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USA Watch Thread

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#21
caltrek

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What is the matter with Kansas?

Maybe not so much after all.

 

Kansas Republicans Just Defied Donald Trump and Voted to Expand Medicaid

 

http://www.motherjon...senate-medicaid

 

 

 

On the same day the House was supposed to pass a bill dismantling Medicaid, Kansas Republicans took a big step toward expanding the program in their state.

 

In a voice vote Thursday morning, a committee in the Kansas Senate approved legislation that would enable the state to take advantage of an Obamacare provision offering Medicaid health insurance coverage to a wider group of poor people. The federal government would provide the vast majority of the funding.

 

Many deep-red states like Kansas have rejected Medicaid expansion based largely on their ideological objections to Obamacare. But as I reported earlier this week, a new bloc of moderate Republicans in the state—back by the health care industry and business community—have teamed up with Democrats to push Medicaid expansion. They point out that the state has given up, to date, nearly $2 billion in federal funds that could have helped both improve the health of the state's low-income communities while also boosting its economy.

 

The Kansas House overwhelming passed Medicaid expansion earlier this year. The full state Senate is expected to vote on the issue Monday, according to KCUR. But they would likely need to cobble together a veto-proof majority, since Gov. Sam Brownback ® has vocally opposed to adopting the program. In fact, Brownback released a letter Thursday, signed with seven other Republican governors, asking Congress to pass the repeal of Obamacare, which would eventually end funding for new sign-ups in the Medicaid expansion and would prevent states such as Kansas signing up in the meantime.

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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#22
Sciencerocks

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Maybe Kansas is waking up after seeing first hand failed trickle down policies...

 

Liberterianism and extreme conservationism are without question stupid.


To follow my work on tropical cyclones


#23
Yuli Ban

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US interior secretary suggests America could annex Mexican land to build Donald Trump's wall

America could annex Mexican land to build Donald Trump's "big, beautiful wall" on the border, the US Interior Secretary has suggested. 
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told a Public lands Council meeting the Trump administration did not want to build the wall on US soil because it would mean ceding the Rio Grande river to Mexico.
“The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall,” Mr Zinke said, according to E&E News.


Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#24
Alislaws

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US interior secretary suggests America could annex Mexican land to build Donald Trump's wall

 

Yes, annex your neighbours' land, that has never ever been the opening move in a terrifying world war. 



#25
caltrek

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Alabama Governor Faces Impeachment Hearings After Ruling

 

 

http://www.msn.com/e...=ob-fb-enus-280

 

Introduction:

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will face impeachment hearings beginning Monday after the state Supreme Court gave lawmakers the greenlight to move ahead with an effort to oust the governor, who is fighting to stay in office amid fallout from an affair with a top aide.

 

The Alabama Supreme Court on Saturday reversed a short-lived victory for Bentley when a judge on Friday blocked impeachment proceedings. After the high court's ruling, the House Judiciary Committee quickly announced plans to proceed with hearings on Monday.

 

Bentley, a 74-year-old dermatologist and former Baptist deacon, has been engulfed in a sex scandal since recordings surfaced in 2016 of him making suggestive remarks to a female aide before he and his wife of 50 years got divorced.

 

Bentley has vowed to stay in office despite growing calls for his resignation. He stood on the marble steps of the state Capitol on Friday and somberly acknowledged making personal mistakes but maintained he did nothing to merit his removal from office.

 

"I do not plan to resign. I have done nothing illegal. If the people want to know if I misused state resources, the answer is simply no. I have not," Bentley said. He criticized unnamed people he said were delighting in exposing the embarrassing details of his personal life.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#26
Mike the average

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Secretary of state/ceo chairman of Exxon mobil touches down in Russia.

Meeting of the 2 evil empires, with tension over *alleged* chemical bombings by Assad, its undone a lot of the point of hiring the oil tycoon as secretary of state to try sweet talk Russia over like an oil deal.

Good try by Trump though.
'Force always attracts men of low morality' - Einstein
'Great spirits always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds' - Einstein

#27
caltrek

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The story below is weird.  I do hope it is not some sort of hate crime motivated by the victim's religious affiliations.

 

 

United States' First Female Muslim Judge Found Dead in Hudson River

 

https://www.yahoo.co...-013725962.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Reuters) - A groundbreaking black jurist who became the first Muslim woman to serve as a U.S. judge was found dead in New York's Hudson River on Wednesday, police said.

