July 19, 2019

Activists in ten California cities pushing for public banks

Make Amerca grate again

Want to make money giving out diet tips? In Florida, you'll have to get a bachelor's degree and a state license to tell people how to eat better. A federal judge has upheld the Sunshine State's occupational licensing program that censors diet coaching by those who are not officially deemed dieticians.

The Trump dump

Market Watch -  New data on Americans’ tax returns adds to the growing body of evidence that charities are taking a hit as a result of Trump’s overhaul of the tax system.Taxpayers have itemized $54 billion less in charitable contributions so far this tax season compared to the previous year, according to new IRS stats.

“The amount is just jaw-dropping,” said Michel Nilsen, vice president of communications and public policy at the Association of Fundraising Professionals. “This is a really significant drop. This to me is a sign that giving was hurt.”

Melania Trump, the wife of the Republican nominee Donald Trump, was paid for 10 modeling jobs in the United States in 1996 before obtaining the necessary documents to legally work in the country, the Associated Press reported Friday.

How Trump's businesses are booming with lobbyists, donors and governments

Bad Copyright Bill Moves Forward With No Serious Understanding of Its Dangers

McConnell most unpopular senator

The Hill -Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is America’s most unpopular senator with voters in his state, with Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) coming in as a close runner-up, a new Morning Consult poll has found. 

The results show McConnell leading the list of the country’s 10 most unpopular senators with a 50 percent job disapproval rating.

Collins trails close behind the Kentucky Republican with a 48 percent disapproval rating, followed by New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez (D) and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) at 42 percent disapproval. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) has 41 percent and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) and Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) have 40 percent disapproval.

Health Notes

One in three dementia patients forced to sell their home to pay for care

Why Puerto Rico is in crisis

States that allow/deny transgender health care


Presidential race update

Washington Post - Unionized campaign organizers working for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential effort are battling with its management, arguing that the compensation and treatment they are receiving does not meet the standards Sanders espouses in his rhetoric, according to internal communications.

Most recent poll to the right
43, 43, 41, 44, 44%  
Average: 43%  Unchanged since April

Six states plan to use ranked choice voting (RCV) for their 2020 Democratic primaries or caucuses, including for all early voters in Iowa and Nevada, and all voters in Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas and Wyoming.

July 18, 2019

Word: Stop dIssin' DC

Petula Dvora, Washington Post  Every few months, I run into some form that simply doesn’t offer D.C. as an option in the drop-down menu.

Or at a bar outside the Beltway: “I need a real ID, like from where you live,” a befuddled bartender in Alabama told me, after I showed my D.C. driver’s license years ago, when I still looked young enough to get carded. “Washington’s not, like, a real place.”

So when folks like that take a poll, they imagine a bunch of guys in suits and white marble buildings and the collective word they spit when they want to blame someone else for their woes — “Washington” — as the supposed “swamp” that wants to become a state.

Let me help.

Washington is generations of families who’ve been going to Lee’s Flower and Card Shop since it opened in 1945 or who have been getting their children’s first shoes at Ramer’s since 1982. It’s got go-go music and mumbo sauce. It’s a place of neighborhoods that throw block parties and neighbors who battle for the best lawn.

Washington has rowhouses, ranch houses, mansions and condos. (Maybe too many condos.) It’s scout troops and swim teams, American Legion halls and corner groceries. It’s not all politicians. We have janitors and teachers, accountants and construction workers, too.

Just like the rest of America.

Trump's policies having effect on young latinos mental health

Mic - New research suggests that President Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric and policies have real consequences on the mental health of Latinx youth, even those born in the U.S. In a June 24 JAMA Pediatrics study, Latinx American teens with high levels of concern about how the country's current immigration policy would impact their families reported having greater anxiety and worse sleep quality.

The study included 397 U.S.-born Latinx teens in Salinas Valley, California with at least one parent who had immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico or Central America... About 45% of the teens said that they were at least sometimes concerned about the implications that the U.S. immigration policy could have on their families. Teens with the highest levels of concern reported feeling more anxious and sleeping more poorly than those with lower levels, and they were also more likely to report or display anxiety symptoms that could warrant a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder or place them at risk for such a diagnosis. What’s more, these teens saw their anxiety increase the most right after the 2016 election.

The Trump dump

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is running for Senate in Louisiana, and he says Donald Trump’s popularity is helping him in the race. “I love it,” Duke told the LA Times. “The fact that Donald Trump’s doing so well, it proves that I’m winning. I am winning.”

