May 5, 2017

House passes Trumpcare 2.0. “The House on Thursday narrowly approved legislation to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act, as Republicans recovered from their earlier failures and moved a step closer to delivering on their promise to reshape American health care without mandated insurance coverage.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/us/politics/health-care-bill-vote.html?_r=0

Delta airlines employee allegedly threatens couple with arrest, loss of their children, after they refuse to give up their child’s seat to a standby passenger and are asked to leave the plane. “So this is a federal offense. You and your wife could be in jail and your kids will be in foster care.”   http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/california-family-kicked-delta-flight-threatened-jail-refusing-give-toddler-n755141

Additional felony charges for Trump inauguration protesters. “While some property damage did take place and several police officers were reportedly injured, DC prosecutors seek to hold everyone liable who was present at a First Amendment protected assembly for the actions of a few individuals. ”   https://rightsanddissent.org/news/activists-rally-prosecutors-bring-felony-charges-j20-protesters/

Pennsylvania judge rules that landowners can be arrested for trespassing on their own land. “Huntingdon County residents protesting the construction of (Energy Transfer Partners subsidiary) Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline across their land now face arrest on their own property due to a rarely imposed court order known as a “writ of possession”.”    https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2017/04/28/huntingdon-county-judge-grants-sunoco-authority-to-have-protesting-landowners-arrested/

Trump “religious liberty” executive order blocks tax prosecution of religious groups for political activity, requests exemptions from contraception coverage, but does not legalize religion-based discrimination. “Earlier this week, as rumors of an intended executive order spread, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Center for Transgender Equality circulated statements slamming the administration’s intention to give religious organizations a “license to discriminate” against women and LGBT people—issues that are arguably not addressed at all by the final version of the order.”   https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/religious-freedom-executive-order/525354/

Trump compliments Australia on their universal health insurance system, Sanders pounces. “Thank you, Mr. President. Let us move to a Medicare-for-all system that does what every other major country on earth does – guarantee healthcare to all people at a fraction of the cost per-capita that we spend.”   http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/332037-sanders-to-trump-well-quote-you-on-universal-healthcare

Settlement reportedly reached in water slide decapitation. “At the time of Caleb’s death, Kansas was known for its light regulation of amusement park rides. But last month, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed off on legislation that beefs up the state’s requirements.”   https://nypost.com/2017/05/04/family-of-boy-decapitated-on-waterslide-settles-for-20m/   Apparently setting up an amusement park ride was easier than voting in Kansas.

House Trumpcare bill also blocks Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood. “The House bill, which would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, would prevent Medicaid from reimbursing Planned Parenthood for preventive health services like contraception, Pap smears and sexually transmitted infection screenings.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/health-care-bill-planned-parenthood_us_590b3605e4b05c397686eea7

Senator Dianne Feinstein re-introduces legislation requiring FBI “back door” to encryption programs. “As Apple and many security experts have noted, a back door law enforcement uses is a weakness others can exploit, too. Knowing there’s a built-in security weakness will attract hackers, and eventually someone will find the crack—or someone will leak it.”   https://www.macobserver.com/analysis/senator-feinstein-encryption-back-door-bill/

Families of San Bernadino attack victims blame social media. “Without defendants Twitter, Facebook and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sanbernardino-attack-lawsuit-idUSKBN1802SL   Here’s a tip for their lawyers: If George W. Bush had not invaded and occupied Iraq….

International group of experts formed to defuse risk of use of nuclear weapons. “Global Zero’s executive director Derek Johnson said the chill in U.S.-Russia relations required the anti-nuclear movement to change its focus (from disarmament) to “what we can do to stop one of these things from going off”.”   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/04/nuclear-experts-team-advise-world-leaders-avoiding-nuclear-war

Tillerson reportedly tells State Department employees that “freedom, human dignity, the way people are treated” take second place to national security goals. “…those are our values. Those are not our policies.”    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/04/tillerson-says-human-rights-will-not-interfere-america-first-agenda

Trumpcare cuts to Medicaid could bankrupt states when boomers start filling nursing homes. “If Medicaid were to remain an entitlement, states would automatically receive increased federal funds to cover these greater costs as baby boomers age. Under the AHCA, the per-capita payments to states will increase far too slowly to cover them.”   https://theintercept.com/2017/05/04/house-gop-just-voted-to-slash-medicaid-which-pays-for-60-percent-of-people-in-nursing-homes/

Awarding government contracts to U.S. companies does not always translate into more American jobs. “Of the 50 U.S. companies given the largest government contracts, 28 shipped jobs overseas between 1995 and 2015…”   http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/buy-american-hire-abroad-top-us-contractors-are-outsourcing-jobs-study-finds

Woman reportedly claiming in civil lawsuit that she was recruited into sex work while working at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. “Giuffre, formerly Roberts, claims she was 15 and working as a towel girl at Trump’s posh Palm Beach club when she was recruited nearly two decades ago into sexual slavery by socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, then (Jeffrey) Epstein’s girlfriend.”   http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/04/jeffrey-epstein-trump-lawsuit-sex-trafficking-237983

Former Fox News correspondent claims she was fired within 24 hours of reporting sexual discrimination on employee hotline. “Jessica Golloher, who covers the Middle East and North Africa for Fox News Radio Network, says in the lawsuit that instead of addressing complaints, Fox is using the harassment hotline “to paint targets on the backs of employees”.”   http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/reporter-says-fox-news-fired-her-for-using-harassment-hotline/

151 million phone records collected by NSA in 2016 were reportedly for tracking only 42 targets, while Section 702 internet targets numbered 106,469, but CIA claims it does not know how many Americans it ran searches on. “Because the NSA collects data on numbers that are “two hops” away from a targeted phone, records would be collected from any number that called or was called by the target number, and then every number each of those numbers interacted with.”   https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/05/us-intelligence-transparency-report-reveals-breadth-of-surveillance-by-nsa-others/

Swiss government accused of planting spy in German tax agency to find out who was leaking info on tax-dodging Germans with Swiss bank accounts. “The state (of North Rhine-Westphalia) has bought 11 CDS of data since 2010 and paid 17.9 million euros ($19.59 million) to informants. It has recovered nearly 7 billion euros in tax revenue which would have been lost.”   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-swiss-security-germany-idUSKBN18028Y

 

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May 5, 2017

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