significant proportion of retirees — would be forced to make dramatic cuts in services without the Medicaid offset. "The expansion of Medicaid through Arkansas Works is one of the key components that's been able to help us through the change in the ACA," Peterson said. "Not just Baxter, but it helps all of rural Arkansas."

The political future of the Medicaid expansion, however, remains dicey. State Sen. Scott Flippo, a Republican who represents the area, campaigned on ending the program and has voted multiple times for unsuccessful attempts to defund it in the Arkansas legislature. Meanwhile, the American Health Care Act, the bill backed by President Trump and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, would end the ACA's enhanced funding for new and returning enrollees beginning in 2020, effectively ending the Medicaid expansion program. Trump won Baxter County with 74 percent of the vote.

Peterson said that he was hopeful that the AHCA proposal would be amended further, but as it stands, the phase-out of the Medicaid expansion "would be devastating to our hospital, and I think it would be extremely bad news for all rural hospitals."

It can be a challenge to explain the value of Medicaid expansion amid the always thorny politics of the national health care debate, Peterson said. "I think that people in Mountain Home really appreciate the hospital and appreciate the services that are provided here," he said, pointing to significant giving from the community to the Baxter Regional Hospital Foundation and the more than 500 volunteers who give more than 80,000 hours of their time every year. "They want to see this hospital succeed. I just don't think they see the tie and the connection with the Medicaid expansion."

Baxter Regional is by far the largest employer in the community, employing 1,600 individuals; its payroll is more than $70 million. Outside of the hospital, opportunities for professionals are few and far between, Dan Greer, a network analyst at Baxter Regional, said. Greer has worked at Baxter Regional for nine years; before that, he worked at the Baxter Bulletin, but lost that job after the newspaper was downsized. "If it wasn't for the hospital being here, I would have been gone," he said.

If the Medicaid expansion ended, Peterson said, "You're looking at easily 200-300 jobs eliminated out of the community. That may not sound dramatic, but it's dramatic in a community of our size."

Baxter Regional's mission is to remain independent and as comprehensive as possible, Peterson said, both of which would also be threatened if the hospital took a financial hit from the elimination of Medicaid expansion. "We believe that having that local input and that local control helps us be more community-driven and make sure we're meeting the needs of the community," he said. "And we try to provide urban medicine in a rural setting. Just because you live in a rural area should not mean you should not have access to quality care."

Baxter Regional offers cardiac surgery, comprehensive oncology services and 30 different specialties; this summer, the hospital will start offering neurosurgery. As a Level III trauma center, the hospital has the resources to provide care for most traumatic injuries.

"You can't measure the value on that," said Dr. Brad Shultz, a physician in the emergency room, where the hospital sees 30,000 patients a year. "The sick, aged population we have, if we didn't have the specialists, we couldn't buy enough ambulances to keep them all transferred."

That transport itself can be a dangerous part of medical care. "Every time they're exposed to a new health care setting, it's adding risk to their situation," Gerald Cantrell, the hospital's paramedic director, said. In nonemergency situations, meanwhile, a multiple-hour drive may discourage patients from seeking the care they need.

"We're fairly isolated," Peterson said. "The next hospital that has all the types of services that we have is at least two hours away."

The hospital has invested in technology to deliver high-quality care to its isolated community. In its intensive care unit, the hospital has an "electronic ICU" that provides 24-7 access to intensive care specialists in St. Louis. Its radiology department was one of the first in the state to use 3D tomosynthesis for mammography, which is more accurate and leads to fewer call backs, and the first in the nation to develop a mobile 3D tomosynthesis unit in a custom-made RV that offers screenings in the community. "It allows us to take the mammography out to where the patient is, and helps us get to even more remote areas than Mountain Home," Peterson said. "We're going to the rural community and bringing that technology to them."

The STEMI program (STEMI is the medical shorthand for a severe heart attack) has a coordinated system in place to communicate between paramedics and the hospital to deliver care as quickly as possible — and crucially, Baxter Regional has the cath labs (diagnostic imaging equipment necessary for the optimal treatment of a heart attack) and specialists to provide an immediate intervention.

"A lot of your smaller rural hospitals won't have cath labs," Peterson said; they can offer only less effective clot-busting drugs. "If we weren't the size hospital that we are and started cutting back, you could see people having a heart attack, getting a drug, and being shipped off and not getting that intervention for three to five hours when they need to be getting it right away."

"Arkansas has the highest mortality rates nationwide for death from heart attack," Dr. Kim Foxworthy, the STEMI coordinator, said. "Our statewide mortality rates would definitely be higher if we did not have the technology and facility here. People are just not going to make it."

Just as important, Peterson said, was the hospital's commitment to outreach. He cited the community paramedic program, which offers direct services to high-needs patients in their homes, and four on-site Community Health Education and Support Houses, which offer services for patients and their families for diabetes, cancer, aging and women's health.

Without the Medicaid expansion, Peterson said, the hospital would be forced to make difficult — and potentially life-threatening — choices about what services to cut. That would impact everyone who relies on Baxter Regional, not just those covered by the Medicaid expansion. Servicing a remote community in the Ozarks with a population that isn't growing, it's unclear how the hospital would make up the funding gap if expansion goes away.

"The numbers do not add up," Peterson said. "Unless you want to abandon people who live in rural America."

Haynes, the cancer survivor who got coverage thanks to the Medicaid expansion, said he remembers years ago having to drive more than two hours to Springfield, Mo., to get to a hospital with an incubator when his daughter was born. "That's a thing of the past," he said. "I received outstanding care here. It's a tremendous service to the community."

Haynes voted in the presidential race for the first time last November and, like most of his neighbors, he voted for Trump. "I felt like we were going to be in the same position no matter what Hillary did, we needed some improvements, and I really just wanted a guy that wasn't involved in politics," Haynes said. He said he has been watching the progress of the AHCA with concern, particularly when the Congressional Budget Office found in March that an earlier version of the bill would lead to 24 million fewer people being covered (the CBO is set to issue a new score for the amended version of the AHCA this week).

"I guess I was naive because when he spoke 'change,' in my mind, I thought 'even better,' " he said. "And then as it moved along and 24 million people weren't going to get coverage, I thought, 'What's going on? Am I one of the 24 million?' "

After he wasn't able to work for a year and half because of the cancer, Haynes has just started back at his job. "It'll get better — the economy is getting better, I'm getting better, so I'm very positive about the future," he said.

Haynes said he's still grateful for President Obama. "I'd vote for the man tomorrow," Haynes said. "I don't play politics. But the man did a lot for me, period. Without Obamacare, I wouldn't be sitting here. How would you feel?"

This story was supported by the nonprofit Economic Hardship Reporting Project, part of an initiative to foster journalism about inequality in the South and the Heartland, and is also courtesy of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an independent, nonpartisan news project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans.

          Health care policy FAQ   
What proposed state and federal changes mean for the future of health care policy in Arkansas.

Health care policy impacts millions of Americans, including the more than 300,000 Arkansans currently covered by the state's Medicaid expansion program. The details, however, can get confusing quickly. It's hard enough to keep track of all the names — private option, Arkansas Works, Medicaid expansion, Obamacare, ACA, AHCA. On top of that, it seems like every month lawmakers propose to shift the policy ground beneath our feet. The Arkansas legislature met in a special session earlier this month to approve Governor Hutchinson's plan to alter the state's Medicaid expansion, adding work requirements and cutting eligibility. That plan now awaits approval from the federal government. The same day the governor signed that bill into law, the U.S. House passed the American Health Care Act, which would completely undercut the governor's proposal and threaten the very existence of Medicaid expansion in Arkansas. It's now in the Senate, awaiting a vote.

The Medicaid expansion helped cut the state's uninsured rate in half. What would the proposed changes coming from the governor and Republicans in Congress mean for those who rely on that coverage? Let's take a look.

What is the Medicaid expansion? What is Arkansas Works?

The Affordable Care Act (often called Obamacare) provided funding to cover low-income adults under the Medicaid program. This expansion of Medicaid covers people who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level — that's $16,400 for an individual or $33,600 for a family of four. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that states could choose whether or not they wanted to accept the Medicaid expansion. Arkansas decided to move forward, but with a twist: The state obtained a special waiver from the federal government to use Medicaid funds to purchase private health insurance for the Medicaid expansion population, a policy that became known as the private option. Later, when Hutchinson became governor and continued the policy, he re-branded it as Arkansas Works. Whatever name it goes by — Medicaid expansion, private option, Arkansas Works — the program covers more than 300,000 Arkansans, with most of the costs covered by the federal government through the ACA.

How will Hutchinson's proposed alterations to the Medicaid expansion change who is eligible?

Hutchinson, with the legislature's backing, is seeking permission from the federal government to limit eligibility for Arkansas Works to households at or below the federal poverty line (that's $11,880 for an individual or $24,300 for a family of four). That would mean that current beneficiaries who make between 100-138 percent of the FPL — more than 60,000 of the state's working poor — would be removed from the program.

Assuming the ACA remains in place, what options will those cut from coverage under the governor's plan have for health insurance?

Most of the 60,000 people who would lose Arkansas Works coverage would be eligible for the ACA's Health Insurance Marketplace, often called the exchange, where they can buy subsidized health insurance. The ACA provides income-based premium tax credits and cost-sharing reduction subsidies that keep premiums, co-pays and deductibles relatively low.

Others will not be able to get subsidized coverage on the exchange, because their employer offers them health insurance (the state Department of Human Services estimates this applies to 20 percent of the beneficiaries in the 100-138 FPL group). If that employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) meets two tests — it's considered "affordable" under the law and meets a "minimum value" standard in terms of coverage — then they are barred from getting the premium credits and cost-sharing reductions that would make coverage on the exchange affordable for them. Those who fall into this category would typically face higher costs and receive less generous coverage if they switch to ESI.

Will the working poor have to pay more under the governor's plan?

The governor has claimed that the 60,000 people being removed from the Medicaid rolls "will not lose access to coverage" and would get "the same level of financial support that they have now." In fact, those beneficiaries will pay more than they do today — sometimes much more — and coverage will be skimpier for many.

Under the terms of its Arkansas Works agreement with the federal government, the state is allowed to charge beneficiaries who make between 100-138 percent of the FPL premiums up to 2 percent of their household income. However, currently, the state charges a flat rate of $13 per month.

On the exchange, premiums for plans equivalent to Arkansas Works are designed to be equal to 2 percent of household income (because of the federal subsidies, that's what this group will have to pay for premiums regardless of whether the unsubsidized premium that insurance companies charge for the plan goes up or down). That's significantly more than $13 per month. An individual right at the poverty line would have to pay up to $20 a month in premiums. An individual who makes 138 percent of the FPL would have to pay up to $27 per month. Meanwhile, larger family sizes will have larger incomes in order to fall in the 100-138 FPL range. So a single mother of three, for example, who is right at the poverty line, would be on the hook for $40 per month premiums on the exchange; if she was at 138 percent of the FPL, she would be on the hook for $56 per month premiums.

For those who have to move to ESI plans, the premium increase will be even more dramatic. For an ESI plan to be deemed affordable, premiums cannot exceed 9.69 percent of household income. That means that a plan could have premiums nearly five times what someone was paying under the 2 percent max allowable under Arkansas Works (and even more than that compared to the flat $13 premiums that the program is imposing this year). Under the Medicaid rules in the Arkansas Works waiver, an individual living at the poverty line could be charged no more than $20 monthly; the most that a single mother of three could be charged is $40. But if those same beneficiaries get insurance through a plan at work, they could face employee-contribution premiums of up to $95 or $195, respectively, and would then not be allowed to shop on the exchange. They would have to find a way to pay those premiums or go without health insurance.

What happens if people don't pay premiums?

If people are unable to pay their premiums under Arkansas Works, they don't lose their coverage; they incur a debt to the state, which likely isn't collectible unless the individual has a state tax refund from which to withhold. On the other hand, if people are unable to pay their premiums on the exchange, they'll be booted off of coverage and become uninsured for the remainder of the year. These premiums are relatively small, but this is a population with almost no disposable income. Forty dollars a month may not sound like a lot, but for a family of four at the poverty line, that could be the difference in getting enough groceries to go around. Currently, only 25 percent of these beneficiaries are paying the $13 premiums each month. If they struggle to keep up with premiums on the exchange, they'll end up without coverage.

Will the working poor get the same level of coverage under the governor's plan?

Those who are sent to the exchange will get plans that have a similar amount of coverage to the plans on Arkansas Works, though that coverage may take different forms (for example, they might have deductibles, whereas Arkansas Works only has co-pays). However, there is one key difference, which will lead to many having to pay more out of pocket on the exchange plans. Under Arkansas Works, Medicaid rules impose a strict limit on the total amount that beneficiaries can be charged between premiums and cost-sharing (it cannot exceed 5 percent of monthly or quarterly income). There is no such rule on the exchange, and while there are out-of-pocket limits, the total amount that beneficiaries have to pay could exceed 5 percent of income.

For example, consider an individual who makes $12,500 a year: If she was being charged premiums at 2 percent of her income, the most that she could be charged in cost-sharing under Arkansas Works on a monthly basis is $35. Over the course of the year, that would work out to $360. If that same individual was on the exchange, the available plans average nearly twice that, $660.94, as an out-of-pocket maximum — and that's only over the course of the year, with no protections for monthly/quarterly charges.

Things look much worse for those who are routed to ESI plans instead of the exchange. For a work-sponsored plan to meet the "minimum value" test, it only has to cover 60 percent of average expected costs, as opposed to 94 percent under Arkansas Works. That could mean $5,000 deductibles or $7,000 out-of-pocket maximums, expenses that many people in this population could not realistically afford to pay.

Will the governor's plan increase the uninsured rate in the state?

Almost certainly, yes. Many will not be able to afford the premiums or the cost-sharing and will have no choice but to go without coverage. Others may struggle to successfully navigate the system and find their way to coverage alternatives in the first place. Moving this population from Medicaid to other coverage is not as easy as flipping a switch. Sixty thousand people will receive a sudden letter that their coverage has been canceled; many of them have no experience purchasing private health insurance. The transition would require a massive outreach and education effort and excellent communication. The Hutchinson administration has often faced criticism for its failures at such outreach, including a botched eligibility renewal process in 2015 that led to tens of thousands of eligible beneficiaries losing coverage. In similar transitions in other states, even with much more extensive outreach efforts than Arkansas has ever done, attrition was significant as people inevitably got lost in the shuffle and ended up with gaps in coverage.

"Our greatest concern is that tens of thousands of Arkansans will become uninsured because they are no longer eligible for Arkansas Works, unable to afford other coverage, or simply fall through the cracks because of the constant policy changes," Marquita Little, of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, said. (Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families have provided donations to the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network.)

What happens if Donald Trump and the Republican Congress repeal the ACA and replace it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA)?

The AHCA would completely unravel Arkansas Works, as well as Hutchinson's plan for Arkansas Works 2.0.

The Medicaid expansion would be completely phased out, eliminating the enhanced federal funding for new and returning enrollees starting in 2020. Without that funding, Arkansas could not realistically continue to offer Medicaid coverage for the population of low-income Arkansans reliant on Arkansas Works under current law, now numbering more than 300,000 beneficiaries. Forget about Arkansas Works 2.0; Arkansas Works itself would be dead.

Hutchinson said that he hopes the enhanced match rate for Medicaid expansion will be saved now that the AHCA is in the Senate. But even if it is, the AHCA would still completely undermine Hutchinson's plan for the 100-138 FPL population because of the way it changes the subsidies on the exchanges. Hutchinson's plan presupposes that the 100-138 FPL population can rely on those subsidies. The ACA offers tax credits that ensure that the amount people are charged for premiums on the exchange will not exceed 2 percent of income; the AHCA has no such limit and its tax credits aren't based on income. The Arkansas Works beneficiaries that Hutchinson aims to send to the exchange would find themselves faced with premiums that most of them could not possibly afford if the AHCA passed in its current form. Premiums would be even higher for older people in this population because the AHCA would also allow insurance companies to charge higher amounts based on age than the ACA does. Under the AHCA, regardless of how poor the consumer was, the Congressional Budget Office found that the average monthly premium faced by an individual who is 21 years old would be $120; at 40 years old, $200; at 64 years old, $1,216.

Hutchinson acknowledged this problem. "The governor would like to see the AHCA's tax credits increase for the lower income populations to account for this issue and ensure there are affordable coverage options available outside of Medicaid," his spokesman J.R. Davis said.

In addition to drastically lowering the premium tax credits available to poorer and older Arkansans, the AHCA would also altogether eliminate the ACA's cost-sharing reductions, which offer cost protections from co-pays and deductibles to low-income consumers. Under current law, people in the 100-138 FPL range can sign up for plans that cover 94 percent of the average cost of medical expenses; under the AHCA, those same plans would only cover 70 percent. Under the ACA, someone who was sent to the exchange as part of Hutchinson's plan would face an average deductible across eligible plans of $246 and an average out-of-pocket maximum of $661. Under the AHCA, cost-sharing would skyrocket, with deductibles for those same plans ranging from around $1,500 to $3,500 and the out-of-pocket maximum ranging from around $3,600 to $7,150.

What other impacts would the AHCA have on Arkansas health care?

In addition to eliminating the Medicaid expansion and increasing costs on the exchange for poorer, sicker and older Arkansans, the AHCA would also enact hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to the state's traditional Medicaid program (the program that existed before the ACA's expansion), covering the elderly in nursing homes, low-income children, very poor parents, the blind, the disabled and other vulnerable populations. Such cuts would put additional burdens on the state budget or force the state to cut services or eligibility for traditional Medicaid.

