March 25, 2017

Here Are the 50 GOP Senators Who Just Sacrificed Your #BroadbandPrivacy to Corporate Profits
"Privacy and consumer advocates—and a seemingly endless chorus of Internet users—were expressing outrage on Thursday after the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate passed a bill that will allow powerful media corporations to collect personal data of internet users without their consent and sell that information to the "highest bidder" for profit."

Is a billionaire-funded coup to rewrite the Constitution on the verge of happening?

Is a billionaire-funded coup to rewrite the Constitution on the verge of happening?

"According to, Republican lawmakers will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 28, to determine whether Wisconsin will call for a constitutional convention."

Trump’s ‘draconian’ budget devastates rural communities already hanging by a thread
"President Donald Trump’s proposal for the federal budget, released on Thursday, targets a number of agencies and programs for elimination that benefit the rural poor. These 19 independent agencies provide, among other things: job training for low-income seniors, after-school programs for kids in high-poverty areas, and housing assistance to low-income families. These cuts would be particularly harmful if they came along with the end of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which the House Republican health care reform proposal would eliminate. Health care is often more expensive in rural areas, but Trumpcare does not account for geographical price disparities. Even without Medicaid cuts, however, advocates say that rural communities could be devastated by provisions of the Trump budget proposal. “This budget is draconian when it come to the needs of rural places,” said Robert Mahaffey, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust."

Trump's proposed State Department budget cuts put US at risk
"Donald Trump's proposal to cut the State Department's budget by a third, and the implications that will have on fighting terrorism and epidemics like Ebola."

Bernie Sanders: President Donald Trump Broke Working People Promise

Trump: Don't Blame Me When I Quote Fox News
"Donald Trump does not like taking responsibility for White House screw-ups. He'll blame anyone else he can think of—even his friends at Fox News."

DeVos Moves To Give Control Of Education To Koch Brothers And Heritage Foundation | Crooks and Liars

DeVos Moves To Give Control Of Education To Koch Brothers And Heritage Foundation | Crooks and Liars

"Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is wasting no time when it comes to destroying our children's education on a federal level. During her confirmation hearing, she stressed that she would work in the best interests of students, teachers and education leaders, and that she supported public schools, wanting only the best for them. But for those who know DeVos' history, this was not in tune with her previous statements and actions. She has spent the last twenty plus years destroying the education system in her home state of Michigan."

Oops: Devin Nunes Backpedals Spying Claims

Trump-loving former congressman hauled off in handcuffs for allegedly looting his own charity

Trump-loving former congressman hauled off in handcuffs for allegedly looting his own charity

"Tea Partier and Trump supporter Steve Stockman has been charged with violating federal election law by misusing money from a charity that he created. The former Texas congressman allegedly started the non-profit Life Without Limits, then channelled $350,000 in charity donations back to his own account, Click2Houston reports.  At his Thursday court appearance, the judge assured the former congressman that it’s in his best interest to get good counsel as soon as possible."

Trump’s budget proposal plans a disaster for public investment

Trump’s budget proposal plans a disaster for public investment

"The broader cuts in the budget blueprint foreshadow an even worse fate for overall public investment. NDD is only about 16 percent of all federal spending, but fully half of it is public investment. The Trump budget essentially puts a long-run decline in NDD spending on overdrive. NDD budget authority fell from almost 7 percent of GDP in 1977 to about 3 percent by 1990. It has hovered around 3 percent since then, beginning a slow decline in recent years. The administration’s budget intends to accelerate this decline, reducing NDD spending swiftly and sharply from 2.8 percent of GDP in 2016 to 2.3 percent by 2018."

Trump Stooge Spectacularly Undermines Investigation

Trump budget slashes heat assistance for struggling families, saying it's a 'lower-impact program'
"Across the country, LIHEAP helps millions of families, 75 percent of which include an elderly or disabled person or a child."

Over 350,000 Back Call for Lawmakers To Give Up Their Subsidized Healthcare
"Highlighting the hypocrisy of members of Congress who benefit from large healthcare subsidies at the same time that they work to kick millions of Americans off of their health coverage, a man who lost his father to cancer because he was uninsured has created a petition demanding an end to those subsidies for lawmakers."

Russian Agent Ran Trump's Campaign

Trump’s budget screws over his voters
"President Trump’s new federal budget continues a remarkable pattern of being gratuitously cruel to his own voters. The just-released budget zeroes out the two major programs designed to help low-income and elderly Americans deal with energy costs: the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)."

Trump’s budget blueprint is a war on the future of the American economy
"President Donald Trump’s debut budget proposal is a stark declaration of war on the future of the American economy that substitutes a curious mix of ideology and blind nostalgia for any effort to think critically about the actual needs of a 21st-century nation."

Lawrence: President Trump, Paul Ryan, Devin Nunes In Over Their Heads

Senate votes to kill Obama contractor rule
"The rule stemmed from a 2014 executive order issued months after a report by Senate Democrats revealed that almost 30 percent of the worst violators of wage and worker-safety laws from 2007 to 2012 had received government contracts."

We're Witnessing a Dangerous Detachment from Reality
"This is the profound emptiness at the heart of conservatism when it gets into government. Even in triumph, it can't turn off the autonomic anti-government nerve system that has animated modern conservatism for the past 50 years. It has relied on so much that is contrary to human nature and human experience that it doesn't know how to relate to the world any other way. This is a movement that believes that, to be free, a 68-year-old Alzheimer's patient should shop for his own health insurance, which will be provided to him at a reasonable price because, if it isn't, some market magic will make the health insurance company go bankrupt for being mean to its customers. This is the movement that produces critters like Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, who, when asked why he voted against the Violence Against Women Act, replied that violence against women was a state issue and not a federal one. When asked, and I'm paraphrasing here, whether or not he realized how very stupid his first answer was, Barton replied, Shut up. This is a movement that believes that government's relationship with industry should be a silk hand in a velvet glove, that corporations like those which mine and sell coal have a vigorous social conscience, and, therefore, when they find that they are endangering their workers, they will spend what it takes to make them safe. There are people who believe this bunk, just as there are people who believed Donald Trump."

Donald Trump Russia Case 'More Than Circumstantial'

Trump's Budget Won't Balance Federal Spending, but It'll Move a Lot of Money to the Rich
"The political theater that passes for serious policy debate is about to run into an unfortunate reality as Donald Trump's budget plan comes face to face with its arch-nemesis: arithmetic. It's impossible to cut taxes, increase spending, and balance the budget. That's not political bluster. That's math. Throughout the campaign and since, Trump promised to invest in infrastructure, pass an enormous tax cut, boost military spending, cut "waste, fraud, and abuse," and protect Social Security and Medicare -- and, of course, balance the budget. This rhetoric has been remarkably effective, the presidential equivalent of offering free ponies for everyone -- but even less practical. Working in Trump's favor, however, is that many Americans believe things about the federal budget that are simply not true. There's a lot of misinformation out there. According to public opinion polls, Americans believe nearly a third of the budget goes to international aid. In reality, it's less than 1 percent. A survey of Fox News viewers from 2013 showed nearly half believed most federal debt could be eliminated by "cutting waste and fraud." It can't. Out of a nearly $4 trillion annual federal budget, about $3.4 trillion is spent on things that either can't be cut or Trump has promised he doesn't want to cut. This includes Social Security, Medicare, military spending, and interest on the national debt. That leaves just over half a trillion dollars to cover all non-military discretionary spending. It's a lot of money, to be sure, but a small proportion of overall spending. This is the part Trump is proposing to cut. What's included in this side of the budget? To name just a few things: The benefits that help veterans get back on their feet after getting wounded. The nutrition assistance that helps babies born to low-income mothers. The science research that will mitigate the next infectious disease outbreak (remember Zika?)."

