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Monthly Archives: February 2018

Recent speeches and Tweets from the White House show how ignorant the Resident is of facts:

AP FACT CHECK: Trump twists visa lottery program
CALVIN WOODWARD,Associated Press 21 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expressing frustration with an immigration program that he says lets other countries nominate undesirable citizens for emigration to the U.S. That path to a life in the U.S. does not exist.
Trump mischaracterizes the diversity visa lottery program regularly, most recently on Fox News on the weekend and most prominently in his State of the Union speech last month. The only accurate part of his account tends to be that a lottery is involved and that the program is not based primarily on the skills of immigrants. Other countries have no say in how it operates and the lottery is not as random as he describes.
A look at his comments and the reality behind them:
TRUMP: “I mean we actually have lottery systems where you go to countries and they do lotteries for who comes into the United States. Now, you know they are not going to have their best people in the lottery, because they’re not going to put their best people in a lottery. They don’t want to have their good people to leave. … We want people based on merit. Not based on the fact they are thrown into a bin and many of those people are not the people you want in the country, believe me.” — Fox News phone interview Saturday night.

THE FACTS: That’s not how it works.
The lottery program is run by the U.S. government. Other countries do not sort through their populations looking for bad apples to put in a “bin” for export to the U.S. Citizens of qualifying countries are the ones who decide to bid for visas under the program.
Trump was also wrong in stating in his speech to Congress that the program “randomly hands out green cards without any regard to skill, merit or the safety of our people.”
Whether the program adequately addresses those conditions is up for debate. But it’s wrong to say they are given no regard.
The program requires applicants to have completed a high school education or have at least two years of experience in the last five years in a selection of fields identified by the Labor Department.
Out of that pool of people from certain countries who meet those conditions, the State Department randomly selects a much smaller pool of winners. Not all winners will have visas ultimately approved, because they still must compete for a smaller number of slots by getting their applications in quickly. Those who are ultimately offered visas still need to go through background checks, like other immigrants.
The lottery is extended to citizens of most countries, except about 20. Among the excluded countries are many that already have high rates of emigration to the U.S., such as Mexico, Canada and India. The program’s primary goal is to diversify the immigrant population by creating slots for underrepresented parts of the world.
In the 2015 lottery program, the State Department randomly selected more than 125,000 people who met the pre-conditions. Citizens of Cameroon, Liberia, Congo, Iran and Nepal led the list, winning about 5,000 potential visa slots each.
Among those winners, the department then accepted the first 50,000 who applied for the visas. This is out of millions who typically apply.
The program was created with broad bipartisan support. Back in 1990, after a broader immigration bill containing the visa program passed the House, the legislation sailed through the Senate on an 89-8 vote.
But now, Trump and likeminded Republicans want to eliminate it and curb family-based immigration as well, in favor of a system that is more focused on bringing in people who have needed skills and education.

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The current firearms controversy?, debate? or sound bite? There appears to be no rational solution or conversation to the issue of firearms used to kill folks in several locations around the country. In some instances the shooter was killed, killed themselves or was captured. The big issue is certain modifications or updates on long guns to make them automatic. This has come around several times in the past 10 years and still no real solve to the problem. As I see it what needs to happen is legislatures need to have a REAL conversation not issuing sound bites that rile people up and fall flat. If we had elected people who were really in the office to serve then we should be able to expect a true conversation about firearms that would make sense to all of us. Unfortunately many are afraid of their patrons such as the NRA (which has shifted too far right for redemption without a new blood infusion). The modern NRA has lost membership due to their wild issuance targeting one Major party while supporting the other. The corrective action would be a sit down with both majority parties at the Federal and State levels with no distracting fanfare. Unfortunately it is being shown by the legislators especially prominent is Florida that they are afraid of the NRA and thereby standing with the NRA against the safety of their fellow Americans and specifically our children. It is apparent and openly seen that the NRA has an interest in it’s own well being and not the American public who support them. An armed teacher in each classroom is not the answer as this takes away from the job of teaching. Listening to NPR today it seems that the answer is not with legislators and the current administration (No surprise) but with the voters. The Mafia used knee cap injuries to send a message, perhaps this method will work on legislators but in the form of a vote and protest.

