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#941
Jessica

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Breaking News: Trump Says Lawmakers Reach Bipartisan Debt Limit Suspension Deal

Source: Bloomberg



President Donald Trump announced a bipartisan deal to suspend the U.S. government’s borrowing limit and boost government spending levels for two years, Bloomberg News reports.

The House must approve this agreement this week before members leave July 26 for a six-week recess. The Senate can put it to a vote next week. The measure will need Trump’s signature to become law,
and he didn’t explicitly say he’ll sign it.

 

July 22, 2019, 3:50 PM MDT

Read more: https://www.bloomber...n-deal-jyexbqrb

 

So they slashes taxes, then raise borrowing to compensate? Classic!

 

 

It is pure idiocy. Anything not to tax the bloated rich!


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#942
Jessica

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Romney to vote against budget deal: Agreement 'perpetuates fiscal recklessness'

Source: The Hill


BY TAL AXELROD - 07/25/19 03:43 PM EDT



Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Thursday he intends to vote against a budget deal the White House struck with House Democrats earlier this week as conservatives continue to express concerns over increases to the national debt.

“Utah balances its budget every year, and while it may not be in fashion in Washington, we still care deeply about fiscal responsibility. The federal government, however, has followed a very different course, and our national debt now totals over $22 trillion,” Romney said in a statement to The Hill.

“This deal unfortunately perpetuates fiscal recklessness by adding another $2 trillion to the debt, and I cannot support it. We must repair our fiscal foundation and set a course to a balanced budget now so that we avoid a future debt crisis that would pose grave hardships for our children and grandchildren.”

Romney joins Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in opposing the deal. Other Republicans, including Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and John Kennedy (La.), are still undecided.

 


Read more: https://thehill.com/...al-recklessness



#943
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U.S. economy misses Trump's 3% target in 2018

Business News
July 26, 2019 / 8:35 AM / Updated an hour ago

Lucia Mutiki 5 Min Read


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth in 2018 missed the Trump administration’s 3% target by any measure, which could renew criticism of the White House’s $1.5 trillion in tax cuts.

The Commerce Department said on Friday that gross domestic product increased at a 2.9% rate last year, confirming an estimate which was published in March. The department’s annual revisions to GDP data also showed the economy growing 2.5% in the 12 months through the fourth quarter of 2018, down from the previously reported 3.0%.

President Donald Trump had highlighted the year-on-year growth figure as proof that the tax cuts and a government spending blitz, which have helped to swell the federal government deficit, had put the economy on a sustainable path of strong growth.

The White House and Republicans have argued that the massive tax cuts, which included slashing the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, would pay for themselves through strong economic growth. Democrats assailed the tax cuts as benefiting wealthy Americans at the expense of the middle-class.

 


Read more: https://www.reuters....8-idUSKCN1UL1KP



#944
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Canadian Searches For U.S. Jobs Dropped 36% Since Trump Elected: Indeed

 

07/25/2019 16:08 EDT

 

MONTREAL ― It’s called the “brain drain” ― the trend of highly-skilled or educated Canadians moving to the U.S. for higher salaries or a warmer climate ― and it’s been a concern for policymakers for decades.

Now, research from job search site Indeed suggests U.S. President Donald Trump may be helping to slow that trend, by making America a less attractive place for Canadians.

In a new analysis of its traffic, Indeed found a 36-per-cent drop in the number of job searches in Canada for U.S. positions. U.S. jobs accounted for 1.9 per cent of all Canadian job searches in the second quarter of 2019, down from 2.9 per cent in mid-2016, before Trump’s electoral college victory.

 

https://www.huffingt...4b0419fd339e104


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#945
caltrek

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This was originally posted in the Australia & Oceania Watch thread.  Because it makes a point about health care in the United States, I have chosen to cut and paste it to this thread so that I may respond without derailing the other thread.

 

 

 

 

(Eacao) Yeah "Public healthcare" isn't inherently just better than privatised systems, or vice versa. These are very large policies that gobble large percentages of developed nations' GDP and need to be looked at in a little more detail. The whole "private!" vs. "public!" healthcare debate is simplistic. It depends on how each approach gets implemented and how efficiently they can be sustained. No point promising free healthcare if it's going to bankrupt the nation and raunt the entire population of taxpayers, similarly no point gunning for ever better efficiency via privatisation if the quality is crap (which is a dubious conclusion).

 

The linked thread cited by Eacao makes a valid point about  no such thing as free health care. A straw man type argument if ever there was on.  The conclusion is a little bit more balanced:

 

 

However, first, we will need to decide fundamental issue do we want the government to micromanage healthcare or do we trust the system in which the greed-driven doctors, clinics, and hospital competing for our money will better serve us than the government.

 

Still, even that misses the mark. Consider:

 

 

In 2016, administration accounted for 8.3 percent of total health care expenditures in the United States—the largest share among comparable nations. (see Figure 1) Countries with single-payer systems are among those with the lowest administrative costs. For example, administrative spending accounts for just 2.7 percent of total health care expenditures in Canada.36 OECD data also show that within a country, administrative costs are higher in private insurance than in government-run programs.37

 

Countries that have multipayer systems with stricter rate regulation also achieve much lower administrative costs than the United States.

 

Source:  https://www.american...th-care-system/

 

Edit:  There is also the comparatively high cost of drugs in the U.S.:

 

 

The federal government gives drug companies a monopoly through patents and FDA marketing exclusivity. And what do companies do with a monopoly? Both economic theory and lots of empirical data say that when you give a company a monopoly, they're going to raise prices until raising the prices reduces their margin.

 

What do we do in monopoly situations? We regulate. Every other country in the world regulates drug prices, typically through some formal process of negotiation. Only we don't.

 

Drug prices are excessive and unjust, and R&D costs don't explain the high drug prices in the U.S. We still have a lot of work to do to get those drug prices under control.

 

Source:  https://www.rand.org...ted-states.html


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


#946
Alislaws

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So... abit off topic, but they should bring drug prices down by the following method:

 

  • All medicinal drugs must be sold at cost (ignoring research).
  • Only companies producing medicinal drugs should be legally allowed to produce and sell recreational drugs.
  • Profit from sales of recreational drugs is limited to some multiple (e.g. 2.5x) of the losses from the research of medicinal drugs, the company must pay 100% tax on any profits after this amount. 
  • Medical research costs can be "sold" to other companies. 

This way:

A) The more money spent on medical research the more money companies can make from recreational drugs.

B) Recreational drugs are produced by trained professionals who can easily be fined billions of $s if their products are made unsafely or marketed without adequate warnings/instructions. (still not ideal but better than criminal drug dealers for many reasons) 

C) If a company made more profit than legally allowed, they could spend some of the excess profit buying research costs from universities, making them more money while funding more medical research!

 

Of course the medical drug industry is much bigger than the recreational one I would guess. However the recreational drug market must surely be heavily depressed by the extremely negative advertising for the last hundred years or so.

 

You could always classify alcohol and tabacco as recreational drugs, then suddenly Budweiser has to invest millions in pharmaceutical research or go out of business. Of course, in fairness, the Govt would need to stop taxing them so suddenly they get way more profit per sale, but have to fund a cure for cancer. 

 

Big losers would be drug dealers obviously, and also drug addicts might object to funding all medical research, but if they think that's unfair they shouldn't have spent all that time funding organised crime. 



#947
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This was originally posted in the Australia & Oceania Watch thread.  Because it makes a point about health care in the United States, I have chosen to cut and paste it to this thread so that I may respond without derailing the other thread.

 

 

 

 

(Eacao) Yeah "Public healthcare" isn't inherently just better than privatised systems, or vice versa. These are very large policies that gobble large percentages of developed nations' GDP and need to be looked at in a little more detail. The whole "private!" vs. "public!" healthcare debate is simplistic. It depends on how each approach gets implemented and how efficiently they can be sustained. No point promising free healthcare if it's going to bankrupt the nation and raunt the entire population of taxpayers, similarly no point gunning for ever better efficiency via privatisation if the quality is crap (which is a dubious conclusion).

 

The linked thread cited by Eacao makes a valid point about  no such thing as free health care. A straw man type argument if ever there was on.  The conclusion is a lttle bit more balanced:

 

 

However, first, we will need to decide fundamental issue do we want the government to micromanage healthcare or do we trust the system in which the greed-driven doctors, clinics, and hospital competing for our money will better serve us than the government.

 

Still, even that misses the mark. Consider:

 

 

In 2016, administration accounted for 8.3 percent of total health care expenditures in the United States—the largest share among comparable nations. (see Figure 1) Countries with single-payer systems are among those with the lowest administrative costs. For example, administrative spending accounts for just 2.7 percent of total health care expenditures in Canada.36 OECD data also show that within a country, administrative costs are higher in private insurance than in government-run programs.37

 

Countries that have multipayer systems with stricter rate regulation also achieve much lower administrative costs than the United States.

 

Source:  https://www.american...th-care-system/

 

Edit:  There is also the comparatively high cost of drugs in the U.S.:

 

 

The federal government gives drug companies a monopoly through patents and FDA marketing exclusivity. And what do companies do with a monopoly? Both economic theory and lots of empirical data say that when you give a company a monopoly, they're going to raise prices until raising the prices reduces their margin.

 

What do we do in monopoly situations? We regulate. Every other country in the world regulates drug prices, typically through some formal process of negotiation. Only we don't.

 

Drug prices are excessive and unjust, and R&D costs don't explain the high drug prices in the U.S. We still have a lot of work to do to get those drug prices under control.

 

Source:  https://www.rand.org...ted-states.html

 

It's a very good reply but I would also like to just add in the other link from the previous post which got snipped. I found this to be some quality analysis from a quality analyst. 

 

I can't see videos in posts so not sure if the YouTube media was visible in my other post. If not, voila

 

Link


If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill

You don't decide your future. You decide your habits, and your habits decide your future.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln.


#948
Jessica

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Hard-won budget, debt deal clears Senate, advances to Trump

Source: Associated Press

2 minutes ago



WASHINGTON (AP) — A hard-won budget and debt deal easily cleared the Senate on Thursday, powered by President Donald Trump’s endorsement and a bipartisan drive to cement recent spending increases for the Pentagon and domestic agencies.

The legislation passed by a 67-28 vote as Trump and his GOP allies relied on lots of Democratic votes to propel it over the finish line.

Passage marked a drama-free solution to a worrisome set of looming Washington deadlines as both allies and adversaries of the president set aside ideology in exchange for relative fiscal peace and stability. The measure, which Trump has promised to sign, would permit the government to resume borrowing to pay all its bills and would set an overall $1.37 trillion limit on agency budgets approved by Congress annually.

It does nothing to stem the government’s spiraling debt and the return of $1 trillion-plus deficits but it also takes away the prospect of a government shutdown in October or the threat of deep automatic spending cuts .

 

-snip-


Read more: https://apnews.com/9...3d4051c84c547e5

 

I'll say this much Obama sure as hell couldn't have gotten this past the republicans.



#949
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U.S. Added 164,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Rate at 3.7 Percent

Source: New York Times

The Numbers


  • 164,000 jobs were added last month. Economists had expected a gain of about 165,000.
  • The unemployment rate was 3.7 percent, the same as in June.
  • Average hourly earnings rose by 0.3 percent. The year-over-year gain was 3.2 percent.


  • Just two days after the Federal Reserve moved to ward off economic snags by paring interest rates, the monthly jobs report signals that the labor market is maintaining its energy during a record-long hiring streak. While last month's payroll additions did not match the thumping gains in June, July's numbers show that employers continue to make room for new job seekers.

    "These things bounce around," Jim O'Sullivan, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, said of the Labor Department's employment report. "But the trend is still strong enough to keep unemployment down." The number of new applicants applying for unemployment insurance has stayed low. And as long as employers create roughly 100,000 jobs each month, the labor market can keep pace with population growth and the jobless rate will hold steady. The report reinforces the Fed's stance that the economy's underpinnings remain strong, even though it is unlikely to temper the push for further rate cuts from investors and President Trump.

 



#950
caltrek

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Mississippi AG Wins Democratic Primary, but GOP Race Undetermined
 

 

https://www.courthou...e-undetermined/

 

Introduction:

 

(Courthouse News) – Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves billed himself as “the one true conservative” in the state’s gubernatorial race, but hours after the polls closed Tuesday night it was unclear if he had won his party’s nomination outright, or if he would have to face a runoff.

 

In the contested three-way race for the GOP, none of the candidates popped over the 50% mark that would quell a runoff election, although Reeves was nearly there with 48.64% of the vote and nearly 90% of precincts reporting, according to Decision Desk HQ

 

The Democratic primary, on the other hand, neatly concluded with Jim Hood, the state’s attorney general, coasting past a field of seven other candidates to win with nearly 70% of the vote. 

 

His policy planks include rooting out corruption in the legislature and slicing and dicing taxes on groceries. 

 

“We can win this,” Hood told supporters Tuesday evening. “We can do this race. Onward to November!”


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


#951
Jessica

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Trump wants to bring back mental institutions to address mass shootings

Source: CBS News



President Trump says he wants to reopen mental institutions as a way to address mass shootings, an idea he pushed twice Thursday and has floated before.

The president's insistence that mental illness is the cause of mass shootings has disconcerted mental health professionals who insist that most people with mental illness are nonviolent. These experts also say people afflicted with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violent crime than the perpetrator, and fear the president's language only further stigmatizes those struggling with mental health issues.

"I do want people to remember the words 'mental illness,'" the president told reporters on his way to a rally in New Hampshire Thursday afternoon, responding to a question about gun control.

"These people are mentally ill and nobody talks about that. But these are mentally ill people, and people have to start thinking about it. I think we have to start building institutions again because, you know, if you look at the '60s and '70s, so many of these institutions were closed...But a lot of our conversation has to do with the fact that we have to open up institutions. We can't let these people be on the streets."

 


Read more: https://www.cbsnews....mass-shootings/



#952
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U.S. created 501,000 fewer jobs as of March 2019 than previous reported

Source: Marketwatch


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. economy had 501,000 fewer jobs in March 2019 than previously reported, government revisions show, suggesting that hiring was not as strong in the past year as it seemed. Hiring was weaker in retail, restaurants and hotels. The annual revision is much larger than is typically the case. The preliminary revision in 2018, for example, was just 43,000. Every year the Bureau of Labor Statistics updates its figures based on unemployment data that nearly all employers are required to file with the states. The current revision is one of the largest ever.

 


Read more: https://www.marketwa...-08-21?mod=bnbh



#953
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Faithless elector: A court ruling just changed how we pick our president

Source: NBC



A federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that presidential electors who cast the actual ballots for president and vice president are free to vote as they wish and cannot be required to follow the results of the popular vote in their states.

The decision could give a single elector the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election — if the popular vote results in an apparent Electoral College tie.
"This issue could be a ticking time bomb in our divided politics. It's not hard to imagine how a single faithless elector, voting differently than his or her state did, could swing a close presidential election," said Mark Murray, NBC News senior political editor.

It hasn't been much of an issue in American political history because when an elector refuses to follow the results of a state's popular vote, the state simply throws the ballot away. But Tuesday's ruling says states cannot do that.

 




Read more: https://www.msn.com/...8tdZ?li=BBnb7Kz



#954
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Billionaire conservative donor David Koch dies at age 79

Source: AP News

 

Billionaire industrialist David H. Koch, who with his older brother, Charles, transformed American politics by pouring their riches into conservative causes, has died at age 79.

 
Charles Koch announced the death on Friday, saying, “It is with a heavy heart that I now must inform you of David’s death.”
 
David Koch, who lived in New York City, was the Libertarian Party’s vice presidential candidate in 1980. He was a generous donor to conservative political causes as well as educational, medical and cultural groups.
 
The Koch brothers were best known for a vast political network they built that became popularly known as the “Kochtopus” for its far-reaching tentacles in support of conservative causes. The brothers founded the anti-tax, small government group Americans for Prosperity, which continues to be one of the most powerful conservative groups in U.S. politics.

 

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#955
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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent treatment for tumor on pancreas

Source: Washington Post

VCIETEEX5YI6PAXE6EDW63LBKI.jpg
 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has undergone radiation treatment for a malignant tumor found on her pancreas, the Supreme Court disclosed Friday. It is her second treatment within a year for cancer. The court said the treatment began earlier this month, and has been completed. “The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the court’s spokeswoman said in a statement. “Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans. No further treatment is needed at this time.”

Ginsburg last December had part of a lung removed after cancer was discovered there. For the first time, the 86-year-old justice missed a monthly sitting of the court, although she kept up with oral arguments and wrote a decision from a case argued that month. She has said since that her health is fine, and that she intends to continue to serve.

Here is the court’s statement:

“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg today completed a three-week course of stereotactic ablative radiation therapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The focused radiation treatment began on August 5 and was administered on an outpatient basis to treat a tumor on her pancreas. The abnormality was first detected after a routine blood test in early July, and a biopsy performed on July 31 at Sloan Kettering confirmed a localized malignant tumor. As part of her treatment, a bile duct stent was placed. The Justice tolerated treatment well. She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule. The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans. No further treatment is needed at this time.”

 


Read more: https://www.washingt...7be4_story.html



#956
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US growth in second quarter revised down to 2 percent

Source: The Hill


The U.S. economy grew 0.1 percentage points slower in the second quarter of 2019 than originally estimated, according to data released Thursday by the Commerce Department.

The department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth between the period from April to June to 2 percent, 0.1 percentage points less than the initial estimate of 2.1 percent released in July.

Revisions to growth estimates occur throughout the year, and the BEA is set to release a final estimate of second-quarter growth in September. The latest revision is relatively small in magnitude but reinforces concerns that the strong U.S. economy is beginning to slow under the weight of global headwinds and President Trump's trade policies.

The U.S has enjoyed unemployment near historic lows, steady growth and rising wages throughout Trump’s term. But there are rising fears that the decadelong stretch of prosperity could end within a year amid a souring economic outlook.

While the U.S. economy has remained strong overall, business investment and manufacturing activity have seen sharp downturns amid the mounting costs of Trump’s trade battles with China and Europe. Economic retractions in the U.K. and Germany, slowing growth in China and an array of geopolitical flashpoints have also hurt the global economy.

 

Read more: https://thehill.com/...wn-to-2-percent



#957
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Trump says he fired national security advisor John Bolton -- but Bolton says he 'offered to resign'

Source: CNBC



President Donald Trump said Tuesday he fired national security advisor John Bolton, saying on Twitter he had "disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions."

But minutes later, Bolton in his own tweet said that he "offered to resign" Monday night, and that Trump told him, "Let's talk about it tomorrow."

Either way, Bolton's departure shocked Washington, D.C.

"I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House. I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning," Trump said in a tweet.

 


Read more: https://www.cnbc.com...ohn-bolton.html



#958
caltrek

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Uni-polar Governance in a Multi-polar World

 

https://www.counterp...ltipolar-world/

 

Introduction:

 

(Counterpunch) The emergence in recent years of the economic and military powers in countries like China, Russia and India has given rise to theories and hopes of a multipolar world that could temper the heavy-handed unilateral/unipolar policies of the United States on a global level. Such hopes are further buoyed by the fact that these rising poles of economic development have instituted a number of regional international organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the China-sponsored Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the Eurasian Economic Union that incorporates Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

 

Despite these propitious developments, however, the ruling elites of these rising powers tend to flinch from more vigorously countering or standing up to the unilateral economic and other imperialistic interferences of the U.S. in their domestic and international affairs. Thus, while many of the world economies are developing in a multipolar direction, the governing mechanism of the global economy remains heavily under the unilateral influence of the United States.

 

How do we explain these paradoxical developments: an evolving multipolar world side-by-side with an insufficient challenge to the unilateral/unipolar policies of the Unites States, especially in major economic areas such as trade, investment and finance; as well as in critical areas such as unilateral economic sanctions and imperialistic schemes of regime change?

 

The existence of the expanding multipolar world side-by-side with the enduring or resistant unipolar world is only superficially paradoxical. In reality it is entirely in accordance with the logic of socio-economic developments of the global capitalist system of our time: Whereas the rising poles of economic development are largely geography- or nation-based, the persisting unilateral governance of this evolving global economic landscape tends to be mainly class-based, which remains largely in the hands of the plutocratic rulers of the United States in collaboration with their class allies worldwide, including allies in the emerging economic and military powers.


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


#959
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Senate Votes to End Emergency Border Wall Funding

Source: CourtHouse News


WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Senate voted 54-41 Wednesday to end President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and stop the diversion of military funds to pay for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, setting up another veto showdown.

Senate Democrats forced the issue to a vote earlier this week, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York saying it would make Republicans go on the record regarding Trump’s “stealing” of money from the U.S. military to pay for a border wall.

The Senate first voted in favor of ending the emergency declaration in March, by a margin of 59-41. At least a dozen Republican Senators went against the president during and supported blocking his use of emergency powers.

However, Trump vetoed that vote and the House was unable to override him. He is expected to issue another veto of Wednesday’s vote.

 

Read more: https://www.courthou...r-wall-funding/



#960
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Poll: A majority of Democratic and Republican voters want tougher Wall Street regulations

 

https://www.vox.com/...reet-regulation

 

Introduction:

 

(Vox) Democratic primary voters in the four crucial early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina overwhelmingly want the federal government to be tougher on Wall Street, according to a new poll.

 

They aren’t alone. A strong majority of Republicans and independents — 65 and 72 percent, respectively — also think Wall Street needs more government regulation beyond the steps taken after the 2008 financial crisis, according to a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting and commissioned by nonpartisan groups Americans for Financial Reform and Center for Responsible Lending. The poll was shown exclusively to Vox.

 

This poll isn’t a one-off. The pollsters ask a variety of questions about the government’s role in financial regulation, and they have been asking them for the last seven years, with largely consistent results. This body of data suggests the aftershocks of the financial crisis in 2008 are still present in many Americans’ minds, and there is an appetite for bold ideas to tackle it.

 

“I think really the most striking thing about this polling has been its consistency,” Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, told Vox. “The experience of the crisis was a really deep and serious one for people. It may have faded into memory of some policy makers and some regulators, unfortunately, but it has not faded in people’s memory because the experience was long-lasting for people.”


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






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