The Nuclear Danger Posed by Trump Has Only Grown @alternet

The Nuclear Danger Posed by Trump Has Only Grown @alternet:

"Before the 2016 election, Schlosser said the notion of Trump “with the launch codes, capable of devastating cities and countries, is extraordinary. It’s like the plot out of a science-fiction film." Now that film is reality and the opening scenes are already scary."

Russia Seeks Parity With US On Cyber-Power

The butcher’s bill keeps coming due: Donald Trump’s Hannibal Lecter budget cannibalizes his own supporters
"But what happens when Trump and the Republican Party are done feasting on the “white working class” and their other supporters? When the bones are picked clean, to whom will they turn for a meal? People of conscience know the answer even if it terrifies them. If a budget is a kind of moral document and a statement of priorities, Trump has shown that he is an enemy of the American people and the common good — including his most stalwart supporters. If Trump is willing to betray them, all others should quake in fear at what he plans for his enemies in the process of “making America great again"."

Russia’s 5th Column
"President Donald Trump is following the same playbook as the Russian-backed far-right European leaders, adopting eerily similar language to theirs and pursuing the same policies that advance Russia’s objectives even when they are inconsistent with previous Republican policy positions."

Russia Payments Intensify Michael Flynn Scandal

Mike Flynn was paid by Russia's top cybersecurity firm while he still had top-secret-level security clearance
"Retired Gen. Michael Flynn was paid $11,250 by Russia's top cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky, in 2015, according to new documents obtained and published by the Congressional Oversight Committee on Wednesday. Flynn was also paid $11,250 by the Russian charter cargo airline Volga-Dnepr Airlines, according to the documents. Flynn was paid for his work with both companies while he still had top-secret level security clearance, a year after he was fired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Wall Street Journal's Shane Harris noted."

A Timeline: Russia and President Trump
"Investigative reporters have begun to flesh out the Trump/Russia timeline. To keep everything in one location, here’s an updated summary (so far)."

The Most Telling Thing About the FBI’s Probe into Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

‘We will not be a nuclear waste dump’: Vulnerable GOP senator slams Trump’s Nevada nuke waste plan

‘We will not be a nuclear waste dump’: Vulnerable GOP senator slams Trump’s Nevada nuke waste plan

"The Las Vegas Review Journal notes that, while Trump would increase funding to revive the Yucca Mountain facility, his budget would also slash the Office of Science’s $5 billion budget by a whopping $900 million, which would dramatically cut the amount of research that it now funds at more than 300 universities and at 10 national labs."

Trump Proposal To Privatize Air Traffic Control Puts Everyone Who Flies At Risk
"the fact remains that the U.S. civil aviation system has an excellent safety record and it generally works well for all who use it. Yes, some modernization is needed in some areas, and in a few instances the FAA is already working on that. But giving control of the system over to a private vendor that would likely favor the needs of the big airlines over other users of the system is not the answer, and would clearly jeopardize the safety of all who fly."

Russia! Russia! Russia! | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Defense Secretary Defies Trump, Says Climate Change Is a Real Threat to American Interests
"Indeed, the new Pentagon chief is directly disavowing the position of the President. He went on to stress that "this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if." According to "Mad Dog" Mattis "Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today." This is not a particularly new opinion within the walls of the Pentagon. The military has been crystal clear for years about the very real consequences of a world where water and arable land become scarce, and nations erupt into chaos and war."

HHS Secretary Tom Price Lied To A Cancer Survivor's Face | Crooks and Liars

HHS Secretary Tom Price Lied To A Cancer Survivor's Face | Crooks and Liars

"Price's answer was just stunningly evil. After explaining that he was a doctor and had treated many, many cancer patients, he launched his litany of lies."

How the System Got Broken, and Why It Can’t Be Fixed
"The system failed because the Founding Fathers did not anticipate anything like the modern Republican Party. On the contrary, they believed that extremism and overweening self-interest of the sort Republicans routinely display could always be quarantined. Were they wrong! Instead of the Constitution circumscribing reactionary populism, reactionary populism has circumscribed the Constitution. That is where we are now. And there is no way out."

Lawrence: President Donald Trump Is 'Defining Deviancy Down'

The House Republicans’ Corporate Tax Cut
"Much of the reduction would benefit the largest and most-profitable businesses, including those that have engaged in shifting profits and jobs out of the United States."

'The Big Short' author on Trump and Wall Street
"Michael Lewis, author of "The Big Short," "Moneyball," and "The Undoing Project," explains why some of the Trump administration's policy ideas could take the USA back to the same situation before the crash of 2008."

March 24, 2017

Trump Already Bought By Big Pharma

"Making America Great" at Americans' Expense
"Now in the White House, he proceeds to push programs and policies that contradict many of his promises. He is ballooning an already massive, bloated military budget by cutting the health and safety budgets of consumer, environmental and labor regulatory agencies and housing and energy assistance. Reportedly he wants to cut one billion dollars out of the budget of the Centers for Disease Control that works to detect and prevent global epidemics! Just today, the Congressional Budget Office announced that under the proposed Republican Health Plan, 24 million people will lose health care by 2026. Apparently he is oblivious to the perils of Avian Flu, SARS, Ebola and Zika threatening our national security and the health and lives of millions of people. There is more to this emerging betrayal. Trump is supporting Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s “you’re on your own, folks” devastating health insurance plan. Slash and burn Ryan, comfortably fully insured by the taxpayers, publicly admits he doesn’t know how many people will lose their health insurance."

50 days of 'facts'
"If there's one thing we've learned in the first 50 days of the Trump administration, it's that nothing can be taken at face value."

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Trips Are More Expensive Than Meals On Wheels

Attorney with Trump investigations in purview part of mass firing
"the questionable dealings by Donald Trump and his inner circle and notes that Preet Bharara, who would have been investigating those questions, was part of the abrupt mass firing of U.S. attorneys by Donald Trump."

Trump’s defense secretary James Mattis says climate change is real — and a national security threat

Trump’s defense secretary James Mattis says climate change is real — and a national security threat

"In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in global trouble spots can pose challenges for troops and defense planners. He also stressed this is a real-time issue, not some distant what-if."

March 18, 2017

The Lowdown on Net Neutrality in One Minute

Trump's reward to 'coal country'—kill jobs, training, communities, and education—you're welcome
"The Appalachian region awarded Trump big, fat wins. After all, Trump digs coal! Now it’s time to get their rewards. How does his budget reward them? Well, there’s the Appalachian Regional Commission. Or rather, there was, because Trump’s proposed budget completely eliminates the ARC. The commission supports local communities and regional programs, it also helps jumpstart local entrepreneurs and regional businesses which have created tens of thousands of jobs. It also contributes to local infrastructure, community management, and hundreds of local programs. Sorry, it did all those things. Clearly not needed. There’s also massive cuts to the Labor Department that eliminates job training. On the chopping block are both the Senior Community Service Employment Program that helps workers over 55 find new jobs, and Job Corps that helps young people get work experience and skills.  Both are widely used in Appalachia. Sorry, were. Were. Nobody wants them now. There is one unemployment program Trump is anxious to fund. He’ll expand the Reemployment and Eligibility Assessment program, REAP, which helps companies spot people who shouldn’t get unemployment and ditch them faster. Everyone wants that. And Trump will stop people from having to pay for educational programs, by routing that money to where it’s needed—more bombs. As a special bonus, he’ll save millions of seniors from the indignity of getting warm meals. That’s just what everyone asked for. Most important of all, Trump will make massive cuts to the EPA, instantly recreating thousands of mining jobs even though there are no power plants or steel mills out there that want the coal. Mines will hire more people just because they are so happy about Trump making it possible to dump more waste into water and cutting back on inspections. Or at least, coal country better hope so. Because with no job training, no support for start ups, and absolutely no safety net, it would be kind of awful if it turned out that Trump was just a huge liar."