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It appears that a way to denigrate and suppress groups of people is to  call them “savages and animals”. These slurs have been around for centuries and in every country. Oddly enough these so-called savages have not always been people of color. There were the Vikings, there were the Goths, Gauls, Romans to name a few. Why did we begin to put the label of “Savage” primarily on non whites? This has apparently always been the way of the so-called elite. These are the people through their status as royalty, landowners and Tycoons made the determination of status according to their thinking. Some “savages” in other countries were more advanced than some of those elites who benefitted from the invention of writing and language by the “savages”. In the U.S. we have Resident who has made a mockery of the Government in actions and in words. I appreciate any person or group who stands by their convictions whether I agree with them or not but we have an administration through their actions and words has put us on a path of internal turmoil at a time when we need strong leadership against known cyber threats. The current White House and majority Congress have managed to push agendas that imperil the voters at home and abroad. This administration has disparaged religions, leaders of other countries and the American people. The aim of this Resident it seems is do what is good for himself and his cronies while the Congressional majority stands silently by and telling the voters that “they” are working for them. I am reminded that the truth will always be the truth while falsehoods shift like the sand on the beach. It is easy to rile people up when their situations are dire but when the smoke clears their situations have improved less than the people they have elected. Origin or Skin color is no indication of character quality as we know by the current Congress and Resident. This dearth of character is a blot on the character of our country.


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Recent revelations about indictments on several Russians in the 2016 elections interference have put the White House in high spirits however they are as delusional as ever. This new information has made these inept white house residents think they are in the clear but the truth is that this is just one part of the investigation. As the inquiry continues it will become clear that these bunglers (the White House) had more to do with this than we suspect and have knowledge of. TOTUS et al. are currently pushing the lies as usual with the reckless abandon they have shown since the beginning of the campaign in 2015. The day of reckoning will fall hard on them beginning with this years mid terms and beyond. It is well to remember we may still have issues with a replacement at 1600 as the second in command is no better and possibly worse as he is just as fringy as his boss but in some just as bad ways (for us). Taking a look a look at one of the major pushes of this administration on DACA and changes in immigration, you should realize that this about money to finance the ill-advised tax Reform. It is amazing that  too many of us fail to see the underlying and future effects of these actions. Many changes in laws and or the enacting of new ones appear to take funds from other existing sources, this swapping of funding ultimately hurts primarily the middle and lower income citizens. Unfortunately we won’t see the slap until it hits.

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Political parties  have  not been welcoming to minorities in spite of their many spokespeople’s insistence that they are inclusive. In reality  neither party has a great track record any minorities however it appears that the Conservative Dupublicans have slowly slid back into the 1950’s. MA        

Max Greenwood 15 hrs ago

© Provided by The Hill
Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele confronted the chairman of the American Conservative Union on Saturday over comments made by a spokesman for the group at a major conservative conference a day earlier.
The row between the former RNC head and Matt Schlapp on Steele’s SiriusXM radio show “Steele & Ungar” came a day after Ian Walters, the communications director for the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), said that Steele was picked as RNC chair because “he was a black guy.”
“Those words that tumbled out of his mouth, I believed were unfortunate words,” Schlapp told Steele, who served as RNC chair from 2009 until 2011.
“They were stupid. It’s not ‘unfortunate,'” Steele shot back. “Call it what it is. It is stupid to sit there and say that we elected a black man chairman of the party and that was a mistake. Do you know how that sounds to the black community?”
Steele said that Walters’s remarks underscored the Republican Party’s tense relationship with race, and that such comments lead Americans to “equate that level of stupidity to conservatism.”
“I’ve spent 41 years in this party. Forty-one, all right?” Steele said. “I have taken crap you have no idea about, and I have carried this baggage. And for him to stand on that stage and denigrate my service to this party, and for you as a friend to sit there and go, ‘Well, you have been critical of this party.'”
“There is only one word I can say, and I can’t say it on this air,” he continued. When Schlapp told him to “say it,” Steele said that he could not, because the Federal Communications Commission “won’t allow it.”
Schlapp said that, while Walters’s comment was in poor taste, Steele had been critical of the Republican Party under President Trump and has not gotten “universal praise” from conservatives for his stewardship of the RNC.
That prompted a heated response from Steele.
“What the hell does my race have to do with any of that, at the end of the day? What does the color of my skin have to do with anything you just said?” Steele said.