Work requirements

In addition to cutting eligibility, the governor's proposal would institute work requirements for Arkansas Works beneficiaries. The Obama administration did not allow work requirements for Medicaid because it said such requirements were not consistent with the purpose of the program, which is to increase access to health care. The Trump administration has signaled that it is receptive to the idea of work requirements, so Hutchinson is trying again with the request.

The details of the work-requirement program still need to be worked out between the state's Department of Human Services and the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but here is the outline of the governor's plan, according to DHS:

In order to continue receiving coverage, beneficiaries must work 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month. If they are not working, they have to participate in job training programs (or potentially certain approved volunteer activities).

Beneficiaries must be in compliance for nine months out of the year. Otherwise, they will be kicked off of coverage and locked out of the program for the remainder of the year.

People aged 18-49 will be subject to the work requirement, and those older than 50 will be exempt. The following groups will also be eligible for exemptions:

Those deemed "medically frail" — the 10 percent of Arkansas Works beneficiaries who have the most intensive medical needs.

Those caring for an incapacitated person.

Those caring for dependent children in the home.

People receiving unemployment benefits.

Those participating in a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program.

Full-time students.

Pregnant women.

DHS projects that around half of Arkansas Works beneficiaries would be eligible for an exemption.

This analysis is courtesy of the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network, an independent, nonpartisan news project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans.

          Senators urge USTR to strengthen agricultural trade in NAFTA   
U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and John Thune, R-South Dakota, a longtime member of the Agriculture Committee, were joined by 15 of their colleagues in urging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to strengthen agricultural trade as the administration prepares to begin negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). "As senators representing states with significant agricultural exports, we appreciate the careful approach the administration is taking to strengthen the NAFTA agreement, while ensuring that no changes are made that could result in harm to U.S. agriculture," the senators wrote. "We look forward to working with you throughout the congressional consultation process to ensure that NAFTA continues its substantial economic contributions to U.S. farmers and ranchers and to the growth of our agricultural economy."
          Want to Help Refugees? You Can Always Hire One. Legally.   
Over the last few months, I’ve had a few opportunities to use my legal background to help shed some light on refugee resettlement. Back in February, I helped Connecticut lawyers introduce and sponsor a resolution at the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting calling for Congress to provide legal protections and sufficient funding for refugee resettlement.... Continue Reading
          Retail stands to lose $70 billion over 10 years if food stamp benefits are slashed, and here's who gets hit the most   
2017 has not been kind to retailers, and if one of the Trump administration's budget cuts takes hold, there will be more pain to come. The current Trump administration budget calls for a $191 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — commonly referred to as food stamps — between 2018 and 2028. The Congressional Budget Office said the average food stamp benefit is $252 per month, the lowest level in five years as several rounds of cuts began in 2013. If the Trump administration's SNAP budget proposal passes, the monthly amount will fall by 31 percent to an average $173 a month.
          As Trump Travels To Summit, Congress May Be Reasserting Itself On Foreign Affairs   
Congress has generally followed a pattern of deferring to the executive on foreign policy. For decades Congress has usually let the president take the lead — and take the heat when things go wrong.
          Quest to get Congress to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board heats up   
The Independent Payment Advisory Board has been unpopular almost from the moment it was included in the Affordable Care Act. But now a coalition of 700 healthcare groups is on a mission to get Congress to get rid of it before it’s too late. In an interview with FierceHealthcare, two former congressmen and the leader of a coalition of more than 700 healthcare groups say Congress must act before the August 15 deadline.
          Pregnancies and Fetal Anomalies Incompatible with Life in Chile: Arguments and Experiences in Advocating for Legal Reform   

Lidia Casas and Lieta Vivaldi


Chile allows abortion under no circumstances. Whether it’s fetal anomaly incompatible with life or congenital malformation resulting in little or no life expectancy, all Chilean women are expected to carry their pregnancies to term. In this context, in January 2015 the Chilean Congress began debating a [...]

          New CBO analysis predicts 35% Medicaid spending cut by 2036 under Senate bill   
Medicaid was already a major sticking point in the Senate’s push to pass a healthcare bill, and a new Congressional Budget Office analysis may make Republicans’ job even harder. While the CBO’s original score predicted that the bill would result in the government spending 26% less on Medicaid than under current law, the new report estimates the cut would be even greater—35%—by 2036.
          Happy Birthday, Mr. Bearss!   
  Today, Monday, is Ed Bearss’ 94th birthday. It’s also a great time to contact your U.S. Representative to encourage them to support House Resolution 1225, to award a Congressional Gold Medal to Mr. Bearss, “in recognition of his contributions to preservation of American Civil War history and continued efforts to bring our nation’s history […]
          «Экспоцентр» презентует выставку «Нефтегаз-2018» на Мировом нефтяном конгрессе в Стамбуле   
АО «Экспоцентр» примет участие в 22-м Мировом нефтяном конгрессе (World Petroleum Congress), который на этот раз пройдет в Стамбуле 9-13 июля. Раз в три года тысячи специалистов со всего мира собираются на этом форуме, чтобы познакомиться с самыми современными технологиями нефтегазодобычи и методами управления этим бизнесом.
          Supporting Abortion Rights Is Part of My Pride Month   
CommentaryWomenWhy Supporting Abortion Is Part of My Pride MonthVanessa Shields

No kissing. No holding hands. No casual touching at the convenience store. Do not draw anyone’s attention. Or else they’ll know.

This is my experience as a lesbian living in the Deep South. Anywhere outside of New Orleans, where we live, my partner and I are very careful about appearing too affectionate with each other. I am acutely aware of the possibility of harassment while we are filling the tank at a highway gas station. My androgynous look coupled with a quick kiss from my honey could lead to real danger.

I also encounter fear, but not my own, when I escort patients seeking abortions through a crowd of protesters to get to the clinic. As I approach patients in the parking lot, wearing my yellow vest, emblazoned with “Clinic Escort” on the back, they often ask, “Are you with those people yelling? Am I safe here?” The abuse, shaming, and religious condemnation do not stop once these people leave the clinic.

The vitriol targeting them feels familiar, as state and national lawmakers question their decisions and attempt to limit their rights. This is a stark reminder that so many of our struggles are shared. That’s why celebrating Pride, for me, includes unapologetically supporting safe, legal, and accessible abortion care.

In addition to helping patients get safely from their cars to the clinic door, I also help people in my community pay for abortion care. As a long-term hotline operator for the New Orleans Abortion Fund, I have spoken to many people who are putting off paying rent, cutting back on buying groceries, and selling their belongings because their private insurance or Medicaid won’t pay for this vital health care. This is because the Hyde Amendment, attached to the annual federal budget for 40 years, bans federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. That means anyone enrolled in Medicaid, military insurance, Peace Corps volunteer insurance, Native American health care, and prison health care cannot use their insurance to pay for an abortion.

According to the National Network of Abortion Funds, there are approximately 70 abortion funds across the country. The purpose of the funds is simple: We help fill the funding gap in paying for abortion care not covered by health insurance. Volunteers like me take shifts answering the hotline, returning phone calls, and making pledges to callers to help them pay for their abortions. For many people, an abortion can cost as much as one month’s rent — or more — depending on their circumstances. While clinics do all they can to keep costs low, the bans on insurance coverage create a truly heartbreaking need.

In fact, some people are not able to have an abortion as soon as they would like, simply because they are still trying to put the money together. In Louisiana, abortion care after 20 weeks of pregnancy is no longer available, forcing those who need care at that time to leave the state or carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

Bans on insurance coverage aren’t the only barriers. In 27 states, politicians force people to delay abortion care, and many states mandate multiple visits to the clinic — even though these restrictions aren’t medically necessary and have no benefit to patients.

People may decide to end a pregnancy for many reasons, and once they’ve made that decision they should be able to get the care they need without delay, insult, or needless and harmful barriers.

I tell people who seek funding for their abortion, “You don’t need to explain your decision to me unless you want to. I am here to support you, not judge you.” However, judgment comes swiftly from anti-abortion protesters at the clinic where I escort, as they shove into people’s faces offensive pamphlets and medically inaccurate information. Often, a speaker is blaring the sound of a crying baby. I’ve seen a protester scream at a person of color entering the clinic, accusing them of racism.

At the same time, I am called a dyke and a faggot by one of the pastoral leaders. While I don’t engage, the harassment makes clear to me that the same people who want to push abortion care out of reach also want to stop me from loving and living the life that’s right for me. For these extremists and their counterparts in Congress and the White House, having an abortion is a sin. So is being a lesbian. We bear our stigmas together and, hopefully, lose our shame as we become empowered.

Pride, for me, means being an ally for people who have had abortions — because Pride is about celebrating all the ways we live, love, and build our chosen families. Even after the rainbow flags come down, I will still be supporting abortion rights and meaningful access to reproductive care. Those who want to take away our rights are working together, so why shouldn’t we? Our struggles are shared, and our road to liberation is too.

*I want to hold space for those members of our community who are trans or nonbinary who may need abortion care, which is why I chose gender-neutral language throughout the piece.

VANESSA SHIELDS is a hotline volunteer and clinic escort with the New Orleans Abortion Fund and a nurse for people living with HIV in New Orleans.

          South Africa’s ruling party meets amid divisions over Zuma   
South Africa’s divided ruling party on Friday opened a major policy conference amid disputes over President Jacob Zuma, whose scandal-ridden tenure has prompted calls for his resignation from some of his former supporters. Some African National Congress members who are veterans of the fight against white minority rule boycotted the event because of concerns about […]
          Author Bart Stupak’s New Book “For All Americans” is a Timely Behind-the-Scenes Glimpse of the Inner Workings of Congress during the Passage of the Affordable Care Act   

Recent release “For All Americans: The Dramatic Story behind the Stupak Amendment and the Historic Passage of Obamacare” from Covenant Books author Bart Stupak, Esq. is a riveting insider’s view of the US House of Representatives from a nine-term congressman who dedicated his legislative career to achieving national health care and protecting the sanctity of life. The urgency and relevance of this specific issue in today’s heated political climate makes this a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of Congress and one of the most polarizing topics for Americans throughout the nation to this day.

(PRWeb June 30, 2017)

Read the full story at

          Cumprimento da meta fiscal de 2017 está garantido, diz secretária do Tesouro   
De acordo com a secretária, existem R$ 15 bilhões de receitas extraordinárias em tramitação no Congresso que ainda não foram incluídas nas estimativas da equipe econômica
          Re: Flake? McCain? What Is Your Healthcare Line In the Sand?   
I can't help but think that if Congress and Federal Employees were required to participate in whatever plan they come up would be a far better plan than is being developed for the masses. Maybe its time for us to change the song?
Posted by HeartPatient
          White House Puts More Pressure On Sanctuary Cities To Comply With Immigration Law   
The Trump administration is intensifying its conflict with cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Republicans in Congress are adding to the pressure. Friday is the deadline for sanctuary cities to respond to the Department of Justice.
          Chapter 1: Angry Jesus Pops Saddam Hussein   
Before dawn Juanito Gonzales bounced into the elegant high school boardroom with his magical laptop computer clutched in his hand. He was the smallest senior and the tenor in Shepherd's Vale School's Gospel Quartet, whose performances had made Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Juanito famous throughout south Florida. . . . Among Godley's twelve disciples, little Juanito could instantly lift the big man's spirits. The lad wasn't a native Floridian. The seventeen-year-old from Sugar Land, Texas, had transferred to Shepherd's Vale for his junior year. His classic 1949 Studebaker's upkeep and credit cards were covered by his hometown patron's political connections. Only Godley knew that the same powerful Congressman, Tom DeLay, had arranged the boy's parents' documented immigrant status. The principal understood that Juanito's charm flowed from an ambition to lift his family out of poverty. Chapter 2 also online.
          Conservatives aren't going to be thrilled about Gianforte’s $50,000 donation to press freedom group   
Greg Gianforte isn't doing his re-election bid any favors.

The congressman-elect acknowledged his “unlawful” conduct in a letter Wednesday to the reporter he is accused of body-slamming last month, part of a settlement with The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs that shields Gianforte from a civil lawsuit and, paradoxically, sets the stage for him to resolve the pending criminal charge without pleading guilty.

In accepting the deal, Jacobs can’t object if Gianforte pleads “no contest” to his misdemeanor assault charge in Gallatin County Justice Court, a type of plea whereby the defendant neither disputes the facts of the case nor admits guilt.…
          We're teaming up with Forward Montana and Last Best News to deliver Facebook Live town halls with the candidates for Montana's congressional seat. Got a question for the candidates? Let us have it!   
Perhaps you've heard: Democrat Rob Quist, Republican Greg Gianforte and Libertarian Mark Wicks are seeking Montana's lone congressional seat, the one left vacant when President Trump called Ryan Zinke to Washington to head the Department of the Interior. The special election that will send one of these men to Congress will be held May 25.

Across the country, voters sit elections out because they lack access to reliable information about the candidates and issues, and Forward Montana, along with the Missoula Independent and Last Best News, aims to change that.…
          Police, OPC In Closed Door Meeting Over Baddo, Kidnappers In Ikorodu (PHOTOS)   

Top authorities in the Lagos Police Command have summoned an emergency meeting with leaders of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) led by its National Leader, Otunba Gani Adams and other vigilante groups.

The meeting as we were told, is geared towards combatting incessant kidnapping and cultism attacks in Ikorodu axis of the state. Aside, OPC National Leader, Otunba Gani Adams, other present were OPC New Era leader – Mr Rasak Arogundade; the Onyabo leader – Mr Kamorudeen Bombata, as
well as other vigilante group leaders in the area. More photos...

          Before Congress, Aerojet touts solar electric propulsion as key for deep space exploration   
Top Priority Sector: 
Image Caption: 


WASHINGTON June 29, 2017 Aerojet Rocketdyne, the nation’s premiere propulsion provider and a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), advocates Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) as a central element of America’s deep space architecture.

Homepage position: 

read more

          This girls robotics team from Afghanistan was denied visas for a U.S. competition   

A robotics competition team of Afghan girls won't be able to watch their creation compete in person.

They were recently denied one-week visas to the United States to come to Washington, D.C., for the First Global Challenge, a new robotics competition that focuses on providing clean water.

The team twice traveled the roughly 500-mile distance to the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, for visa interviews, but officials denied them.

"I wanted this to happen badly, I really did," said First Global President Joe Sestak, a former member of Congress. "These girls are courageous." Read more...

More about Tech, World, and Other
          U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Statistics for the Fourth of July, 2017   
U.S. Census Bureau Graphic: Population of the 13 Counties and their Representation.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. This most American of holidays will be marked with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues across the country. As we celebrate this Independence Day, we reflect on how our Founding Fathers enshrined the importance of statistics in our Constitution as a vital tool for measuring our people, places and economy.

Following are a few key statistics in honor of the Fourth of July, 2017.


The number of signers to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the declaration. Jefferson, regarded as the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document.

2.5 million

In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.

323.1 million

The nation’s estimated population on July 4, 2016.

$368.6 million

The value of fireworks sales by retailers in 2012.

$5.4 million

The value of U.S. imports of American flags in 2016. The vast majority of this amount ($5.3 million) was imported from China.

For more key statistics, please visit the U.S. Census Bureau's Facts for Features issue the Fourth of July: 2017.

          Peterson Statement: EPA’s Proposed WOTUS Withdrawal   

Congressman Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) made the following statement yesterday in regards to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to withdraw the Waters of the U.S. rule.

“I strongly support the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to withdraw the Waters of the U.S. rule. I am hopeful this action will start the process of bringing much needed relief for farmers, ranchers, rural businesses and local governments,” Peterson said. “Administrator Pruitt committed to me earlier this year that they would make this a priority, and I will continue to do what I can in Congress to support common sense solutions.”

          Comment on Republican Senate restores spending in NASA budget by Cotour   
Related because its about government spending, and government spending is about taxation: I got into a political "discussion" with a lady friend the other day (Read: Loud head to head head butting that ended with a nice hug :) Her big issues? Trump and the "RICH" have too much money and her taxes are too high, and Trump is going to become Hitler! (What ?) I wrote a private little poem for her that preceded this piece but thought it not appropriate to share. "On another subject: 51.6 percent of all taxes collected by the government are from just 2.7 percent of the population, the "RICH". The rest of the taxes collected, 49.4 percent, come from the remaining 97.3 percent of the population. (2.7 % of the population the “Rich” pay 51.6 percent of all the taxes in the country, as per PEW) If you are interested in lowering your taxes there needs to be less government confiscation of it. So if you are FOR, among many other things, universal healthcare (Read: Welfare / healthcare is not a right but a service that must be paid for. Everyone should have it but someone must pay for it), open borders and illegal immigrants being supported by our social welfare systems, a culture of dependency created by political party’s in order to ensure a dedicated voting block to keep them in power, then you are insisting on higher and higher taxation. That is the Liberal / Democrat model. The Republicans have their own issues that create higher taxation. (Both party’s are by nature corrupt) Government, any government, is from its inception a corrupt and perverted operation, that is what was well understood by the Founders of America. All government can be is corrupt, the only question is to what degree. Your personal dislike of Trump is understandable, he seems to be a bore, but his kind of unique personality and skill set is perfect for Washington and its kind of corruption. He is sooo disruptive to the everyday perverted and corrupt business that goes on in Washington that in the long term he will IMO prove a net positive. What is the by design institutional counter balance to any president? The Constitution. Any president can not just do as they please, there are counter balances in the form of the Congress and the courts. Trump is no Hitler, could never become a Hitler. That is a false political narrative. Why? Because the Founders of America understood the nature of man and the nature of man as it relates to governance / government and power. And they designed mechanisms to limit the power of any and all presidents. So instead of spending time worrying about who has how much or too much $$, it might be a better idea to figure out who is spending all the money, your tax money, and limit how they can spend it. NO?"
          Mandatory Vaccines?   