Pat Waller | Health Care

Trump’s budget screws over his voters
"Two key programs that help the elderly and rural poor reduce their energy bills will be cut."

Patricia Byrd | Retiree Health Care

The CBO's other bombshell: the Affordable Care Act isn't imploding
"Beyond its eye-popping findings on higher premiums and large-scale coverage loss, the Congressional Budget Office’s official score of the American Health Care Act also quietly demolishes the central publicly stated rationale for repealing the Affordable Care Act."

Patricia’s Story | Health Care

The 78 programs Trump wants to eliminate don’t even pay for his border wall
"The sum is also dwarfed by the size of the tax cut that Trump has proposed enacting, which would cost the government $341 billion in the first year and $6.1 trillion over a decade."

Putting Trump’s Budget In Perspective

Putting Trump’s Budget In Perspective:

"Trump Budget by the Numbers: Amount the United States currently spends on the Department of Defense: $587 billion Amount the Pentagon characterized, in an internal report, as wasteful spending on bureaucracy that ought to be eliminated: $125 billion Amount Trump proposes to increase spending on the Department of Defense in FY2018: $54 billion Specific cuts to domestic programs to help pay for the Pentagon increase, a border wall, and school vouchers: Cuts to Department of Agriculture (USDA): $4.7B Includes $200 million in cuts to the Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance program. Cuts to Department of Commerce: $1.4 billion Includes $250 million in cuts to coastal research programs that help prepare communities to deal with storms and rising seas. Also includes $221 million investments to stimulate local economic growth. Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency: $2.5 billion Cuts to the Department of Education: $9.2 billion Includes $3.7 billion in cuts to grants for teacher training, after-school programs, and aid programs to low-income students. Cuts to Department of Energy: $1.7 billion Includes $900 million in cuts to research at the nation’s universities and national laboratories. Cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development: $6.2 billion Includes eliminating the entire $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program. Cuts to State Department: $10.9 billion Includes programs focused on climate change and foreign aid. Cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency: $2.5 billion Includes eliminating funding for international climate-change programs. Includes eliminating funding for international climate-change programs. Eliminates National Endowment for the Arts: $148 million Eliminates National Endowment for the Humanities: $148 million Eliminates the Institute of Museum and Library Services: $230 million Eliminates the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports public television and public radio: $445 million"

‘America First’ Budget Is Unworthy of Our Nation
"Congressional Republicans will also demand cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Trump promised to defend those programs, but stay tuned: after ritual displays of ‘reluctance,’ followed by ‘negotiations,’ Trump will probably break that promise too. Trump pretends to be a different kind of Republican, but his budget blueprint is ideologically consistent with the modern GOP’s hard-right extremism. It values death over life, and fear over hope. It tramples on the bonds that hold us together as one people. It sells off the environment, our shared inheritance. It rejects the fundamental American idea that a nation should be a community, a group of people who protect and look out for one another."

Trump to spend 7th consecutive weekend at Trump-branded property, at enormous cost to taxpayers
"President Trump doesn’t want to spend federal dollars on after-school programs, meals for poor people, or heating assistance that helps keep folks alive. But he has no problem wasting more than $3 million a pop to spend weekends at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Trump has already made four trips there since becoming president on January 20, and on Friday he confirmed he’s headed there this weekend for the fifth time. Despite vowing during his campaign that he “would rarely leave the White House because there’s so much work to be done” and “would not be a president who took vacations” because “you don’t have time to take time off,” Trump has visited Trump-branded properties each of the past six weekends. That streak will hit seven when Trump lands at Mar-a-Lago later Friday."

Trump Rolls Out MONSTROUS New Budget

White House says Meals on Wheels is “not showing any results.” Research says otherwise.
"a further benefit of these programs is that by allowing seniors to continue living independently in their own homes, they tend to reduce the need for nursing home care, which is very expensive."

Trump’s ‘draconian’ budget devastates rural communities already hanging by a thread
"President Donald Trump’s proposal for the federal budget, released on Thursday, targets a number of agencies and programs for elimination that benefit the rural poor. These 19 independent agencies provide, among other things: job training for low-income seniors, after-school programs for kids in high-poverty areas, and housing assistance to low-income families. These cuts would be particularly harmful if they came along with the end of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which the House Republican health care reform proposal would eliminate. Health care is often more expensive in rural areas, but Trumpcare does not account for geographical price disparities. Even without Medicaid cuts, however, advocates say that rural communities could be devastated by provisions of the Trump budget proposal. “This budget is draconian when it come to the needs of rural places,” said Robert Mahaffey, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust."

Trump’s budget would cut funding for Appalachia — and his allies in coal country are livid
"At this point, his main idea for coal country is to make unrealistic promises about jobs — and then cut the few federal programs intended to aid the region when the jobs don’t materialize."

Trump Voters Suddenly Love Their Obamacare (Think It's TrumpCare)

Seth Meyers Dismantles Trump's Barbaric Budget Proposal @alternet

Seth Meyers Dismantles Trump's Barbaric Budget Proposal @alternet:

"There's only one thing "Late Night" host Seth Meyers wants to know after Donald Trump's 10th week in office: "Are you sick of winning yet? Because if you are, you better get to the doctor before Trump takes away your health care."  Republicans' Obamacare replacement would hit much of Trump's base the hardest, a reality even Trump admitted to Fox News' Tucker Carlson.  “For any other president it would be a smoking gun, but for Trump it’s a guy smoking," Meyers joked. "‘Yeah I know. I know. F*ck ’em.'”  Trump's budget proposal spells bad news for rural America as well.  Along with cuts to foreign aid, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Environmental Protection Agency, the proposal would also slash the Meals on Wheels program."

Trumpcare: Paul Ryan's gambit to destroy Medicaid and Medicare
"It's never been a secret that Paul Ryan's fondest dream has been to blow up the social safety net, every single part of it, but particularly the big three: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. In no small part that's because they are a direct refutation of his dystopian, Ayn Rand-inspired philosophy of government as a force for evil. Ironic, yes, given he got to where he is today with the Social Security survivor benefits his family received after his father died when he was still a teen. But a pretty typical Republican response: I got mine, the hell with you. So here we arrive at Trumpcare and his big opportunity to take down both Medicare and Medicaid."

Bannon's Dangerous Domination of National Security @alternet

Bannon's Dangerous Domination of National Security @alternet:

"The neutering of the National Security Council by White House adviser Stephen Bannon continues. Not only has Bannon established a shadow NSC, known as the Strategic Initiatives Group in the White House, but he has also blocked National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster from naming his own staff."

