Author Archive

TX: US judge halts state rules on fetal tissue disposal

December 15, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A U.S. judge on Thursday temporarily halted until Jan. 6 a Texas regulation due to take effect next week that requires abortion providers to dispose of aborted fetal tissue either through burial or cremation, a women’s reproductive health group in the suit said. The regulation, set to take effect on Dec. 19, also requires hospitals and other medical facilities to bury or cremate miscarried fetuses. It is seen by women’s health providers as part of a nationwide agenda to place new restrictions on abortions. Under the temporary restraining order issued in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Judge Sam Sparks will hold hearings on Jan. 3 and 4, according to Whole Woman’s Health, a plaintiff in the suit. Electronic court filings were not immediately available." (12/15/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/us-judge-halts-texas-rules-on-fetal-tissue-disposal-rules-plaintiff  

No Comments »

The Democrats need a shadow Cabinet

December 15, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Bill Moyers & Michael Winship  

"(Imagine that a day or two before Donald Trump’s inauguration, Hillary Clinton, as the candidate who received the greatest number of votes addresses the nation.) 'My Fellow Americans:On Friday, January 20th, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. As mandated by our Constitution, he received a majority of the votes in the Electoral College and thus for the next four years will be given the powers and responsibilities of our nation’s chief executive. But I believe that I, too, have a mandate, one given to me by the 65 million of you who supported me over Donald Trump in the popular vote, some 2.6 million votes more than he received. If we are to continue as a democracy, for the next four years and beyond, those voices cannot stay silent." [editor's note: This is the usual pabulum; in reality, it is we libertarians who need to create that "shadow cabinet" - SAT] (12/15/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19721/bill-moyers-michael-winship-democrats-need-shadow-cabinet-clinton-trump  

No Comments »

Tax reform proposal on border trade faces growing opposition

December 15, 2016
posted by

Reuters    

"A sweeping tax reform proposal meant to boost U.S. manufacturing faces mounting pressure from industries that rely heavily on imported goods as President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans work to finalize new tax legislation. As Republican members of the House of Representatives tax committee prepared to discuss tax reform this week, the panel received a letter from 81 industry groups rejecting the proposal known as 'border adjustability.' A linchpin of the House Republican 'Better Way' agenda and viewed favorably by Trump's team, the policy would help manufacturers by exempting export revenues from corporate taxes. But it would tax imports, hitting import-dependent industries. House Republicans hope to persuade Trump to back the policy as a means to fulfill his campaign pledge to create blue-collar jobs. This week, incoming Trump White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus expressed support for the approach as a possible alternative to tariffs." (12/15/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-congress-tax-industries-idUSKBN1442F3  

No Comments »

Jill Stein pulls back the curtain on America’s voting chaos

December 15, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney  

"Let’s acknowledge that Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s now-halted bid to recount the vote in three Rust Belt states served principally to earn her a lot of free media and fatten her political fundraising email list. Stein failed to furnish any evidence of the 'hacking' and 'security breaches' that her many press releases and public comments alleged, but she did scoop up $7.3 million from more than 160,000 donors in less than three weeks. Nevertheless, Stein’s arguably self-serving drive to recount votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin performed an important public service." [editor's note: This gives her far more credit than she deserves - SAT] (12/15/16)

http://prospect.org/article/jill-stein-pulls-back-curtain-america%E2%80%99s-voting-chaos  

No Comments »

UT: Republicans say they worry monument is looming

December 15, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Two Utah congressmen and Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday said they worry President Barack Obama will use the waning days of his administration to name a new national monument in the state, something Utah officials say they plan to fight. U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz said that he and other members of Utah's delegation had been having regular, weekly conversations this year with the administration about Utah officials' opposition to a monument and their support for an alternative lands plan from Chaffetz and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop. 'It's going pretty close to radio silent at this point, which does scare us,' said Chaffetz, who was speaking at Herbert's monthly news conference on KUED-TV with the governor and Bishop. Herbert said Obama's chief of staff Denis McDonough assured in him a Monday phone call that no decision has been made about a proposed monument in southern Utah's Bears Ears area." (12/15/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Utah-Republicans-to-again-speak-out-against-10798254.php  

