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#1001
Jessica

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Trump administration proposal endangers food stamps for millions
 

Three proposed rule changes by the Trump administration could cause millions of poor people to lose access to food stamps and decrease the size of the benefit for millions more.

Over the past year, the Department of Agriculture proposed three changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP or food stamps. The new rules create stricter work requirements for program eligibility, cap deductions for utility allowances and "reform" the way 40 states automatically enroll families into SNAP when they receive other forms of federal aid.

A study by the Urban Institute released this week examined the three rules in combination for the first time and found that 3.7 million fewer people would receive SNAP in an average month, 2.2 million households would see their average monthly benefits drop by $127, more than 3 million others would see an average drop of $37 per month, and 982,000 students would lose access to free or reduced lunches.

"What we found is that overall the three proposed changes would reduce the number of households participating in SNAP by about 11 percent if this was implemented in 2018," said Laura Wheaton, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who conducted the study. "It's about a 9.4 percent reduction in the number of people participating and about an 8 percent reduction in overall benefits.

 


"https://www.msn.com/...xZta?li=BBnbfcL



#1002
Yuli Ban

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Robot dogs helping the American police

In this filmed exercise, two black robot dogs are standing in front of a bungalow. The first opens the door in seconds, thanks to ultra-powerful articulated arm in the form of a clamp (sold as an option). He bends down to avoid possible shots, blocks the door with a paw, and stands ready to enter the inside while his teammate withdraws the monitor, well on his feet.
 
Twice these robotic dogs worked in real life with the police – who did not give details about their mission


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#1003
caltrek

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House Passes Update to Landmark Voting Rights Act

 

https://www.courthou...ing-rights-act/

 

Introduction:

 

WASHINGTON (Courthouse News) – Responding to a 2013 Supreme Court decision, the House of Representatives on Friday updated the law that mandates oversight of certain states with records of discriminatory voting laws.

 

Democrats by and large have been critical of the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder opinion, which struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in a 5-4 vote.

 

The landmark 1965 law was passed in response to the long history of discriminatory voting laws meant to keep minorities, especially African Americans, from the ballot box. Before making changes to their voting procedures, states that qualified needed to receive approval from either the Justice Department or a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia,

 

Part of the dispute in Shelby County, Alabama, was over Section 4(b), which defined the states that had to submit to preclearance. The law required states that had a voting test in place before November 1964 and had less than 50% voter registration or turnout in that year’s election to get sign-off from Washington before making changes to their voting laws.

 

With a majority opinion from Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court found Section 4(b) unconstitutional because it relied on outdated criteria to determine which states had to submit to preclearance. Without Section 4(b), the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance requirement could not operate, but the court acknowledged Congress could come up with a new formula and restore it.

 

 

Of course, now the legislation will have to be passed by a Senate that has largely been elected post  Shelby County v. Holder.  Then it would have to be signed by a president elected post Shelby County v. Holder (or be supported by a veto override).  All because the Supreme Court quite arbitrarily decided that there was insufficient proof of present day prejudice to warrant pre-clearance.  A Supreme Court, in some part, filled by president who came to office as a result of a stolen election in 2001. A theft aided and abetted by a highly partisan Supreme Court.

 

What a downward spiral we are in.


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


#1004
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Federal deficit has increased 50% since Trump took office.
Link to tweet


#1005
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Over 300 Saudi military aviation students grounded in U.S. after base shooting
 
WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - More than 300 Saudi Arabian military aviation students have been grounded as part of a "safety stand-down" after a Saudi Air Force lieutenant shot and killed three people last week at a U.S. Navy base in Florida, U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

The FBI has said U.S. investigators believe Saudi Air Force Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, 21, acted alone when he attacked a U.S. Navy base in Pensacola, Florida, on Friday, before he was fatally shot by a deputy sheriff.

The shootings have again raised questions about the U.S. military relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has come under heightened scrutiny in Congress over the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia's killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last year.
Still, U.S. military leaders have sought to portray this as a localized issue which would not affect the overall U.S.-Saudi relationship.

 



#1006
Jessica

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US deficit soars to $342B in two months

Source: FOXBusiness


US MarketsPublished 10 hours ago
US deficit soars to $342B in two months
Shortfall for 2019 was $984B

By Jonathan GarberFOXBusiness

The U.S. government deficit spiked 12 percent to $342 billion during the first two months of fiscal year 2020, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO says the U.S. budget deficit will average $1.2 trillion a year from 2020 to 2029, amounting to 4.4 percent to 4.8 percent of gross domestic product.

RETAILERS STOCKING UP TO AVOID BITE OF NEW TARIFFS

During October and November, revenue rose 3 percent from a year ago to $471 billion. Receipts from individual and payroll taxes climbed 4 percent, or $17 billion, while receipts from corporate income taxes were up 14 percent, or $1 billion. Receipts from other sources, such as excise taxes and customs duties, fell 11 percent, or $5 billion.