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a 65-year-old associate judge of New York's highest court, was found floating off Manhattan's west side at about 1:45 p.m. EDT (1845 BST), a police spokesman said.

 

Police pulled Abdus-Salaam's fully clothed body from the water and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her family identified her and an autopsy would determine the cause of death, the spokesman said.

 

Abdus-Salaam, a native of Washington, D.C., became the first African-American woman appointed to the Court of Appeals when Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo named her to the state's high court in 2013.

 

"Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all," Cuomo said in a statement.

 

2017-04-14T013725Z_1_LYNXMPED3D01M_RTROP

 

Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, associate judge of the Court of Appeals, who was found dead in New York's Hudson River on Wednesday, speaks in this undated photo released by the Columbia Law School in New York


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#28
caltrek

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I suppose some will complain about the "whining tone" of this article even as their tax dollars are spent on counterproductive measures.

 

America's Prison Industrial Complex

 

http://www.ydsusa.or...s_incarceration

 

Imntroduction:

 

At a staggering 2.3 million incarcerated Americans, the US is currently home to the largest prison population in the world.  Many believe that mass incarceration, the growth of the prison population that has increased by 500% within the past thirty years, will ensure our safety through harsher methods; however, mass incarceration is especially detrimental to communities of color.

 

The prison industrial complex, a term that describes the overlapping interests found in the government and industry through which mechanisms such as surveillance, policing and imprisonment are seen as solutions to economic and sociopolitical issues,  greatly assists in the maintenance of authority of people who get their power through racial and economic privileges.  This complex is notorious for being heavily influenced by institutional racism.  These private prisons are substantially beneficial for the prisons, private prison lobbyists and affiliated corporations.

 

Institutional racism plays a significant role in the perception of people of color.  Stereotypes make people of color more susceptible to mass incarceration. These stigmas distort the way police officers perceive, misinterpret, and mistreat people of color, including racial profiling. The dissimilar perceptions by police of Blacks and Whites perpetuate differences that advance institutionalized racism in the US. 

 

Exploitation of POC by the prison industrial complex in the late 20th century and early 21st century resulted increased profit of private prisons, a reinforcement of systemic oppression and institutional racism, the racialization of crime, and social death.

 

Private prisons make billions off of exploiting prisoners who are predominately Black and Latino.  As Matthew Desmond says in his book, Racial Domination, Racial Progress: The Sociology of Race in America, "The prison industry has ballooned into a multibillion-dollar industry, complete with its own online community of corrections vendors. Prisoners are ideal customers...Indeed, entire prisons are now operated by private companies. Private prisons have been on the rise since the mid-1980s, and, today, over half the states rely on for-profit prisons, where roughly 90,000 inmates are housed each year.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#29
Mike the average

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Donald-Trump-Xi-Jinping-handshake-Florid

 

Trump has given up attempting to use Russia to defeat China, a ridiculous plan from the start, however make NK hate China instead actually has a realistic chance of happening.

 

Hence the photo above and Trumps unusual gleeful behaviour.  I think Tillerson will be replaced within a year, he had no experience other than Exxon Ceo oil ties with Russia which has turned out pointless.


'Force always attracts men of low morality' - Einstein
'Great spirits always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds' - Einstein

#30
caltrek

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Pew Research Survey Shows Voters Increasingly Feel Democrats Represent Their Views on Many Key Issues

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/survey-voters-increasingly-feel-dems-represent-their-views/ar-BBzWCoZ

 

Extract:

 

Voters feel that Democrats are better at handling foreign policy, 49%-36%. Last year, Republicans held that advantage, 46%-38%.

 

Despite President Trump making his tough on immigration stance a key part of his presidential campaign, 50% of those surveyed feel Democrats will handle the issue better than Republicans. That number is compared to 39% of Americans, who feel Republicans are better equipped to handle immigration. In past years, Pew says that the parties were "about even" on the issue.

 

Voters also give Democrats sizable advantages on dealing with the environment (59%-28%), abortion and contraception (53%-33%) and health care (54%-35%.)

 

Americans also feel Democrats better represent their views on government spending, 48%-40%. That news comes just weeks before the federal government is set to shut down unless Congress can pass a funding bill.

