[Updated 11/24] What Got Undone While Trump Distracted Us With Tweets | Oligarchy on Blog#42

[Updated 11/24] What Got Undone While Trump Distracted Us With Tweets | Oligarchy on Blog#42

While the media obsesses over Trump’s tweets, the real work of finalizing our new oligarchy is being done behind the scenes in each of the departments that make up the executive branch. As we obsess over Trump’s tweets, who is hired, fired, dissed or praised,regulations that have made our lives better are being rolled back, often times without much reporting from the national media.

I’ve been curating the weekly article Politico publishes each week, highlighting some of the things the Trump administration has done, that the media has not placed much emphasis on. Each new article is appended in chronological order, at the bottom.

Politico’s Running List Of What Trump Did While You Weren’t Looking [Updated 12/01] | Blog#42

But there are other publications that have put out the occasional warning piece about things that are going unnoticed in the news cycle. To say that Trump’s henchmen have been busy would be an understatement.

This post will be updated weekly, or as events necessitate:

If you’ve read this article before, read from the bottom up to see new updates.

What Trump has undone

“President Trump has repeatedly argued that he’s done more than any other recent president. That’s not true, as measured by the amount of legislation he’s been able to sign. It is true, though, that Trump has undone a lot of things that were put into place by his predecessors, including President Barack Obama.

Since Jan. 20, Trump’s administration has enthusiastically and systematically undone or uprooted rules, policies and tools that predated his time in office. Below, a list of those changes, roughly organized by subject area.”

Read the rest at WashingtonPost.com

Don’t have a subscription? Click here for a free 30-day digital account.

I am constantly on the lookout for other journalists who are keeping tabs on what is being undone. Know of a local reporter who is doing that? Please contact me with a link. Thank you.

I will append curated quotes from any additional articles as I find them.


Your contributions help me and my family get by during these harsh times and allow me to produce this blog. Due to new health circumstances, I need your support more than ever. Thank you for your ongoing support!


Other Sources:

The White House

President Donald J. Trump Signs H.J.Res. 69, H.J.Res. 83, H.R. 1228, S.J.Res. 34 into Law

On Monday, April 3, 2017, the President signed into law:

H.J.Res. 69, which nullifies the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service’s final rule relating to non-subsistence takings of wildlife on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska;

H.J.Res. 83, which nullifies the Department of Labor’s rule titled Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness; and

H.R. 1228, which provides for the appointment of members of the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance to replace members whose terms expire during March and May of 2017; and

S.J.Res. 34 – which nullifies the Federal Communications Commission’s rule on privacy of customers of broadband and other telecommunications services.

 How The Trump Administration is Behaving

FBI, Homeland Security warn of more ‘antifa’ attacks

Confidential documents call the anarchists that seek to counter white supremacists ‘domestic terrorists.’

EPA hasn’t inspected flooded Houston-area Superfund sites

President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly not on site to inspect several toxic waste sites in Houston heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey, despite the increasing threat to wildlife and nearby people.

President Trump has nominated David Zatezalo, a former coal executive whose company was found to have repeatedly violated safety standards under the Obama administration, to the top mining safety post in his administration.

AP EXCLUSIVE: Toxic waste sites flooded in Houston area

The statement confirmed the AP’s reporting that the EPA had not yet been able to physically visit the Houston-area sites, saying the sites had ‘not been accessible by response personnel.’ EPA staff had checked on two Superfund sites in Corpus Christi on Thursday and found no significant damage. AP journalists used a boat to document the condition of one flooded Houston-area Superfund site, but accessed others with a vehicle or on foot. The EPA did not respond to questions about why its personnel had not yet been able to do so.”

From former New York Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan:

Here’s the best thing the media can do when reporting on ‘antifa’

For many Americans, the first they heard of antifa was last month when a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville burst into the news.

Since then, though, it’s everywhere.

Trevor Noah did a comic riff on it last week, calling the group the “vegan ISIS.” Sean Hannity’s substitute, Jonathan Gilliam, lumped in Heather Heyer, the woman killed in Charlottesville, with anti-fascists. And The Washington Post’s editorial board suggested the group call itself “profa”because its tactics work against its cause.

Most notably, of course, President Trump denounced Charlottesville violence “on many sides” — equating the neo-Nazis there with the anti-fascists, who say they aim to fight back against the rise of white supremacy and totalitarianism. (With roots in 1930s Europe, antifa’s adherents believe in direct action, including force if they deem it necessary.)

Confusion reigns. But one thing is clear: The term has been quickly weaponized. Blended with some hazy terms like “alt-left,” it became politically useful to the right, and certainly to the president.

Read the rest at WashingtonPost.com

Harvey victim funds may be delayed without debt limit increase: Mnuchin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday put pressure on Congress to increase the government’s debt limit by arguing that relief funding for hurricane-ravaged areas of Texas might be delayed if lawmakers do not act quickly.

“Without raising the debt limit, I am not comfortable that we will get money to Texas this month to rebuild,” Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday. U.S. President Donald Trump has requested nearly $8 billion for initial relief for areas hit by Hurricane Harvey.

Read the rest at Reuters.com

The Rollback of Pro-Worker Policies Since Trump Took Office Is Staggering

“A few months ago, President Donald Trump devoted his weekly address to the beleaguered American employee. “For too long, American workers were forgotten by their government—and I mean totally forgotten,” he said. “My administration has offered a new vision. The well-being of the American citizen and worker will be placed second to none.”

No doubt he’ll come up with more pro-worker blather for Labor Day. Don’t listen. The only way Trump is helping the average employee is if you consider The Simpsons’ Mr. Burns a working stiff.

The rollback of labor rights and protections since Trump took office is staggering. It puts worker safety at risk and guarantees that many workers will earn less, but that’s not all. Measures to help victims of discrimination receive redress are on the scrap heap. Unions are running scared. “It’s a death by a thousand cuts,” explains Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Last week, as most of us in the United States were riveted by Hurricane Harvey’s descent on Texas, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration removed from its Internet home page a list of workers who died as a result of workplace injuries, burying it deep within the website. At the same time, it changed how the list is compiled; it will now only include instances where the company was cited for safety violations leading to a worker’s death. Details such as the name of the deceased worker are also no longer considered worthy of inclusion. The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionworked out that of the at least 32 Georgia workers it determined died as a result of work-related injuries since October 1 of last year, only two even get a mention on the new list.”

Read the rest at TheNation.com

Dems ready to deal with Trump — but it’s complicated (The Hill)

A newborn Trump-Dem fellowship? It’s complicated.

President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D), two New Yorkers with a long and checkered history, joined forces this week on a high-stakes fiscal bargain that shoved aside the wishes of Trump’s Republican allies.

The two party leaders — both Big Apple power-brokers known as sharp-elbowed dealmakers — have sparred throughout the year, trading shots over a host of issues.

But in a move that stunned Washington, the pair, joined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), united on Wednesday to secure a short-term deal to fund the government, raise the debt ceiling and provide aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey — a proposal initially opposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Trump and Schumer built on the nascent alliance by agreeing to seek reforms that would altogether eliminate the need for Congress to hike the debt ceiling — yet another proposal opposed by the president’s Republican allies.

And on Thursday evening, the pair met again as part of a larger group of New Jersey and New York lawmakers gathered at the White House to discuss funding for the Gateway Program, a multibillion-dollar proposal to tunnel a rail line beneath the Hudson River.

Read the rest at TheHill.com

Court smacks down Wyoming efforts to suppress science (The Hill)

In a huge victory for environmental groups, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week ruled that data collection on public lands is protected free speech, and a Wyoming state law that created stiff civil and criminal penalties for “data trespass,” gathering data (or even taking photographs) on public land after crossing private property violates those rights.

The state effort to suppress science and free speech specifically targeted Western Watersheds Project’s documentation of chronic fecal coliform contamination of public waterways by public land ranchers. It was a bald effort to shield the livestock industry from its violations of the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws on public lands.

Read the rest at TheHill.com

Houston residents confront officials over decision to flood neighborhoods

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Angry Houston residents shouted at city officials on Saturday over decisions to intentionally flood certain neighborhoods during Hurricane Harvey, as they returned to homes that may have been contaminated by overflowing sewers.

A town hall grew heated after City Council member Greg Travis, who represents parts of western Houston, told about 250 people that an Army Corps of Engineers official told him that certain gauges measuring water levels at the Buffalo Bayou – the city’s main waterway – failed due to a decision to release water from two municipal reservoirs to avoid an overflow.

Travis’ words inflamed tensions at the town hall, held at the Westin Houston hotel, as the region struggled to recover from Hurricane Harvey, which dropped as much as 50 inches (127 cm) of rain in some areas along Texas’ Gulf Coast, triggering historic floods.

More than 450,000 people either still do not have safe drinking water or need to boil their water first.

Read the rest at Reuters.com 


Video: Volusia County isn’t allowing homeless people to mingle with others at shelters.

After Irma, a Look at Why Cubans are 15 Times Less Likely to Die from Hurricanes Than Americans


More on DemocracyNow.com

House panel strikes deal on surveillance reforms

“A bipartisan group of House lawmakers has struck a deal on a controversial spy law due to sunset at the end of the year, setting up a fight with the Trump administration over potential limits to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) warrantless surveillance program.

Three members of the House Judiciary Committee — Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) — have privately agreed to support extending the law through 2023, The New York Times reports.

But as part of that extension, according to congressional officials who spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity, the lawmakers have agreed to push for some limits to the law.

Among those limits: Requiring FBI agents to obtain a warrant before sifting through the program’s database of intercepted messages for data about American criminal suspects, a currently permissible practice derided by critics as the “back-door search loophole.””

Read the rest at TheHill.com

Continuing to court Democrats, Trump will host dinner on tax reform

“Trump, continuing courting Democrats, will host dinner on tax reform”: “Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana have been invited and are expected to attend, aides said. GOP Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and John Thune of South Dakota are among the Republican attendees. … The three moderate Democrats are all up for reelection next year in states Trump won handily in 2016. They have also been closer to the president than other congressional Democrats. Each declined to join a letter with party leaders outlining conditions on tax reform and all three supported Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch earlier this year.”

Read the rest at Politico.com

Pew Research Center:  How People Approach Facts and Information

People deal in varying ways with tensions about what information to trust and how much they want to learn. Some are interested and engaged with information; others are wary and stressed.

“Libraries and health care providers top the list of the most trusted sources of information, according to Americans, while social media is at the bottom.

Overall, 30% of American adults say they do not trust any information source on our list “a lot.””

Read the full survey at PewResearch.com

DOJ rolls back program intended to identify problems in police departments

The Department of Justice announced Friday that it’s rolling back an Obama-era program created to help improve trust between police agencies and the communities they serve.

The department said it’s making significant changes to an office that investigated and issued public reports about problems it found in individual police departments.

DOJ said the changes to the program “will return control to the public safety personnel sworn to protect their communities and focus on providing real-time technical assistance to best address the identified needs of requesting agencies to reduce violent crime.”

The move falls in line with Sessions’ tough-on-crime policies and President Trump’s pro-police administration.

Read the rest at TheHill.com

Another prosecutor joins Trump-Russia probe

Kyle Freeny jumps to Mueller staff from money laundering unit.

“An attorney working on the Justice Department’s highest-profile money laundering case recently transferred off that assignment in order to join the staff of the special prosecutor investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia, POLITICO has learned.

Attorney Kyle Freeny was among the prosecutors on hand Friday as a spokesman for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Jason Maloni, testified before a grand jury at federal court in Washington.

Freeny, whose assignment to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s staff has not been previously reported, is the 17th lawyer known to be working with the former FBI chief on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. She departed from the courthouse Friday with two other members of Mueller’s squad: former Criminal Division chief and Enron prosecutor Andrew Weissman and Civil Division appellate attorney Adam Jed, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.”

Read the rest at Politico.com

Trump’s FEC nominee has questioned the value of disclosing political donors

“James E. “Trey” Trainor III, the conservative Texas lawyer nominated by President Trump this week to serve on the Federal Election Commission, has challenged the principle that the public benefits from the disclosure of political donors, arguing that voters could be distracted from the content of political messages if they focus on who is financing ads.

Trainor’s stance on disclosure is counter to the position that Trump himself took during the 2016 presidential campaign, when he called for more transparency of donors behind big-money groups. “I don’t mind the money coming in,” the then-candidate told Time magazine in August 2015. “Let it be transparent. Let them talk, but let there be total transparency.”

In media appearances and public forums, Trainor has made the case that the Federalist Papers succeeded in promoting the ratification of the Constitution because Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay wrote them under the pseudonym Publius. And he appeared to erroneously suggest that the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision endorsed anonymous political contributions.”

Read the rest at WashingtonPost.com

Alaska could get relief from Senate repeal bill’s Medicaid cuts

The Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill may protect Alaska and up to four other sparsely populated states from major cuts to Medicaid through 2026, a potential boon to the home of pivotal GOP swing vote Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The plan from Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) allows a limited number of states to opt out of its new Medicaid financing system, which would give states set sums to run their programs and do away with the open-ended entitlement that exists today.

Murkowski helped kill the GOP’s “skinny” repeal bill in July and is beingheavily courted by Republicans to support the latest repeal effort.

Murkowski has remained publicly noncommittal. But Republicans will likely need her if they want to make good on their campaign pledge to repeal Obamacare. Republicans can only lose the votes of two of their 52 senators and still have Vice President Mike Pence cast a deciding tie-breaker vote to pass the bill.

Read the rest at Politico.com

Kushner used private email to conduct White House business

The senior adviser set up the account after the election. Other West Wing officials have also used private email accounts for official business.

“Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business.

Kushner uses his private account alongside his official White House email account, sometimes trading emails with senior White House officials, outside advisers and others about media coverage, event planning and other subjects, according to four people familiar with the correspondence. POLITICO has seen and verified about two dozen emails.

“Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business,” Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, said in a statement Sunday. “Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account. These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address.””

Read the rest at Politico.com

EPA removes climate references from truck efficiency website

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed some climate change references from a website about a trucking industry efficiency program.

The site for the SmartWay program has removed mentions of “carbon” and “greenhouse gases,” replacing them with terms like “sustainability” and “emissions,” according to the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, which has been tracking EPA website changes under the Trump administration.

The general emphasis on climate change has been reduced dramatically, along with the focus on international efforts under the program, the group said in a Friday report.

The changes are part of a broader shift at the EPA under the Trump administration, in which public-facing references to climate change are being scrubbed or de-emphasized, reflecting the new administration’s rollback of Obama administration climate programs.

The EPA website still doesn’t have its main section on climate change, which the agency took down earlier this year, saying the content was being reviewed.”

Read the rest at TheHill.com

Democrats rule out Trump’s request for border wall funding in help for ‘Dreamers’

““We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise,” the two top congressional Democrats – Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi – said in a joint statement.

“The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations,” they added.”

Curated from Reuters

Jared and Ivanka’s bipartisan dinners

“Jared and Ivanka have been working with the White House Office of Legislative Affairs to host dinners with Democratic and Republican members of Congress at their home in the upscale D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama. The dinners, which have been going on for months but have been ramping up more recently, have focused on a range of policy issues, and have yet to result in any substantive leaks.

Capitol Hill sources told me that last Tuesday night, four senators visited Chez Javanka to talk about criminal justice reform: one Republican senator, Mike Lee, and three Democrats: Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Amy Klobuchar. A source with knowledge of the event told me a handful of White House officials also attended, including Reed Cordish — a friend of Kushner’s and assistant to the president — as well as White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.”

Read the rest at Axios

FEMA director: ‘We filtered out’ San Juan mayor ‘a long time ago’

“”We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don’t have time for the political noise,” Long said. “The bottom line is, is that we are making progress every day in conjunction with the governor.”

Long said FEMA is “restringing a very fragile system every day.”

“Rebuilding, rebuilding Puerto Rico is going to be a greater conversation for the Congress in conjunction with the governor on … what the way forward is in the future of Puerto Rico,” Long said.”

Read the rest at Politico

Critics see Trump sabotage on ObamaCare

“The Trump administration is taking a hatchet to ObamaCare after failing to pass legislation through Congress repealing President Obama’s signature law.

The administration has cut funding for advertising and outreach by 90 percent, raising the odds that fewer people will join the health-care exchanges during the fall enrollment period.

It has slashed funds by 41 percent for outside groups that help reach and enroll likely ObamaCare consumers.

The enrollment period has also been chopped in half, and the administration announced plans to take down the Healthcare.gov website for maintenance for hours at a time on several days during the sign-up period, two other steps likely to cut into enrollment.

All of these steps could lead fewer people to sign up for the law, which in turn might lead to higher premiums that could force others off the exchanges.

Healthy people are the most likely to drop coverage because of a lack of outreach, leaving a sicker group of enrollees that drives up costs for everyone else.”

Read the rest of this report on The Hill

Trump says he called Schumer to broker deal with Democrats for ‘a great HealthCare Bill’

“In a Saturday morning tweet, Trump wrote, “I called Chuck Schumer yesterday to see if the Dems want to do a great HealthCare Bill. ObamaCare is badly broken, big premiums. Who knows!”

Schumer responded, saying he was willing to work with Trump to “improve the existing health care system” but not to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, former president Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health-care law.

“The president wanted to make another run at repeal and replace and I told the president that’s off the table,” Schumer said in a statement. “If he wants to work together to improve the existing health care system, we Democrats are open to his suggestions. A good place to start might be the Alexander-Murray negotiations that would stabilize the system and lower costs.””

Read the rest at Washington Post

Trump boosts RNC fundraising, with Dems lagging far behind

“President Trump has generated a significant boost in small-dollar donations to the Republican National Committee, which has historically been more reliant on big donors, the Washington Post’s Matea Gold reports. Ahead of the 2018 midterms, the RNC has raised nearly twice as much as the DNC, with most of that money coming from donations of $200 or less.”

Curated from Axios

Low Unemployment Doesn’t Increase Wages Like It Used To

“Those “buts” (and the one “even as”) are a shorthand expression of both common sense and the consensus among virtually every school of economic thought: In a market economy, as unemployment falls and unoccupied workers grow scarce, workers should be able to bid up their wage rates. Under conditions of full employment, generally considered to be around 4.5 percent, wages should rise.

And yet, they don’t. Today’s wage increases, which have averaged a little above 2 percent a year throughout the current prolonged recovery, barely keep track with increases in the cost of living, and are roughly half of wage increases in previous recoveries.

To be sure, new census data show that household incomes are rising now, having finally surpassed their pre-recession peak in 2007, which itself only matched the pre-recession peak of 2000. (See: Sisyphus, Myth of.) This gap between rising incomes and stagnating wages, however, isn’t all that mysterious: Household income can increase when workers get more hours of work, and that seems to be exactly what’s happened. According to the census data, Americans already working full-time, whose hours didn’t increase, didn’t see any growth in income. That would have required higher wages.

Therein lies a key distinction. Adding to a worker’s hours is commonly the prerogative of management. Winning a pay increase, on the other hand, usually involves, and often requires, some initiative from the workers themselves, which in turn requires some bargaining power. No worker initiative, no bargaining power, no raise.

The factors that diminish worker power, even as low unemployment augments it, have been amply documented. Indeed, the very thought that the Federal Reserve may still consider a low unemployment rate to be decisive evidence of looming inflation should instill doubt that the Fed understands the actual 21st-century economy. In that economy, here are some of the factors that, low unemployment notwithstanding, undercut workers’ bargaining power:

Globalization. In 2006, economist Alan Blinder, a former Fed vice chair, estimated that the number of service-sector jobs that could be offshored was two to three times the number of workers then employed in manufacturing. Adding up all those offshorable positions, both in services and manufacturing, produced a grim total of between 42 million and 56 million vulnerable jobs (a number that surely has grown in the ensuing 11 years). That didn’t mean, Blinder hastened to explain, that anything near those numbers would actually be offshored, but it did mean that the wages of those millions of workers would likely be constrained by the threat of offshoring or by low-wage offshore competition. Confirming Blinder’s presentiments, this June the Bank for International Settlements reported that 10 percent of the decline in U.S. labor costs between 2006 and 2016 was the result of the lower costs of labor abroad. Between 1995 and 2005—during the first six years of which we had yet to open our doors to Chinese manufacturing—the low cost of labor abroad accounted for just 2 percent of lower domestic labor costs.”

Read the rest of Harold Meyerson’s article on The Prospect

Trump to sign order rolling back health insurance regulations: report

President Trump will sign an executive order next week aimed at rolling back health insurance regulations put in place by former President Obama in an effort to undo his predecessor’s signature health-care law, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The order will direct the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury to make it easier for individuals to group together and purchase insurance through “association health plans,” according to the report.

The president also directs the agencies in the order to roll back the Obama administration regulations of “short-term medical insurance,” which is a cheap limited-protection option that the former administration claimed did not provide adequate coverage for individuals.

The regulation requiring insurance plans to cover a set of package benefits will also be rolled back, according to the Journal.

The order is seen as an effort from the president to roll back parts of ObamaCare after his administration and Republicans failed to fulfill their seven-year campaign promise to repeal and replace the law.

Read the rest at The Hill

45 After Dark: ‘Substantially Ahead of Schedule’ edition

No thanks, Obama.

In a pair of policy decisions that were totally unrelated — but united by a common theme — President Donald Trump today took his most significant steps toward dismantling the legacy achievements of his predecessor: The White House said it would cut off billions of dollars in subsidies for the poor through Obamacare and Trump announced he would refuse to certify the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Neither move is clean and simple. Both moves kick thornier issues to Congress — where both sides are rapidly losing patience with each other. Paired together, though, they were significant decisions that allowed Trump, speaking to a friendly crowd at the Voter Values Summit to declare that his presidency is “substantially ahead of schedule.”

Trump’s healthcare decision is destined to result in a legal battle — potentially for years if Congress does nothing. But, as POLITICO’s Paul Demko and Rachana Pradhan report, it could also leave consumers “holding the bag if their insurers bolt and their Obamacare markets teeter on the verge of collapse.”

Read the rest of this analysis at Politico.com

Trump nominates AccuWeather CEO to lead key climate agency

“Barry Myers has served since 2007 as CEO of AccuWeather, a media company in State College, Pennsylvania, that provides worldwide weather predictions. He graduated from Penn State with a degree in business and received a law degree from Boston University, but has no science training.”

Read the rest at Politico.com

Southland apartment rents to keep climbing, report predicts

The average Los Angeles County rent in 2018 will probably hit $2,304.

Read the rest at LATimes.com

The share of Americans living without a partner has increased, especially among young adults

In the past 10 years, the share of U.S. adults living without a spouse or partner has climbed to 42%, up from 39% in 2007, when the Census Bureau began collecting detailed data on cohabitation.

Two important demographic trends have influenced this phenomenon. The share of adults who are married has fallen, while the share living with a romantic partner has grown. However, the increase in cohabitation has not been large enough to offset the decline in marriage, giving way to the rise in the number of “unpartnered” Americans.

The share of adults who are unpartnered has increased across the young and middle-aged, but the rise has been most pronounced among young adults. Roughly six-in-ten adults younger than 35 (61%) are now living without a spouse or partner, up from 56% just 10 years ago.

Read the rest of this article at Pew Research

Judge plans to rule next week in Obamacare subsidies fight

A federal judge said Wednesday he plans to rule next week on a request to force the Trump administration to make Obamacare subsidy payments that it plans to cut off beginning with a payment due on Friday.

A group of 19 states filed suit last week in federal court in San Francisco, asking that the Department of Health and Human Services be required to continue the so-called cost-sharing reduction payments despite President Donald Trump’s announcement last week that they would be ended.

During a telephone scheduling hearing on the states’ request for a temporary restraining order requiring the government to continue the payments, U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria said he’d like to rule on that issue next week.

Read the rest of this article on Politico.com

45 After Dark: Another Day, Another Deal edition

While Trump and other Republicans have been resistant to a bipartisan compromise, Trump did not dispute the agreement out of hand — though he did call it a “short-term” solution.

Yesterday in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump declared Obamacare dead.

Today, in the Rose Garden the president commented on a bipartisan deal on Obamacare.

Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington announced earlier in the day they had reached a deal on funding a key insurance subsidy program in Obamacare and also on providing states some flexibility to skirt requirements of the health care law, POLITICO’s Jennifer Haberkorn reports.

Read the rest at Politico.com


The Opioid Crisis

The Opioid Crisis: It’s All About Corruption

60 Minutes’ reporting on the opioid crisis and what was done to the DEA was the explosive stuff the legendary show is best known for. But before that, the Los Angeles Times did its own investigative reporting and their findings were no less explosive. See both sides of the opioid story here:

[Updated 10/19] Opioid Trail: Oxycontin: FDA, DEA, Congress and The Crisis On The Street | Big Pharma on Blog#42

45 After Dark: Public Health Emergency edition

Despite strong words from Trump, the president’s declaration came with no additional funds.

Read the rest at Politico.com

GOOGLE IS SO BIG, IT IS NOW SHAPING POLICY TO COMBAT THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC. AND IT’S SCREWING IT UP.

A SNAP DECISION by Google has begun to reshape the drug treatment industry, tilting the playing field toward large conglomerates — the precise opposite outcome Google had hoped to achieve.

The fateful decision was made September 14. Google faced pressure from an exposé in The Verge released a week earlier, documenting how shady lead generators game its AdWords system. High-cost ads based on rehab keywords referred users to phone hotlines that gave the impression of being independent information services, but were actually owned by treatment center conglomerates. Representatives, who reap large fees based on how many patients they sign up, employ high-pressure sales tactics to push people into their favored facilities, whether or not that facility is the right one for the patient.

This deceptive marketing can lead to substandard treatment and massive overbilling. It also made lots of money for Google, which was shown in the story actively courting addiction treatment advertisers.

And so Google made a quick call: It effectively stopped running ads from treatment facilities. At first blush, that may look like a happy alignment of the public good and a company’s need for good public relations, with Google taking a hit to make the world a better place in the midst of an epidemic.

Read the rest of this article on The Intercept

Here are the 66 programs eliminated in Trump’s budget

“President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal would completely eliminate 66 federal programs, for a savings of $26.7 billion.

Some of the programs would receive funding for 2018 as part of a phasing-out plan.

Here are the programs the administration wants on the chopping block. “

Read the rest of this article at TheHill.com

Trump’s Proposed Tax Overhaul Would Give Billions to Trump & Cabinet While Sparking Global “Tax War”

Curated from DemocracyNow

Many Calif. Dems silent on backing Feinstein

“Most of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Golden State colleagues in the House are declining to endorse her reelection bid in its earliest stages, highlighting the frustrations of younger Democrats bristling at the perceived lack of upward mobility for future party leaders.

The Hill contacted the offices of all 39 Democrats in California’s House delegation over the past week to gauge the level of support for the veteran incumbent seeking a fifth full term. Twelve have endorsed Feinstein; one is backing state Sen. Kevin de León; a handful said they’re staying neutral; and most did not respond at all.”

Read the rest at TheHill.com

Second red state withdraws ObamaCare waiver aimed at shoring up market

“Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said in a joint statement with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma that ObamaCare’s rules are too restrictive for the request to work.

The proposal would have expanded ObamaCare subsidies to higher-income earners and helped insurers who cover patients with high medical costs.

“Iowa pursued state flexibility through the Stopgap Measure, but ultimately, Obamacare is an inflexible law that Congress must repeal and replace,” Reynolds and Verma said.

Iowa officials said the plan would have stabilized the state’s individual insurance market, where only one insurer is set to sell plans next year.

That insurer, Medica, plans to increase premiums by an average of more than 57 percent.

The Washington Post reported last month that President Trump told a top official within his administration to reject the proposal.”

Read the rest of this article on TheHill.com

GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia

“Party loyalty is often cited as the reason that GOP leaders have not been more outspoken in their criticism of President Donald Trump and his refusal to condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Yet there may be another reason that top Republicans have not been more vocal in their condemnation. Perhaps it’s because they have their own links to the Russian oligarchy that they would prefer go unnoticed.

Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.”

Read the rest at the Dallas Morning News

Follow me on Facebook to see the news I read.


Your $5 monthly contributions are what keep this blog going.  I have been diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome. Your support during this personal crisis is vital. Please sign up for updates. Thank you!


A SNAP DECISION

Google has begun to reshape the drug treatment industry, tilting the playing field toward large conglomerates — the precise opposite outcome Google had hoped to achieve.

The fateful decision was made September 14. Google faced pressure from an exposé in The Verge released a week earlier, documenting how shady lead generators game its AdWords system. High-cost ads based on rehab keywords referred users to phone hotlines that gave the impression of being independent information services, but were actually owned by treatment center conglomerates. Representatives, who reap large fees based on how many patients they sign up, employ high-pressure sales tactics to push people into their favored facilities, whether or not that facility is the right one for the patient.

This deceptive marketing can lead to substandard treatment and massive overbilling. It also made lots of money for Google, which was shown in the story actively courting addiction treatment advertisers.

And so Google made a quick call: It effectively stopped running ads from treatment facilities. At first blush, that may look like a happy alignment of the public good and a company’s need for good public relations, with Google taking a hit to make the world a better place in the midst of an epidemic.

Read the rest of this article on The Intercept

The Opioid Crisis: It’s All About Corruption

60 Minutes’ reporting on the opioid crisis and what was done to the DEA was the explosive stuff the legendary show is best known for. But before that, the Los Angeles Times did its own investigative reporting and their findings were no less explosive. See both sides of the opioid story here:

Here are the 66 programs eliminated in Trump’s budget

“President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal would completely eliminate 66 federal programs, for a savings of $26.7 billion.

Some of the programs would receive funding for 2018 as part of a phasing-out plan.

Here are the programs the administration wants on the chopping block. “

Read the rest of this article at TheHill.com

Trump’s Proposed Tax Overhaul Would Give Billions to Trump & Cabinet While Sparking Global “Tax War”

Curated from DemocracyNow

Many Calif. Dems silent on backing Feinstein

“Most of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Golden State colleagues in the House are declining to endorse her reelection bid in its earliest stages, highlighting the frustrations of younger Democrats bristling at the perceived lack of upward mobility for future party leaders.

The Hill contacted the offices of all 39 Democrats in California’s House delegation over the past week to gauge the level of support for the veteran incumbent seeking a fifth full term. Twelve have endorsed Feinstein; one is backing state Sen. Kevin de León; a handful said they’re staying neutral; and most did not respond at all.”

Read the rest at TheHill.com

“Allegations against Harvey Weinstein have led to a surge in discussions about sexual assault, both inside and outside the entertainment industry. The #MeToo social media campaign has led thousands of people to share their own stories of sexual harassment or assault, while the number of accusations against high-profile public figures have continued to pile up.

But on Friday, the Trump administration is set to cut funding for programs that help prevent sexual assault and support victims, the latest move in a series of quiet policy changes that advocates say have slashed survivor protections since President Donald Trump took office.

In an Oct. 12 press release, the Department of Justice identified five jurisdictions that had one “last chance” to abolish immigration sanctuary laws, policies or practices. Cities had until Friday to show compliance with the department’s policies, with no specific timeline as to when funding might be taken away.”

Read the rest of this article on Mic.com

Alfa Bank is demanding a broad range of correspondence and information from Professor L. Jean Camp, raising a challenge to academic freedom.

“An American professor helped connect odd dots between Trump’s business empire and a prominent, Kremlin-linked bank. Now, that bank is waging a legal campaign against her.”

Read the rest of this article on The Intercept

A Reuters Series

In the U.S. market for human bodies, almost anyone can dissect and sell the dead.

Part 1: “When Americans leave their bodies to science, they are also donating to commerce: Cadavers and body parts, especially those of the poor, are sold in a thriving and largely unregulated market. Grisly abuses abound.”

Read the first article in this series at Reuters.com

Part 2: “After a few emails, a body broker sold reporter Brian Grow two heads and a cervical spine. The spine came from a young man whose parents were too poor to bury him – and they say they never knew his body would be sold.”

Read the rest of Part 2 in this series on Reuters.com

FCC to loosen TV, newspaper ownership rules

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission wants to rollback landmark media ownership regulations that prohibit owning a television station and newspaper in the same market and making it easier to acquire additional TV or radio stations, Chairman Ajit Pai said on Wednesday.

If approved at the FCC’s November meeting, the move would be a win for newspapers and broadcasters that have pushed for the change for decades, but was criticized by Democrats who said it could usher in a new era of media consolidation.

The FCC in 1975 banned cross-ownership of a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market, unless it granted a waiver, to ensure a diversity of opinions. The rule was made before the explosion of internet and cable news and Republican President Donald Trump and Pai have vowed to reduce government regulation.

“We must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business,” Pai told a congressional panel, noting that many newspapers have closed and many radio and TV stations are struggling. Pai moved earlier this year to make it easier for some companies to own a larger number of local stations.”

Read the rest at Reuters.com

“The Justice Department on Wednesday night released a former FBI informant from a confidentiality agreement, allowing him to testify before Congress about what he witnessed while undercover about the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to win favorable decisions during the Obama administration.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores confirmed to The Hill a deal had been reached clearing the informant to talk to Congress for the first time, nearly eight years after he first went undercover for the FBI.”

Read the rest at The Hill


Your $5 monthly contributions are what keep this blog going.  I have been diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome. Your support during this personal crisis is vital. Please sign up for updates. Thank you!

 

The Opioid Crisis: It’s All About Corruption

60 Minutes’ reporting on the opioid crisis and what was done to the DEA was the explosive stuff the legendary show is best known for. But before that, the Los Angeles Times did its own investigative reporting and their findings were no less explosive. See both sides of the opioid story here:

[Updated 10/19] Opioid Trail: Oxycontin: FDA, DEA, Congress and The Crisis On The Street | Big Pharma on Blog#42

45 After Dark: Public Health Emergency edition

Despite strong words from Trump, the president’s declaration came with no additional funds.

Read the rest at Politico.comhttps://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/26/45-after-dark-opioids-trump-244225

GOOGLE IS SO BIG, IT IS NOW SHAPING POLICY TO COMBAT THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC. AND IT’S SCREWING IT UP.

A SNAP DECISION by Google has begun to reshape the drug treatment industry, tilting the playing field toward large conglomerates — the precise opposite outcome Google had hoped to achieve.

The fateful decision was made September 14. Google faced pressure from an exposé in The Verge released a week earlier, documenting how shady lead generators game its AdWords system. High-cost ads based on rehab keywords referred users to phone hotlines that gave the impression of being independent information services, but were actually owned by treatment center conglomerates. Representatives, who reap large fees based on how many patients they sign up, employ high-pressure sales tactics to push people into their favored facilities, whether or not that facility is the right one for the patient.

This deceptive marketing can lead to substandard treatment and massive overbilling. It also made lots of money for Google, which was shown in the story actively courting addiction treatment advertisers.

And so Google made a quick call: It effectively stopped running ads from treatment facilities. At first blush, that may look like a happy alignment of the public good and a company’s need for good public relations, with Google taking a hit to make the world a better place in the midst of an epidemic.

Read the rest of this article on The Intercept

Here are the 66 programs eliminated in Trump’s budget

“President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal would completely eliminate 66 federal programs, for a savings of $26.7 billion.

Some of the programs would receive funding for 2018 as part of a phasing-out plan.

Here are the programs the administration wants on the chopping block. “

Read the rest of this article at TheHill.com

Trump’s Proposed Tax Overhaul Would Give Billions to Trump & Cabinet While Sparking Global “Tax War”

 

Curated from DemocracyNow

Many Calif. Dems silent on backing Feinstein

“Most of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Golden State colleagues in the House are declining to endorse her reelection bid in its earliest stages, highlighting the frustrations of younger Democrats bristling at the perceived lack of upward mobility for future party leaders.

The Hill contacted the offices of all 39 Democrats in California’s House delegation over the past week to gauge the level of support for the veteran incumbent seeking a fifth full term. Twelve have endorsed Feinstein; one is backing state Sen. Kevin de León; a handful said they’re staying neutral; and most did not respond at all.”

Read the rest at TheHill.com

Second red state withdraws ObamaCare waiver aimed at shoring up market

“Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said in a joint statement with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma that ObamaCare’s rules are too restrictive for the request to work.

The proposal would have expanded ObamaCare subsidies to higher-income earners and helped insurers who cover patients with high medical costs.

“Iowa pursued state flexibility through the Stopgap Measure, but ultimately, Obamacare is an inflexible law that Congress must repeal and replace,” Reynolds and Verma said.

Iowa officials said the plan would have stabilized the state’s individual insurance market, where only one insurer is set to sell plans next year.

That insurer, Medica, plans to increase premiums by an average of more than 57 percent.

The Washington Post reported last month that President Trump told a top official within his administration to reject the proposal.”

Read the rest of this article on TheHill.com

GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia

“Party loyalty is often cited as the reason that GOP leaders have not been more outspoken in their criticism of President Donald Trump and his refusal to condemn Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Yet there may be another reason that top Republicans have not been more vocal in their condemnation. Perhaps it’s because they have their own links to the Russian oligarchy that they would prefer go unnoticed.

Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank.”

Read the rest at the Dallas Morning News

Follow me on Facebook to see the news I read.


Your $5 monthly contributions are what keep this blog going.  I have been diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome. Your support during this personal crisis is vital. Please sign up for updates. Thank you!


A SNAP DECISION

Google has begun to reshape the drug treatment industry, tilting the playing field toward large conglomerates — the precise opposite outcome Google had hoped to achieve.

The fateful decision was made September 14. Google faced pressure from an exposé in The Verge released a week earlier, documenting how shady lead generators game its AdWords system. High-cost ads based on rehab keywords referred users to phone hotlines that gave the impression of being independent information services, but were actually owned by treatment center conglomerates. Representatives, who reap large fees based on how many patients they sign up, employ high-pressure sales tactics to push people into their favored facilities, whether or not that facility is the right one for the patient.

This deceptive marketing can lead to substandard treatment and massive overbilling. It also made lots of money for Google, which was shown in the story actively courting addiction treatment advertisers.

And so Google made a quick call: It effectively stopped running ads from treatment facilities. At first blush, that may look like a happy alignment of the public good and a company’s need for good public relations, with Google taking a hit to make the world a better place in the midst of an epidemic.

Read the rest of this article on The Intercept

The Opioid Crisis: It’s All About Corruption

60 Minutes’ reporting on the opioid crisis and what was done to the DEA was the explosive stuff the legendary show is best known for. But before that, the Los Angeles Times did its own investigative reporting and their findings were no less explosive. See both sides of the opioid story here:

Here are the 66 programs eliminated in Trump’s budget

“President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal would completely eliminate 66 federal programs, for a savings of $26.7 billion.

Some of the programs would receive funding for 2018 as part of a phasing-out plan.

Here are the programs the administration wants on the chopping block. “

Read the rest of this article at TheHill.com

Trump’s Proposed Tax Overhaul Would Give Billions to Trump & Cabinet While Sparking Global “Tax War”

Curated from DemocracyNow

Many Calif. Dems silent on backing Feinstein

“Most of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Golden State colleagues in the House are declining to endorse her reelection bid in its earliest stages, highlighting the frustrations of younger Democrats bristling at the perceived lack of upward mobility for future party leaders.

The Hill contacted the offices of all 39 Democrats in California’s House delegation over the past week to gauge the level of support for the veteran incumbent seeking a fifth full term. Twelve have endorsed Feinstein; one is backing state Sen. Kevin de León; a handful said they’re staying neutral; and most did not respond at all.”

Read the rest at TheHill.com

“Allegations against Harvey Weinstein have led to a surge in discussions about sexual assault, both inside and outside the entertainment industry. The #MeToo social media campaign has led thousands of people to share their own stories of sexual harassment or assault, while the number of accusations against high-profile public figures have continued to pile up.

But on Friday, the Trump administration is set to cut funding for programs that help prevent sexual assault and support victims, the latest move in a series of quiet policy changes that advocates say have slashed survivor protections since President Donald Trump took office.

In an Oct. 12 press release, the Department of Justice identified five jurisdictions that had one “last chance” to abolish immigration sanctuary laws, policies or practices. Cities had until Friday to show compliance with the department’s policies, with no specific timeline as to when funding might be taken away.”

Read the rest of this article on Mic.com

Alfa Bank is demanding a broad range of correspondence and information from Professor L. Jean Camp, raising a challenge to academic freedom.

“An American professor helped connect odd dots between Trump’s business empire and a prominent, Kremlin-linked bank. Now, that bank is waging a legal campaign against her.”

Read the rest of this article on The Intercept

A Reuters Series

In the U.S. market for human bodies, almost anyone can dissect and sell the dead.

Part 1: “When Americans leave their bodies to science, they are also donating to commerce: Cadavers and body parts, especially those of the poor, are sold in a thriving and largely unregulated market. Grisly abuses abound.”