Meanwhile, expenditures rose 6 percent to $813 billion during the first two months of the fiscal year, which runs from October through September. Spending on mandatory programs, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, was up $22 billion, or 7 percent. Outlays for military programs of the Department of Defense climbed 7 percent, or $8 billion, while Department of Education spending climbed $3 billion, or 25 percent.

 

....

Read more: https://www.foxbusin...-of-fiscal-year



#1007
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House passes bill establishing Space Force, parental leave for federal workers

Source: Washington Post



The House passed a $738 billion defense policy bill Wednesday, establishing the Space Force and introducing parental leave for federal workers, even as liberals signaled dissatisfaction with compromises Democratic lawmakers reached by voting against the legislation.

President Trump said he would sign the bill after striking a deal with House Democrats that permits the creation of his Space Force as a sixth branch of the military, one of his top priorities at the Pentagon, in exchange for extending 12 weeks of paid parental leave to more than 2 million federal workers, a victory for Democratic lawmakers. Federal workers at the moment don’t have guaranteed access to paid family leave.

The bill passed in the House on a 377-48 vote. Those who voted against it were primarily liberal Democrats who felt the compromise version of the legislation hammered out with the Republican-led Senate offered up too many concessions, including a top-line authorization that gives $22 billion more to defense than last year, plus another $5.3 billion for disaster recovery on military installations.

Known as the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, the annual bill sets out priorities for the Pentagon and funding targets for programs. Congressional appropriators ultimately will decide how much federal money the Pentagon receives for those priorities in budget legislation. The compromise bill, having passed in the House, will face a Senate vote slated for next week.

 


Read more: https://www.washingt...80e7_story.html



#1008
starspawn0

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this one here:

Documents show officials misled Americans about war in Afghanistan

YouTube Video

The economist Alex Tabarock tweeted:

https://mobile.twitt...460207692107776
 

What if the Pentagon Papers were released and no one cared?



#1009
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SCOTUS: Homeless people have a constitutional right to sleep on public property outdoors

Supreme Court Refuses to Revive City’s Outdoor-Sleeping Ban

https://news.bloombe..._medium=lawdesk
 


The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a ruling that said homeless people have a constitutional right to sleep on public property outdoors if no other shelter is available to them.

The justices without comment on Monday turned away an appeal by Boise, Idaho, which said the federal appeals court ruling would leave cities “powerless” to address residents’ health and safety concerns.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Boise would be violating the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishments by enforcing criminal penalties under its anti-camping ordinance when its three homeless shelters are full.

“The state may not criminalize conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless -- namely sitting, lying, or sleeping on the streets,” the 9th Circuit said.

 



#1010
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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear drops Medicaid work requirements, reversing Bevin policy
 

Quote
 
Former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s controversial plan to impose work requirements and monthly premiums for many Kentucky Medicaid recipients is no more, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday.

In one of his first major moves as the 63rd governor of Kentucky, Beshear signed an executive order Monday rescinding Bevin’s Kentucky HEALTH plan, which sought to impose strict work requirements for able-bodied, working-age adults. It would have ended health coverage for an estimated 95,000 Kentuckians.
 
“Rescinding this waiver is not only the right thing to do, it is the moral, faith-driven thing to do,” Beshear said.

 



#1011
Jessica

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Senate sends massive defense bill for Trump to sign, creating Space Force

Source: Reuters



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to pass a $738 billion defense policy bill that creates President Donald Trump’s “Space Force” and gives federal employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave, sending it to the White House, where Trump has promised to quickly sign it into law.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 86 to 8 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. The Democratic-led House approved the bill by 377-48 last week.

Trump said on Twitter last week that he would sign the bill as soon as it passes, saying it included all his priorities.

The NDAA also does not bar the Republican president from using military funds to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

 

Read more: https://www.reuters....e-idUSKBN1YL24C

 

wahhhooooooooooooooooooo



#1012
Jessica

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Trump Adviser Caught On Tape: Voter Suppression Key To GOP Battleground Efforts
Justin Clark was recorded at a private event saying: “That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program.”


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — One of President Donald Trump’s top re-election advisers told influential Republicans in swing state Wisconsin that the party has “traditionally” relied on voter suppression to compete in battleground states but will be able to “start playing offense” in 2020 due to relaxed Election Day rules, according to an audio recording of a private event obtained by The Associated Press.

“Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places,” Justin Clark, a senior political adviser and senior counsel to Trump’s re-election campaign, said at the event. “Let’s start protecting our voters. We know where they are. ... Let’s start playing offense a little bit. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program.”

 


https://www.huffpost...yXSdHCmNqlPuwVa



#1013
wjfox

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AOC interview: "No one asks how we're going to pay for the Space Force. No one asked how we paid for a $2 trillion tax cut. We only ask how we pay for it on issues of housing, healthcare and education."

 

https://twitter.com/...354456493060096



#1014
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Justice Dept. winds down Clinton-related inquiry once championed by Trump. It found nothing of consequence.