 

Republicans do continue to have a double-digit advantage on terrorism, 48%-36%. They also have a slight lead on gun policy, 46%-41%.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#31
Alislaws

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Pew Research Survey Shows Voters Increasingly Feel Democrats Represent Their Views on Many Key Issues

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/survey-voters-increasingly-feel-dems-represent-their-views/ar-BBzWCoZ

 

Extract:

 

Voters feel that Democrats are better at handling foreign policy, 49%-36%. Last year, Republicans held that advantage, 46%-38%.

 

Despite President Trump making his tough on immigration stance a key part of his presidential campaign, 50% of those surveyed feel Democrats will handle the issue better than Republicans. That number is compared to 39% of Americans, who feel Republicans are better equipped to handle immigration. In past years, Pew says that the parties were "about even" on the issue.

 

Voters also give Democrats sizable advantages on dealing with the environment (59%-28%), abortion and contraception (53%-33%) and health care (54%-35%.)

 

Americans also feel Democrats better represent their views on government spending, 48%-40%. That news comes just weeks before the federal government is set to shut down unless Congress can pass a funding bill.

 

Republicans do continue to have a double-digit advantage on terrorism, 48%-36%. They also have a slight lead on gun policy, 46%-41%.

 

If only it was america that was having the surprise election!



#32
Mike the average

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USA has managed to again spread its warmongering to my hometown for the second time in 100 years after the japs levelled it for being a US ally in WW2.

http://www.news.com....9f99e8d04d913b3

An unfinished war that the USA helped ignite. All for the worlds biggest idiot Trump, who is mentally matched with Kim Jong Un in this latest series of Survivor, where Un is pretending he found an immunity idol. What happens when Trump wants to take on China.
'Force always attracts men of low morality' - Einstein
'Great spirits always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds' - Einstein

#33
caltrek

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In reading the article below, you would never know that the Democrats are in the minority in Congress.  What is missing is a discussion of Republicans who are not willing to go along with Trump's idiocies.

 

Trump and Congress Eye Shutdown Showdown Over Border Wall

 

http://www.politico....der-wall-237502

 

Introduction:

 

President Donald Trump and Congress are on a collision course over government funding this week, as the White House demands money for a border wall with Mexico and Democrats vow it will never see a penny.

 

But just five days out from a government shutdown, Trump appears headed for disappointment. Democrats are signaling they’re unlikely to cave, and Hill Republicans are already pressing the administration to fight another day.

 

This means that means the White House is largely on its own in a high-stakes game of political chicken, weakening its negotiating position. Even Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the former Homeland Security Committee chairman who wrote the 2006 law authorizing the wall’s construction, said the White House should push for it later in the year.

 

“There’s going to be compromises going on,” King said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “Once the government is up and running, and stays open and running, then we have to fight this out over the next year.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#34
caltrek

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House Passes Bill to Avoid Government Shutdown

April 28, 2017

 

http://www.courthousenews.com/house-passes-bill-avoid-government-shutdown/

 

Introduction:

 

(CN) – Members of the House overwhelmingly approved a short-term spending bill Friday that will prevent a partial shutdown of the U.S. government over the weekend. The measure now moves to the Senate, where approval is nearly certain.

 

The vote in the House was 382-30. Congressional leaders hope the measure will give a bipartisan group of lawmakers enough breathing room to successfully complete a $1 trillion dollar spending package that will fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters this week that Congress is “very close” to completing the $1 trillion budget package.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., blocked the Senate from approving the short-term measure late Thursday, citing concerns over environmental and financial measures promulgated by the Trump administration.

 

Bipartisan budget talks began to gain ground after the White House dropped its demand for money to start building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and backtracked on a threat to withhold payments that help lower-income Americans pay their medical bills.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#35
caltrek

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Illinois Democrats Unseat Republicans's in Local Races

 

http://www.populist....dispatches.html

 

Abstract:

 

In a spate of local elections April 4 in Illinois, Democrats picked up seats in places they’ve never won before.

 

The city of Kankakee elected its first African-American Democratic mayor. West Deerfield Township will be led entirely by Democrats for the first time. Elgin Township voted for “a complete changeover,” flipping to an all-Democratic board. Normal Township elected Democratic supervisors and trustees to run its board ― the first time in more than 100 years that a single Democrat has held a seat, Jennifer Bendery noted at HuffingtonPost.com (4/13).

 

“We had a pretty good day,” said Dan Kovats, executive director of the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association. “We won in areas we normally would win, but we also won in areas Republicans never expected us to be competitive in. They were caught flat-footed.”