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Meyerson on TAP
As the Senate begins its deliberations on DACA, the ICE Deport Anyone Campaign rolls on. On the Prospect home page today, we’ve posted an article by David Bacon on the efforts of California unions to defend immigrants—and not just their own members—from expulsion, and co-published a piece with Capital & Main on the 5,000 DACA recipients in California who are teachers.
In its zeal to meet deportation quotas, ICE has shown complete indifference to such trivialities as whether their detainees have committed serious crimes or are esteemed members of their communities. As a piece in Monday’s Washington Post documented, ICE arrested 37,734 “non-criminals” in 2017, breaking up families and communities in the process.
The closest parallel in American history to ICE’s current expulsion mania is the grim saga of the Fugitive Slave Act. The act, passed by a Southern-dominated Congress in 1850, effectively gave police power to slaveholders and their agents to go into the non-slave states of the North to capture and re-enslave African Americans who’d achieved the status of free men and women by crossing the Mason-Dixon line. Then as now, federal law conscripted the local authorities in Northern states—where the pursued were welcome—to cooperate with the hunters, and on occasion federal forces were sent to help in the apprehensions.
And then as now, the reason that federal forces were sent was that many in those Northern states sought to thwart the slaveholders and the soldiers. African Americans concealed their hunted brothers and sisters, on a couple of occasions overpowering the slaveholders to free them again. State and local governments passed laws forbidding such cooperation, much as California has passed such laws today. Masses of people turned out to protest the seizures, just as rapid response teams do today.
Underpinning both these abysmal episodes in our history is a sectionalized racism. The Fugitive Slave Act effectively imposed Southern slave codes on Northern states that had no desire to enforce them. The ICE raids impose the racism and xenophobia of the worst parts of Trump’s base, disproportionately clustered in heavily white regions home to few if any immigrants, on states like California and New York, where immigrants are not just welcome but an axiom of local life.
In response, a number of local and state governments have offered legal assistance to ICE arrestees and forbidden police cooperation with them, while activists have turned out in the streets and the courts to support the detainees. All necessary actions, but there’s still more that could be done. At least so long as ICE continues to arrest and deport immigrants with no regard for what they’ve done and who they are, ICE agents should be treated as Northerners treated the slaveholder-kidnappers. Sit-down demonstrations obstructing ICE offices seem a good way to start. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

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Image result for adolf hitlerImage result for muammar gaddafiImage result for benito mussolini

Donald Trump

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Posted Feb 15, 2018 12:39 PM

Andrew Siddons
Democrats Pan Bill Curbing Lawsuits by People With Disabilities Questions Could Derail Confirmation of Trump’s Indian Health Nominee HHS Pick Grilled on Drug Prices
The House on Thursday passed, 225-192, a bill that supporters say would deter predatory lawsuits filed under a landmark disability rights law, over objections from its critics that the bill would undermine decades of progress for access to places like restaurants, theaters and other private establishments.
The bill would require potential plaintiffs to notify businesses who aren’t in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act before filing a lawsuit. As originally written, it would give the businesses six months to demonstrate their intent to comply, but an amendment adopted on Thursday shortened that timeline to four months.

While several House Democrats joined with most Republicans to support the bill, they were mostly from California, where a local law carries higher penalties for violators, who also have to pay the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees. The bill’s supporters believe it would deter what they describe as “legal shakedowns” for violations that would otherwise cost far less to correct.

In the Senate, the bill’s fate is less certain. While Democrats from states where the lawsuits are more prevalent — such as California, Florida and New York — could join Republicans, the majority would still need support from several more members to clear the Senate’s 60-vote threshold. There is no companion measure in the Senate.
The bill faced vocal opposition from groups supporting people with disabilities and most House Democrats, which would likely continue if taken up by the Senate. Throughout the morning, the House gallery filled with individuals who were blind and using wheelchairs, and protestors interrupted the final vote just before it began. The Capitol police dragged a man out of the gallery and removed more than a dozen people in wheelchairs from the gallery.
Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., who uses a wheelchair due to an accidental shooting that decades ago left him paralyzed, said that the bill ignores the underlying problem of predatory lawsuits and would lead to more businesses ignoring ADA requirements.”The idea that places of public accommodation should receive a free pass for six months before correctly implementing a law that has been a part of our legal framework for nearly three decades creates an obvious disincentive for ADA compliance,” he said on the House floor Thursday.
The bill’s supporters believe that, by giving businesses more time to comply and reducing their risk of paying legal fees, it would have the opposite effect.
Unethical lawyers, said Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., “abuse the law to shake-down businesses, taking away money from compliance and putting it into their own pockets.”
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rogers, whose son has Down Syndrome, explained why she went against the party grain.
“Any changes should preserve the spirit of the ADA and reduce the burden on individuals with disabilities to bring legitimate compliance claims … as part of that community, I could not in good conscience vote for this bill.”
Scott J. Topolski, a Florida attorney who handles ADA defense at the firm Cole Schotz, said that if lawyers are less likely to take up the cases, it didn’t seem to be “terribly complicated” for a non-attorney to notify a business of their non-compliance. Still, he acknowledged that the law would likely reduce the number of lawsuits filed.
“Plaintiff’s attorneys may be less likely to want to proceed with one of these types of cases if they know they are not going to get paid by the business owners,” he said in an interview.
Groups that oppose the bill, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, argue that the bill would not actually reduce the number of frivolous suits, but would just delay them until after the extended compliance period ended.
The House adopted four amendments to the measure by voice vote ahead of its passage, including the language to shorten the compliance timeline. Another eliminated the bill’s requirement that the written notice of the violation cite the specific sections of the ADA, which would likely make it easier for a non-lawyer to file a notice.
The bill would require the Department of Justice to develop a program for promoting disability access, and one amendment would require it to make educational publications available in languages other than just English. Another amendment clarifies that if a business owner fails to make progress after the compliance period, they would still be liable.
The House rejected, by voice vote, an amendment that would have allowed for additional punitive damages to be incurred if businesses were still in violation after the compliance period.
The House also rejected, 188-266, an amendment from Langevin that would have reduced the bill simply to its requirement that the Justice Department pursue ADA educational programs.

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Jane C. Timm 14 hrs ago

In the wake of a deadly school shooting in Florida, President Donald Trump called the suspected gunman “mentally disturbed” in a tweet and vowed his administration would “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”
Here’s what Trump’s administration has done or proposed so far that would impact mental heath care in America.
This month, the president signed a two-year funding bill hammered out by Congressional leaders that included $6 billion for opioid and mental health care. Days later, the White House’s budget proposal — a suggestion to Congress, which will ultimately decide how to divvy up the government’s money — said the president wanted to allocate $13 billion in mental health and opioid funding.

Mental health care experts say those big dollar amounts obscure a dangerous reality: that same budget proposed massive cuts to Medicaid that they say would devastate the nation’s mental health care system.
“Medicaid pays for about a quarter of mental health and substance abuse treatment in this country,” said Rebecca Farley David, vice president for policy and advocacy at the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Slashing Medicaid means taking mental health care from vulnerable populations, David said, even if grants elsewhere are tacked on.
“By and large, if we make major cuts to Medicaid, we lose any progress that we might make elsewhere,” she told NBC News.
Trump, in his brief remarks at the White House Thursday morning, spoke about securing the nation’s schools — and underscored the need for meaningful action.
“We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” he said in brief remarks at the White House Thursday morning. “Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals, where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.”
Andrew Sperling, the director of legislative and policy advocacy at National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), noted that the White House has also allowed states to add work requirements to Medicaid coverage, something that undermines those seeking care for addiction or mental health requirements that could temporarily land them out of work, but not rise to the level of a permanent disability, which are excluded from work requirements.
“They’d lose access to the very treatment they need to get better,” Sperling told NBC News.
The president also quietly rolled back a controversial Obama-era regulation early last year that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy guns. Gun control and mental health advocates nationwide were split on this, with many in the latter group arguing that mental illness does not correlate with violence, while gun control supporters argued it was necessary.
Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America, said the country needs to rethink its approach to mental health entirely. Suicide rates keep rising as the mortality rates of other major killers like cancer dips because the nation invested in early, preventative care to catch symptoms early, he said.
“We never did that with mental illness. Here, we wait, and we wait, and we wait until we have crises,” he told NBC News. “The lesson of yesterday is not what we’re going to do about the shooter, it’s what we’re going to do about all the victims of the shooting: 3000 people in that school—they’ve all experienced a profound trauma, and yet we have no level one trauma centers for mental health in this country. We have no plan.

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Considering all of the political news and ongoing Tweet “governing”, we are still no closer to proper legislation of any sort. We have 1 cabinet member complaining about his treatment by  the voters while he flying (now he wants to fly first class on our dime). We have TOTUS still earning from his businesses while serving(?). We have a Congress who seems to be afraid to anger the “Child”. We have well known  and documented misogynist (possible pedophile) sitting in the Oval office. I cannot see what there is to hide since the intentions of this administration and the complicit Congress are clear. They have no moral responsibility to us and it seems will not do anything for us. This ongoing stream of lies from Washington is hotter than a lava flow and unfortunately hardens into what appears true. It is as always incumbent on the voters to be educated on activities in Government and understand that our current Government leaders from Municipal to Federal appear to be consummate liars. They make proposals that sound good but like an onion you have peel back the layers to get at the truth. Every bill, proposal or law making activity is steeped in the tired practice of inserting “other” issues into them that will be passed along with the major or public part of the proposal. These “secret insertions” are sometimes items that will bite us (the voters) down the road while we coast along not seeing the warning signs.

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