Read the first article in this series at Reuters.com

Part 2: “After a few emails, a body broker sold reporter Brian Grow two heads and a cervical spine. The spine came from a young man whose parents were too poor to bury him – and they say they never knew his body would be sold.”

Read the rest of Part 2 in this series on Reuters.com

FCC to loosen TV, newspaper ownership rules

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission wants to rollback landmark media ownership regulations that prohibit owning a television station and newspaper in the same market and making it easier to acquire additional TV or radio stations, Chairman Ajit Pai said on Wednesday.

If approved at the FCC’s November meeting, the move would be a win for newspapers and broadcasters that have pushed for the change for decades, but was criticized by Democrats who said it could usher in a new era of media consolidation.

The FCC in 1975 banned cross-ownership of a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market, unless it granted a waiver, to ensure a diversity of opinions. The rule was made before the explosion of internet and cable news and Republican President Donald Trump and Pai have vowed to reduce government regulation.

“We must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business,” Pai told a congressional panel, noting that many newspapers have closed and many radio and TV stations are struggling. Pai moved earlier this year to make it easier for some companies to own a larger number of local stations.”

Read the rest at Reuters.com

“The Justice Department on Wednesday night released a former FBI informant from a confidentiality agreement, allowing him to testify before Congress about what he witnessed while undercover about the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to win favorable decisions during the Obama administration.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores confirmed to The Hill a deal had been reached clearing the informant to talk to Congress for the first time, nearly eight years after he first went undercover for the FBI.”

Read the rest at The Hill

The Republican tax bill will cut thousands of Puerto Rico jobs

“The Republican tax bill has a provision in Section 4303 that imposes a new excise tax of 20 percent on goods manufactured by subsidiaries of U.S. corporations on foreign soil. Because Puerto Rico is treated as foreign under the U.S. tax code, this means that when a parent company buys from its subsidiary in Puerto Rico, it would have to pay the 20 percent excise tax on every purchase.”

Read the rest on TheHill.com

The rise and fall of the Podestas, Washington’s powerful political brother act

For more than 30 years, the Podesta name was gold in Washington.

Tony Podesta was a respected lobbyist and a fundraiser for Democratic candidates. His younger brother, John, served as Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff and as senior counselor to Barack Obama. Together, they were the most powerful brother act in liberal politics since the Kennedys.

Then John became chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, putting the Podestas in the crosshairs of the alt-right. In the middle of the campaign, John’s hacked emails led to “Pizzagate,” a bizarre conspiracy theory about a child sex ring. Finally, and against all expectations, he lost the bitterly fought election.

Now Tony’s work for a Ukrainian nonprofit group is part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, prompting the powerful lobbyist to resign from the Podesta Group, the firm he founded three decades ago.

Read the rest at WashingtonPost.com

Former bodyguard says Russian offered to send women to Trump’s Moscow hotel room: report

The existence of the famed Russian “pee tape” may remain shrouded in mystery, but a former bodyguard for President Donald Trump reportedly has confirmed Trump was given the opportunity to host five women in his Moscow hotel room in 2013.

Schiller, thinking the offer was a joke, responded, “We don’t do that type of stuff,” two of the sources told NBC. He discussed the conversation with Trump while walking him to his hotel room that night and they both laughed about it before Trump went to bed alone, two of the sources also said.

Read the rest on HuffingtonPost.com

How Trump is dismantling a pillar of the American state | Jon Michaels

Donald Trump is presiding over the most withering, devastating, and trenchant attack on the American administrative state this nation has ever known

There is no shortage of adjectives to describe the Trump presidency. Venal. Shameless. Bigoted. Impulsive. Feckless. Amid the never-ending stream of scandals and outrages, it is easy to lose sight of just what this administration is doing well – and where it is proving to be spectacularly disciplined, calculating and effective.

Donald Trump is presiding over the most withering, devastating, and trenchant attack on the American administrative state this nation has ever known.

The administrative state, a pillar of modern American government, is tasked with making and enforcing economic and environmental regulations, designing and running social welfare programs, fighting crime and corruption, providing for the national defense and so much more.

Yet, in a little more than nine months, Trump has taken aim and hit his bull’s-eye. Far from the public’s gaze, he’s rescinded, rolled backed, and reversed countless environmental, labor, education, transportation, food and drug, and consumer protection rules and regulations.

Cast largely as liberty enhancing, these deregulatory efforts endanger the safety, health, and welfare of all Americans, not to mention a good deal of the rest of the world who depend on the United States to do its part to combat global warming, banking and securities fraud, and worker exploitation.

Read the rest at Guardian.com

Republicans stall budget talks for tax reform

GOP leadership is wary of making a spending deal that could spook conservatives.

“Top aides to the “Big Four” — Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — have been engaged in tightly held discussions for weeks, but they remain unable to reach an agreement on a “topline” number for government funding bills for the next year.

Democrats insist on “parity” in any spending deal; they won’t agree to raise strict budget caps for defense spending without an equal boost to domestic funding. Republicans, so far, refuse to cave on the issue.

Pelosi accused Republican leaders of dragging their heels on the matter, suggesting they were trying to push a $5 trillion-plus tax cut package through Congress before they reach a spending agreement, multiple sources said.

Pelosi also told her colleagues on Wednesday that she won’t sign off on any funding bill that doesn’t increase both domestic and Pentagon funding by the same amount. The California Democrat said she and Schumer have both rejected the latest GOP positions during the leadership-only discussions.

Democrats — and some top Republicans — believe Ryan and McConnell are stalling because they want to keep their restless conservative base in line during the tax debate. The tax cut package is critical to Ryan and McConnell, who are under intense pressure from President Donald Trump and their own rank-and-file Republicans to score some legislative wins.”

Read the rest at Politico.com

Republicans May Use Cuts in Entitlement Programs to Reduce Deficit


Your $5 monthly contributions are what keep this blog going.  I have been diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome. Your support during this personal crisis is vital. Please sign up for updates. Thank you!

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