What is behind this whole mandatory vaccine thing? Before I moved my blog to blogger, I posted a bit about immunizations on October 12, 2006. I basically pointed out that the former CEO of Merck, Raymond Gilmartin, gave money to Texas Congressman Henry Bonilla, an advocate of "Shots Across Texas," a campaign to immunize all Texas' infants, a campaign which was triggered by a measles outbreak, and it just so happens that Merck makes two of the most popular measles vaccines on the market.

Now, an article that ran in yesterday's New York Times reports on a new Texas campaign for the mandatory inoculation of all 11 & 12 year old girls with Gardasil, a Merck vaccine that prevents against 4 (6, 11, 16, 18) of the over one hundred total types of human papillomavirus (HPV). The article hints at the political and financial conflicts of interest, but other articles from various sources have detailed the issue and similar pieces of legislature in other states.

About Gardasil and HPV: Gardasil only works in women, so man cannot directly benefit from the vaccine. HPV is a virus that causes warts. HPV can cause genital warts and lead to cervical and vulvar cancers in women, penile cancer in men, and anal, head and neck cancers in men and women. HPV is considered a sexually transmitted disease (STD) because about 30 types are transmitted through sexually contact. So, even though the majority of HPV types are transmitted through casual contact (70+ casually transmitted:about 30 sexually transmitted), HPV is still considered a STD.

Of the 4 types of HPV that Gardasil protects against, 2 (6 & 11) are known to cause 90% of the cases of genital warts while the other 2 (16 & 18) belong to a group of 8 (16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45 & 51) "high risk" types, where "high risk" indicates association with cervical cancer. So, even if a woman (or girl) is vaccinated, she can still become infected with any of the other approximately 24 types of sexually transmitted HPV or 70+ types of casually transmmitted HPV; she can still get warts or cancer. Merck states this point through their advertising of Gardasil, but is the point really getting across? Will Gardasil really be taken as an extra precaution against sexually transmitted HPV, or will it be taken as a substitute for other precautions such as safe-sex and regular medical screenings? Gardasil's marketing campaign slogan is "One Less," used to mean that through Gardasil you or your daughter could be one less case of cervical cancer. I think this marketing campaign makes people think that Gardasil immunizes you against cervical cancer itself, rather than only 1/4 of the types of HPV associated with cervical cancer. And, for that reason, I think people will use Gardasil as a substitute for other precautionary measures.

Aside from the problematic political and financial ties and the perception of total immunity, there are major issues regarding gender, power, control, etc. going on with this legislation. With all these issues running through my mind, I wonder, has someone written an anthropology of the vaccine? I can't find a definitive body of work on the subject, only case studies. Any suggestions on some good articles or books?

          Comment on The World Is Now $217,000,000,000,000 In Debt And The Global Elite Like It That Way by SoCalBeachDude   
<b>There most certainly are Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds and they hold (own) about $5.5 trillion of the outstanding $20 trillion in US Treasuries as required by law passed by Congress. Each year the US Treasury issues more than $7 trillion in US Treasuries which are sold through auctions held by the 20 or so primary dealers of US Treasuries. About $6 trillion of those proceeds are used to repay in full the owners of matured US Treasuries with about $1 trillion in net new US Treasury borrowing each year. The reason that yields (interest rates) on US Treasuries are so low is because the DEMAND FOR US TREASURIES IS NOW QT RECORD HIGH LEVELS and the highest bids in prices win at auctions and prices of US Treasuries are INVERSE TO YIELDS. There are about 3 bids for every US Treasury sold which is why the yield on 10 year US Treasuries is around 2.20%. US Treasuries are owned by MILLIONS OF DIVERSE PEOPLE AND ENTITIES in the US and globally. There is no such thing at all as the "petrodollar" as oil accounts for less than 7% of the annual global use of the US dollar which is used in around 83% of all global transactions for all sorts of goods and services around the world The US made no such deal as you assert at all with Saudi Arabia which is just one of the world's many oil producers. The 3 largest oil producers are the US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia and Russia doesn't even price oil in dollars nor does Iran. Saudi Arabia has never owned much in the way of US Treasuries at any time. In fact, Saudi Arabia holds (owns) practically NONE OF THE OUTSTANDING $20 TRILLION in US Treasuries. Treasury Says Saudis Hold $117B of US Debt... The more commodities prices collapse the higher the value of the US dollar will rise axiomatically. Oil has plummeted from $114 per barrel in June 2014 and is now about 60% lower in June 2017 at around $45 per barrel which represents a 120% increase in the purchasing value of the dollar against oil. I would suggest you learn about the US Treasuries (bills, bonds, notes, and TIPS) markets at:
          GOP's Plan B for Obamacare repeal began with quiet push from Koch network   

President Trump’s surprise suggestion Friday that deadlocked Senate Republicans shift their focus to simply repealing Obamacare — and worry about replacing it later — has its roots in a Koch network proposal that has been shopped around Congress for months.

The influential Koch network, backed...

          Measure forces Congress to examine post-9/11 war powers role   
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A stunning move this week by a House panel to force a debate on new presidential war powers revealed mounting frustration that Congress has for too long dodged one of its most important responsibilities: to decide whether to send American fighting forces into harm&apos;s way....
          AARP Response to Latest CBO Score on Proposed Medicaid Cuts in Senate Health Bill   

AARP national logo.WASHINGTON, June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond issued the following response to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report issued yesterday, which further analyzed the proposed Medicaid cuts, titled Longer-Term Effects of the Better Care...

          Hispanic Legislators Call On Congress To Vote Against Anti-Immigrant Legislation   
WASHINGTON, June 29, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on two anti-immigrant pieces of legislation today, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL), called on Members of Congress to oppose bills that would make communities...
          DHS Secretary Kelly says members of Congress have threatened him for enforcing immigration laws   

Secretary Kelly needs to name names, then these filthy career parasites should be arrested, charged, and impeached for abuse of power.

The post DHS Secretary Kelly says members of Congress have threatened him for enforcing immigration laws appeared first on Powdered Wig Society.

          Chief Medical Officer Of Dot Laboratories Presents Biomarkers At The 13th World Congress On Endometriosis   

          Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016   
CPS reform legislation is steaming rapidly through Congress at a “damn the torpedoes” pace. H.R.5456 was introduced on Monday June 13th. It was reviewed and passed out of Ways and Means on Wednesday the 15th. The Congressional Budget Office report … Continue reading
          Congressional Hearing Reviews Child Welfare Along With Health Issues   
*** All hands on Deck *** In less than 12 hours a Congressional Committee will be reviewing and marking up bills relating to Child Welfare and Health issues. On Monday the “Family First Prevention Services Act of 2016” was introduced. … Continue reading
          Moving Away From “High Risk”   
By Lou D’Amico, Ph.D. and Samantha Jones, Ph.D.   Yesterday the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released their biennial High Risk Report, which lists government functions and operations identified as needing attention by Congress and the Executive Branch. EPA’s IRIS Program … Continue reading
          New Report Shows How Much Money President Trump's Advisors Make   

Recently a new report was released which shows exactly how much money each of President Trump’s advisors and aides receives. Many people have often wondered how much the President’s closest advisors and confidantes are bringing in.

According to Politico, the 16-page document, which detailed the annual taxpayer-backed salaries of nearly 400 individuals serving in Trump’s White House, was also shared with Congress, a requirement of administrations since 1995.

The full breakdown is listed below:

Reince Priebus, chief of staff — $179,700

Steve Bannon, chief strategist — 179,700

Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to the president — $179,700

Sean Spicer, press secretary — $179,700

Hope Hicks, director of strategic communications — $179,700

Dan Scavino, director of social media — $179,700

Stephen Miller, senior policy advisor — $179,700

Marc Short, director of the office of legislative affairs — $179,700

Omarosa Manigault, director of communications for the office of public liaison —

Don McGahn, counsel to the president — $179,700

Sarah Sanders, principal deputy press secretary — $165,000

Keith Schiller, director of Oval Office operations — $165,000.00

Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president and strategist — $155,000

Stephanie Grisham, director of communications for the first lady — $115,000.00

Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council — $30,000

Ivanka Trump, advisor to the president — $0

Jared Kushner, senior advisor — $0

          Franklin Graham Publicly Disagrees with President Trump   


It's not often that Franklin Graham publicly disagrees with President Trump. He was, after all, credited with helping Trump win, by encouraging the evangelistic population to vote for him. Graham saw in Trump a president who would elect conservative judges to the Supreme Court, and he understood that to be one of the most defining moves for the next generation.

But that doesn't mean that Graham agrees with everything Trump says, as evidenced in his recent Facebook post. The bold evangelist doesn't like Trump's suggestion to privatize air control, as he explains here. 


"Rep. Bill Shuster’s goal is to modernize equipment and training for controllers faster than under FAA, while providing more stable funding for the system protected from congressional bickering. The measure is a top priority for airlines and has been promoted in Trump's budget and infrastructure plans," shares USA Today

“It ends decades of wasteful spending on failed programs and broken promises," Shuster said. “It gets Washington out of the way of innovation in aviation."

But obviously Graham disagrees. As a pilot who has experienced other nations' air control, Graham does not think this move will better America's system.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments! Thank you!

          Donald Trump, Senior WH Aides May Have Colluded with National Enquirer to Blackmail Journalists   

Donald Trump and senior White House aides may have colluded with the National Enquirer to blackmail Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, according to a bombshell from the Morning Joe hosts. Um, shouldn’t Congress investigate this and find out which aides are involved? Scarborough said that “three people at the very top […]

Donald Trump, Senior WH Aides May Have Colluded with National Enquirer to Blackmail Journalists

          Mr. Ed's Intel Update via Email - June 29, 2017   
Received via email from Mr. Ed......

Rumor Mill News Agents Forum
INTEL Update (Real News) via email - "Tonight's Intel" 6/29/17

Subject: Tonight's Intel 6/29/17

Things are moving along.

1. Intelligence now knows that 70% of Congress are practicing pedophiles.

2. The Artificial Intelligence System that we have been under is declining and will eventually die.

3. More and more people are ditching they realize what it really is.

4. All 27 levels of secrecy above the president must be shut down if any president is to truly govern.

5. Today's 18 year old is only 50% as educated as a 13 year old child 100 years ago.

It will take 3 generations to correct this mess...that should be laid at the feet of Henry Ford...who wanted workers who were just smart enough to build cars and nothing more.

He threatened the "powers that were" over this issue and won.

6. The earth has shifted 9% and the coming changes will affect the coastal real estate all around America.

The truth is that ice is melting in one area and reforming at another.

7. There are thousands of whistle blowers who want to come forward...but won't until they can be fully protected.

8. After the cabal is will still take a massive effort to clean up the mess of the past centuries.

Paper theft...religious lies...educational perversions...military waste... discriminatory practices of other humans...must be cleaned up and a positive mindset of humanity must evolve.

We humans are at fault for allowing our degeneration over all of these centuries.

Life made easier has created many mindless people who "keep up with the Joneses" and proclaim "me too" and shout "I'll do it later"..."exclaim I can't"..."I will not"...and "the hell with it".

          OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Treasury to Run Out of Cash in Next 3 Months, Leading to Default or Delay of P…   
OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY: Treasury to Run Out of Cash in Next 3 Months, Leading to Default or Delay of Payments. On March 15, 2017, the suspension of the debt limit expired and since then the Treasury has been able to borrow additional funds without violating the debt ceiling. “The Congressional Budget Office projects that if […]
          "Rudderless" - GCR/RV Op-Ed - Friday - June 30, 2017   
Received via email from Yosef ......


Our current, perceived, acting, actor President, in whatever form male or female, human or clone... is completely rudderless and being floated down the D.C. swamp to wherever the political and intelligence mechanisms desire the orange blob to go.

On Monday, they stripped President Trump of all his security briefing clearances.

Meaning, Trump gets more no internal or external information whatsoever--because in truth he never had any power whatsoever--because in truth he was 100% compromised before he ever walked through the front door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Therefore, whomever voted for Trump voted against the Republic and on a deeper level, voted against humanity.

Too harsh?  Fuck you, little child with little dreams and little courage.

And whomever voted for Clinton, fuck you as well.  You too voted against the Republic and humanity.

Actually, whomever voted historically post 1871, classified as sleeping sheepeople who unknowingly supported an alien cabal race of murders and thieves over humanity that includes our Republic.

This includes elections involving Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Carter, Reagan and Obama.  They were all cabal bred candidates that we all fell for... hook, line and sinker.

And now we're drowning and praying for an unthinkable economic event in our lifetime.  Sure we suffered a little bit, but not really.

So spoiled and self-entitled us Angols, what a deceived and deceiving race of beings.  Harmonically unaligned with God---oh how shameful we are.

We stand for nothing righteous and pure, yet kill for killers.

People won't like to hear that fact, but it's the brutal truth of our decayed race and nation.  This is where America is right now, deemed morally rudderless by the rest of the world.

China and Russia, as well as every other country America ever sabotaged or invaded, defrauded and coerced, is taking great pleasure in our humiliation internationally.

They're lapping us daily.

Well fucking that.

I woke up just in the nick of time and I begged others to surrender.  To wake up from conceded, nose deaf American values and evolve.

Just know that this once proud and great country is being torched in every sovereign and diplomatic circle imaginable, and we are not pitch forking our White House and Congress demanding change!

So passive.  So detached.  So emotionally dead at the core of what makes us human.

I know this elongated sovereign embarrassment was all part of the NPTB's master transition plan from dark to light control.

Abject and total humiliation of America as a bad acting country is commensurate for the horrors we have done to other innocent and weaker sovereign nations, while the rest of the world  ignores our politics and catapults forward economically, diplomatically, and militarily.

Is anyone with half a brain and pulse watching all the deals China is cutting with the rest of the world while America searches for oxygen away from the Trump smoke screen?

Or are you too focused on your damn get rich date and rate, coupled with gorging yourself on digital zeros that are not, and will never be your personal property.

Why do I scream to these deaf ears, Lord?  Help me understand!

We're not a nation in crisis because of Trump, no we're a nation in juvenile time out with Trump as our punishment by higher evolved overseas handlers that benevolently have chosen to give back our backruptes nation and economy.

And White-is-Right folk don't have the first damn clue what the hell is happening in even small numbers let alone mass consciousness.   "Americans are asleep at the wheel ," the Elders say privately, "So we choose not to wake them but bless those of color and allow them to learn from and experience the contrast."

Trump is the Elders way of marking this epic change in our history, as well as simultaneously giving obtuse and obese Americans a cataclysmic awakening to jolt them alive and commemorate their intellectual suicide with unconditional generosity.

Translated, they blessed us despite our sins.  So who really knows the teachings Christ better, the Buddhists or Christians?

Anyone not screaming for immediate leadership change before the RV this weekend is not on the second arc IMHO.

And no one can walk away from this flood.  No one.  Best to walk away from the rudderless crowd as they will eventually drag your ship down by stealing your bliss.

Mark these words Zimlandia:

God or not God is a real choice that all must make post universal quarantine.

And your decision to serve His Will over your own will ultimately determine the quality, duration and grace the Lord brings into your life.

Do surround yourself with people of the highest moral character and learned spiritual elegance.  Because yes, God is with us, but only if we are with Him.

Aloha Ke Akua.
          OH: Congressman Warns of Terrorist Attacks If Trump Signs Sanctuary City Bill….   
OH: Congressman Warns of Terrorist Attacks If Trump Signs Sanctuary City Bill.
          Comment on Will Corporate Greed Destroy Our Healthcare System? by Virginia Garcia   
Pharmacist Gets 9-Year Prison Term in Deadly Meningitis Outbreak: The injections were routine, often used to treat back pain. But, tainted with mold, the authorities have said, they instead sickened more than 700 people with fungal meningitis and other infections, eventually killing dozens. Mylan’s EpiPen Pricing Crossed Ethical Boundaries: Ass the CEO of the drug maker that sells the EpiPen allergy-reaction injector defended the company’s six-fold price increases before Congress last week, it’s appalling to see that Heather Bresch took no fault. The company’s price hikes on a life-saving drug is clearly unethical if we take a closer look. The fraud trial for Martin Shkreli, the founder of Founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals, started Monday. Before that happened, the “pharma bro” gained notoriety in 2015 for raising the price of Daraprim, a drug that helps AIDS patients, from $13.50 a tablet to $750. And the list goes on and on...
          JUST IN: Mustapha Salihu Nominated As Replacement of Suspended SGF Babachir   
Mustapha Salihu
The Adamawa State governor, Jibrilla Bindow, and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state have nominated Mustapha Salihu to replace Babachir Lawal, on the National Working Committee of the party.

Mr Babachir, who was recently suspended as the Secretary to the Government of Federation, was the APC’s National Vice Chairman (North East) until his appointment as SGF by President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2015.

The appointment made his NWC position vacant.

However, in a letter addressed to the national chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, the Adamawa APC chapter of the party forwarded the name of Mr Salihu to take over the position pending ratification by a convention of the party.

The letter was jointly signed by the Adamawa state governor, Bindow Jibrilla, the state chairman, Ibrahim Bilal and the secretary, Sa’idu Naira.

Part of the letter reads: “Your Excellency, the party Exco, the working committee has met with His Excellency Executive Governor of our State (Adamawa), in line with Article 17 (iv) of the party constitution as amended, we hereby nominate Alhaji Mustapha Salihu as Egr Babachir David Lawal’s replacement as National Vice Chairman North East zone pending ratification at the mini convention.”

Justifying its choice of Mr Salihu, the party leadership wrote: “Our careful research and ananlysis revealed that Comrade Mustapha Salihu has tremendously supported and contributed to APC in this zone, hence his nomination”.

The decision of the Adamawa APC has also been endorsed by leadership of the party in the remaining five states in the zone, namely Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Taraba.