No Comments »

Here’s what other presidents learned from the CIA

December 15, 2016
posted by

Reuters
by Tim Weiner  

"Presidential transitions are perilous times. One tradition of creating continuity is for commanders-in-chief in waiting to be briefed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Some presidents-elect can’t get enough of the top-secret stuff. Some half-listen as they gear up in great haste to take office. Until now, none has disdained the secret briefs, denigrated the CIA, and declared, in the words of Donald J. Trump, 'I’m, like, a smart person' -- declining to hear almost everything and anything the spies have to say. This willful ignorance has no real precedent. It may well be that Trump really doesn’t want to know about Russia’s hacking the 2016 election, an epochal event that he doesn’t believe actually happened. He may think he that he doesn’t need to know more about North Korea’s nukes, Syria’s army and the fall of Aleppo, or the correlation of forces in the Middle East. He may spend the next five weeks (or the next four years) saying, in effect, my mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with facts." (12/15/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-weiner-cia-commentary-idUSKBN14407T  

2 Comments »

New DEA rules aim to outlaw medicinal marijuana CBD extracts

December 15, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"A new drug code established by the Drug Enforcement Agency seeks to acknowledge the medicinal compound cannabidiol (CBD) as an illegal drug just as dangerous as heroin. The DEA filed a notice on Wednesday titled 'Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract,' which will effectively list all forms of marijuana (including CBD extracts) under the most restrictive Schedule I drug category, reports the International Business Times. 'For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids. However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code,' the DEA stated. CBD has been proven throughout several scientific studies as an effective medicine that can treat forms of childhood epilepsy, cancer, and psychological disorders." [editor's note: The stupid gets deeper, and closer to a fullscale revolt - SAT] (12/15/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/12/15/new-dea-rules-aim-to-outlaw-medicinal-marijuana-cbd-extracts  

No Comments »

Bitcoin user battles IRS in court over access to private data

December 15, 2016
posted by

Fox News    

"A Bitcoin user has gone to court to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from accessing personal data of millions of users on Coinbase, a San Francisco-based digital asset exchange company. Jeffrey K. Berns, a managing partner with the Los Angeles firm Berns Weiss LLP, filed a motion Tuesday before a California federal court in an attempt to quash a 'John Doe' summons issued last month by the IRS on the Bitcoin trading and storage platform. A 'John Doe' summons is an order that identifies a person or group by their activity, rather than by their specific identity. In this case, the IRS is using it to require Coinbase to disclose almost every transaction of every user from 2013 to 2015 based on alleged wrongdoing committed by one individual and two companies, according to IRS’ declaration to the court." (12/15/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/15/bitcoin-user-battles-irs-in-court-over-access-to-private-data.html  

No Comments »

Obama uses rare constitutional maneuver on Iran sanctions bill

December 15, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"President Obama allowed an Iran sanctions bill to become law without his signature Thursday, using a rare constitutional maneuver that hasn't been used in 21 years. Obama's decision to allow the Iran Sanctions Extension Act to become law ends the latest chapter of the debate over his pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran, in which world powers agreed to relax sanctions on the Iranian regime in exchange for specific commitments to curtail its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Congress passed the bill to give a future president the authority to 'snap-back' those sanctions if Iran violates the deal. House Speaker Paul Ryan [R-WI] said it would give President-elect Donald Trump 'the opportunity to evaluate our policy towards Iran independent of additional interference from the outgoing administration.' But the White House has said the president already has that authority under a separate law, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and that the new law was unnecessary but ultimately harmless." (12/15/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/15/obama-uses-rare-constitutional-maneuver-iran-sanctions-bill/95476842  

No Comments »