Trump invokes KKK slogan 

10 Ways Andrew Wheeler Has Decimated the EPA in Just 1 Year 

Important videos of Trump the predator in 1992 and facts about his  relationship with Epstein

Politico - The Agriculture Department quashed the release of a sweeping plan on how to respond to climate change that was finalized in the early days of the Trump administration, according to a USDA employee with knowledge of the decision. Staff members across several USDA agencies drafted the multiyear plan that outlines how the department should help agriculture understand, adapt to and minimize the effects of climate change. Top officials, however, decided not to release the plan and told staff members to keep it for internal use only

Trump mob update

Daily Dot - A few days after Epstein’s arrest, an Instagram picture emerged that appeared to show Epstein pilot Larry Visoski posing with senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway on Dec. 28, 2016, in Palm Beach—long after the last time Trump claims he spoke with Epstein.Visoski, going by the screen name “CaptBigDawg,” appears to be smiling as he posed with Conway, whom he called a “very Humble and gracious Lady [sic].” A day afer it started making the rounds, both it and Visoski’s Instagram page have been deleted. But Visoski definitely is (or was) Epstein’s personal pilot, and Conway was in Palm Beach at the time.

Health notes

Drinking coffee does not increase your chance of getting cancer, study finds - but the 'jury's still out' on links to other diseases

A few facts about Omar

Washington Post -   Omar has a history of making controversial comments about Israel, including admitting that she promoted anti-Semitic tropes that included suggesting U.S. politicians were “all about the Benjamins baby” when it came to supporting Israel. She apologized in two instances; in a third, progressives came to her defense and overcame even Democratic Party leaders who tried to get Omar to back down. Omar also has other issues, including potentially violating the law by filing joint tax returns with a man to whom she was not legally married.

But Trump, as he is wont to do, has stretched her liabilities beyond any real evidence. In recent days, he has accused her of supporting Qaeda, a claim for which The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave him four Pinocchios. Then, shortly before his speech Wednesday night, he cited long-standing, unsubstantiated Internet rumors that Omar had married her brother. These rumors popped up in her 2018 campaign, during which she called them “disgusting lies.”

The fact that these allegations have entered into any national news stories whatsoever is a testament to a president who is willing to traffic in innuendo and unfounded conspiracy theories. And they hark back to Trump’s regular questioning of whether President Barack Obama had lied about his birthplace, a baseless theory that led to many Republicans believing Obama was not just ineligible to be president, but was also a secret Muslim. A poll just this week showed one-third of Americans continue to believe Obama was “probably” born in Kenya.

Meanwihle. . . .

Two thirds support statehood of Puerto Rico

Great moments in the law

The ABA Journal and other sources report that Leo Kachinsky, who once incompetently represented Brendan Dassey as seen in Making a Murderer, and was also somehow a municipal judge, has been suspended because of what the Journal describes as “unusual interactions” with his court manager.

A few examples of his treament of a woman employee from Lowering the Bar
When M.B. was back at work a few days later, Judge Kachinsky and a friend arrived at the municipal court office while M.B. was out of the office. Judge Kachinsky then hid behind a counter. When M.B. returned to the office, he popped up and shouted “roar,” which startled M.B. During this visit, Judge Kachinsky was sufficiently loud and boisterous that his conduct disturbed nearby village employees. ...
On three occasions during that week, Judge Kachinsky came to the municipal court offices. He sat close to M.B.’s desk, facing her. He did nothing except tap his pen and make “cat noises.” On one visit, Judge Kachinsky continued this extremely odd behavior for 45 minutes. During one of the visits, Judge Kachinsky also told M.B. a story about a dog being raped and then repeated the story a second time.

July 17, 2019

Tip: DC residents aren't your problem

Sam Smith - A dismal near two thirds of American prefer that our capital city remains a colony rather than being granted equal democratic status through statehood. I suspect a major factor in this is the myth that DC residents run the federal government. In fact, only about one third of DC residents work for the federal government, the overwhelming majority in lesser jobs. And 79% of all federal jobs are outside the DC area. California has twice as many federal employees as DC

Presidential race update

As judged by Democratic voters. Most recent poll to right. Only candidates with at least 5% shown
Biden  22, 26, 29, 32, 23%  
Warren 18, 19, 9, 14, 15%
Sanders 12, 13, 16, 19, 13%
Harris 15, 13, 11, 13, 10%
Buttigieg 5, 7%

Most recent poll to the right
43, 47, 43, 43, 41%  
Average: 43%  Down one point from June

Most recent poll at right
Harris 13, 23%
Biden: 22, 21%
Sanders: 20, 18%
Warren: 20, 16%

Most recent poll to right

Biden 33, 33, 21, 24, 21%   
Harris 7, 7, 18, 9, 18% 
Warren 11, 17, 17, 19, 17%
Buttigieg 7, 10, 12, 10, 12% 
Sanders  18, 12, 10, 19, 10%    
Yang 5%  

Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

 Vice -The nation's top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them.

