Category Archives: News

US House passes short-term spending bill; fake shutdown hysterics move to Senate

Source: The Hill

“The House passed a short-term extension of government funding late Thursday after Republican leaders, with help from President Donald Trump, cobbled together enough GOP votes to overcome an internal revolt. Still, the possibility of a [fake] federal shutdown moved closer to a certainty after Senate Democrats rallied against the GOP proposal, announcing they would not lend their votes to a bill that did not reflect their priorities on immigration, government spending and other issues. … Senate GOP leaders prepared to force Democrats into a series of uncomfortable votes, aimed at splitting their ranks by pitting moderates from states that Trump won against party leaders and the handful of outspoken liberals considering a run for the presidency.” (01/18/18)

UK, France announce new treaty over migrants, Calais

Source: CNN

“France and Britain signed a new treaty Thursday aimed at speeding up asylum applications for migrants entitled to claim refuge in the UK. The new pact, which French President Emmanuel Macron said was the first border treaty between the two countries in 15 years, will cover unaccompanied children and will reduce the processing times for cases from six months to one month for adults, and from six months to 25 days for minors. Ahead of the meeting, Macron indicated France would not tolerate another camp being built in Calais, saying the port town will not be used as a ‘side door’ for migrants to gain access to the UK.” (01/18/18)

US HHS will create new civil rights division for health workers’ “conscience and religious freedom”

Source: Reuters

“The U.S. government is seeking to further protect the ‘conscience and religious freedom’ of health workers whose beliefs prevent them from carrying out abortions and other procedures, in an effort likely to please conservative Christian activists and other supporters of President Donald Trump. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Thursday it will create a division within its Office of Civil Rights to give it ‘the focus it needs to more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.’ Healthcare workers, hospitals with religious affiliations, and medical students among others have been ‘bullied’ by the federal government to provide these services despite existing laws on religious and conscience rights, the top HHS official said.” (01/18/18)

Mulvaney requests no funding for feds’ “Consumer Financial Protection” racket

Source: Politico

“Every quarter, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally requests its operating funds from the Federal Reserve. Last quarter, former director Richard Cordray asked for $217.1 million. Cordray, an appointee of President Barack Obama, needed just $86.6 million the quarter before that. And Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s acting CFPB director, Mick Mulvaney, sent his first request to the Fed. He requested zero. In a letter to Fed Chair Janet Yellen obtained by POLITICO, Mulvaney wrote that the bureau has $177 million in the bank, enough to cover the $145 million the bureau has budgeted for its second quarter. Cordray had maintained a ‘reserve fund’ in case of overruns or emergencies, but Mulvaney said he didn’t see any reason for it, since the Fed has always given the bureau the money it needs.”

Trump tries to revive dead “intellectual property” parrot with threat of China fine

Source: The Epoch Times

“President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States was considering a big ‘fine’ as part of a probe into China‘s alleged theft [sic] of intellectual property [sic], the clearest indication yet that his administration will take retaliatory trade action against China. In an interview with Reuters, Trump and his economic adviser Gary Cohn said China had forced U.S. companies to transfer their intellectual property [sic] to China as a cost of doing business there. … While Trump did not specify what he meant by a ‘fine’ against China, the 1974 trade law that authorized an investigation into China‘s alleged theft [sic] of U.S. intellectual property [sic] allows him to impose retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods or other trade sanctions until China changes its policies.” (01/18/18)

SCOTUS: That’s OK, North Carolina, you can keep your unconstitutional gerrymander districts for now

Source: US News & World Report

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a lower court’s order for North Carolina to rework its congressional map because Republicans violated the Constitution by drawing electoral districts intended to maximize their party’s chances of winning. The conservative-majority court granted a bid by Republican legislators in North Carolina to suspend the Jan. 9 order by a federal court panel in Greensboro that gave the Republican-controlled General Assembly until Jan. 24 to come up with a new map for U.S. House of Representatives districts. Two liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, objected to the high court’s action. The Supreme Court’s decision to stay the order reduces the chance that the current district lines will be altered ahead of the November mid-term congressional elections. The court offered no reason for its decision.” (01/18/18)

YouTube blocks Tide Pod challenge videos

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“YouTube says it will remove videos of people taking part in the ‘Tide Pod challenge,’ a dangerous craze proving popular in the US. Tide is an American brand of laundry detergent that uses pods covered by plastic which dissolve in the washing machine. Some people have been chewing or swallowing them and posting videos online. YouTube says channels sharing the videos will now receive a ‘strike.’ Videos will be removed when they are flagged by users, YouTube says, and the channel in question will have its access to the site limited for three months as a result of the strike. YouTube’s community guidelines prohibit content that encourages dangerous or harmful activities.” [editor’s note: And in other news, “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” has become required listening in all public high schools – SAT] (01/18/18)

Amazon narrows second-HQ list to 20

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“Amazon narrowed its search for a second headquarters city Thursday to 20 locations, concentrated mostly in the East and the Midwest. Toronto made the list as well, as the company kept its international options open. The online retailing giant said that after sorting through 238 proposals, the potential locations still include tech-strong places such as Boston and New York. Other contenders: Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Los Angeles, the only West Coast city to make the list. Among those that didn’t make the cut were Detroit, a disappointment for those excited about progress since the city came out of bankruptcy, and Memphis, Tennessee, where Mayor Jim Strickland said the city gave it its ‘best shot.’ Both Texas and Pennsylvania had two cities that made the cut: Austin and Dallas, and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In the South, Miami and Atlanta are being considered. … The other contenders: Denver; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; Northern Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Amazon said it will make a final selection sometime this year.” (01/18/18)

Judge shuts down gymnastics molester Nassar’s complaints of stress, “media circus”

Source: USA Today

“Larry Nassar wrote a letter prior to his four-day sentencing, saying he wasn’t sure if he could ‘mentally’ handle four days of listening to victim-impact statements. It’s unclear to whom the letter was addressed, but Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina discussed the letter this morning at the start of the third day of Nassar’s sentencing hearing. She asked him several questions about it and said it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. In the letter, Nassar said he thought Aquilina was trying to make the sentencing hearing a ‘media circus’ and said he had previously passed out twice, including the day of his federal sentencing. On Dec. 7, a federal judge sentenced him to 60 years in prison on three child pornography charges. On Wednesday, former coach Thomas Brennan told Nassar to ‘go to hell.'” (01/18/18)

New study links repetitive hits to head, not concussions, to CTE

Source: USA Today

“A Boston University study published Thursday detailed the strongest link yet that repetitive hits to the head — not just those that produce a concussion — can lead to the debilitating brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The new research highlights the risks of younger athletes playing contact sports and could lead to questions about the effectiveness of current concussion protocols. The study, published in the journal Brain, used two methods to come up with its findings: A postmortem examination of four teenaged brains and a study of mice that showed instant changes to the brain after trauma — even without telltale concussion symptoms.” [editor’s note: This should hardly be a surprise to anyone – SAT] (01/18/18)