ALEC & For-Profit Health Industry Embrace GOP Bill Despite Opposition from Doctors & Nurses

Paul Ryan says he fantasized about cutting health care for the poor at his college keggers
"Ryan is 47 years old, which means that, if he started “drinking at a keg” early in his college career, he’s fantasized about all the poor people who could be stripped of health care for nearly three decades."

Here's How Donald Trump's Budget Screws Over the People Who Elected Him
"The Upper Midwest: Trump broke the Democratic "blue wall" by racking up huge wins along the Great Lakes in places like Erie, Pennsylvania, and Macomb County, north of Detroit. His budget axes the $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an EPA program that aims to boost economic development and improve public health, with 3,455 projects across eight states. The Great Lakes initiative exists to combat the ill-effects of the region's industrial legacy. Among its chief responsibilities: stopping algae blooms that left 400,000 Ohioans without drinking water at one point in 2014. Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton already called an earlier version of the proposed cuts "alarming." The Upper Midwest is also known to get cold in the winter. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps 5.7 million Americans heat their homes, and those people are disproportionately located in the frigid Midwest. (Michigan, for example, receives more funding than California, which has a far greater population.) The energy assistance saves families money they often need for other things—41 percent of the recipients in 2014 lived with someone with a disability, and 19 percent had children. Rural America: Terry Gross will be fine—the cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that Mulvaney alluded to will mostly affect small public radio stations in rural America that get by on subsidies rather than tote bags. Mulvaney's hypothetical coal miner most likely lives in Wyoming, Trump's best state, where public radio will face a $320,000 budget hole if Trump gets his way, and Wyoming public television would need $700,000 to fill a 30 percent budget gap. Those are the lucky ones: In 2014, the CPB noted that 26 rural stations—many on Native American reservation—relied on federal funding for at least half of their revenue. In addition to providing news and cultural programming, these stations function as emergency broadcasting platforms in the event of a disaster."

These are the 19 agencies Trump would stop funding entirely

These are the 19 agencies Trump would stop funding entirely

"Trump's proposal also calls for deep cuts in other agencies and departments, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, and shifts federal resources to defense."

Trump Admin Wants Cuts To After School Meal Programs Because Food Doesn’t Make Kids Smarter?

Right-Wing Billionaires Have a Project to Rewrite Our Constitution, and They Are Shockingly Close to Pulling It Off @alternet

Right-Wing Billionaires Have a Project to Rewrite Our Constitution, and They Are Shockingly Close to Pulling It Off @alternet:

"Imagine if the U.S. Constitution barred the EPA and Department of Education from existing. All union protections are dead, there are no more federal workplace safety standards, and even child-labor laws are struck down, along with a national minimum wage. Imagine that the Constitution makes it illegal for the federal government to protect you from big polluters, big banks and even big food and pharma—all are free to rip you off or poison you all they want, and your only remedy is in state courts and legislatures, because the Constitution prevents Congress from doing anything about any of it. The federal government can't even enforce voting or civil rights laws. To add injury to insult, the federal government has to shut down Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, because all of these programs (along with food stamps, housing supports and any programs that help the middle class, the less fortunate or disabled) are “beyond the reach” of what the federal government can do. A few years ago, it would have been a thought experiment; now it's nearly reality. Billionaires and the groups they fund are working to rewrite our Constitution to provide corprations and the rich with more and more protections and benefits, and chop away at anything smelling of “socialism” like Social Security or child labor laws.  The fact is that they're just a few states away from meeting their goal, and have already held dress rehearsals in Washington D.C.—with representatives from all 50 states—for a Constitional Convention that would change America forever."

Why Appalachia (and the Whole Nation) Needs a Single Payer Healthcare System
"The United States remains the only developed country with a system based on for-profit insurance companies. We are spending the largest amount per capita ($8,000+) on healthcare expenditures of any nation in the world, but without the best outcomes. The leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States is medical bills, and an estimated 45,000 deaths annually can be attributed to lack of health insurance. Over 100 million Americans forgo professionally recommended medical care due to cost each year. Clearly, we have work to do. A single payer system by way of a Medicare for All structure would allow coverage for all Americans and would actually reduce spending."

Exposed: Donald Trump’s Sham Populism
"The thing always to remember about Trump—and this week has merely confirmed it—is that he is a sham populist. A sham authoritarian populist, even."

American Health Care Act: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

It Would Be a Lot Easier to Protect Important 'Regulations' from Trump's Onslaught If We Stopped Calling Them That @alternet

It Would Be a Lot Easier to Protect Important 'Regulations' from Trump's Onslaught If We Stopped Calling Them That @alternet:

"The term “regulation” is framed from the viewpoint of corporations and other businesses. From their viewpoint, “regulations” are limitations on their freedom to do whatever they want no matter who it harms. But from the public’s viewpoint, a regulation is a protection against harm done by unscrupulous corporations seeking to maximize profit at the cost of harm to the public."

Republicans to Disabled: Go to Hell
"The AHCA also contains tax breaks that benefit the wealthiest people to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. Disabled people who rely on Medicaid will have to pay for these windfalls for the very rich. That’s the way it works with this batch that’s in charge right now."

Horrible Republican Governor Of The Day: Bruce Rauner Of Illinois | Crooks and Liars

Horrible Republican Governor Of The Day: Bruce Rauner Of Illinois | Crooks and Liars

"Rauner, a conservative businessman who ran on a platform of government transparency, has a history of paying employees who work for him from accounts not affiliated with the governor's office — a practice known as "off-shoring." An analysis the AP conducted in August 2015 found that half of the $8 million payroll for 80 people answering to the governor was paid by agencies other than the chief executive's office...."

Tom Price Lies Through His Teeth About People Losing Coverage

Russia: Trump & His Team’s Ties
"President Trump has also surrounded himself with people who do business with and are sympathetic to Russia. The New York Times reported that members of Trump’s 2016 campaign and other Trump associates had frequent contact with senior Russian intelligence officials throughout the campaign. In addition to these questionable communications, here are a few other associates with ties to Moscow"

Gutting EPA’s Budget and Staff Would Endanger the Health of Millions of Americans
"The EPA has made remarkable progress cleaning up air and water pollution since its inception in 1970, but there is still more work to do. In 2015 alone, polluters dumped more than 190 million tons of toxic chemicals into waterways nationwide; at least 5,000 community drinking-water systems violated federal lead regulations; and some 116 million Americans lived in counties with harmful levels of ozone or particle pollution, which have been linked to lung cancer, asthma, cardiovascular damage, reproductive problems and premature death."

Trump fuel economy rollback will kill jobs and cost each car buyer $1,650
"Trump’s misguided move to appease the ever-myopic U.S. auto industry would undo efficiency gains that will provide consumers $98 billion in total net benefits, primarily from reduced fuel use. Individual car buyers would lose “a net savings of $1,650” (even after accounting for the higher vehicle cost) as the EPA concluded in its final January “Determination on the Appropriateness” of the standards. The savings from the new standards are so significant that the EPA calculates “consumers who finance their vehicle with a 5-year loan would see payback within the first year.” Rolling back the standards would also boost U.S. oil consumption by 1.2 billion gallons and increase U.S. carbon pollution by 540 billion tons over the lifetime of the model-year 2022–2025 cars."