          'A waste of taxpayer money': Trump's voter fraud commission is facing pushback from a dozen states   
  • TrumpAt least a dozen states pushed back against a broad request from the White House commission on voter fraud.
  • The states included Indiana, whose secretary of state sits on the commission.
  • The requested information has raised questions about the ways it can be used.

At least a dozen states are already pushing back against a request by President Donald Trump's voter-fraud commission to hand over registered voters' personal information to make public. 

The bipartisan Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent a letter to all 50 states on Wednesday seeking registered voters' names, addresses, dates of birth, partial Social Security numbers, and party registration.

It also asked for a decade's worth of voter history, information on felony convictions, and whether they have registered in more than one state. The commission said all voter data submitted by the states would be made public, and the Justice Department sent a separate letter asking states to reveal how they maintain their voter rolls.

At least 12 secretaries of state — from Indiana, California, Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Minnesota, Utah, Oklahoma, New York, Tennessee and New Mexico — have so far declined to hand over information that is not already publicly available. 

Indiana's secretary of state, Connie Lawson, sits on the commission. But she said in a statement that "Indiana law doesn’t permit the Secretary of State to provide the personal information requested by Secretary Kobach." Only certain voter information, she said, is available to the public under Indiana law: name, address, and congressional district assignment.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement that handing over the requested information would "legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach."

“I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally," Padilla said Thursday.

Kris Kobach

Trump vowed to investigate voter fraud just days after taking office, repeating false claims that millions of illegal ballots were cast in the presidential election. There is no evidence to support Trump's repeated assertion that he lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton in November's election because people voted illegally, independent experts and analysts have said.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said in a statement that "Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country."

"The president created his election commission based on the false notion that 'voter fraud' is a widespread issue — it is not," Grimes said. "Indeed, despite bipartisan objections and a lack of authority, the president has repeatedly spread the lie that 3-5 million illegal votes were cast in the last election."

States are already wary of accepting federal help when it comes to voting and election systems. States pushed back when the Department of Homeland Security wanted to designate their voter systems as "critical infrastructure" before the election last year, and are still reluctant to allow the government to conduct a complete digital forensics analysis of the voting machines to see if they were tampered with. 

'Serious privacy concerns' and 'laying the groundwork for voter suppression'

Election law and voter-fraud experts broadly agree that the commission's request is not only baseless, but an infringement on privacy and states' rights.

"Having all of this information raises serious privacy concerns," wrote Rick Hasen, an election law expert and professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. "Will the information be kept securely, or is it at risk of being hacked for identity theft purposes? Will it be used by the Trump campaign and other political officials for political purposes? How secure will this be?"

Ari Berman, a contributing writer for The Nation who is writing a book on the history of voting rights, wrote Friday that "never before has a White House asked for such broad data on voters, and it could be easily manipulated by Trump’s commission."

Berman said the request could be a pretext to make it harder to register to vote, leading to widespread voter suppression efforts.

"Kobach has a very well-documented record of making wildly misleading claims about voter fraud and enacting policies that sharply limit access to the ballot in his home state of Kansas," he wrote. "He’s been sued four times by the ACLU for voter suppression and was sanctioned by a federal court last week for 'deceptive conduct and lack of candor.'"

Vanita Gupta, who ran the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department during the Obama administration and now heads the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, agreed that Pence and Kobach appeared to be "laying the groundwork for voter suppression."

"The integrity of our elections is indeed under assault — just not in the way Trump claims," she tweeted Thursday. 

A 'gold mine' of voter information

There is also the question of whether making this personal information, including Social Security numbers and military status, publicly available in one place risks making it more vulnerable to manipulation and misuse by adversaries.

Russian hackers targeted election systems in at least 21 states last year, top DHS official Jeanette Manfra told the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month. The hackers probed election infrastructure and successfully infiltrated a "small number of networks," said Sam Liles, the DHS's top cyber official.

The hackers stole voter-data information, which they could then use "in a variety of ways," said top FBI counterintelligence official Bill Priestap, including to affect future elections, target individual voters, and determine whether the data is something they can manipulate going forward. 

When a data-analytics firm hired by the Republican National Committee last year to gather political information about US voters accidentally leaked the sensitive personal details of roughly 198 million citizens earlier this month, cybersecurity experts called it "the motherlode of all leaks" and a "goldmine" for anyone looking to target and manipulate voters. 

That information did not even include highly sensitive information like Social Security numbers that the administration now wants to gather and, apparently, make publicly available. 

"It’s just shocking," Myrna Pérez, an expert on voting rights and election administration at Brennan Center for Justice, told Mother Jones on Friday, "that in a period where we know that there’s a risk that we have foreign interference and foreign attacks on our registration systems, that somebody thinks it’s a good idea to take the voter registration rolls in all 50 states and put them all together in one place."

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NOW WATCH: A restaurant in NYC serves pizza topped with avocado

          Cancel August recess for Congress, GOP senators say   

          Presentan un módulo de cámara 360 de só 7,6 milímetros de grosor   
Estes días no Mobile World Congress de Shanghai están a poder verse moitas innovacións que posiblemente cheguen aos smartphones que teremos no mercado nos vindeiros meses, entre as que dende Engadget ... - Fuente:
          Only in Washington Can Limiting the Growth of a Government Program Be Called A "Spending Cut"   

The Congressional Budget Office released a report Thursday on the long-term spending effects of the Senate version of H.R. 1628, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Unfortunately, Democrats and some in the mainstream media are already spinning the report, claiming that it shows that the bill will cut Medicaid spending. That's wholly inaccurate.

We've already seen this stories related to Medicaid spending. When White House adviser Kellyanne Conways said the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) didn't cut Medicaid, Time ran a story with the headline, "Kellyanne Conway Says the Senate Health Care Bill Doesn't Cut Medicaid. That's Not True." Politifact claimed her statement was "mostly false."

Another round of stories are hitting the Internet now, and they're making similar claims; that the BCRA cuts Medicaid spending.

The report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) offered a look at Medicaid spending under the BCRA in second ten-year window, 2027 through 2036. Currently, Medicaid is an open-ended entitlement program, which means that there are no real limitations on the amount of federal funding for it. The BCRA doesn't repeal Medicaid expansion, though the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) would be reduced from 90 percent to 85 percent in 2021, from 85 percent to 80 percent in 2022, and from 80 percent to 75 percent in 2023.

The bill would, however, limit seeks to change this in 2025 and after by limiting the rate of growth to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which, for 2016, was 2.1 percent. Between 2010 and 2016, Medicaid grew at a 5.6 percent rate. Gross domestic product (GDP), in nominal dollars, grew by 3.5 percent. Between 1962 and 2015, Medicaid grew at a 16.9 percent rate, while nominal GDP growth was almost 6.8 percent.

The CBO report doesn't state that there will be an overall cut in Medicaid spending. What the report says is that the program will grow at a slower rate compared to its extended baseline projections, which can be found in its July 2016 publication, The 2016 Long-Term Budget Outlook.

"In CBO’s assessment, Medicaid spending under the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 would be 26 percent lower in 2026 than it would be under the agency’s extended baseline, and the gap would widen to about 35 percent in 2036." the CBO explained. "Under CBO’s extended baseline, overall Medicaid spending would grow 5.1 percent per year during the next two decades, in part because prices for medical services would increase. Under this legislation, such spending would increase at a rate of 1.9 percent per year through 2026 and about 3.5 percent per year in the decade after that." (Emphasis added.)

Again, Medicaid spending will continue to grow. It will only grow at a slower rate that exists under current law. As OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said back in May, "There are no Medicaid cuts in the terms of what ordinary human beings would refer to as a cut. We are not spending less money one year than we spent before."

          Cronyism is Killing America   
Cronyism Kills

The growth of America’s government may soon be outpaced by growth of the average waistline new indicators reveal. Rates of obesity have been increasing over the past several decades, but are now reaching some incredible levels. Currently it's estimated that well over one-third of adults are classified as obese and nearly two-thirds are classified as overweight. Perhaps more distressing is the recent discovery that one in six children are suffering from obesity.

Voices in Congress are now calling for action to take on the growing epidemic, but as usual the government’s so called solution fails to address the root of the problem.

The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act is the latest reincarnation of a bipartisan effort to alter how the federal government handles obesity. Advocates claim that by expanding funding for weight reduction focused medication that obesity can finally be defeated.

In actuality the bill is little more than a cash grab by pharmaceutical companies who have been lobbying Democratic leadership for years for another expansion of the deeply flawed Medicare Part D. Even if the bill is passed it will have only a marginal impact on national health and actually increase healthcare spending according to the government’s own estimates.

So if increasing corporate welfare to politically connected pharmaceutical companies won’t defeat obesity, what will? Reducing corporate welfare to politically connected agricultural companies.

Congress is in a committed love affairs with major agriculture corporations and has been for years. Every year, billions of dollars are funneled to major firms that produce select crops, notably corn and soy. Subsidies to corn, as it turns out, incentivize over production of the crop, which in turns leads the industry to attempt and find a use for the excess product.

More often than not, large quantities of corn, or its byproducts, are turned into junk food with little to no nutritional value. Agricultural subsidies, in their current form, are in effect creating and fueling the obesity epidemic in America.

The unsavory consequences of these policies have been widely studied and been made readily available to lawmakers. Leaders in other industrialized nations have taken note and are not facing the same magnitude of issues surrounding weight in their nations.

By interfering in the market process and providing artificial incentives to create unhealthy products lawmakers are directly culpable in the rising rates of obesity and related health problems. Creating an artificial demand for low nutritional food has flooded the market with low quality products that are a major contributor to the current public health crisis. In effect Congress is choosing to prioritize corporate profits over the nation’s health.

If Congressional leaders are serious about reducing the burgeoning rates of obesity facing the country they will abandon crony projects like the Treat And Reduce Obesity Act and go after the root of the problem. Corporate welfare and crony capitalism are literally killing Americans in mass by artificially inflating the market with unhealthy food, expanding the handouts to more industries will not solve the problem.

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          FreedomWorks Congratulates Tim Huelskamp on New Role   

FreedomWorks president Adam Brandon released the following statement on former congressman Tim Huelskamp’s new role as president of the Heartland Institute:

“It will be excellent to have Tim Huelskamp join us in the advocacy space. He is a true conservative who won’t be swayed by anything. I look forward to working closely with him to advance freedom and limited government in healthcare reform, tax reform, and fighting big government in a number of other ways.”

          Freeing Airports from Government Control   

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is up for reauthorization this year. Already, there have been several reform proposals, including taking air traffic control (ATC) from federal hands and turning it into a non-profit corporation.

Another issue that could be discussed is the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). Though currently subject to caps, it might actually be a worthwhile idea to eliminate those caps and allow airports to charge them independently so that the air transportation industry does not need federal funding.

The PFC is a charge placed directly on passengers, usually through ticket sales, that are used to help build airline infrastructure. They were initially authorized in 1990 by the federal government to replace user based airport charges after they were banned in the 1970s. It was last raised in 2000 to $4.50 to keep up with inflation, but since it has not been raised it has taken in less revenue than it would need due to that inflation.

At the moment, they cannot go to profit based projects like parking garages and terminal areas used for concessions but instead must go to infrastructure related projects such as airside projects, terminal area projects, interest costs on airport bonds, access projects such as roadways, people movers or transit projects, noise mitigation projects, new runways and other airfield improvements, and additional gates for new and increased service.

The PFC does not actually function as a tax since it is not collected by the federal government. Were the cap removed, it would entirely be set by the airports, collected by the airports, and used by the airports. Total control would be handled by the airports, which would reduce federal involvement in air transportation.

Put simply, allowing airports to collect their own funds make the most economically efficient sense. Otherwise, the government is collecting funds that the airports already could have through airport taxes and handing them back. Considering they will likely be mismanaged, it would be easier to just let the airports collect the fees.

This also would be a great way to replace the various actual taxes on passengers. At the moment, passengers are subject to various taxes, including the Domestic Passenger Ticket Tax, the Domestic Flight Segment Tax, the International Arrival and Departure Tax, and an excise tax on Kerosene for Use in Commercial Aviation. Removing the caps on PFCs would allow them to replace all these taxes for an easier and fairer system.

Once the system is made simpler, costs will likely drop overall. No organization will know how much funds are needed to pay for better than the airports who need them so they will be better suited to adjust prices for their needs. This means that prices will not be selected arbitrarily as they would be made by congress and will be better suited to address consumer needs.

Congress should eliminate the caps when it reauthorizes the FAA and hand control of prices back to the airports.

          Give states primacy to manage federal oil and gas, Utah offi   
E&P News
Give states primacy to manage federal oil and gas, Utah offi OGJ Exploration News

A Utah official recommended that Congress develop a process to give states primacy in managing federal oil and gas resources within their borders that are willing to assume the responsibility.

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          Lone Republican ‘NO’ Vote On “Kate’s Law” Speaks Out   

Michigan Congressman Justin Amash has taken heat for being the only Republican to vote against HR 3003, BKA Kate’s Law. ...

The post Lone Republican ‘NO’ Vote On “Kate’s Law” Speaks Out appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

          By: Xennady   
MikeK, I take your points, and I know I'm an outlier here when it comes to my low opinion about Bush. But I am extremely tired of so-called leaders who deliver us various forms of defeat, then congratulate themselves because they haven't brought us complete disaster. I put Bush and Nixon in this category, both. It seems an interesting parallel that Nixon and Bush had foreign policies requiring significant and important military commitments- Vietnam and Iraq- yet they both failed because they were unable to manage the domestic political scene. Nixon was undone by Watergate, after relentless harassment by his enemies, then forced to resign. If I recall Ford later went down to the leftist-run Congress begging them to meet our treaty commitment to South Vietnam, but they refused. I've long regarded the abandonment of South Vietnam as a terrible stain on the honor of the US, but now I read that Nixon did it deliberately, convinced it didn't matter if we let our Vietnamese allies get murdered by our enemies. Huh? And all after we had spent vast amounts of blood and treasure on the struggle, too. I'm sorry, I just can't accept that. But I suspect that if Nixon hadn't been so distracted and weakened by Watergate South Vietnam may have been able to survive anyway, especially if the left hadn't been able to cut off US support. Bush wasn't any better. It seems by now Republicans should have figured out that leftists aren't their friends, and developed some sort of countermeasures. Instead, Bush simply wouldn't respond, tamely accepting blame for disasters not his fault, accepting idiotic policies in the name false comity, and refusing to make obvious political attacks on his political enemies, which were a key part of his job. I know it's pointless to offer advice now, and of course everyone's hindsight is famously excellent, but for Pete's sake you don't need to be an architect to notice that a building is burning down, either. Again, the buck stopped with Bush. Period. When the democrat senate refused to act upon his nominees, he should done a little more about it than nothing at all. He should have been pointing out that they were refusing to act, perhaps he should have even gotten mad about it, using the power of his office to make his objections known. And it actually mattered, because if Bush had been able to get his people in place perhaps Moussoui's infamous laptop would have been opened, preventing 9/11. Failing that happy eventuality, he could have made a political case against the democrats, appropriately blaming them for their actions, resulting in weaker opposition that maybe wouldn't have been so bold as to derail the nation's entire political discourse over something so idiotic as the Plame affair. That never happened, obviously. Worse, much worse, Bush seemingly delighted in pushing policy loathed by the rank-and-file supporters of the GOP. The Bush Amnesty bill and the intense opposition it engendered is well known, but I also recall a proposal to rewrite labor law that would have had the effect of eliminating overtime pay. Being that the GOP is essentially a middle-class party, and many middle-class voters get overtime pay, this was essentially a direct attack by the Bush administration upon a huge segment of its support. Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, successful presidents who also had intransigent opposition, a hostile press, general bad times and grim brutal warfare to contend with during the times in office would never have made such a stupid mistake, enraging their supporters for trivial gain. For sake of brevity I'll refrain from discussing the 2008 economic collapse. Anyway, because Bush was regarded by the public as a failure, radical narcissist Barry Obama became president, throwing away all we had gained in Iraq either because of sheer moronic idiocy or vile treason. Ugh. Again, I know I'm an outlier. But I humbly suggest we stop accepting the excuses we're given and just face facts: Both Nixon and Bush were failed Presidents. They failed at home, and they failed abroad. We just don't have enough lipstick to make them stop being pigs. Alas.
          It was 20 years ago today when the Supreme Court unshackled the Internet   

Comedian George Carlin's monologue, "Seven words you can never say on television," opened the door for the American Civil Liberties Union to convince the US Supreme Court to nullify legislation outlawing "indecent" online speech. Twenty years ago today the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision and unanimously overturned congressional legislation that made it unlawful to transmit "indecent" material on the Internet if that content could be viewed by minors.

          Ever Heard Of USIP?   
USIP is a program that was passed during the Reagan years. The United States Institute of Peace is an independent national institute, founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. USIP pursues this vision on the ground in conflict … Continue reading Ever Heard Of USIP?
          CSCMP Edge 2017 Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition   

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) hosts CSCMP's Annual Global Conference, EDGE.


Georgia World Congress Center Atlanta, GA
United States
33° 44' 56.382" N, 84° 23' 16.7352" W

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) hosts CSCMP's Annual Global Conference, EDGE.

Experience three information-packed days where you'll:

  • Discover over 100 forward-thinking sessions covering real world strategies implemented to maximize and transform supply chains.
  • Learn from some of the brightest academics and practitioners in supply chain today.
  • Hear dynamic speakers and industry experts.
  • Explore the Supply Chain Exchange Exhibition where you can see, touch and experience the latest supply chain technologies up close and personal.
  • Network with leading, emerging and future supply chain leaders from all over the world.
  • Earn CEU's (Continuing Education Units). Attend all 3 days and earn 15 CEU's.

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          $1.5 million to Alfred State for biorefinery prototype   
Posted Date: Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 11:30

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently awarded $1.5 million to Alfred State for the Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC). The prototype facility will help private and public partners leverage wood resources to create sustainable businesses using advanced manufacturing processes. The new grant increases the total funding raised to date for the research facility to $4.5 million. 

“This is great news for Alfred State and the entire Southern Tier. This federal investment will help bring 15 new businesses and 125 good paying pay jobs to the Southern Tier and push this region’s economy into the future,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “The work done at BDCC will help create a ‘New Forest Economy’ by working with local partners and using the region’s abundant natural resources to spur long-term economic development. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure Alfred State continues to have the resources it needs to leverage the region’s workforce and grow private enterprise.” 

sky, clouds, weeds, trees
Lumber from the Southern Tier will help fuel Alfred State’s Biorefinery Development
and Commercialization Center.

“This award is a blueprint for new jobs, fresh opportunities, and a robust economic future for New York’s Southern Tier,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Earl F. Gohl.  “It is part of a strategy to bring added capital into the region, and help the region prepare to globally compete in manufacturing, technology, construction, and a variety of other industry sectors.” 

“Alfred State knows the ARC funding for the BDCC project will have a high impact by supporting equipment, training, and developing a network across the ARC region. Developing the proven Hot Water Extraction process in the BDCC will allow Alfred State to lead in biorefinery development and training in the region through the partners in the network,” said Craig R. Clark, vice president for economic development at Alfred State and executive director of the Allegany County Industrial Development Agency. 

The BDCC is a prototype that will develop and commercialize the Hot Water Extraction (HWE) process that produces valuable chemical assets from wood, energy crops, and agricultural residuals. Through this technology, approximately 25 percent of the biomass is converted into value-added products such as advanced fuels and bio-based chemicals for plastics. The remaining 75 percent produces modified wood chips that have improved qualities for paper products, fuel pellets, and particleboard used in furnishings and construction. 

Alfred State’s 18,000-square-foot biorefinery center is intended to spur additional investment, including business start-ups and full-scale biorefineries. Alfred State, the State University of New York (SUNY), universities from other ARC states, and private-sector bioenergy and biochemical companies will benefit from the research facility. 

“This project has been in the works for about five years, but recent advances in funding have spurred our progress,” stated Clark. “We are conducting engineering studies right now regarding process and project costs related to implementation of the center.” 

Through the BDCC, Alfred State will also provide training and technical services to both start-up companies and companies impacted by economic changes as they seek to enter new markets, diversify their manufacturing base, and adapt their workforce. The research facility is a collaboration between Alfred State and Syracuse-based Applied Biorefinery Sciences. 

According to Clark, “The BDCC prototype facility is the first step to launch full-sized commercial plants that can cost about $200 million to build. The effect on a local economy like ours will be tremendous.” 

The award to Alfred State was made through ARC’s POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative. This congressionally funded multi-agency strategy brings federal resources directly to help communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.

          Gov. Hutchinson says major change needed in Senate health legislation   
Gov. Asa Hutchinson outlined four major changes he'd like to see in Republican-backed health legislation pending in the Senate.

In short, he said — if in more diplomatic words — the bill as written would be devastating to Arkansas. Hutchinson chose to put it more kindly. He said the Senate was moving in "the right direction" and said "the status quo is not acceptable."

But he added: "There have to be significant changes in the current draft in order to give states like Arkansas options for the future and to continue coverage and not have a $500 million per year gap in our economy."

He said he'd spoken to Arkansas's senators about this, but referred questions about their reaction to them. To date, Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman have resisted saying much of anything about the legislation, though Cotton was one of 13 white male Republicans who participated in the secret drafting.

The shortcomings have been self-evident for some time in states like Arkansas that took advantage of the Medicaid expansion provided through the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. House-passed and Senate-proposed legislation would obliterate the Medicaid expansion and also severely restrict traditional Medicaid coverage for the elderly and disabled by going to per capita distributions to states. Both changes would devastate Arkansas, with a large traditional Medicaid population and more than 300,000 people now covered by the Medicaid expansion. Hutchinson said the state was already making changes to reduce costs and state cooperation should be a goal of congressional action. Some 60,000 would lose coverage by reducing coverage for those making 138 percent of the poverty level to 100 percent and by instituting work rules.

Hutchinson suggested these changes in what's under consideration:

* Exempt those elderly, blind and disabled covered by traditional Medicaid from the per capita cap on spending. Otherwise, the cost would be shifted to the state, he said. (He said later it was OK to put children's coverage, Arkids, under a per capital program because they were generally lower cost.)

* If the federal government moves to block grant funding for Medicaid, Hutchinson said the funding should include in the figuring the Medicaid expansion population. Some states didn't take the money. If the pot is redivided to cover all states equally, those who expanded will lose and those who didn't will gain. "This puts us in a difficult position to manage and maintain coverage," Hutchinson said. If the population is considered, he said, "the state can assume the risk and create savings and ensure coverage of the working poor."

* Senate legislation must "redesign" the tax credits, or subsidies, for those covered in the health insurance marketplace. Hutchinson echoed critics of the Senate legislation who say the subsidies are so small as to be worthless.  "If the subsidy is not sufficient, an individual will decide they can't afford it." He said "there have to be sufficient subsidies to make it work."

* The states must be given "flexibility" on how they spend money received under per capita reimbursements. He didn't specify some examples of what he had in mind. In some states, though, flexibility has meant not providing certain services (birth coverage for example) and measures co-pays, work, drug testing and other sometimes controversial ideas.

Hutchinson acknowledged that the Medicaid expansion, now known as Arkansas Works, by law must end if federal support is reduced. That's not an immediate concern because actual reductions won't occur for several years into the plan now outlined in Senate legislation. "They've given us a long glide path," he said.

Timing noted: Hutchinson finally weighed in with criticisms that have been voiced for weeks by many others following a week in which the Senate leadership's plan for a quick vote on the GOP fill apart because of he couldn't keep all Republican senators on board.

Noted too: Hutchinson refused to talk taxes — either those to pay for his expanded vision of health coverage and the windfall for the wealthy envisioned in the pending bill.

Just yesterday, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families gave some idea of the blow the Senate bill would deliver to rural health care.

          The War on CNN: We’ve Seen This Movie Before   

The White House is preparing for war. Despite a decisive electoral victory and with majorities in both chambers of Congress, the president is encountering unforeseen ...

The post The War on CNN: We’ve Seen This Movie Before appeared first on Commentary Magazine.

          The Democrats Are Unable to Defend Us Against The Most Vicious Republican Party In History   
The Democrat Party is at its lowest ebb in the memory of everyone now alive. It has lost the White House and both houses of Congress. On the state level it is weaker than at any time since 1920. And then we have Nancy Pelosi saying all is fine.
Submitted by Dandelion G to US Politics & Gov't  |   Note-it!  |   Add a Comment

          National Taxpayer Advocate Releases 2018 Objectives Report To Congress   
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has released her FY 2018 Objectives Report To Congress: Ms. Olson states that the IRS ran a generally successful filing season. But she says taxpayers who require assistance from the IRS are continuing to face significant challenges obtaining it. While taxpayer services and enforcement activities...
          Pass Resolution to End Dog And Cat Meat in ALL Countries Around the World: PETITION   
Bipartisan H.Res.401 introduced on 6/22/2017 by Congressmen A. Hastings and V. Buchanan brings new hope for these innocents by calling for an end to the dog and cat meat trade around the world. It is crucial that this resolution pass.
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          2 insurers to pull out of health exchange in rural Nevada   

Thousands of residents will be left uninsured in 14 of Nevada's 17 counties after two insurance companies exit the government-run but privately administered health insurance exchange next year, in what state officials called a health crisis Wednesday. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield said in a Wednesday statement it will no longer offer plans through the exchange in rural Nevada, citing market volatility and the uncertainty of federal operations as Republicans in Congress continue to debate an overhaul of the system.

          La medicina de les dones: ginecòlegs, llevadores i Venus anatòmiques   
Figura d'una dona gestant del Museu Roca
Col·lecció Coolen

Fruit d’una immaculada concepció, pocs parts, llegendaris o no, han tingut unes conseqüències històriques tan importants com el de Jesús. Tant és així que any rere any mig món el celebra el 25 de desembre aprofitant el solstici d’hivern. De fet, això no és ben bé així: a l’hemisferi sud el Nadal escau en el solstici d’estiu (coses d’estar cap per avall) i per als cristians ortodoxes el Nadal del seu calendari (el julià) es correspon amb el nostre 7 de gener del calendari gregorià.

Les dones, però, porten parint des que l’espècie humana va adquirir el certificat de qualitat que li ha permès arribar fins avui. I tot i que de fer fills, gestar-los i parir-los sembla ser que tothom en sap (cadascú segons el seu grau de competència de gènere), la història del sexe des del punt de vista reproductiu no s’explica només en quatre línies. L’evolució social i científica ens parla d'un relat que va des de la mateixa idea de la concepció com a fenomen misteriós que va elevar les deesses mare als altars prehistòrics a la reproducció humana sense passar per una cosa tan vulgar com l’intercanvi de fluïts. Pel camí trobem la història del control de la gestació i el part, i els avenços científics que han facilitat una pràctica que sense deixar de ser natural sí que ha patit una sèrie de transformacions que tenen a veure amb la pròpia evolució humana: si més no a Occident, la selecció natural ha quedat aparcada per altres formes de perpetuació de l’espècie, que tenen a veure més amb els gustos (selecció sexual) que no pas amb la supervivència dels millors individus.

I pel que fa al control de la gestació i el part, que hem esmentat abans, la història ens parla de la pèrdua gradual per part de la dona del control sobre el seu propi cos. L’assistència al part va estar lligada al món de les dones fins que va passar a mans dels homes, el segle XV, i medicalitzada durant el segle XVII en el moment en què s’entén el part com a propi de la cirurgia i, per tant, competència dels homes, que eren els únics que, oficialment, podien ser cirurgians. La ginecologia –terme que apareix el segle XVIII– passava a ser l’especialitat mèdica que tractava el cos de la dona i les seves malalties com un objecte diferenciat del cos de l’home. Aquesta separació va portar la dona a ser observada com un individu subjecte a la seva condició sexual i a la seva variabilitat hormonal, i a atribuir-li malalties com la histèria, paraula que ve del grec (ὑστέρα, “úter”) a través del francès (hystérie), i que relaciona les afeccions del úter amb trastorns del comportament que duien sovint les dones a ser tancades en un manicomi.

Aquesta negació de la dona al control del seu cos va dur a una situació tan inversemblant que l’any 1936 el percentatge de ginecòlogues i tocòlogues a Barcelona era inferior al cinc per cent (cap a la resta de Catalunya), el 1975 inferior al quatre per cent. Amb el canvi polític posterior a la dictadura i l’accés majoritari de la dona a la universitat, el 2005 se superava el trenta-tres per cent, i actualment, a la província de Barcelona, ja supera la meitat de ginecòlegs practicants.

Les llevadores –que podríem lligar a aquelles dones sàvies que atresoraven el coneixement tradicional lligat al cos i els remeis, i que l’Església convertiria en bruixeria i a elles en carn de foguera–, van anar perden el seu paper preeminent per convertir-se en assistents de cirurgians i metges. Sense oblidar, però, que la tasca de les llevadores ha substituït durant molt de temps la dels ginecòlegs de manera no oficial, sobretot en aquells casos en què un embaràs no desitjat obligava a buscar solucions alternatives a les institucions oficials i a pràctiques clandestines, tant de seguiment com abortives.

L’evolució de la ginecologia supera la història de la medicina i es converteix en un relat que abasta tots els estaments de la societat. Sembla raonable, doncs, que aquesta història, la de la medicina en general i la dels avenços científics que hi estan relacionats tinguin un lloc des del qual explicar a la societat quin ha estat el camí recorregut, i que expliqui, sobretot, la relació que s’ha establert entre la medicina i els seus usuaris. Però malauradament, el Museu d’Història de la Medicina de Catalunya, que existeix i custodia una col·lecció magnífica d’instruments, fotografies, gravats, llibres, documents i figures anatòmiques, no té una seu des d’on mostrar-se al públic. No és un cas únic. Són moltes les col·leccions (còmic, cinema, farmàcia, autòmats, publicitat, màgia, arts escèniques...), algunes entre les més importants d’Europa i del món, que esperen que els poders polítics apostin per posar-les a l’abast de tothom.

Puntualment, les col·leccions del Museu d’Història de la Medicina surten a la llum. És el cas de l’exposició “La medicina de les dones. Ginecologia històrica a Catalunya”, que fins el dia 5 de gener es pot veure en el Col·legi de Metges de Barcelona (passeig de la Bonanova, 47). Comissariada per Alfons Zarzoso, la mostra és una bona oportunitat per seguir aquesta història que he apuntat i de veure, entre d’altres objectes, instruments quirúrgics i una cadira de parts, que permet una reflexió que va més enllà de la transformació espacial de les persones que hi participen; figures anatòmiques en guix policromat i cera, sorgides dels tallers escultòrics de la Facultat de Medicina de la Universitat de Barcelona del segle XIX; un espectacular quadre de J. Sala, que ens permet assistir a una intervenció quirúrgica en una de les primeres sales d'operacions de la Barcelona de finals del segle XIX.

Venus anatòmica del Museu d'Història de la Medicina
Foto: Aleix Pons

Entre el passat mes de maig i novembre d’enguany vam poder gaudir d’algunes de les peces de la col·lecció del Museu d’Història de la Medicina a l’exposició “Objectes mèdics sorprenents” del Museu d’Història de la Ciència i la Tècnica de Terrassa, on vaig presentar la Venus Anatòmica. Aquesta figura anatòmica prové del Museu Anatòmic del Reial Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona, incorporat a la Facultat de Medicina quan la Universitat de Barcelona va tornar de l’exili de Cervera a principis de la dècada de 1840 i es instal·lar a la seu de l’actual Reial Acadèmia de Medicina, al antic Hospital de la Santa Creu. Feta de cera, compartia els usos propis d’aquestes peces per a l’ensenyament de l’anatomia. El seu abdomen es pot desmuntar i permet l’observació dels òrgans, el procés de l’embaràs i l’estructura del fetus. El seu aspecte, lluny dels cadàvers que es feien servir per fer disseccions, és artístic i representa una dona nua amb l’aparença d’estar dormint.

Cartell d'una col·lecció anatòmica del segle XIX

Mitjan segle XIX, les col·leccions anatòmiques, a les quals es van afegir figures que mostraves els efectes de les malalties venèries, les drogues i l’alcohol, van sortir de les facultats i es van convertir en espectacles més o menys morbosos, que al llarg de cent anys van viatjar dels salons de la burgesia culta a les barraques de fira populars de la plaça de Catalunya, la Rambla i els carrers adjacents i el Paral·lel. En aquests context, el cos nu de les Venus servia d’esquer per atraure un públic que no tenia gaires alternatives per accedir al coneixem mèdic i científic, en uns temps en què la sífilis s’havia convertit en una plaga i l’assistència sanitària encara no era un dret universal (vegeu “Quan el cos i les malalties eren un espectacle”).

De les col·leccions que van passar per Barcelona n’hem parlat més d’un cop gràcies a Francesc Roca, un mag convertit en empresari que va passejar la seva barraca de fira en companyia dels seus fills per Catalunya, Espanya i França. Com explicàvem a “El redescobriment del Museu Roca”, aquesta col·lecció va anar a parar a mans d’un particular que la té exposada a Anvers (Bèlgica) perquè a la Barcelona de finals de la dècada de 1980, que és quan es va descobrir, ningú la va voler. Francesc Roca, a més, va aprofitar l’èxit popular del cinema als anys 30 per comercialitzar dues pel·lícules “científiques”: Los averiados (1933), que incidia de nou en les malalties venèries, i Como venimos al mundo (1934), que parlava de la gestació i el part, i que va aixecar la mateixa expectació morbosa que l’any 1968 va despertar Helga: el milagro de la vida quan es va estrenar a Barcelona.

La medicina tal i com la coneixem avui li deu molt a aquell món d’intercanvi de coneixement en mans d’agents diversos, de la mateixa manera que el coneixement tradicional adquirit per aquelles dones sàvies de què parlàvem més amunt ha estat assumit per la farmacologia i la medicina després de passar pels herbolaris. I avui, les col·leccions anatòmiques, a més d’explicar-nos com s’ensenyava anatomia a les facultats i com els públics populars van començar a tenir coneixement del seu cos a través d’espectacles de barraca de fira, ens posa en contacte també amb el món de l’art.

El cas de les Venus és paradigmàtic. El seu valor estètic és tan alt que ha portat a Joanna Ebenstein, fundadora del Morbid Anatomy Museum de Nova York (tancat provisionalment i en perill de mort si no troba finançament a través d'aquesta plataforma de microfunding) i assistent al Congress for Curious People que vam organitzar a Barcelona, a editar el volum The Anatomical Venus. El llibre, en el qual hi hem col·laborat amb notícies i il·lustracions de Venus que hi va haver a Barcelona, recull la fascinació misteriosa per aquestes figures escampades per tot el món. Bellesa, erotisme i mort es barregen en aquestes reproduccions de dones, la majoria de mida natural, que descansen sobre velluts i sedes ornamentades amb collarets de perles i diademes daurades, i ens fan reflexionar sobre les fronteres difuses que separen la vida de la mort, l'art de la ciència, la naturalesa i de la humanitat. Un espectacle entre sublim i sinistre, que prové d'un temps en què el llum de gas il·luminava una part de la realitat mentre la vida mirava de sortir de les penombres.