Trump’s war on the CIA [sic] has deep, right-wing roots

December 15, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"Donald Trump’s biggest fight during his transition to the presidency is with an unusual foe, the Central Intelligence Agency. Responding to a CIA assessment that the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election, Trump’s transition team bluntly dismissed the agency as 'the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.' Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser, has long seen the CIA as a biased political enemy. As The New York Times reports, 'Mr. Flynn’s assessment that the C.I.A. is a political arm of the Obama administration is not widely shared by Republicans or Democrats in Washington. But it has appeared to have been internalized by the one person who matters most right now: Mr. Trump.' As a result, there has emerged 'an extraordinary rift between the president-elect and the nation’s intelligence community that is unlikely to be bridged anytime soon.' It’s true that the 'rift' between the incoming administration and the intelligence community is astonishing, but as with so much else about Trump, it also has deep roots in the history of the American right." [editor's note: Seems like you have the roles reversed, Mr. Heer - SAT] (12/15/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/139348/trumps-war-cia-deep-right-wing-roots  

2 Comments »

Hillsdale College connection reveals Trump’s extremist [sic] education agenda

December 15, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Donald Trump’s election to the US Presidency left education policy experts at a complete loss to explain what this would mean for the nation’s schools. During his campaign, Trump had given few clues about what would inform his education leadership, only that he had some antipathy for the US Department of Education, that he was no fan of Common Core, and that he would advocate for more 'school choice.' After his election, experienced education journalists at Education Week predicted Trump would embrace conservative Beltway think tanks and state education policy leaders who had bristled under the rule of Obama’s education department, and he would reject the influence of teachers unions, civil rights groups, and politically centrist education 'reform' groups." [editor's note: As he puts common words in quotes, so I can [sic] his headline - SAT] (12/15/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161215/hillsdale-college-connection-reveals-trumps-extremist-education-agenda  

No Comments »

DeVos in Neverland on school reform

December 15, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Marcus D Pohlmann  

"Philanthropist Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Education, is a longtime advocate for charter schools, school vouchers and tax-credit scholarships. She has told Philanthropymagazine her vision of school reform success: 'That all parents, regardless of their ZIP code, have had the opportunity to choose the best educational setting for their children.' Hard to argue with such an ideal. But DeVos has never held public office or worked in public education, and she sent her children to private Christian schools. Her advocacy career suggests it would be hard to find anyone more passionate about steering public dollars away from public schools." (12/14/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/12/14/devos-trump-education-free-market-column/95157128  

No Comments »

Yahoo discloses new data breach affecting one billion accounts

December 15, 2016
posted by

Reuters    

"Yahoo Inc said on Wednesday that it has identified a new breach that occurred in August 2013 and involved data associated with more than one billion user accounts, double the number affected in a different breach disclosed in September. Yahoo said it believed the latest incident was likely distinct from the breach disclosed in September, when it said information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen in 2014. The 2014 breach was believed to be the world's biggest known cyber breach by far. The company, which is being acquired by Verizon Communication Inc for $4.83 billion, said an unauthorized third party had stolen the data in the latest breach and that it was working closely with law enforcement. The company said it has not been able to identify the intrusion associated with the theft." (12/14/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yahoo-cyber-idUSKBN1432WZ  

No Comments »

Maine leads the nation in election reform

December 15, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Theo Anderson  

"State-level initiatives will be an important path to progressive reform in the coming years, particularly in the area of campaign finance, and Maine is at the forefront of democratizing elections at the local level. In November, the state passed a ranked-choice voting initiative, which prevents third-party candidates from splitting the votes of one party and handing the election to an unpopular candidate. That problem has allowed Paul LePage, the hard-right Republican ideologue who is Maine’s current governor, to remain in power. LePage won his bid in 2014 with 48 percent of the vote, and he won in 2010 with some 38 percent, largely because Democrats split their vote between his two opponents. Under the new system, voters will rank their preferences rather than choosing just one candidate." (12/13/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19717/maine-leads-the-nation-in-campaign-finance-reform  

No Comments »