Trump Rolls Back Fuel Efficiency Standards

Nearly everyone who knows anything about health care hates Trumpcare
"Pretty much everyone with a stake in America’s health care system hates Trumpcare. The biggest doctors’ group in the country, the American Medical Association (AMA) came out against House Republicans’ health care bill on Wednesday, warning that it “would result in millions of Americans losing coverage and benefits.” The organization is joined in its opposition by the American Hospital Association and the AARP. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the leading industry group representing health insurers, stopped shy of denouncing the entire bill, but still objected to provisions that could destabilize insurance markets, cut financial assistance to help people afford coverage, and “weaken Medicaid coverage of mental health and opioid addiction.” All of these groups are taking a position stemming from self-interest. Doctors stand to lose patents if millions of Americans lose coverage or wind up on inferior plans. Many hospitals restructured their business models to account for the Affordable Care Act, and would need to make more costly changes if the law were significantly altered. AARP is a membership organization representing older Americans, who are likely to face the greatest financial burdens if the House bill becomes law. AHIP obviously doesn’t want to see its own markets destabilized."

GOP’s health care tax swindle: Tax cuts for the rich financed by taking coverage from everyone else
"The first major legislative push by Republicans after taking control of the government is, at its core, a tax cut for millionaires financed by slashing health care benefits for poor and elderly people. The bill would almost certainly leave millions of Americans uninsured or with higher out-of-pocket medical costs, all in the pursuit of reducing the tax burden for people like Donald Trump."

The economic ‘mess’ Trump says he inherited continues to add jobs
"While Trump has said he “inherited a mess,” February’s job report marks the 76th straight month of job creation, the longest streak since 1939, with 2.2 million jobs added over the course of last year. Trump retweeted a Drudge report headline touting the number of jobs added in February that said, “GREAT AGAIN.” But the economy added 238,000 jobs in the last report of Obama’s presidency."

Trump Budget Unveiled, Everyone But The Wealthy Will Suffer

Fake News Site Thanks 'Gullible Trump Supporters' After Gaining 1 Million Views | Crooks and Liars

Fake News Site Thanks 'Gullible Trump Supporters' After Gaining 1 Million Views | Crooks and Liars

"One serial sharer of fake news, of course, is Donald Trump."

Can We All Admit That Donald Trump Has No F*cking Idea What He is Doing?
"Trump just wanders from one disaster to the next, signing executive orders he hasn't read, ranting in front of the press, angering world leaders with idiotic statements and lying through his teeth at every given opportunity."

On Labor and Beyond, Trump Is Following Scott Walker's Playbook
"Shortly after his inauguration, Walker was caught on tape telling a right-wing billionaire funder that he intended to "divide and conquer" the unions by introducing legislation that would destroy collective bargaining."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Calls GOP Bill 'Punch In The Gut'

Experts in authoritarianism say Trump’s agenda has settled. And it’s scary.
"For people who have devoted their lives to studying anti-democratic movements, recent White House actions are more disturbing than ever."

Congressional Energy and Climate Committees Are Loaded with Ex-Fossil Fuel Lobbyists
"many Republican staff members on key committees are former fossil fuel industry lobbyists, which could help fast-track the industry's legislative agenda in the weeks and months ahead. In total, 15 staffers on the eight main energy and environment congressional committees previously worked as industry lobbyists on behalf of oil, gas, mining, coal, petrochemical, and electric utility interests."

These Programs Keep Toxic Algae out of Drinking Water—And Trump Wants to Gut Them
"On the chopping block: a lab that helps city water officials figure out when a toxic bloom is headed to the parts of Lake Erie where they draw water."

Gutting Health Care Will Kill Americans | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

Trump Plans To Slash Federal Funding That Preserves Our Coasts
"The Trump administration reportedly plans to slash the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and gut federal funding for NOAA's Sea Grant program. This time, Sea Grant's very existence is at stake."

Paul Ryan Is Living His Misogynist Ayn Randian Dream | Crooks and Liars

Paul Ryan Is Living His Misogynist Ayn Randian Dream | Crooks and Liars

"Just watch him in the video above, celebrating the prospect of stripping poor women of health care and depriving millions of health insurance."

GOP lawmakers are about to pass two laws that would make it nearly impossible to sue corporations

GOP lawmakers are about to pass two laws that would make it nearly impossible to sue corporations

"If you’ve seen the film “Erin Brockovich” you know that she brought together residents of Hinkley, California to sue Pacific Gas and Electric for contaminating groundwater that caused medical problems and in some cases death. This law would have prevented Brockovich, or any American, from coming together to file a lawsuit against any company."

CBO Report Shows 24 Million To Lose Health Insurance Under Republican Plan

The House G.O.P. Health-Care Plan Is Harmful, Regressive, and Wrong
"If enacted, millions more Americans would end up without any health care. For many people who purchase individual policies, especially older people, it promises fewer services for more money. And it also proposes a big tax cut for the rich, which would be financed by slashing Medicaid, the federal program that provides health care to low-income people."

Republicans Block Vote To Protect Seniors’ Health Care From TrumpCare Devastation
"Republican House Ways and Means Committee Chair Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) blocked a vote that would have protected seniors' health care from the price increases that are built into TrumpCare."

Some of Steve Bannon's Biggest Intellectual Influences Are Fascists and White Supremacists @alternet

Some of Steve Bannon's Biggest Intellectual Influences Are Fascists and White Supremacists @alternet:

"Before becoming Trump's right-hand man in the Oval Office and CEO of Trump's campaign before that, Bannon was previously chair of the far-right website Breitbart News, and a founding board member. Bannon proudly described Breitbart as "the platform for the alt-right," using the popular euphemism for the white supremacist movement led by neo-fascists like Richard Spencer."

March 15, 2017

TrumpCare Loaded With Tax Cuts For The Rich (NONE For Middle Class)

24 MILLION To Lose Health Insurance Under TrumpCare

Investors, Oligarchs, Mobsters and Capital Flight: Inside the Shadowy World of Trump’s Private Russian Connections @alternet

Investors, Oligarchs, Mobsters and Capital Flight: Inside the Shadowy World of Trump’s Private Russian Connections @alternet: Trump's fondness for Russia is all about grabbing money and ignoring almost everything else. What Americans know about Donald Trump’s network of Russian/Former Soviet Union (FSU) connections keeps growing. A recent New Yorker report on Trump's “worst deal,” in Azerbaijan scratches the surface.

Healthcare or Wealthcare? 24 Million to Lose Insurance Under GOP Plan While Rich Get Big Tax Breaks

CBO: TrumpCare Would Wipe Out Coverage for 24 Million People
"Additionally, the plan would lead to higher deductibles and other cost-sharing payments."

Bernie Sanders: GOP Health Care Bill 'Is Not Health Care Legislation'

Republicans are about to let telecoms sell your internet browsing history — for your ‘protection’

Republicans are about to let telecoms sell your internet browsing history — for your ‘protection’

"A pair of Republican bills would allow telecommunications companies to sell their customers’ private internet data — but their sponsors claim the legislation would actually protect consumer privacy. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced S.J.Res 34, which would expand the Congressional Review Act to strip away privacy protections established in October by the Federal Communications Commission with broad bipartisan support, reported Privacy News Online. Flake’s bill, which has gained more than 20 Republican co-sponsors, would allow lawmakers to repeal Obama-era privacy rules by a simple majority vote in the House and Senate and would prevent the FCC from establishing similar regulations in the future."