          El Rec Comtal: 1.000 anys d'història   

Després d'haver recorregut tot el territori per on passava el Rec Comtal presentant El Rec Comtal. 1.000 anys d'història, editat per Viena Edicions i l'Ajuntament de Barcelona, només ens faltava fer-ho en el lloc més emblemàtic des del punt de vista arqueològic. El proper mes de març (un dissabte a concretar, a les 11h) farem la segona ruta pel traçat fòssil del Rec Comtal pels barris de Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i Born. Començarem a l'Arc de Triomf i acabarem al Born CCM i a la llibreria Bestiari, on podrem visitar el jaciment del Rec Comtal i on serem convidats a un refrigeri.

Esteu tots convidats a aquest esdeveniment que s'afegeix a l'esforç i la voluntat de voler rescatar de la memòria la que ha estat una de les infraestructures més importants de la història de Barcelona, tant pel que fa al seu creixement econòmic com urbà.

El Rec Comtal. 1.000 anys d'història viatja per la història d'aquesta canalització medieval tot repassant com s'ha proveït d'aigua la ciutat a través dels segles des de la seva fundació: l'aqüeducte romà, les fonts gòtiques, els pous, fins arribar a les modernes companyies d'aigua. Veurem quins han estat els usos: molins, regadiu, indústria, safareig, sanejament, oci... Descobrirem què en queda de viu, quines són les restes arqueològiques i urbanes, i quin és el seu futur. I per acabar, passejarem pel traçat del Rec Comtal a través de les imatges històriques cedides per institucions i particulars.

Al llarg de 2016 i 2017 s'han fet diverses presentacions, xerrades, congressos i rutes als barris dels antics pobles del Pla (Montcada, Sant Andreu de Palomar i Sant Martí de Provençals) per on circulaven el Rec Comtal i l'aqüeducte romà, del qual és hereu i continuació: Montcada i Reixac, Can Sant Joan, Vallbona, Trinitat Nova, Trinitat Vella, Sant Andreu, Sagrera, Navas, Clot, Fort Pienc, Eixample, Sant Pere, Santa Caterina, Born i Barri Gòtic.

I volem agrair l'interès que hi han posat les entitats i institucions que han acollit la història del Rec Comtal: Museu d'Història de Barcelona; Taller d'Història del Clot-Camp de l'Arpa; Centre d'Estudis Ignasi Iglésias i Omnium Cultural de Sant Andreu de Palomar; Associació per a la Recerca i la Divulgació de la Memòria Històrica de la Trinitat Vella; Centre Cívic i Centre d'Estudis de Sant Martí de Provençals; Escola d'Humanitats Artkhé; Taller d'Història de Gràcia; Institució Cultural del CIC; Ajuntament i Museu de Montcada i Reixac, Centre Cultural Kursaal i l'Associació de Veïns de Can Sant Joan (Montcada i Reixac); Taula Oberta i Memòria Històrica de la Trinitat Nova; Born CCM; les llibreries Pebre Negre (Clot), Etcètera (Poblenou), Marial (Can Sant Joan), La Fosca (Trinitat Nova) i Bestiari-Born CCM; i les biblioteques del Clot-Josep Benet, Poblenou-Manuel Arranz, Ignasi Iglésias-Can Fabra (Sant Andreu) i Trinitat Vella-José Barbero.

Properes presentacions i xerrades

Maig-juny de 2017 (un dissabte a concretar, a les 11h). Ruta pel traçat fòssil del Rec Comtal pels barris de Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i Born. Començarem a l'Arc de Triomf i acabarem al Born CCM i a la llibreria Bestiari, on podrem visitar el jaciment del Rec Comtal i on serem convidats a un refrigeri.

27 de novembre de 2017. Conferència a l'Associació del Museu de la Ciencia i de la Técnica i Arqueologia Industrial de Catalunya (AMCTAI). Auditori Pompeu Fabra del Col·legi d'Enginyers Industrials de Catalunya, Via Laietana, 39, 5a planta.

Presentacions anteriors

19 d'octubre, a les 19h, a la Biblioteca del Clot - Josep Benet, a càrrec de la Carme Miró, responsable del Pla Bàrcino del Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona, que ens parlarà de les espectaculars restes del jaciment del Rec Comtal a la plaça de les Glòries. Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 37.

20 d'octubre, a les 19h, a la Sala Martí l'Humà del Museu d'Història de Barcelona (plaça del Rei, entrant pel Tinell). L'acte serà a càrrec de Carme Miró, arqueòloga i responsable del Pla Bàrcino del Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona, i Manel Martín, doctor en Història, especialista en història de l'abastament d'aigua i vicepresident del Centre d'Estudis Ignasi Iglésias, i el presidirà Joan Roca, director del MUHBA.

26 d'octubre, a les 19h, a la Biblioteca del Poblenou - Manuel Arranz, a càrrec de Joan Carles Luque, catedràtic de Geografia i Història, i Jordi Fossas, president de l'Arxiu Històric del Poblenou. Carrer del Joncar, 35.

9 de novembre, a les 19h, a la Biblioteca de la Trinitat Vella - José Barbero, carrer de Galícia, 16, de Barcelona, a càrrec de María José Durán, geògrafa, doctora en Geografia Física per la Universitat de Barcelona, historiadora local i membre de l'Associació per a la Recerca i la Divulgació de la Memòria Històrica de la Trinitat Vella; i Amador Expósito Muñoz, president de l'Associació per a la Recerca i la Divulgació de la Memòria Històrica de la Trinitat Vella.

14 de novembre, a les 19h, Auditori de Can Fabra de Sant Andreu de Palomar, a càrrec de Manel Martín, doctor en Història, especialista en història de l'abastament d'aigua i vicepresident del Centre d'Estudis Ignasi Iglésias (CEII), i l'historiador Pau Vinyes i Roig, que va fer de moderador. Carrer del Segre, 24-32.

18 de novembre, a les 12:30h, a l'Auditori de Sant Martí de Provençals, placeta Angeleta Ferrer, 2, organitzat pel Centre d'Estudis de Sant Martí de Provençals.

29 de novembre, a les 19h, a l'Escola Artkhé d'Humanitats, carrer del Consell de Cent, 295 1r 1a, de Barcelona, a càrrec de Carme Miró, arqueòloga responsable del Pla Bàrcino del Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona.

30 de novembre, a les 20h, a les Tertúlies de la Història que el Taller d'Història de Gràcia oferirà a la Fundació Festa Major de Gràcia, carrer Alzina, 9.

7 de desembre, a les 19h, a l'Auditori de la Institució Cultural del CIC, Via Augusta, 205, de Barcelona, a càrrec de Carme Miró, arqueòloga responsable del Pla Bàrcino del Servei d'Arqueologia de Barcelona.

15 de desembre, a les 19h, a l'Auditori Municipal, plaça de l'Església, 12, de Montcada i Reixac.

2 de febrer de 2017, a les 19h, conjuntament amb la taula rodona "Rec Comtal. Passat, present i reptes de futur", a càrrec de Roger Sansi, de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia; Antonio Alcántara, membre de l'AVV Montcada Can Sant Joan; i Enric H. March. Dinamitza i modera la taula Helena López, periodista de El Periódico de Catalunya.

Durant l'acte es van presentar el llibre El Rec Comtal. 1.000 anys d'història i el teaser del documental Rec Comtal. Una arqueologia social de Barcelona, de l'Institut Català d'Antropologia. Centre Cultural Kursaal, carrer Masia, 39, de Montcada i Reixac.

25 de febrer de2017, ruta pel traçat fòssil del Rec Comtal pels barris de Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i Born, de de l'Arc de Triomf fins al Born CCM i a la llibreria Bestiari, amb visita al jaciment del Rec Comtal.

19 d'abril de 2017, a les 19h, a la Casa de l'Aigua de la Trinitat Nova, carrer Garbí, 2, organitzat per Taula Oberta i Memòria Històrica de la Trinitat Nova, i la col·laboració de l'Associació per a la Recerca i la Divulgació de la Memòria Històrica de la Trinitat Vella i l'AVV Montcada Can Sant Joan.

          El Saturno Parque, el Cabaret de la Muerte i altres atraccions misterioses   
Catàleg de la inauguració del Saturno Parque (1911)
© Xavi Rodríguez (Bloggercoaster)

Quan la Ciutadella va ser el Coney Island de Barcelona

L’any 1911 es complien deu any de la inauguració de les atraccions del Tibidabo i en feia prop de quaranta de la desaparició dels Camp Elisis, inaugurats el 1853 en el passeig de Gràcia entre els carrer d’Aragó i Rosselló, i desmantellats el 1872, i del qual només un passatge amb el seu nom en recorda l’existència.

El 1911 dos projectes es posaven en marxa. Un, el Gran Casino de l’Arrabassada (1911-1934), del qual en queden múltiples restes (escales, balustrades, túnels i pous) escampades per Collserola i ocultes en el bosc. L’altre, el Saturno Parque (1911-1926), que va ocupar dos emplaçaments diferents dins del Parc de la Ciutadella. Fins el 1916, en el Pati d’Armes, entre l’actual Parlament de Catalunya i l’institut Verdaguer; i d’aquesta data fins que tanca el 1926, en la zona ocupada per l’estany del Parc, la Cascada i zones adjacents.

Ens interessa parlar del Saturno Parque (després rebatejat com a Saturno Park) perquè el coneixement que es té de les atraccions que el componien s’ha obtingut a les hemeroteques a través de la premsa, o de les moltes postals que circulen, però no d’una font directe, cosa que sí hem pogut fer recentment i que ha reportat moltes sorpreses.

El Luna Park de Coney Island (NY), il·luminat de nit, el 1906
Col·lecció Detroit Publishing Company (Library of Congress)

El Saturno Parque pren com a referència els Luna Park de Coney Island, a Nova York, i el de París, i pretén convertir-se en el gran centre atraccions i d’oci popular de Barcelona. La comparació, però, és purament formal perquè el parc d’atraccions barceloní no tenia ni la magnitud ni la capacitat d’atracció del Luna Park novaiorquès, capaç de rebre un milió de visitants en un sol dia si sumem atraccions, restaurants i platges. Malgrat tot, l’entorn del Parc de la Ciutadella li donava un aspecte grandiós i elegant que es multiplicava a la nit amb els milers de llums estàtics que il·luminaven les atraccions i els que es movien al ritme dels trens, els cotxes i les vagonetes circulant incessantment sota la música i la cridòria del públic excitat.

El Saturno Parque il·luminat de nit (1915)
Col·lecció Roisin (AEFC)

Entre les atraccions del Saturno, que van anar variant amb els anys, destacaven el Patín Siglo XX (un tobogan gegant), l’Skating Ring (pista de patinatge), la Plataforma de la Risa o Rueda del Diablo (una pista giratòria que feia perdre l’equilibri), els Columpios reales (barques que es gronxaven, com les del Caspolino), el Planeten-tunnelbahn (un carrusel ondulatori), La Taberna de la Destrucción (un pim-pam-pum), la Flecha de los cigarros, el Laberinto de la escalera diabólica, el Tiro automático con figuras móviles, el Cucut (un capgròs autòmat), el trenet Metropolitan miniature (vegeu En tren pels parcs de Barcelona) i un Tiro de pichón que permetia disparar amb armes de veritat sobre coloms, conills i pollastres, en uns temps en què eren habituals no només les atraccions de tir amb animals, sinó que per Barcelona s'escampaven locals amb espectacles de lluites d'animals.

El Pim-pam-pum del Saturno Park (1913)

Les atraccions estrella, però, eren les famoses Witching Waves (onades embruixades, a les quals s’entrava a través d’unes grutes amb estalagmites i estalactites), el Water Chute (vagonetes llançades a l’aigua d’un estany per una pendent), el Tobogan Glissoir (en forma de tirabuixó amb tres pistes) i una muntanya russa de grans dimensions coneguda com Los Urales. Aquesta atracció havia vingut de València, on el 1909 havia presidit la zona d'esbarjo de l'Exposició Regional. Hi destacava un cuc enorme a meitat del recorregut que semblava engolir les vagonetes. Les vies s'enlairaven fins a 30 metres d’alçada i sembla que va arribar a ser la muntanya russa més llarga d'Europa.

A més d'establiments de restauració, refrescos, cafeteries i bars, el parc comptava amb salons fotogràfics que permetien fer caricatures i caracteritzacions, bàscules, telescopis, gramòfons, cinetoscopis (una màquina d’ús individual que permetia veure una pel·lícula introduint una moneda) i un aparell que permetia recuperar forces mitjançant corrents elèctrics. L'electricitat estava de moda-

També hi havia un teatre i un cinema en un edifici d’aires egipcis i babilònics, i el Kaiser Panorama, un aparell òptic que permetia que vint persones alhora poguessin veure imatges il·luminades en tres dimensions (estereografies), atracció molt popular a tot Europa, que il·lustraven, com si fossin reals, els esdeveniments “més importants del món” de la història antiga i actual: paisatges, guerres, incendis, terratrèmols, inundacions, erupcions de volcans, naufragis, crims, comèdies, tragèdies i festes, que satisfeien la curiositat de la gent en un temps en què viatjar era un luxe i no era possible conèixer el món de cap altra manera. S’anunciava com el panorama favorit del kàiser alemany Guillem II. Procedent dels anys del precinema, aquests aparells encara atreien més públic que el cinema, un art sense prou entitat que compartia espai com a element de transició entre els espectacles escènics.

Gravat d'un Kàiser Panorama de 1880

Fenòmens, autòmats i inferns

A banda de les atraccions, el Luna Park de Coney Island, igual que els parcs d’atraccions de les grans ciutats americanes i europees, atreien el públic, sobretot abans del triomf del cinema com a espectacle de masses, amb autòmats, màgia, fantasmagories, barraques de fira que exhibien fenòmens i tota mena de manifestacions que resultaven exòtiques o incomprensibles per a un públic fàcil d’enganyar.

El Saturno no va ser aliè a aquestes experiències malgrat que la premsa no se’n va fer ressò, com ha passat sovint a Barcelona amb aquelles manifestacions d’oci popular que s’escapaven de l’ortodòxia o que eren prou excèntriques com perquè el bon gust i el seny no les publicités.

Pel que fa als fenòmens, és coneguda la presència dels famosos Paquito i Vendeen, un nan i un gegant que van fer força fortuna per tot Europa i que eren del gust barceloní com ho demostra la continuada exhibició de parelles similars des de mitjan segle XIX, com han deixat constància a les cartelleres, però que es remunta a moltes dècades abans. Entre les moltes exhibicions que el nan Paquito feia hi havia des de números circenses a corrides de toros més o menys còmiques, com la que oferí el juliol de 1914, seguint una tradició habitual al Torin de la Barceloneta i en molts espais improvisats de la ciutat.

Entre les atraccions desconegudes fins ara, una de les que despertava la curiositat del públic era el Departamento de los fenómenos, misterios y enigmas. Repartits en escenaris diferents hi havia cinc autòmats:

Cabeza de María Stuart: En un tron i sobre dos sabres, el cap de Maria d’Escòcia, que va morir decapitada el 1587 per ordre de la reina Isabel I d’Anglaterra, movia els ulls, plorava, reia i contestava les preguntes del públic.

La mujer pez: Un altre cap parlant que responia preguntes, però aquest cop dins d’un aquàrium de vidre ple d’aigua i peixos.

La mujer sirena: En aquest cas una bella ondina surt del mar a la posta del sol i fa contorsions sospesa a l’aire, sense cap subjecció aparent, i al so de la música. Després de diverses piruetes, se submergeix de nou dins de l’aigua.

El busto enigmático de Silvia: La noia que respon al nom de Sílvia només té mig cos que reposa sobre una tauleta. La seva és una història trista i la va explicant mentre el públic puja a l’escenari per veure el bust de prop.

La Ninfa de las Flores: En un escenari en forma de teatret de fusta, decorat a l’estil japonès amb garlandes, borles i espelmes enceses, un gerro mostra un ram de flors que es van obrint al so d’una música melancòlica mentre entre els pètals apareix el cap d’una nimfa d’aspecte oriental, que també parla i respon les preguntes del públic.

Sota el títol genèric de Diversiones familiares Dorwan, aquest personatge dirigia i oferia “espectàculos instructivos y morales” que recreaven quadres plàstics amb al·legories de la naturalesa, de l’infern i representacions de l’Antic Testament. Les imatges se succeïen com il·lusions passatgeres que apareixien i s'esvanien com a meteors fugitius fent servir, en paraules de Dorwan, “un método eminentemente científico”.

Le Chevalier Dorwan, que és com es feia dir aquest artista, es va donar a conèixer a Barcelona l'any 1910. Va començar actuant al teatre Apolo i al Gran Via, per passar al Poliorama on s'hi va passar fins a final d'any. Posava sobre l'escenari un espectacle de fantasmagories que s'anomenava La habitación celestial, que era presentat amb un experiment científic que desafiava les lleis de la física. Jugava amb efectes òptics i lumínics per fer aparèixer figures evanescents com fantasmes.

Les atraccions amb emocions fortes començaven amb el Camino del infierno, una recreació, com anunciaven, de “lo que se cree de las regiones infernales”. Era una mena de túnel del terror, amb passadissos a diferents nivells que conduïen “por los caminos montañosos del Averno” i als quals s’accedia amb unes plataformes elevadores. Els terres inestables, els efectes òptics i la projecció de fantasmagories procuraven un autèntic descens als inferns.

El Cabaret de la Muerte del Paral·lel (1926)

El plat fort, però, era el Teatro del Cabaret de la Muerte y el Paraíso. Vam sentir parlar per primer cop del Cabaret de la Muerte arran del descobriment d’un espectacle que amb aquest nom s’exhibia en el número 72 de l’avinguda del Paral·lel, entre els anys 1925 i 1926, en els soterranis del Café Concert Sevilla. Si aquest descobriment va ser una sorpresa, ho és més saber que un espectacle semblant i amb el mateix nom ja existia l’any 1911 quan es va inaugurar el Saturno Parque.

El Cabaret de la muerte del Saturno Parque, amb imatges del Cabaret du Néant de París

El Cabaret du Néant del Saturno Parque,
en uns anuncis de 1911

L’escenografia del Cabaret de la Muerte del Saturno era semblant al del Cabaret du Néant, fundat el 1892 per l’il·lusionista Antonin Dorville, amic de Georges Méliès, i situat en el número 34 del Boulevard de Clichy de París. El local parisenc, que funcionava alhora com a taverna, oferia espectacles relacionats amb la mort, els fantasmes i l’infern, en un ambient d’esquelets, calaveres i taüts, mentre els clients prenien begudes que s’anunciaven fetes de sang, pus i esputs de tuberculosos, i on s’entretenia els espectadors amb trucs d’il·lusionisme i fantasmagories.

El nom i les imatges del Cabaret du Néant es feien servir, precisament, com a reclam de l’espectacle del Saturno Parque. Una de les atraccions proposava als espectadors ser introduïts en un taüt per a ser transformat en un esquelet sota el suggeridor anunci que proclama la transfiguració de les ànimes. L’espectacle, en un entorn similar al d’una cripta, durava una hora mentre una música tètrica composta especialment per al show aterria un públic ingenu i necessitat d’emocions fortes.

Probablement, l’espectacle del Paral·lel deuria ser semblant a aquest del Saturno Parque, mentre el Café Concert Sevilla feia les funcions de taverna, diferenciant-se d’aquesta manera del Cabaret du Néant, que compaginava les dues funcions.

El Teatro del Cabaret de la Muerte y el Paraíso completava la seva oferta amb les Experiencias anatómicas que, sense saber exactament què contenien, oferia “operaciones instructivas, morales y atractivas” que ens porta a pensar en l’existència d’un petit reservat que mostrava un gabinet de figures anatòmiques de cera que podien mostrar el procés de gestació i el part, amb una atractiva Venus anatòmica, o els estralls de les malalties venèries, com més tard va fer el Museu Roca.

Hi ha encara molt per descobrir en el món de l’oci popular de la Barcelona del segle XIX i principis del XX. La recerca és lenta i costosa, però les descobertes són grans, com ho van ser els museus anatòmics que es van exhibir a la ciutat. El coneixement d’aquestes atraccions i exhibicions del Saturno Parque ha estat casual gràcies a la localització d’un catàleg de la inauguració de l’any 1911. Quan es tracta d’espectacles itinerants la dificultat de trobar-ne algun rastre augmenta. Pel camí hem trobat zoològics humans que s'exhibien en el Tibidabo i el Turó Park, on una tribu himàlaia era exhibida, el setembre de 1915, entre espectacles de sardanes, putxinel·lis o la casa encantada, i que eren descrits com "los fenómenos más raros del mundo, ni hombres ni monos". La recerca continua.

 Tobogan Glissoir

Muntanyes russes Los Urales

Water chute

Witching Waves

          6/30/2017: Fazenda estuda aumentar tributo sobre combustíveis   
O governo estuda elevar os tributos sobre combustíveis para compensar a perda de receitas com a recessão e fechar as contas do ano sem descumprir a meta para redução do rombo no Orçamento. Para obter verba extra, a área econômica espera que o Congresso...
          Activists rally against Obamacare replacements   

Activists called on Gov. Phil Scott at a rally Wednesday to do more to defeat Republican health care bills in Congress that they say would have a devastating impact on Vermonters. Roughly 60 people gathered on Main Street holding printed yellow signs that read "Medicaid not Millionaires," while others held handmade signs bearing messages such as "No coverage, no peace" and "GOP to disabled Americans: Drop dead."

          GOP's Plan B for Obamacare repeal began with quiet push from Koch network   

President Trump’s surprise suggestion Friday that deadlocked Senate Republicans shift their focus to simply repealing Obamacare — and worry about replacing it later — has its roots in a Koch network proposal that has been shopped around Congress for months.

The influential Koch network, backed...

          Democratic Senate staffers are mostly white and women, new report says   
People working for Democractic senators are overwhelmingly white and mostly women, according to a first-of-its-kind report on diversity in some congressional offices. The current Congress is the most diverse in history, with more minority lawmakers than ever before and a record 21 women in the U.S. Senate.
          Country's Mayors Gather In Miami To Advocate For Cities   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: Among those closely watching the proposals coming out of the Trump administration and Congress in recent weeks are the nation's mayors. This weekend, more than 250 of them are in Miami Beach. And as NPR's Greg Allen reports, mayors say Washington is out of step with cities on a host of issues from immigration and health care to climate change. GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a bipartisan group. The current president, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, is a Republican. But nearly six months after Donald Trump was sworn in, even Cornett says he's still waiting for signs that the president will help the cities. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) MICK CORNETT: Well, if he'll address the infrastructure needs, especially in the larger cities on the East Coast, that would be a big step forward. You know, there's a lot of issues out there where he could prove his worthiness to us. ALLEN: Mayors say they're
          Donald Trump's Attack on Journalist Mika Brzezinski Draws Criticism From Republicans and Democrats   
The President is slammed by more than three dozen Republicans and Democrats in Congress after throwing public insult against the 'Morning Joe' co-host via Twitter.
          Congress authorizes boost of CT-made weapons systems   
WASHINGTON — House and Senate Armed Services panels have finished work on bills that would allow increased submarine production and boost the Pentagon’s authority to buy Sikorsky-made helicopters and F-35 fighter jets whose engines are made by Pratt & Whitney.
          Liquid biopsies: A non-invasive look at treatment response   
(European Society for Medical Oncology) A new study, to be presented at the ESMO 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer, shows that so-called "liquid biopsies", blood tests that detect circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), may not only sound an early alert that a treatment's effect is diminishing, but may also help explain why -sometimes offering clues about what to do next.
          Zoning in on specifics of Mediterranean diet for colorectal health   
(European Society for Medical Oncology) The benefits of a 'Mediterranean diet' (MD) are well-known when it comes to colorectal protection, but it's hard to know specifically what elements of the diet are the healthiest. Now a new study, presented today at the ESMO 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer suggests loading up on fish and fruit, and cutting back on soft drinks are the three most important things.
          Comment on Friday News: “Donald Trump is not well”; “Understanding Republican Cruelty”; TMac Tells Trump Voter Suppression Group to Buzz Off by lowkell   
<blockquote><b>McEachin Joined Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis to Reintroduce the Voter Empowerment Act</b> WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) cosponsored the Voter Empowerment Act, H.R. 12, reintroduced by influential civil rights leader Representative John Lewis (GA-05) as well as House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (SC-06), Ranking Member John Conyers (MI-13), and Rep. Robert Brady (PA-01). “In the early days of our nation, restrictive voting laws were more obvious: literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and property laws. Just because the modern means of voter restriction are less blatant, does not make them less effective, said Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04). “Many states have enforced oppressive policies that attempt to limit voters’ rights, such as voter ID laws and limited early voting opportunities. We must keep fighting to enable every American citizen to cast a ballot regardless of their income level, race, or ability.” The Voter Empowerment Act will: · Ensure equal access to the ballot for all eligible voters; · Modernize the voter registration system to help Americans participate; and · Take steps to eliminate deceptive practices that deter voters from casting their ballots. “During my time in Virginia’s General Assembly, I fought hard for voters’ rights in the Commonwealth. I will continue this fight at the federal level because democracy is at its best when all voices are heard,” added Congressman McEachin. The Voter Empowerment Act would make it easier for Americans to vote by enabling same day registration; expanding early voting; creating a national voter protection hotline; and mandating a verifiable paper trail. Such procedures aim to enable those with non-traditional work schedules and limited access to transportation to cast their ballot in confidence.</blockquote>
           Martina, non si riapre congresso Pd    
MILANO - "Non sarebbe pensabile aprire un secondo tempo congressuale. Non sarebbe comprensibile che si ricominciasse daccapo. Non possiamo permettercelo. Sarebbe sbagliato per tutti noi". Lo dice il vicesegretario del Pd, Maurizio Martina, nel suo intervento al Forum nazionale dei circoli Pd, ricordando che Renzi &#232; stato investito dell'incarico di segretario da primarie cui hanno partecipato due milioni di votanti.
          Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act   
A new MP3 sermon from VCY America is now available on with the following details:

Title: Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act
Subtitle: Crosstalk America
Speaker: Jim Schneider
Broadcaster: VCY America
Event: Radio Broadcast
Date: 6/29/2017
Length: 54 min. (64kbps)

Overview: For several years, we've heard over and over again that a GOP led Congress and Senate would repeal the Affordable Care Act -Obamacare-. Vote after vote was taken for just such a repeal but it never went anywhere. Do Republicans really want to repeal-
          The Political Junkie Talks Healthcare Divide And Press Restrictions   
The Republican party divides over the senate's version of a healthcare bill, the White House bans cameras and recording devices from press briefings, Democrats go 0 - 4 in special congressional elections, which is causing division in their party, and President Trump continues his claims about fake news.

3° CONGRESSO NAZIONALE: LA PSICOTERAPIA PRENDE CORPO Il Congresso è organizzato dall'AIPC (Associazione Italiana Psicoterapia Corporea) e si terrà il 24-25 novembre 2017 a Roma

The post CONGRESSO: LA PSICOTERAPIA PRENDE CORPO appeared first on Centro Padovano di Terapia della Famiglia.

          Ponto SG apoia o Movimento #EuVotoDistrital: Conheça e Participe!   
Assine agora esta petição! Visite o site:

Como é hoje?
Hoje, os representantes do povo no Legislativo (deputados federais, deputados estaduais e vereadores) são eleitos pelo voto proporcional, isto é, os partidos políticos ganham cadeiras em proporção ao número de votos que seus candidatos recebem em todo o Estado (ou cidade). Quanto mais candidatos, mais votos. Um mês após a eleição, 30% dos eleitores já não se lembram em quem votou, pois votam sem conhecer bem os candidatos. Este número aumenta para 70% em relação às eleições anteriores. Uma vez eleitos, os representantes também não se lembram dos eleitores e agem no Legislativo sem prestar contas a eles.
O Voto Distrital
O voto distrital é um sistema de voto majoritário no qual um Estado (ou cidade) é dividido em pequenos distritos com aproximadamente o mesmo número de habitantes. Cada partido indica um único candidato por distrito. Cada distrito elege um único representante pela maioria dos votos.
Que tipo de Voto Distrital o Movimento defende? Puro ou Misto? O movimento #euvotodistrital defende o sistema majoritário de dois turnos. Essa modalidade, além de trazer todos os benefícios do Distrital como conhecemos, preserva os interesses das minorias ao exigir segundo turno, caso o candidato não tenha 50%+1 dos votos.
O que muda?
Aumenta a fiscalização sobre os políticos; diminui o custo das campanhas políticas; estimula a redução de partidos; aumenta o enraizamento dos partidos na sociedade; fortalece o Poder Legislativo; traz nova dinâmica de governabilidade; melhora a relação representante / representado; mais representantes que convivem com a população no dia a dia serão eleitos.
Em detalhes:
Fiscalização e controle
Como cada distrito elege apenas um candidato, a aproximação dele com os eleitores é muito maior.
Na época de eleições, o eleitor poderá fiscalizar mais facilmente os gastos de campanha dos candidatos. Durante os quatro anos de mandato, os moradores de um distrito saberão exatamente quem é seu representante no Congresso Nacional, quais as leis que ele apoia ou não. O eleitor terá muito mais controle sobre o mandato do representante e poderá verificar com facilidade se ele está ou não cumprindo suas promessas e propostas. O eleitor também terá maior influência na elaboração da agenda legislativa de seu município, Estado ou do país, propondo novas leis por intermédio de seu representante. 
Custo de campanha
As campanhas serão realizadas em áreas com menor extensão e população do que hoje. Isso aumentará o acesso à política. Campanhas mais baratas abrem espaço para candidatos com menos recursos financeiros. Um líder comunitário, por exemplo, poderá mobilizar seu distrito para a campanha, com chances reais de vitória. Campanhas menos dispendiosas reduzem a influência de corporações e grupos de interesse no processo eleitoral.
Estímulo à redução de partidos
No sistema distrital, partidos que quiserem eleger muitos representantes terão que ganhar eleições em vários distritos. Só partidos com maior enraizamento na sociedade terão condições de eleger mais deputados ou vereadores. Não haverá lugar para os partidos de “aluguel” ou para pequenas legendas que só sobrevivem em coligação com os grandes partidos.
O voto distrital criará um sistema partidário mais forte, um poder legislativo mais coeso e uma nova dinâmica de governabilidade. Os partidos, grandes ou pequenos, enfrentarão o saudável desafio de atrair a população para suas causas, exercendo na prática o que dizem acreditar. 
Fortalecimento de partidos
O voto distrital aumenta o contato entre políticos e eleitores, colocando a agenda legislativa mais próxima dos desafios e necessidades da sociedade. Com isso, aumenta também a credibilidade das instituições partidárias e do Legislativo.
Para crescer, os partidos deverão apresentar candidatos viáveis nos distritos e ter mais conhecimento sobre os anseios e as necessidades da população. A relação entre partidos e sociedade se fortalece e ganha maior coerência. 
Fortalecimento do Poder Legislativo
A função do Poder Legislativo é representar a população. Fortalecer a relação representante-representado pelo voto distrital significa fortalecer o Legislativo.
A aproximação entre os eleitores e seus representantes torna o Poder Legislativo mais autônomo face ao Executivo, contribuindo para o equilíbrio entre os três Poderes. 
Nova dinâmica de governabilidade
O adensamento das relações entre representantes e representados promove uma nova dinâmica de governabilidade. Os projetos de lei, que hoje são preponderantemente elaborados pelo Executivo, passarão a ser cada vez mais de iniciativa dos legisladores, refletindo mais de perto os interesses da população.
Desafios do Voto Distrital
Mudar o sistema eleitoral não resolverá todos os problemas da política brasileira. O voto distrital é um passo adiante. O objetivo é dar força aos eleitores para que possam assumir a responsabilidade de transformar a política pela sua própria ação.
Projetos de Lei
Já esta em tramitação um projeto de lei que determinará que as eleições para as Câmaras Municipais em municípios com mais de 200 mil habitantes sejam feitas pelo sistema majoritário, proporcionando aos eleitores a experiência de viverem um sistema eleitoral diverso, para que no futuro ele possa ser adotado em outras eleições legislativas. Acompanhe no Vote na Web a PLS—145/2011.
A imagem a seguir mostra o benefício do Voto Distrital para a democracia, para a economia e para o cidadão. Veja:
Clique na imagem para ampliar.

          Congress to boycott mid-night Parliament session on GST roll-out G N Azad   
          Samsung lanserar ny serie kamera-sensorer för smartphones   
Samsung har i samband med Mobile World Congress Shanghai visat upp en ny serie kamerasensorer under namnet Isocell, och tanken är att de ska kunna sitta i alla sorters telefoner..
          Trump Cuts EPA Hard   
Oh boy looks like the Trump admin went through with this: "EPA Board of scientific advisors shrinks from 68 to 11, all future meetings cancelled," after the EPA asked a Scientist to change her testimony to congress about climate change!

Go Trump!
          GJM Activists Attack Trinamool Leader, Damage Government Offices   

Darjeeling Unrest

A Trinamool Congress leader was injured and his house partially damaged when alleged Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists flung a petrol bomb at the residence in the early hours of Friday, officials said.

Violence has been rocking the northern Bengal hills since Thursday night. Police said Trinamool Congress leader M.K. Zimba, also the Vice Chairman of Mirik Municipality, sustained head injuries in the attack following which he had to be medically treated.

The GJM activists also set afire a Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) office and an agriculture department office building in Mirik. Police contingents were rushed to the affected area where the situation was now under control.

The GJM activists also burnt down a Panchayat office at Gairigaon in Kurseong police station area. The fresh spate of violence began on Thursday night when GJM activists attacked a police-Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) patrol party, injuring six security personnel in the Teesta Valley, and ransacked a police outpost.

Two police vehicles were set on fire by the GJM supporters, who snatched an SLR (Self Loading Rifle) and a 9-mm pistol from the police-CRPF patrol party in the Rangli Rangliat police outpost area in Darjeeling district. The GJM-sponsored ongoing shutdown in the hills in support of a Gorkhaland state entered the 16th day on Friday.


The post GJM Activists Attack Trinamool Leader, Damage Government Offices appeared first on Northeast Today.

          Larry Robbins: Don’t get caught up in ‘actuarial gobbledygook’ with CBO health-care bill score   
Larry Robbins, CEO of Glenview Capital, speaks with CNBC’s David Faber on how Congress’ attempts at health-care reform could affect the small and big players in the health-care sector.
          WATCH: Scarborough Says GOP Congressman Told Him He 'Was Scared' for Morning Joe Co-Hosts After Trump Private Explosion   

'He Started Talking About Blood Coming Out of Her Ears, Out of Her Eyes' 

          APC Gives Update On Buhari’s Health, Debunks Fayose’s Claim That He’s On Life Support   

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is fast recovering from his illness, contrary to allegations that he is on life support. The statement was made by the National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, in Abuja while speaking with journalists at the end of a meeting between the party’s National […]

The post APC Gives Update On Buhari’s Health, Debunks Fayose’s Claim That He’s On Life Support appeared first on

          Local Support: Interview with Representative John Lewis   
John Lewis is a U.S. Congressman representing Georgia’s 5th district. He was a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement, leading the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and giving a keynote speech at the 1963 March on Washington. As a Congressman, [...]
          Exhibit: Before They Were Heroes: Sus Ito’s World War II Images @ Harvard Medical School Transit Gallery   

Correction 5/31/17: Someone just pointed out to me that I had written the Saturday hours were on June 2nd. Saturday is actually June 3rd.

It is really unusual to have exhibits on the WWII Japanese American experience in the Boston area. The Transit Gallery at Harvard Medical School is currently exhibiting part of a very rare collection of photos from a Japanese American soldier who served in Europe in the segregated all Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. I checked with the New England chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and we believe this may be the first exhibit in the Boston area to focus on the 442nd. I'm not even sure if other photos like these exist.

Dr. Susumu Ito or Sus as he was known to those of us who knew him, took his 35mm Agfa Ansco to war against orders. In 2015 he told the Los Angeles Times, "I wanted to take [my camera] because we weren't allowed to. I like to break the rules."

Left & right: Japanese American soldiers in the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion
Center: Ito's family in incarceration at Rohwer War Relocation Center

Sus was 21 when he was drafted in 1940, prior to US entry into WWII. He served in a non-segregated Quartermaster truck and vehicle maintenance unit at Camp Haan near Riverside, California. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sus was sent to Fort Sill in Oklahoma and restricted to civilian duty as a mechanic. In 1943 he was selected to join the 442nd and assigned to the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, the artillery unit of the 442nd. While Sus was stationed at Fort Shelby in Mississippi, his family was being unjustly incarcerated at the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas. He was able to visit them once before deploying to Europe and took photos of that visit. Cameras were initially banned inside War Relocation Authority incarceration camps and although restrictions were eventually lifted in the spring of 1943, few candid photos of camp life exist.

Photograph and note to Ito from Larry Lubetski, former Dachau Concentration Camp
prisoner. Lubetski was a Lithuanian Jew who was only a teenager when the
522nd Field Artillery Battalion helped to rescue him after the liberation of Dachau.

Sus and his camera went thousands of miles all over Europe. He documented everything he saw along the way – from Nazi soldiers and their prisoners (he helped to liberate Dachau) to the daily life of his fellow Japanese American soldiers between battles. Sus was a prolific photographer, taking thousands of photos, many of which he sent to his mom to let her know he was okay. The exhibit showcases just a fraction of the collection.

Silhouettes of six German soldiers retreating westward at dawn in Germany.
Spring 1945

After the war Sus continued his education with the help of the G. I. Bill and after receiving his PhD from Case Western Reserve University became a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell Medical School in the lab of Don W. Fawcett, Chair of the Department of Anatomy. When Dr. Fawcett was appointed Chair of the Department of Anatomy at Harvard Medical School in 1960, he brought Sus along with him as an associate professor. After retiring in 1990, Sus, as an Emeritus professor, remained active in the lab until 2014, happy to assist postdocs with electron microscopy, a field that he and Dr. Fawcett pioneered.

Ito on rest and recuperation, posing with his arm around the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
Summer 1945

The exhibit was first displayed at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California in the late summer of 2015. Sus passed away just a few weeks after the JANM exhibit closed. He was a beloved member of Boston's Japanese American community and of the Harvard Medical School community.

Before They Were Heroes: Sus Ito’s World War II Images

In 1994, the Japanese American National Museum received a donation of several dozen 35mm film canisters and their contents from World War II veteran Susumu "Sus" Ito. While serving in the all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team's 552nd Field Artillery Battalion, Ito took thousands of photographs and carried them nearly five thousand miles across Italy, France, and Germany during his wartime service.

In part, Ito took these photos to send to his mother, who was incarcerated at the Rohwer War Relocation Center. The snapshots depict a previously unseen and close-up view of the Nisei soldiers and their everyday experiences. Through the lens of Ito's camera, these young men are just that–young men, away from home and family, serving their country in a time of war. While some of the images capture the soldiers' heroism, most of the photographs show the smaller, human moments of daily life.

Unseen for over seventy years, Sus Ito's thousands of photographs provide a rare window into one person's extraordinary experience of everyday life as a soldier during World War II.

Ito's collection captures the iconic moments often associated with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team–from the rescue of the Lost Battalion to the liberation of two Dachau subcamps.

But these intense moments of war are punctuated by long periods of boredom and waiting. From Ito reading a Superman comic to soldiers stomping on grapes to make wine, the photos notably depict the more routine activities of wartime life. Ito purposefully captured and sent these snapshots to his mother as a way [to] reassure her of his safety.

Today, the collection of photographs stands as a unique record of an important period in American history.

This exhibit was organized by the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, and is sponsored by the Harvard Medical School Office of Human Resources, the New England Japanese American Citizens League, Dr. James Adelstein, Atsuko Fish, and May & Tetsuo Takayanagi.

The original exhibit also contained artifacts and videos which due to space and equipment limitations are not included in the Transit Gallery's exhibit. Later this year the exhibit will travel to the Fullerton Arboretum in Fullerton, CA from September 11th to December 1st. If you are interested in booking the exhibit, please contact the Japanese American National Museum.

Open through Monday, June 26, 2017
Regular Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am - 5pm
Special hours: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 1pm - 5pm
Note: If you are not a member of the Harvard Medical School community, please contact Tania Rodriguez in advance to ensure access to Gordon Hall. 

Transit Gallery at Gordon Hall, Harvard Medical School
25 Shattuck St., Boston, MA 02115

Free and open to the public.

Directions & Parking
Getting to Gordon Hall is a bit of a challenge. Taking the Green Line is your best option. The closest T stop is Brigham Circle on the E Line. You can access Shattuck St. by walking through the courtyard behind the Countway Library of Medicine (the entrance to the courtyard is between the Countway Library and Harvard School of Public Health).

There is some 2 hour metered parking along Huntington Ave. but not a lot. Most of the nearby parking garages are attached to hospitals and I'm not sure if they are open to the public. The closest garage that I believe is open to the public is the Longwood Galleria Garage at 350 Longwood Ave. See rates here.

Related Posts

Further Reading

          2017 3.11 Events in Boston   
If you are aware of a 3.11 event that I have not listed, please post a comment with a link to the event or details if the info isn't on a public webpage. I will update this post if I learn of any other events.

This year is the sixth anniversary of the tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear disaster that happened in Japan on March 11, 2011. Fukushima continues to face challenges in the massive clean up at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant which "the Japanese government estimates will take four decades and cost 8 trillion yen ($70.6 billion)". Some people in Tohoku are still living in "temporary housing". Communities have shrunk due to people moving away for jobs and housing and the likelihood of being able to repopulate grows smaller with every passing year.

Although the world's attention has moved on to other disasters, some groups in Boston continue to be involved in educating the public and supporting Japan through this crisis. If you are interested in learning more, please consider attending one of these events. Events are listed in chronological order.

I'm sorry I didn't get this post up soon enough to help publicize The Japan Society of Boston's event, Research and Reflections on Fukushima Today: Recovery Progress Since the Triple Disaster of 03.11.11, which was held on February 21, 2017.

Update 3/1/17: I just learned that MIT Japanese Tea Ceremony will not hold their annual 3.11 Japan Memorial Charity remembrance and fundraising event this year.

3.11 Memorial Event

Tewassa, a Cambridge-based volunteer group that produces "message quilts" for schools and organizations in the Tōhoku region, will be holding a memorial event.

Date & Time
Saturday, March 4, 2017
4:00 - 6:00pm

GrayMist Studio & Shop
364 Huron Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Public Transit & Parking
GrayMist is accessible by the 72 and 75 buses from Harvard Square. There is free on-street parking along Huron Ave. and neighboring streets.

Children of the Tsunami Screening & Fundraiser for Ashinaga

Children of the Tsunami (watch for free on vimeo)
Directed & written by Dan Reed
2012 | Japan | 59 mins | Documentary  
On March 11th 2011 Japan was hit by the greatest tsunami in a thousand years. Through compelling testimony from 7-10 year-old survivors, this film reveals how the deadly wave and the Fukushima nuclear accident have changed children's lives forever. The story unfolds at two key locations: a primary school where 74 children were killed by the tsunami; and a school close to the Fukushima nuclear plant, attended by children evacuated from the nuclear exclusion zone.

The Tufts Japanese Culture Club's event is a fundraiser to benefit Ashinaga, a Japan-based non-profit that provides financial, educational, and emotional support to children worldwide "who have lost one or both parents as a result of illness, accident/disaster, or suicide, as well as children who have a parent with a disability that prevents them from working". Since 2011, the Tufts JCC* has been very active in fundraising and educating the Tufts community on the ongoing post-3.11 challenges.

Snack Sale & Crane Folding

Stop by the Mayer Campus Center to purchase mochi, cookies and rice crackers! JCC* students will also be folding origami cranes for a senbazuru (one thousand origami cranes) which will be installed later in the Tisch Library.

Date & Time
Thursday, March 9, 2017
noon - 3:00pm

Tufts University
Mayer Campus Center
44 Professors Row, Medford, MA 02155

Children of the Tsunami Film Screening

Date & Time
Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tufts University
Aidekman Arts Center
Alumnae Lounge
40 Talbot Ave., Medford, MA 02155
Directions & Parking

Free, but donations for Ashinaga gratefully accepted.

Voices from the Waves (Nami no Koe) | Shinchimachi

Screening will be followed by Q&A with Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Film Director and Reischauer Institute Resident Fellow.

Moderator: Alexander Zahlten, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Voices from the Waves (Nami no Koe) | Shinchimachi
Directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Ko Sakai
2013 | Japan | 103 mins | Documentary

From 2011 to 2013, RYUSUKE HAMAGUCHI and Ko Sakai conducted a series of interviews with residents in the Tohoku region of northern Japan, an area heavily hit by both the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. Their research resulted in three films which have since come to be known as the Tohoku Trilogy: The Sound of the Waves (Nami no oto 2011), Voices from the Waves (Nami no koe 2013), and Storytellers (Utau hito, 2013). In Voices from the Waves, residents from the region face the camera in close-up view to deliver recollections of the earthquake and tsunami. Centering on the rich regional folk tradition of storytelling, the film explores the experience of discovery in the encounter between speaker and listener. Through Hamaguchi’s lens, Voices from the Waves poignantly showcases how a single event may live a thousand lives through the act of telling and how different voices can render that one event into similar yet unique pieces of storytelling. This interaction between speaker and listener becomes an empowering and transformative process, an affirmation of human resilience, and provides hope for recovery and a return to normalcy in the region. (Screening time: 103 minutes, Japanese with English subtitles)

Reischauer Institute Japan Forum special film presentation

Date & Time
Friday, March 10, 2017
4:00 - 6:15pm

Harvard University
Kang Room (S050), Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse, CGIS South Bldg., 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138

トレイン トレイン 


Students from Tohoku University of Art and Design are coming to Boston Children's Museum for the fifth year to mark the anniversary of 3.11. For the third year the students will have an art and friendship exhibit. The public is invited to attend the exhibit opening. The exhibit is open through Monday, September 30, 2017. Children can meet the artists from Japan and engage in a hands-on activity. See photos from 2014 (here and here) when they had fun making monsters. The exhibit is brought to the museum by artist Minatsu Ariga and her “ART THINKING” project team at the university.

Exploring trains as a symbol of determination and kindness carrying HOPE to our Future!
This art exhibition “トレイン トレイン TRAIN TRAIN” invites visitors on an imaginary adventure to our future.

Trains are not quitters. They just keep moving forward every day whether in the rain, in the wind, against the summer heat, or against the winter snow. Trains often remind us of the importance of hard work, patience, tenacity, and willpower.

Trains carry many things and people, and trains help them reach to their destinations. Trains remind us of the importance of kindness, generosity, and compassion for all humanities and the earth we live in.

In this art exhibition, artists use “trains” as their storytellers and welcome us to reflect our lives through exploring those stories. Where is your train going? Between a station and a station, trains connect us together and lead us to our tomorrow with hopes and dreams.... Please also tell us your train stories. What is your train story like? Is it romantic, dynamic, soulful, gentle...?

The artworks in this exhibition are created by the members of the “ART THINKING” project team at Tohoku University of Art & Design in Japan. After the devastating earthquake and tsunami in their hometown in March 2011, they decided to use the special power of ART to make the world a better place and connect with many friends like you! So they bought this exhibition to Boston as their fourth annual international friendship making project.

Our hope is that this exhibition also brings opportunities for the visitors to peek into today’s youth culture and children’s experience in Japan. Visitors are encouraged to make connections and share their own stories. Through this cross-cultural experience in this art exhibition “トレイン トレイン TRAIN TRAIN”, we hope to engage visitors in joyful discovery of learning and foster their appreciation of the world.

Date & Time
Friday, March 10, 2017
6:00 - 8:00pm

Saturday, March 11, 2017
12:00 - 3:00pm

Boston Children's Museum, Japanese House Gallery 
308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210

Please see the museum's website for admission details.
Please note that "Adults unaccompanied by children must leave proper photo identification at the Admissions Desk. Examples: State Driver’s License or Passport."

Cranes on the Square

Cranes on the Square 2016
This year is the fifth annual Cranes on the Square event organized by local Japanese language teacher Timothy Nagaoka. Volunteers will teach people how to fold origami cranes which will form a temporary public art piece in Copley Square then be collected and delivered to people in the disaster area. See photos from last year's event here.

Date & Time
Sunday, March 12, 2017
11:30am - 4:30pm

Copley Square, Boston, MA 02116

          Evan F. Moore: Baseball shooting victim Scalise owes life to those he wants to strip of liberties    
It has to be a weird feeling for a white man who has used racist and anti-gay rhetoric to have his life saved by a black man and a gay black woman.House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana was one of five people shot when a gunman opened fire at congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, June 14.Scalice spent several days in critical condition and was recently released from the intensive care unit. The Republican congressman owes his life to people whom he previously [...]
          Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress   
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress

          Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress   
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress

          Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress   
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress

          Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress   
Ruth Anthony-Gardner commented on Grinning Cat's group Writing to Congress

          2016 3.11 Events in Boston   
If you're aware of a 3.11 event that I haven't listed, please post a comment with a link to the event or details if the info isn't on a public webpage. This page will be updated if I find out about more events.

This year is the fifth anniversary of the tsunami, earthquake, and nuclear disaster that happened in Japan on March 11, 2011. Although the world's attention has moved on to other disasters, some groups in Boston continue to be involved in supporting Japan through this crisis and educating the public. If you're interested in learning more, please consider attending one of these events. Events are listed in chronological order.

3.11 Japan Memorial Charity 2016: Remembrance of Earthquake and Tsunami

MIT Japanese Tea Ceremony will hold their annual remembrance and fundraising event at the Sanzashi-An Tea House on Showa Boston's campus. Each session is about 75 minutes, includes Japanese Tea Ceremony performance with Japanese confectionery and green tea. Children are welcome to join and babysitter available upon request.

This charity event is to commemorate the North-Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster that happened on March 11, 2011. We hope to support the survivors to improve their living conditions, rebuild the area, and for each of us to remember the tragedy.

The major part of the areas where struck by the earthquake and Tsunami started to recover and rebuild little by little, but is still suffering from the long-existing damages. Even with all the donations and funds collected by countless organizations, groups, and individuals from all over the world, they are still experiencing difficulty making improvements from the destructions. With a great help of our supporters, we hope to become a part to help Japan's retrieval of the losses from the affects.

We believe that we learned something important from this incident. Please do not forget what happened on March 11, 2011, and how the struggles have been made. Take this opportunity for memorials and to support.

"Peacefulness through a Bowl of Tea" is phrased by Sen Genshitsu, the Great Grandmaster of Urasenke Japanese Tea Ceremony. He has always been flying around the world to spread the Japanese Tea Ceremony along with peacefulness; to share one bowl of tea together with all. We, as a part of his family clan, attempt to succeed his expression in the United States as well.
As a extent of our effort, we try our best to support Japan to come together to successfully overcome the tragedy.

Date & Time
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Registration form must be received by Friday, February 19, 2016

Showa Boston, Sanzashi-An Tea House 420 Pond St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Free admission, with suggested donation from $20
*Donations without participation in Ceremony or at the door is also appreciated

All Proceeds from this event with be donated to Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, Japan Society of New York to support reconstruction of the disaster.

3/11: Five Years After the Triple Disaster in Northeastern Japan

Panelists Richard Samuels (MIT, Political Science), Tatsujiro Suzuki (Former Vice Chairman of Japan Atomic Energy Commission of the Cabinet Office), Kenneth Oye (MIT, Political Science & ESD), Miho Mazereeuw (MIT, Architecture) and Akinobu Murakami (University of Tsukuba) will speak on the current state of Northeastern Japan five years after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. This panel is part of the Starr Forum.

Sponsored by the MIT-Japan Program and the MIT Center for International Studies.

Update 3/10/16: Video will be available on the CIS website in 5 days.

Date & Time
Thursday, March 10, 2016
5:30 - 7:30pm

Stata Center, 32 Vassar St., 32-123, Cambridge, MA 02139

3/11 Five Years After: Recovery and Resilience

Five years have passed since the devastating events of March 11, 2011, when the triple disaster of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown in Fukushima hit northeastern Japan. Nearly 16,000 lives were lost, and around 2,500 remain missing. Indeed, beyond the physical damage, emotional grief, and the immediate humanitarian response to these, the Great East Japan Earthquake has had an immeasurable impact on the country’s security relations, business and economic environment, energy policy, and domestic politics and institutions.

How has this disaster changed Japan's political and economic spheres? What policy-making lessons has Japan learned, and what lessons can other countries learn from it? Within five years, has Japan returned to how it was before 3/11, or has it even improved?

The Japan Club at The Fletcher School invites you to an interdisciplinary panel to assess reconstruction, recovery, and resilience since 3/11. The panel will examine closely developments in the U.S.-Japan security alliance, sustainable economic growth, challenges in energy policy, and reactions of domestic politics and institutions.

Opening Remarks: Fumi Tataki (MIB 2016)
Moderator: Prof. Shinsuke Tanaka (Fletcher School)
Panelists: Prof. Keiko Hirao (Harvard University/Sophia University) and