Jan. 9, 2020 at 11:56 p.m. GMT

A Justice Department inquiry launched more than two years ago to mollify conservatives clamoring for more investigations of Hillary Clinton has effectively ended with no tangible results, and current and former law enforcement officials said they never expected the effort to produce much of anything.

https://www.washingt...a776_story.html

 

 

QfRnpmN.jpg



#1015
wjfox

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What do you guys think about this?

 

 

EJt7cSk.jpg



#1016
caltrek

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^^^I suppose this guys policies are more "progressive" than that of Donald Trump.  Still, many of his sentiments are positively barbaric:

 

 

All immigrants must leave a $5,000 deposit....

 

This is actually more regressive than Trump.  Currently, work visas are available to farmworkers without such requirements.  Such prospective workers are coming to the U.S. precisely due to economic pressures.  If they had $5,000 discretionary funds available, they wouldn't be coming to the U.S.

 

 

No free social services (with exceptions listed)

 

This attitude has precisely been the problem, at least from the immigrant's perspective. Why should they be treated as second class citizens?

 

A work requirement for the able bodied would be reasonable.  There would also be a sort of equality there, everybody competing in the same workforce. 

 

The myth is that there are a bunch of immigrant free loaders draining our taxes.  Studies show how much immigrant workers contribute to our country, and how they receive less in certain kinds of benefits.  Social security is a great example.  They contribute heavily, return home, and often do not collect a cent.

 

Also, only "some catastrophic health insurance for children"?

 

Meaning inferior services needed to prevent the spread of communicable disease, meaning a deterioration of overall health for the entire population, including the natives.

 

 

But you must add to the country prosperity and success

 

Taken by itself, a reasonable sentiment. However, in conjunction with efforts to make immigrants a less privileged segment of the workforce (see above) this all  becomes fundamentally unjust.


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


#1017
Cyber_Rebel

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Zoltan... a Progressive style Republican? I swear his name and his policies aren't of this timeline. He comes from some weird timeline where the G.O.P. actually did reinvent itself after Obama's win, and instead of the Tea Part movement, there was some right-winger transhumanist Cyber-men movement.

 

As far as immigration goes, while I agree with caltrek, Zoltan overall gives me the demeanor of Reagan's era stance regarding immigration. In Zoltan's case, he views it as "pragmatic" to allow more open borders for the sake of nation building at home. As a socialist, I don't even necessarily disagree with his logic, but I hope he understands that the reason why China may be decimating us soon is mainly due to China's willingness to actually invest in its own country. 

 

Are the immigrants going to receive actual good jobs to re-build the infrastructure, engage in higher education, and build up a prosperous middle class economy? If not, then caltrek's fears above would ring true as this is just more neo-liberalism at its core, attempting to make up for all the outsourcing of labor and centralizing of capital.  



#1018
caltrek

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Reporter stumps GOP lawmaker by asking him to cite where in the US Constitution it says socialists ‘either go to prison or are shot’

 

https://www.alternet...on-or-are-shot/

 

Extract:

 

(Alternet)  The Montana Republican Party is facing another scandal over the use of violence to settle political disputes.

 

“A Billings Republican legislator said Saturday he believes the U.S. Constitution calls for the shooting or jailing of those who identify as socialists,” the Billings Gazette reports.

 

… “So actually in the Constitution of the United States (if) they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot,” Garcia claimed.

 

The newspaper noted, “Garcia could not to point to where in the Constitution it says socialists could be shot or jailed.”

 

…“The Montana Republican Party wholeheartedly condemns the comment that was made and under no circumstance is violence against someone with opposing political views acceptable,” according to Spenser Merwin, the MT GOP executive director.


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


#1019
Cyber_Rebel

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Shit like that makes me sometimes rethink the debate surrounding gun ownership. Starting to have a little sympathy for the far left who have started arguing for their own right to carry. It just makes me seem like a hypocrite to do so, when I've argued against it and for major limitations on the access to firearms. But, what can you do when those in power literally are threatening to kill you for existing?



#1020
caltrek

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While it is infuriating to read of people with such attitudes, it is important to note that they are properly labeled and classified as extremists, even  by those otherwise on the right. So it is still correct to occupy the high ground and not be dragged down to their level.  

 

Still, the impeachment fight does illuminate how Republicans can acknowledge some of the wrongs of somebody like Trump, yet refuse to do anything about it.

 

"As president, he cannot be tried for taking improper actions to influence the election, he can only be impeached. He can only be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. If his action do meet that standard, then it is the voters who should act to remove him from office. We should all vote for Trump, despite his demonstrated conduct to affect the vote through improper means."

 

One of the reasons given by the evangelicals for voting for Trump:  he will help to fulfill prophecy and hasten the arrival of the end days, including the second coming.  What utter madness. Still, the trick is to stay sane in the face of this madness, working to awaken the United State from this absurd nightmare.

 

 

 

Edit: Changes to strengthen argument by referencing that Trump's actions were designed to improperly affect the election.


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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