5 Remarkable Moments from Bernie Sanders' Town Hall in the Heart of Coal Country @alternet

5 Remarkable Moments from Bernie Sanders' Town Hall in the Heart of Coal Country @alternet:

"4. Sanders' Senate Record The Vermont senator got a big shout-out from a retired miner in the audience Monday night. "I never dreamt that I'd get to thank you personally for the bill that you are co-sponsoring," he told Sanders of Senate Bill 175. "I'm one of those miners that will lose his health care at the end of April if they don't pass that law. I think it's kind of ironic that a senator from the northeast takes care of my benefits better than someone like Mitch McConnell," he added."

Everyone Hates Trumpcare

Congress has killed an Obama-era rule that gave communities more input on public lands
"The Senate voted Tuesday to block a rule that would have given Westerners more say in the use of public lands near their communities."

Republicans are now paying the price for a years-long campaign of Obamacare lies
"You can win an election based on a lie. You can even pass a bill based on a lie if you want. But you can’t expect that you’re going to get away with it."

From Lobbyists to Reality Show Stars, Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed

Amateur Hour: Trump and Team Ignore State Department, Run Government Without Diplomats @alternet

Amateur Hour: Trump and Team Ignore State Department, Run Government Without Diplomats @alternet:

"Trump has no idea what the State Department does, and in any case he’s too busy ranting on Twitter to bother with it."

GOP’s awful health care bill: Republicans serve up atrocious policy paired with horrendous politics
"After more than half a decade of breaking promise after promise to produce some sort of legislation to “replace” the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans have finally unveiled an actual health care bill. And boy oh boy, is it terrible. In essence, House Speaker Paul Ryan (with the blessing of President Donald Trump) has served up legislation that sort of replicates Obamacare but is substantially worse in every way that matters: It will result in fewer people being covered, dole out less generous subsidies and screw over a lot of sick and low-income people. On top of that, it cuts taxes for the rich and doles out goodies to health insurance companies. The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, offers up a special combination of unjustifiable policy and horrendous politics."

The Russian Developments That Matter Most | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

The Unaffordable Care Act: AARP's eye-popping cost projections for near-seniors
"In a letter to Congress, the AARP states a 64-year old making $15,000 a year could face health insurance premiums of up to $8,400 under the GOP House healthcare bill"

America’s top doctors’ lobby bashes Trumpcare — and says it will likely cause millions to lose coverage

America’s top doctors’ lobby bashes Trumpcare — and says it will likely cause millions to lose coverage

"The American Medical Association, the top lobbying group for doctors in the United States, has told House Republicans that it cannot support their proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In a letter to Republican lawmakers, AMA CEO James Madara said that it would oppose the current health care legislation as drafted for the primary reason that it is projected to boot millions of patients off their health insurance."

Donald Trump And The Republicans Clearly Want To Burn America To The Ground

Wash. Post Editorial Board: Trump’s War On The Media Is A “Gift To Tyrants” Who Hate The Free Press
"The Washington Post editorial board called President Donald Trump’s attacks against the media “a gift to tyrants everywhere,” highlighting the repressive regimes around the world that are adopting his tactics and picking up on his cue “that the United States will no longer champion freedom of the press and expression"."

If We Don't Act Now, Fascism Will Be on Our Doorstep, Says Yale Historian @alternet

If We Don't Act Now, Fascism Will Be on Our Doorstep, Says Yale Historian @alternet: Timothy Snyder warns: History gives us a bunch of cases where democratic republics became authoritarian regimes. How close is President Donald Trump to following the path blazed by last century's tyrants? Could American democracy be replaced with totalitarian rule? There's enough resemblance that Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who studies fascist and communist regime change and totalitarian rule, has written a book warning about the threat and offering lessons for resistance and survival.

Why Republicans Want To Ban Class Action Lawsuits

Right-Wing Pipeline of Lies and Propaganda Distorts Media Coverage: New Study @alternet

Right-Wing Pipeline of Lies and Propaganda Distorts Media Coverage: New Study @alternet:

"The Columbia Journalism Review counsels that the first step to effectively combatting the toxic conservative media bubble is for the mainstream press to recognize “that it is operating in a propaganda and disinformation-rich environment.” Another key thing to understand is that propaganda and disinformation enjoy a direct pipeline to the Oval Office, where it is consumed, validated, exploited and used to direct policy. Cutting though the nonsense that emanates from this toxic interplay between the president and his media enablers will be one of the greatest challenges of the Trump era."

GOP pushes bill inhibiting Americans from filing class-action lawsuits against large corporations
"Donald Trump may have promised to put America first, but "Americans" apparently take a back seat to corporate interests. Trump's GOP colleagues on Capitol Hill are pushing a bill aimed at protecting companies from American consumers by limiting class-action lawsuits that target defective products and marketing scams alike. For instance, all those students who were defrauded by Trump University wouldn’t have been able to bring their case if the bill had been law. Or if your house was made from highly toxic imported Chinese drywall—as many in the South were following a series of destructive hurricanes—you'd be on your own. The legislation, which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last month, would tip the legal landscape in favor of large corporations."

Office Of Science And Technology Taking Out The Science

Guess Which Word the EPA Just Deleted From Its Science Mission Statement
"The EPA's Office of Science and Technology has historically been in charge of developing clean water standards for states. Before January 30 of this year, the website said those standards were "science-based," meaning they were based on what peer-reviewed science recommended as safe levels of pollutants for drinking, swimming, or fishing. Since January 30, though, the reference to "science-based" standards has disappeared. Now, the office, instead, says it develops "economically and technologically achievable standards" to address water pollution."

Lawrence On President Donald Trump's Lies, Big And Small

How the GOP's Healthcare Plan Helps Make Case for Medicare-for-All
"The GOP's new plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with something much worse merely supports the argument that the only way to achieve true healthcare reform is to enact a single-payer, Medicare-for-All system, advocates said this week."

Major Hospitals Group Comes Out Against GOP Health Care Bill
"A major hospital group that represents nearly 5,000 hospitals came out against the Republican Obamacare repeal legislation introduced this week."

Debunked Hillary Clinton Scandal Figure Paid By Mike Flynn

Trumpcare Has Arrived: Exposing the Horrible Facts About the GOP Plan to ‘Fix’ Health Care
"For years Republicans have said they were going to “repeal and replace Obamacare” and give us health care reform that gives Americans “better coverage that’s more affordable.” In fact, here are a few quotes from Donald Trump about health care: We’re going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us. They can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better. I am calling on Congress to REPEAL & REPLACE OBAMACARE with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs & provide better care. We’re going to come up with great health care at a fraction of the cost, much better and much less expensive. This Republican proposal does none of that. It’s every bit as complicated, is going to actually decrease the number of Americans who have health insurance, coverage is going to get worse, and costs are going to skyrocket. Oh, and by the way, this is in no way a “repeal of Obamacare.” It’s a complete butchering of the law but removes the mandate to appease those ignorant enough to think you can remove that requirement without causing health care premiums to drastically increase. I would say this proposal is a joke, but there’s not a damn thing funny about it. I can see why Republicans kept this “plan” private as long as they did, because it’s an absolute disaster. Republicans don’t understand that you can’t “fix” a for-profit health care industry. For profit-driven companies, revenues always need to be increasing, which means expenses need to be reduced while revenue (premiums) need to be increased. There’s absolutely no way you can require that health care companies provide everyone coverage, but not mandate that people have health insurance. All that’s going to do is lead to massive premium increases for everyone who does decide to purchase health insurance."

The Republican House of Horrors Offers a Terrifying Healthcare Vision
"Instead we have a plan that again fetishizes a market-based healthcare fundamentalism that saw the U.S. plummet in a wide array of health care barometers, including infant mortality and life expectancy rates and people skipping needed care due to cost compared to the rest of the developed world, especially before the ACA. With the hodgepodge plan hurriedly released Monday night, the House majority attempts to straddle growing public support for a government role in establishing health security for the American people and the Tea Party crowd that views any fingerprints of public protection as akin to Satanism. The bill fails on both counts, while also betraying promises made by then candidate Donald Trump that "we’re going to have healthcare for everybody" that is "far less expensive and far better."  Pretending to retain popular components of the ACA, the bill offers refundable tax credits to replace the ACA subsidies to buy private insurance, temporary continuation of the ACA Medicaid expansion, and requiring insurers to sell insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. But it’s like fools gold, each component sabotaged by the not-so-fine print. The principal effect of the new bill will be the loss of existing health coverage for tens of millions of people, without any restraints on healthcare industry pricing practices that add up to massive health insecurity for the American people."

FBI Investigating Trump's Connection To Russian Bank

Mainstream Outlets Are Normalizing Trump's Impeachable Offense
"During the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency, broadcast evening news shows and Sunday political talk shows devoted a total of just over 10 minutes to discussing the allegation that Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by receiving foreign government payments. The scant reporting that did address this issue failed to mention that such conduct is an impeachable offense.  Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, known as the Emoluments Clause, creates a broad prohibition on federal officeholders, including the president, receiving payments from foreign governments without the consent of Congress. It reads: “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” The provision is much broader than a ban on receiving bribes. According to legal experts, even “fair market value transactions that result in any economic profit or benefit” count as an emolument, because the Founding Fathers wanted a “prophylactic” rule aimed at preventing even the appearance of corruption. A president’s violation of the clause is an impeachable offense. According to legal experts, Trump’s retention of an ownership interest in the Trump Organization as president means that he has been violating the Constitution since the moment he took the oath of office. Indeed, just two days after the inauguration, the watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit in federal court “to stop President Trump from violating the Constitution.” A press release about the suit notes that the president “is now getting cash and favors from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad"."

Ex-NSA analyst: Intel sources say White House ‘targeting journalists’ with ‘help from Russian intel’

Ex-NSA analyst: Intel sources say White House ‘targeting journalists’ with ‘help from Russian intel’

"Former NSA analyst John Schindler, who now is a national security columnist for the Observer, reported on Tuesday that his sources in the intelligence community believe that President Donald Trump’s White House is colluding with Russian intelligence to “target journalists"."

How Republicans STEAL Elections

White House copies Exxon press release to praise Exxon because this is our life now
"If you think that sounds suspiciously like something Exxon would write itself, guess what? They did. That part was lifted almost word-for-word from Exxon's own corporate press release. Donald Trump's White House runs like a well-oiled machine, and they're not going to spend extra effort coming up with these things themselves when they can outsource the corporate praise to the corporation they're praising. They learned that one from now-EPA head Scott Pruitt!"

New FCC Chairman Begins Attacks on Internet Privacy
"Newly minted Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai just granted the telecom industry its wish: he has blocked new requirements that Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast apply common sense security practices to protect your private data. By suspending the FCC's proposed data security rules for ISPs, Pai is pitting Internet users against the very companies we trust to get us online. And the ISPs will continue to win—unless we fight back. Internet users won a significant victory last year when the FCC issued its Broadband Privacy Rules. As part of these rules, ISPs would be required to protect their customers' sensitive information. For instance, ISPs would need to take reasonable steps to protect Social Security numbers, financial information, health information, and Web browsing data against hackers. In the wake of major ISPs like Comcast suffering huge data breaches, this would clearly be sound policy—but Chairman Pai apparently disagrees. And of course, ISPs are gleeful about his decision because they'd prefer not to be scrutinized when they fail to properly protect your data. Unfortunately, this isn’t the worst of it. Republicans in Congress are planning a much bigger assault on the Internet, by making it illegal for the FCC to protect consumer privacy online. With heavy support from the cable and telephone industry, they are hoping to use a rare and far reaching tool known as a Congressional Review Act resolution, which would not only completely eliminate all of the FCC's broadband privacy rules (not just the data security rule), it would prohibit the FCC from ever enacting any "substantially similar" privacy rules in the future."

Trump Slashing IRS To Help Billionaire Tax Evasion

6 Ways President Trump Wants to Hamstring the EPA
"Cleanup projects, scientific research, and the office responsible for enforcing air quality standards are all reportedly on the chopping block."

At Oil-Friendly States' Behest, Pruitt Cancels EPA Methane Emissions Inquiry
"Pruitt, who has deep ties to the fossil fuel industry and as Oklahoma attorney general sued the EPA no less than 14 times, swiftly acquiesced. "This appalling decision shows how quickly Pruitt is turning the EPA into an oil industry vending machine," Center for Biological Diversity attorney Vera Pardee said in a statement, according to Scientific American."

Trump Will Believe Anything Aides Put In Front Of Him

Trumpocracy: Tracking the Creeping Authoritarianism of the 45th President
"Conspiracy theories, attacks on the media, and much more from the Trump White House."

GOP Deregulating Frenzy Takes Aim at Fair Pay and Safety Rules for Workers
"Furthering the administration's anti-worker agenda (and its "deconstruction of the administrative state"), the U.S. Senate is poised on Monday to block an Obama-era executive order that ensures federal contractors adhere to labor laws, even as a new report from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) underscores the need for the order by documenting repeated violations by companies that held federal contracts. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, signed by President Barack Obama in 2014 and effective in 2016, makes "it harder for companies to win federal contracts if they violate their workers' rights and withhold their wages" by making "companies that apply for federal contracts larger than half a million dollars [...] disclose any major labor law violations they or their subcontractors have committed in the previous three years"."

China Grants Trademarks For Trump Brand Escort Services And Massage Parlors

Republicans All Over the Country Are Pushing These Anti-Protest Bills to Silence Peaceful Dissent
"Republicans across the country are quietly introducing legislation aimed at limiting and even criminalizing peaceful demonstrations."

Donald Trump spends 31 percent of time on vacation, plays golf 8 times in 6 weeks—on taxpayer dime
"Over the last five weekends, the president has visited his luxury resort four times – each trip costs American taxpayers about $3 million – and as of last night, Trump had spent 31% of his presidency at Mar-a-Lago. He’s now played golf eight times since taking office six weeks ago. Despite being president on 9/11 and starting the two longest-running wars in American history, George W. Bush found time to break the record for the amount of vacation time taken by a president. Even so, Republican mythology insists that President Obama was a golf-obsessed loafer whose jaunts around the world cost taxpayers a fortune. In truth, Obama was never close to matching the lazy days of W and both of them were nose-to-the-grindstone compared to Trump. Told that Donald Trump is actually spending more on travel and enjoying more downtime, conservatives were incredulous. The facts “can’t possibly be right,” one said. “That absolutely can’t be right.” Oh, it’s right. And it’s one of the clearest signs of just how blatantly Donald Trump is willing to lie not just to America, but specifically to the people who supported him."