ES&S did not respond on Monday to questions from Motherboard, and it’s not clear why the company changed its response between February and April. Lawmakers, however, have subpoena powers that can compel a company to hand over documents or provide sworn testimony on a matter lawmakers are investigating, and a statement made to lawmakers that is later proven false can have greater consequence for a company than one made to reporters.

The Trump dump

According to The Associated Press, about 40 enlistees — reservists and active duty recruits, all in the U.S. legally — had been waiting for years to be cleared for duty before being told in recent weeks that they are not eligible to serve in the U.S. military. And for many, the rejection has thrown their immigration status into limbo.

Ralph Nader  Donald Trump often declares "I don't have a racist bone in my body." He's right! It's all in his brain.
68% called Trump's tweets offensive. Among Republicans alone, however, 57% said they agreed with tweets that told the congresswomen to go back to their "original" countries, and a third "strongly" agreed with them. 

NBC's 1992 video of Trump and Epstein

Trees central to cutting climate change

Truthdig -  Swiss scientists have identified an area roughly the size of the United States that could be newly shaded by planting more trees. If the world’s nations then protected these 9 million square kilometres of canopy over unused land, the new global forest could in theory soak up enough carbon to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas by an estimated 25%.

That is, the extent of new tree canopy would be enough to take the main driver of global heating back to conditions on Earth a century ago.

And a second study, released in the same week, identifies 100 million hectares of degraded or destroyed tropical forest in 15 countries where restoration could start right now – and 87% of these hectares are in biodiversity hotspots that hold high concentrations of species found nowhere else.

51% support deportation raids

A Politico/Morning Consult survey found that 51% of voters support the sweeping deportation raids by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, with 35% of voters in opposition to them.

Meanwhile. . .

Drug makers flooded US with billions of opioid pills as epidemic surged, data shows

Trump's abortion gag rule

Brad Blog -Trump's Department of Health and Human Services declared a new regulation would immediately take effect to ban medical services providers who receive Title X funding from referring patients to other doctors for abortions. Federal funds are already banned for use in most actual abortions themselves, but now what critics describe as a "gag rule" will be in place to keep medical professionals from even referring their patients.

Title X, signed in 1970 by President Richard Nixon after bipartisan support in Congress, allocates some $260 million each year to family planning services for four million low income women. The funds are granted to states across the country and to organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

Under the new regulations, as Politico healthcare reporter Alice Olstein detailed after the rule was first proposed earlier this year, "clinics offering abortions would need to construct physically separate entrances, hire separate staff and maintain separate medical records for its abortion and non-abortion providers --- a requirement reproductive care groups argue is so costly that some, or even perhaps many, sites would be forced to close."

July 16, 2019

Trumo mob update

Political Wire -“Republican operative Jason Miller, the former communications chief for the Trump campaign and transition team, said he hired numerous prostitutes and visited ‘hand job’ massage parlors as recently as a few months ago in a new videotaped deposition,” Mediaite reports.

“The May deposition details Miller’s multiple extramarital affairs, including his sexual relationships with two subordinates during the 2016 presidential campaign… The affairs occurred while his wife, Kelly Miller, was pregnant and the two were not legally separated.” FavoriteSave to Favorites TwitterFacebookLinkedinEmail

The Trump dump

Boing Boing -Here's something relevant from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website, “Immigrants' Employment Rights Under Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws”

Ethnic slurs and other verbal or physical conduct because of nationality are illegal if they are severe or pervasive and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, interfere with work performance, or negatively affect job opportunities. Examples of potentially unlawful conduct include insults, taunting, or ethnic epithets, such as making fun of a person's foreign accent or comments like, "Go back to where you came from, " whether made by supervisors or by co-workers.
“If President Trump makes of fun of his age or questions his mental state during a debate, Joe Biden has a response at the ready: He’ll challenge him to do push-ups on stage,” the Washington Post reports.

Presidential historian Jon Meacham told MSNBC that President Trump’s attacks against four minority lawmakers placed him with Andrew Johnson as the “most racist president in American history.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar Has Been A U.S. Citizen Longer Than Melania Trump

Taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women for abortions immediately, the Trump administration said, declaring it will begin enforcing a new regulation hailed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women’s rights groups.
The head of a national umbrella group representing the clinics said the administration is following “an ideological agenda” that could disrupt basic health care for many low-income women.