2/11/17 - " García de Rayos may have been the first victim of a change outlined in Trump’s first executive order on immigration that vastly expanded ICE priorities. “Rather than tracking down violent criminals and drug dealers, ICE is spending its energy deporting a woman with two American children who has lived here for more than two decades and poses a threat to nobody,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said in a statement. Her deportation, he added, was “outrageous” and a “travesty.”
1/29/17 - Following Trump’s detrimental Executive Order on Friday to bar refugees and Muslims from entering the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union won an emergency appeal to temporarily keep those stranded in airports from deportation. Federal Judge Ann Donnelly of New York’s Eastern District, who listened to the appeal, is being lauded today for her ruling, as it is a massive success against Trump’s “Muslim ban.” Hundreds from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were detained at airports on Saturday, sparking protests on every coast, from San Francisco International Airport to JFK International Airport. Students could not return to school, refugees could not start new lives, green-card holders could not return to work or be reunited with their families. The ACLU and Judge Donnelly lowered their risk of deportation dramatically. While temporary, the ruling offers comfort in the face of what can seem like overwhelming opposition. Saturday’s victory also reminds us that this administration’s actions will not be dismissed or go unchallenged. (by Jill Wronski)
We stand with the detainees and with the ACLU. For more information on how to contribute and join in the ALCU’s cause, please visit https://www.aclu.org/.
Education: Betsy DeVos
1/25/17 -She's never set foot inside a public school. She never went to public school. She's a fierce advocate for charter schools. Why not choose someone who would provide actual services and support to those public schools we're supposed to fund instead of trying to destroy teacher unions and belittle the work they do? Not only that but now multiple allegations of conflicts of interests have arisen between publicly and privately funded schools. She donated millions of dollars to Trump's campaign which led Senator Bernie Sanders to ask her if she felt she would've been chosen had it not been for those large donations, and seems to not know the difference between growth and proficiency after being questioned by Senator Al Franken, and seemed confused about the federal laws protecting students with disabilities. Is she really the one we want leading an organization which is in charge of ensuring our students not only succeed in school but also advance the world forward? I think not.
Michael Brydges, MPA, www.tamethesavageness.com
1/18/17 - Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 — trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.
1/17/17 -Repealing major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while leaving other parts in place, would cost 18 million people their insurance in the first year, a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. A repeal could increase the number of uninsured Americans by 32 million in 10 years, the report said, while causing individual insurance premiums to double over that time.
1/6/17 - A key reason the Republican Party is having such a hard time with the replacement part of “repeal and replace” is that Obamacare is virtually the same privatized mandate plan it pushed for since President Richard Nixon first proposed the National Health Strategy in 1971 then again in 1974. Then the GOP revived its privatized mandate plan again in 1993 with then-Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole helping to propose the Health Equity and Access Reform Today act or HEART as the alternative to the proposed single-payer plan Health Security Act of 1993 — commonly known as “Hillarycare“ — and then again when then-Gov. Mitt Romney proposed — and succeeded in implementing — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2006 in Massachusetts.
Today's Affordable Care Act is very similar to the privatized mandate plan the Republicans pushed for 40 years. President Barack Obama — as a compromise to have basic health reform passed — used this same GOP blueprint with one significant change: adding a public option alongside the GOP’s privatized mandate plan (basically, Obama proposed adding an option to join a form of Medicare).
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POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST? - You betcha!
1/7/17 -"On the night of Nov. 16, a group of executives gathered in a private dining room of the restaurant La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The table was laden with Chinese delicacies and $2,100 bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild. At one end sat Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of the Waldorf’s owner, Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese financial behemoth with estimated assets of $285 billion and an ownership structure shrouded in mystery. Close by sat Jared Kushner, a major New York real estate investor whose father-in-law, Donald J. Trump, had just been elected president of the United States.
Mr. Wu and Mr. Kushner — who is married to Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and is one of his closest advisers — were nearing agreement on a joint venture in Manhattan: the redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue, the fading crown jewel of the Kushner family real-estate empire. Anbang, which has close ties to the Chinese state, has seen its aggressive efforts to buy up hotels in the United States slowed amid concerns raised by Obama administration officials who review foreign investments for national security risk."
Do you know of other possible conflict of interest issues that haven't hit the press?
11/11/16 - "Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives.
Starting in 2013 – just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act – a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP–controlled states. The system, called Crosscheck, is detailed in my Rolling Stone report, “The GOP’s Stealth War on Voters,” 8/24/2016.
Crosscheck in action:
Trump victory margin in Michigan: 13,107
Michigan Crosscheck purge list: 449,922
Trump victory margin in Arizona: 85,257
Arizona Crosscheck purge list: 270,824
Trump victory margin in North Carolina: 177,008
North Carolina Crosscheck purge list: 589,393
How do we ensure that these people are reinstated on the voter rolls? and that this doesn't ever happen again?