Progressive Caucus: Sessions Must Go
"Controversy around Attorney General Jeff Sessions's denial at his confirmation hearing that he had contact with Russian officials, and the subsequent revelations that he had, in fact, met on more than one occasion with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign, led Sessions to recuse himself from investigations concerning Russia and the 2016 presidential campaigns. But that’s not enough for members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “The recusal is very narrow and only affects investigations looking into the Administration's ties with Russia before Election Day,” Progressive Caucus members said in a statement. "This is not enough. Sessions lied to Congress under oath.” “Lying under oath about contacts with Russian officials supersedes recusal,” said Representative Mark Pocan, the caucus’s vice chair."

Pence Story On Mike Flynn 'Impossible' To Believe

Bernie Sanders blisters Trump: All the president does is ‘lie, lie lie’

Bernie Sanders blisters Trump: All the president does is ‘lie, lie lie’

"Senator Bernie Sanders hammered President Donald Trump on Twitter Monday afternoon, telling him to knock off the lying because he is hurting America’s “standing in the world"."

You Mean That 'Buy American' Promise Wasn't Honest?
"In other words, the president* knew when he delivered his presidentialing speech last Tuesday that he'd already signed a directive that made what he told Congress and the nation a lie."

Why Is Trump Trademarking Chinese Massage Parlors??

Ex-Bush administration officials fear how ‘erratic, vindictive’ Trump will react during a major crisis

Ex-Bush administration officials fear how ‘erratic, vindictive’ Trump will react during a major crisis

"Speaking with the Washington Post, a former policy strategist lambasted Trump for being out of control. “We have as president a man who is erratic, vindictive, volatile, obsessive, a chronic liar, and prone to believe in conspiracy theories,” conservative commentator Peter Wehner remarked. “And you can count on the fact that there will be more to come, since when people like Donald Trump gain power they become less, not more, restrained"."

Bombshell report links Trump hotel to corrupt Azerbaijan oligarchs and Iranian terror group

Bombshell report links Trump hotel to corrupt Azerbaijan oligarchs and Iranian terror group

"President Donald Trump and his eldest daughter developed a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation run by a family known as “the Corleones of the Caspian” with links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The Trump International Hotel & Tower Baku — conceived in 2008 as a luxury apartment building but converted in 2014 into a hotel — has never opened, and both local observers and international experts are baffled by the building’s existence, reported The New Yorker."

Taxpayers Are Giving Millions To Trump Properties, And The President Gets The Profits

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal
"The best way to determine if a crime was committed in the Baku deal would be a federal investigation, which could use the power of subpoena and international legal tools to obtain access to the contracts, the due diligence, internal e-mails, and financial documents. The Department of Justice routinely sends investigators to other countries to pursue possible F.C.P.A. and sanctions violations."

The Christian Right's Origins of Fake News and 'Alternative Facts' @alternet

The Christian Right's Origins of Fake News and 'Alternative Facts' @alternet:

"As we’ve moved from an election dominated by fake news to a new Trump administration run on the principle of “alternative facts,” it’s worth taking some time to ponder what seems to be contemporary conservative credulity. We should certainly be reminded of the term “truthiness” that Stephen Colbert invented in October 2005 to capture some of the pronouncements of the George W. Bush administration. As he explained then, truthiness was the truth that “comes from the gut,” not from actual facts—“the truth we want to exist,” that feels right. Truthiness is certainly an ancestor of fake news and alternative facts. And the way fake news tends to get better reception among conservatives than liberals, even by a two-to-one margin, has also been recognized. (When one fake news creator was interviewed, he explained, “We’ve tried to do similar things to liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You’ll get debunked within the first two comments, and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out.”) What is it about Republicans that seems to make them more credulous to fake news than Democrats?"

Trump Voters Lose The Most Under GOP Healthcare Plan

Fukushima 6 years later: radioactive boars and $188 billion in clean-up costs
"Perhaps more shocking is that six years after the meltdowns, Fukushima is still generating and dealing with unimaginable amounts of contaminated waste. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is still “pumping water nonstop through the three reactors to cool melted fuel that remains too hot and radioactive to remove,” as the New York Times explained Saturday. That generates some 400 tons of contaminated water each day. With more than 962,000 tons now stored on site, storage space is running out. Some officials have contemplated whether they could dilute the waste and dump it in the ocean. Unsurprisingly, “local fishermen are vehemently opposed.” There are also more than 3,500 shipping containers holding radioactive sludge left over from the initial efforts to decontaminate all that water. On top of that, every day, some 6,000 cleanup workers dispose of their protective hazmat suits and other gear, so far generating nearly 65,000 cubic meters of gear — enough to fill 17 million one-gallon containers. TEPCO plans to burn it all at some point."

March 10, 2017

Fukushima’s high nuclear reactor radiation a problem for melted fuel

Fukushima’s high nuclear reactor radiation a problem for melted fuel

"During recent investigations conducted using cameras and robots at the site of Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, after six years of the triple meltdown, it has likely identified melted fuel rods for the first time underneath the damaged reactor 2, Japan Times reported. Following a major earthquake on March 11, 2011, a 15-metre tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling of three Fukushima Daiichi reactors, causing a nuclear accident."

Behold The Nightmare That Is TrumpCare...

All the ways Trumpcare would devastate women’s health care
"Republicans in Congress are celebrating International Women’s Day this year by pushing forward a health care bill that could be disastrous for America’s women."

Gutting Obamacare: Opening Salvo in the Republican War on Seniors, Middle-Aged and Poor Americans @alternet

Gutting Obamacare: Opening Salvo in the Republican War on Seniors, Middle-Aged and Poor Americans @alternet: Seriously undermining Medicare and Medicaid, shifting thousands in unaffordable annual costs to families. If Republican elites in Congress were honest about their agenda, no senior would ever vote Republican.The current fight over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not generally couched in terms of its impact on seniors, but it should be. It is a thinly veiled — and serious — opening attack on the economic and health security of those who have spent a lifetime contributing to our nation.

What Trump’s Medicaid Plan Would Mean for People with Disabilities

5 Ways President Trump’s Agenda Is a Disaster for People with Disabilities
"Donald Trump made his disregard for the 1 in 5 Americans with disabilities abundantly clear when he mocked a disabled New York Times reporter to a crowd of thousands at a campaign rally. But now that he’s in the White House, that disregard is no longer restricted to hateful words. Now, President Trump’s administration—together with his Republican colleagues in Congress—are pursuing policies that would put the health, education, and economic security of people with disabilities and their families at grave risk while further enriching both the wealthy and corporations through massive tax cuts."

House Leadership Obamacare Repeal Bill Is Republican Declaration of Class Warfare on Average Americans @alternet

House Leadership Obamacare Repeal Bill Is Republican Declaration of Class Warfare on Average Americans @alternet:

"On Tuesday, AARP, the lobby for people over age 50 and retirees, came out against it. By Wednesday, the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association weighed in, joining Democrats in opposing the House bill. But other businesses and interests that would see tax cuts benefiting them announced their support. "This legislation as currently drafted is...likely to result in a substantial reduction in the number of Americans able to buy affordable health insurance or maintain coverage," a letter to Congress from hospital and health care organizations said. "Currently, 21 million Americans have gained health care through the marketplaces and through expansion of the Medicaid program. We are very concerned that the draft legislative proposal being considered by the House committees could lead to tremendous instability for those seeking affordable coverage." What is unfolding in American politics and health care is unambiguously dire. Republicans clamoring for repeal are in an ideological bubble where they are blind to its real-life implications, from individual hardship to wreaking chaos in the health care system. But beyond the bill's specifics and the growing political fray is the larger reality that the repeal legislation is really the first salvo in a Republican-led class war on ordinary Americans."