The case for resistance

December 15, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Randall Kennedy  

"Donald J. Trump will be the next president of the United States. That is sobering because he is glaringly unsuited for any significant public office, much less the most important in our country and indeed the world. Nothing about his pre-candidacy record recommends him. To the contrary, it is so lacking in relevant achievement, so marred by embarrassment, that many onlookers thought that his run for the presidency was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Then his campaign itself was so repulsive, so saturated with bigotries of various sorts, so ostentatiously crass, so glaringly demagogic, that it prompted many leading figures in his own party to repudiate him." (12/14/16)

http://prospect.org/article/case-resistance  

No Comments »

Congress just quietly handed drug companies a dangerous victory

December 15, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Adam Gaffney  

"Christmas came early for the pharmaceutical industry this year. Last week, the Senate followed the House in passing the 21st Century Cures Act. Though this bill has been lauded by liberals for providing much-needed funds for medical research, its real impact will be elsewhere. Whereas drug approval traditionally required the demonstration of real clinical benefit in a randomized clinical trial, under the Act drug firms will increasingly be able to rely on flimsier forms of evidence for approval of their therapies (incremental steps in this direction, it is worth noting, have already occurred). The Act, by reconfiguring the drug regulatory process, lowers the standards for drug approval -- a blessing for drug makers, but an ill omen for public health." [editor's note: By signing this, Obama will seal his "legacy" as a pawn of Pharma, Insurance and the statist quo - SAT] (12/14/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/139328/congress-just-quietly-handed-drug-companies-dangerous-victory  

No Comments »

Russia: Facial recognition app sparks interest, controversy

December 15, 2016
posted by

Fox News    

"A facial recognition app out of Russia is raising eyebrows, both because of its abilities and the privacy concerns it sparks. The app, FindFace, involves users submitting photos -- for example, of someone they saw on the street and might like to be able to contact. Then, the app searches a Russian social network called Vkontakte to look for a match with a reported accuracy of about 70 percent among the millions of accounts. It's even performed better than Google at a competition called MegaFace. While some have praised the app for its ability to make successful matches -- law enforcement and casinos are said to be interested in the tech -- others have privacy concerns." (12/14/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2016/12/14/russian-facial-recognition-app-sparks-interest-controversy.html  

No Comments »

Trump endorses Romney niece Ronna Romney McDaniel for RNC chair

December 15, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday endorsed a niece of former critic Mitt Romney to be the next chair of the Republican National Committee as he moved to put his stamp on the party leadership. The RNC named Michigan Republican Party chair Ronna Romney McDaniel as its deputy chair, and Trump said he looked forward to her taking over the party leadership. Trump’s incoming White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, will leave the RNC chairmanship when Trump takes office on Jan. 20. 'I’m excited to have a highly effective leader in Ronna McDaniel as RNC deputy chair and I look forward to her serving as the party’s chairman in 2017,' Trump said in a statement." (12/14/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/trump-endorses-romney-niece-ronna-romney-mcdaniel-for-rnc-chair  

No Comments »

The case for Exxon’s Rex Tillerson as Trump’s secretary of state

December 14, 2016
posted by

Reuters
by Amir Handjani  

"Donald Trump has nominated Exxon Mobil chairman and chief executive officer Rex Tillerson to serve as his secretary of state. Having surrounded himself mostly with retired generals for national security positions, the president-elect has chosen someone with no previous government experience to be the nation’s chief diplomat. But it would be a mistake for foreign policy experts and political pundits to dismiss him for that reason. Tillerson would not be the first secretary of state to come from the corporate world. George Shultz stepped down as president of construction and engineering giant Bechtel to lead President Ronald Reagan’s State Department, although Shultz had previously served in the Nixon administration. Tillerson has been at the helm of the world’s largest and most profitable publicly traded oil company for more than a decade." (12/14/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tillerson-trump-commentary-idUSKBN14327V  

No Comments »

Mexico: Senate approves medical cannabis bill

December 14, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Mexico is one step closer to softening their once-rigid stance against cannabis by passing a medical marijuana bill. The country’s Senate on Tuesday passed a bill approving the use of medical marijuana with overwhelming support, reports the Associated Press. The measure gives the Health Department the responsibility to 'design public policies to regulate the medicinal use of this plant and its derivatives,' according to a statement from lawmakers. It was passed with 98-7 vote." (12/14/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/12/14/mexico-lawmakers-approve-medical-marijuana-bill  