 

These may seem like relatively small victories, in municipal races in towns with tens of thousands of people, but they fit with a broader pattern that should have Republicans on edge ahead of the 2018 elections: Progressive grassroots activism, exploding with energy since President Donald Trump’s win in November, is fueling Democratic gains in GOP strongholds.

 

…In Illinois, a number of Democrats who just won got a boost from a program launched by US Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) called Build The Bench. It’s an all-day boot camp that offers nuts-and-bolts details for running a successful campaign. Bustos came up with the idea last year when she noticed a dearth of new Democratic candidates for Congress, and decided the best way to help build up her party’s ranks was at the local level.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#36
wjfox

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Sigh.

---

U.S. nears $100 billion arms deal for Saudi Arabia: White House official

May 12, 2017 | 9:20pm EDT

The United States is close to completing a series of arms deals for Saudi Arabia totaling more than $100 billion, a senior White House official said on Friday, a week ahead of President Donald Trump's planned visit to Riyadh.

The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the arms package could end up surpassing more than $300 billion over a decade to help Saudi Arabia boost its defensive capabilities while still maintaining U.S. ally Israel's qualitative military edge over its neighbors.

"We are in the final stages of a series of deals," the official said. The package is being developed to coincide with Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia. Trump leaves for the kingdom on May 19, the first stop on his maiden international trip.

Read more: http://www.reuters.c...i-idUSKBN18832N


nV9YVH2.jpg



#37
BarkEater93

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Yikes, that's a shitload of money...

Might have to change some of my predictions on Saudi Arabia, but I'll wait to see how this plays out.



#38
Maximus

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The First Signs Of A National Mobilization For War Are Appearing

 

An interesting concatenation of parallel efforts to pull the U.S. military up by its proverbial bootstraps is beginning to show signs of purposeful strategic direction. There are calls from many quarters to increase the sizes of the Navy, Army, Air Force, , Marine Corps. Add to these the proposals to accelerate near-term Army land force modernization, ramp up the production rates of our most modern military systems such as Virginia-class submarines, the F-35 fighter, late model Army Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, and expand the Marine Corps’ amphibious warfare fleet.
 
We are beginning major new investments in a strategic bomber, an aerial tanker, a ballistic missile submarine, long-range cruise missiles and theater and strategic missile defenses. Then there are the efforts by organizations such as the Army’s brand-new Rapid Capabilities Office and the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) to jumpstart modernization by repurposing existing capabilities in order to close critical capability gaps in such areas as electronic warfare and long-range fires. Finally, there are a wide range of potentially revolutionary capabilities being explored under the umbrella of the Third Offset Strategy.
 
One more data point on which to plot the curve: the Trump Administration has begun to employ a national security standard in its considerations of critical trade issues. The White House ordered the commerce department to investigate whether low-price steel imports are compromising U.S. national security. A battle is brewing over the attempts by two U.S. businessmen to buy the only U.S. mine capable of producing rare earths, minerals critical to the production of many high-end electronic systems. China now produces 95 percent of all rare earths. Unfortunately, one of the two businessmen represents a Chinese company and the other a Russian one. Look for this to be an important case for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

 
No need to panic: as the article goes on to say, this is just the US adapting to a deteriorating global security environment, as its unipolar moment fades away. Ideally, we would have seen this increased focus on defense years, or even decades ago. I mean, how ridiculous was the notion that the West had trumped all its enemies, and would never be challenged again? Was it not obvious to our leaders that the Russia emerging from the ashes of the USSR would be on the hunt for revenge? Did they not realize there was a country with over a billion people in Asia rapidly industrializing, which would soon have the ability to directly challenge the US? Better late than never, I guess.
 
Beginning of slightly off-topic rant about cyberwarfare, which the West is not dedicating enough attention to, and is therefore not prepared to deal with. I'm glad defense spending is increasing, but just pumping out a hundred battleships won't help you deal with the effects of a covert disinformation campaign conducted by another superpower. 

Spoiler

 
 


If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done. -Peter Ustinov
 

#39
wjfox

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Chelsea Manning freed today.

 

https://twitter.com/...840675220754436

 

 

eLznIq8.jpg



#40
PhoenixRu

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OMG...

 

DAYE5-LXgAALQNK.jpg


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"And the Russian land, let God keep it! Under heavens, there is no other land like this. And although Russian nobles are not righteous neither kind, let God arrange the Russian land and give us enough justice" - Afanasy Nikitin, medieval traveler of XV century.






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