No Comments »

Michigan: Regime again asks judge not to order Flint bottled water deliveries

December 14, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The state of Michigan late on Tuesday asked a federal judge to dissolve an order requiring delivery of bottled water to certain Flint households, saying lead levels in the water are now lower than federal limits set out in the Safe Drinking Water Act. U.S. District Judge David Lawson has twice ordered state officials to start delivering bottled water to Flint households, unless the state can show the household has a properly installed and maintained water filter, or the resident refuses to accept water deliveries. The state has protested, saying the water deliveries are not needed, would cost the state millions of dollars and would hurt Flint's recovery efforts, which are partly based on having Flint residents run their taps more frequently to help cleanse the water distribution system." (12/14/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/12/14/michigan-again-asks-judge-not-order-flint-bottled-water-deliveries/95437098  

No Comments »

Putin didn’t steal election

December 14, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)  

"The allegation that the Russians intervened in last month's election remains just that: an allegation. Even the FBI and the CIA are conflicted over what happened. The absence of certainty has not stopped Hillary Clinton's supporters from promoting the pathetic charge that the Russians rigged the election. One can appreciate our foreign policy establishment's anxiety about the incoming administration's apparent tilt toward Russia. The country is run by a strongman, Vladimir Putin, who has said and done much we don't like. But suggesting he stole our election is a self-serving fallacy." (12/13/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/12/13/donald-trump-vladimir-putin-russia-dana-rohrabacher-editorials-debates/95390718  

No Comments »

Picking Tillerson & Perry, Trump’s pretty much just trolling us now

December 14, 2016
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"When it comes to Cabinet-level appointments, Donald Trump hasn’t lost his ability to astonish and dismay. At this point his staffing process has pretty much turned into an extended exercise in trolling, a test to see how much humiliation the American people will endure. Rick Perry for the Department of Energy? Perry will be running an organization he doesn’t even think should exist. By that logic, I should be the CEO of Citigroup. Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, for Secretary of State? Negotiating a peace treaty requires a different skill set than getting a permit to drill in the Black Sea. ... The wrong choice? It’s hard to view these nominations as anything but the deliberate mockery of their departments, and of government itself." [editor's note: I agree, and I think it's the good sign so far; they may may not be his final choices - SAT] (12/14/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20161214/by-picking-tillerson-and-perry-trumps-pretty-much-just-trolling-us-now  

No Comments »

Amazon makes first drone delivery

December 14, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Retail giant Amazon has made its first delivery using a drone, in the UK. The package arrived safely at its destination in Cambridge, 13 minutes after being ordered. A video showing the process details how the order was completed using an electrically powered drone flying at up to 400 ft. One sceptic questioned how much of a 'game changer' the limited trial of the service would be. As part of the testing for the Amazon Air service, the delivery took place on 7 December, although it was only revealed on 14 December. The Cambridge fulfilment centre is home to the drones, which, once the ordered package is on board, travel along an automated track to the launch area. The drones then take off and fly completely autonomously, guided by GPS to their destination." (12/14/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-38320067  

No Comments »

An over-general misunderstanding

December 14, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Last week's media chew toy involved the number of former generals President-elect Donald J. Trump has nominated for his cabinet. The ABC News website announced Trump 'would have the most generals in the White House since World War II.' What is that near-record number? Two. Yes, a whopping two among 14 announced cabinet-level picks. Trump has nominated retired Gens. James Mattis to be his secretary of defense and John Kelly to head Homeland Security. That puts the number of former generals on a par with former doctors, Tom Price for Health and Human Services and Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development. ... Trump also has chosen three attorneys for his cabinet -- would-be Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Labor Secretary Andrew Puzder and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt. I have heard no complaints about the number of attorneys." (12/13/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/12/13/an-overgeneral-misunderstanding-n2259101  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors