Saturday, February 25, 2017

NEWS

NEWS

Federal Court Rules Assault Weapons Not Protected By 2nd Amendment – NRA Outraged

In a move that has the NRA and Republicans fuming, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, has ruled that assault weapons, which are banned under Maryland’s law, are not protected by the 2nd Amendment.

The 10-4 ruling is likely to trigger lash out by Donald Trump and his republicans allies at any moment.

Maryland’s ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons and its 10-round limit on gun magazines were upheld in a decision that met with a strongly worded dissent.

As reported by  ABC News, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said the guns banned under Maryland’s law aren’t protected by the Second Amendment. The decision was  met with a strongly worded dissent.

“Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war,” Judge Robert King wrote for the court, adding that the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller explicitly excluded such coverage, according to the report.

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said that “it is absurd to hold that the most popular rifle in America is not a protected ‘arm’ under the Second Amendment.”

But Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who led the push for the law in 2013 as a state senator, said it’s “unthinkable that these weapons of war, weapons that caused the carnage in Newtown and in other communities across the country, would be protected by the Second Amendment.”

It’s time to recognize that guns kill people and take far too many lives unnecessarily.

The 4th Circuit performed a great service to the country today. Hopefully, more federal courts will follow suit.

The right to own a firearm does not mean a person should be able to own any weapon they desire.

How about that, conservatives?

The White House Is Gutting Transgender Equality Due To Religious Conservative Beliefs

The White House announced on Wednesday that the Trump administration is getting ready to set back the federal protection for transgender students.

Sean Spicer spoke during a briefing about the new administration’s rule to slash protection of transgender students.

“I would expect further guidance to come out on that today,” Spicer told reporters.

The Obama administration had set up guidelines that allowed children to use bathrooms and other facilities according to their gender identities. But due to the White House now being part of the religious conservatives, those guidelines are being slashed. They believe it to be a form of improper social engineering, and say students should use bathrooms that match their sex at birth.

The decision to roll back the guidance wasn’t unanimously approved of, as the new guidance wasn’t backed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. DeVos was urged by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to give the approval, as the new guidance needs approval from both of their departments.

Devon ultimately agreed to the new guidance after Donald Trump took sides with Sessions. Spicer acknowledged some disagreements occurred, but said they were not over the core substance of the new guidance.

“There is no daylight between the president and any of the secretaries,” he said. “I think there has been discussion about he timing of the issuance of the recommendations and the exact wording.”

Spicer was asked about the specifics of the new guidelines that were being drafted, but decided to not comment on the matter.

MUST WATCH: Jimmy Fallon Creates ‘Trump News Network’ And It’s HILARIOUS

Donald Trump, as unorthodox as he is, makes for a great comedy show. Whether it be SNL, or the Daily Show, or even the Tonight Show, Trump has made these comedy filled shows even funnier.

Jimmy Fallon decided to poke fun at Trump on Tuesday night’s episode of NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

Trump has constantly been in a fight with the media. He doesn’t like the news they provide and calls them “fake news.” Fallon decided that Trump need his own network to deliver the “real” stories.

“It’s time for me to take matters into my own abnormally gigantic hands,” said Fallon, covered in orange makeup and sporting a Trump wig. “The only way to ensure that the news you’re watching is not fake is if I’m the one delivering it, which is why I’m starting the Trump News Network.”

Fallon went on to cover news stories like the attack on Sweden. “Sweden is still reeling from Friday’s incident that absolutely did happen,” Fallon’s Trump said. “Details are still unclear, but we’re getting word it was definitely and 100% not made up.”

Trump’s first pick for national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had to resign due to lying to vice president Mike Pence about the conversation he had with a Russian ambassador. Trump named H.R. McMaster to the post over the weekend. Fallon poked fun at that too.

“Normally when I’m talking to H.R., it’s because one of my female employees is threatening to sue,” he said. “But now, H.R. is going to stand for ‘huge ratings.'”

The whole segment can be seen below:

Voter Outrage Spreading Like Wildfire: Watch Woman Eviscerate Mitch McConnell

Do you know what that rotten tangerine we call president and his Republican allies are doing while Americans face losing their health insurance? They’re celebrating! Well, voters have had enough and are fighting back, directing their wrath at Republicans at town-hall events across the country.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held a $10-a-plate lunch in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and got eviscerated by his constituents.

“The last I heard, these coal jobs are not coming back and now these workers don’t have the insurance they need because they’re poor,” voter Rose Perkins told McConnell in an angry tone. “They work those coal mines and they’re sick. The veterans are sick, the veterans are broken down and they’re not getting what they need. If you can answer any of that I’ll sit down and shut up like Elizabeth Warren.”

Watch the confrontation below:

Former Joint Chiefs Chair Gives Dire Warning Of Bannon: He Should Be Kicked Off The National Security Council Immediately

Retired US Navy and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, spoke out against Steve Bannon on Wednesday, voicing his “grave concern” about Trump’s decision to appoint Bannon as a member of the National Security Council(NSC).

His concern comes from Bannon being a political operative, which he says instantly politicizes the NSC.

“Given the gravity of the issues the NSC deals with, it is vital that that body not be politicized, and Bannon’s presence as a member of that body politicizes it instantly,” said Mullen.

Mullen sat on the NSC under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. He was asked if he had any advice for the new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

“See if there’s a way to move Bannon off the council, and then certainly Mr. Bannon can give his advice to the president any other way,” said Mullen.

Mullen isn’t the first to criticize Trump’s decision to appoint Bannon to the NSC principals committee. Senator Bernie Sanders also raised his concern for this decision. “Steve Bannon sitting on the National Security Council is dangerous and unprecedented. He must be removed,” Sanders said.

Followed by, “We need experienced people who will protect our country on the National Security Council, not an extreme right-wing political operative.”

sanders-bannon-tweet

A Federal Judge Just Blocked Texas From Cutting Off Medicaid Funds To Planned Parenthood

A federal judge dropped the hammer on Texas republicans on Tuesday, ruling that the state can’t cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood.

According to Time Magazine, Texas is now at least the sixth state where federal courts have kept Planned Parenthood eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for non-abortion services.

The ruling issued by U.S. District judge Sam Sparks of Austin comes after he delayed making decision in January, according to the report.

Sparks’ decision preserves Planned Parenthood’s cancer screenings, birth control access and other health services for nearly 11,000 low-income women at 30 clinics. Texas originally intended to boot Planned Parenthood in January but Sparks told the state to wait pending his ruling.

Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi and Louisiana have also had similar efforts blocked, according to the report.

Sparks’ unsparing opinion excoriated Texas for not providing “any evidence” of Planned Parenthood wrongdoing and stalling on the ouster for nearly a year.
“A secretly recorded video, fake names, a grand jury indictment, congressional investigations — these are the building blocks of a best-selling novel rather than a case concerning the interplay of federal and state authority through the Medicaid program,” Sparks wrote.

“Yet, rather than a villain plotting to take over the world, the subject of this case is the State of Texas’s efforts to expel a group of health care providers from a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources,” he concluded.

Anti-abortion activists emboldened by a new Trump administration are looking for the federal government to cut off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. That would cut nearly $400 million in Medicaid money to the group and result in roughly 400,000 women losing access to care, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

American Economists Sound The Alarm: Trump Is Cooking The Books On The Economy

President Donald Trump’s propensity to play fast and loose with facts is now worrying American economists and they are concerned his administration is doctoring government data.

As Trump continues his attacks on the media by calling reports on his lies “fake news” and championing “alternative facts,” numbers experts are warning that his administration is cooking the books of the American economy.

With Republicans eager to slash the federal budget, rather than fix the problems the economy has, the trump administration is “trying to get the numbers it wants,” noted Brent Moulton, who spent 32 years at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, according to Daily Mail.

“My biggest concern right now is about the unemployment statistics, just because the White House has been attacking them,” he added.

University of Oregon professor Mark Thoma said Trump’s ‘alternative facts’ mantra is already spreading to the data needed to keep the economy in check, Bloomberg wrote.

Most presidential teams start with a baseline forecast and then calculate how their policies would either increase or decrease the growth rate. Trump is instead starting with the outcome he wants, and then having officials make the numbers work to get the economy there.
When other administrations have come up with rosier pictures than the baseline estimates, it has usually been by a difference of a fraction of a percentage point. The Trump team, however, is calling for 3–3.5 percent annual GDP growth. That’s at least a whole percentage point above the consensus projection.

But the economy’s rate of growth is not the only place where the Trump team is reportedly thinking of fudging the numbers. The Wall Street Journal also reports that the administration has asked career economists to make a change in the way the trade deficit is calculated.

Artificially boosting the trade deficit would play into Trump’s hands, giving him more firepower when railing against trade deals or calling for border taxes.

One person the Journal spoke to who had participated in past budget processes said he had “never seen a request to make such aggressive assumptions about growth.”

“The worst thing he could do – and I see this as a real danger – would be to politicize the agencies that produce government economic data, to put people in place that will skew the numbers in his favor,” professor Thoma said according to the report.

Trump New Policy Eliminates Military Child Care Program — Sorry, Troops

Donald Trump supporters thought his agenda would “make America great.” How wrong they were. Now, Trump regret has set in all across the country. Sadly, too little too late.

On January 23, Trump announced a hiring freeze for federal workers and members of the Armed Forces are feeling the effects.

Army bases are suspending childcare programs, citing staff shortages related to the hiring freeze, according to The Military.

Officials at Fort Knox, Kentucky, notified families Feb. 17 of the suspension to the on-base part-day child development center (CDC) programs, its hourly care program and the enrollment of new families into the CDC.

“Effective immediately, no new children will be enrolled in the CDC,” states the letter, signed by Fort Knox garrison commander Col. Stephen Aiton. “Also, effective 27 February 2017, the CDC will no longer accommodate childcare for our hourly care and part day families until further notice.”

military-care

The CDC’s part-day programs include its part-day preschools. Many military families, including some CDC workers, rely on hourly care for child care during part-time jobs or school hours, or when the full-time day care program is full. One Army spouse at Fort Knox reported that the wait list for her 1-year-old is estimated through July.

Sorry, troops.

For the next four years, we’re all just going to have to deal with Trump’s deplorable policies – unless Congress wakes up and does something about it.

Cowardly Republicans Go Into Hiding As Voter Anger Boils Over Nationwide

Anger is boiling over as the GOP ramps up its war against the poor and Donald Trump continues to violate the constitution. An congressional Republicans are so scared scared of facing voters in town hall meetings that they cancelling the events nationwide.

Republicans are finding out the hard way that the Affordable Care Act, while not perfect, is very popular with the 20 million people who have affordable insurance and the more than 100 million people with pre-existing conditions.

Constituents in Republican districts are turning out in droves to demand answers about the deadly repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the magical plan to replace it that Republicans haven’t been able to produce despite seven long years to come up with an alternative.

Last week, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah was confronted with impassioned constituents who shouted questions, emotional pleas and raucous protesters that crystalized the GOP’s tough political road ahead as it forges ahead with rolling back Obama’s accomplishments, including the Affordable Care Act.

Now, Republican officeholders have been cancelling planned town halls because they don’t want to face critics upset that they may soon lose their health insurance or see an increase in costs as the GOP plans to undermine Obamacare.

Even worse, they don’t want organized progressive groups to show up with posters and video camera and determination to challenge them in public and post the confrontations on YouTube.

This cowardly response is nothing new from Republicans; it’s in line with their partisan ethic that “anything goes” to win, except playing fair. They cannot win in many states without gerrymandering federal and state districts, which allowed them to seize power after the 2010 Census. They cannot win widely in high turnout elections, hence their efforts to limit participation by creating barriers like new voter ID laws or restricting voting options favored by critics, like early voting on weekends.

Their partisan cowardice goes further by not wanting to reveal who is funding negative attack ads, thus they encourage super PACs to throw mud because they do not disclose donors. In contrast, they never stand up and say all sides should put forth their best ideas and allow citizens to decide, live with that verdict and fight another day. And in 2017, a new twist has emerged: the party that would stamp on others is hiding from voters.

Indeed, as The Washington Post reports, Republicans don’t like it when the tables are turned on them—that is, when their town hall meetings are not filled with angry Tea Partiers but with aggrieved citizens from their districts and organized progressives.

“Since Republicans took control of the House six years ago, helped by angry, viral town halls that embarrassed incumbent Democrats, big public meetings have become rarer and workarounds like the tele-town hall more common. But in the past week, as Indivisible, Organizing for America and other progressive groups have become more open about demanding town halls, some Republicans have become bolder about shutting them down,” WaPo wrote.

A few are even admitting this is exactly what’s going on.

“In a letter to constituents first shared by the Knoxville News Sentinel, Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) said that he valued being accessible but would not indulge protesters by holding a public event,” WaPo noted. “I am not going to hold town hall meetings in this atmosphere, because they would very quickly turn into shouting opportunities for extremists, kooks and radicals,” Duncan said. “Also, I do not intend to give more publicity to those on the far left who have so much hatred, anger and frustration in them. I have never seen so many more sore losers as there are today.”

These Republicans are fine when their own propagandists are doing the yelling, namely those in right-wing media and related GOP groups, who conveniently ignore that progressives and others are doing what Tea Partiers have been doing for many years.

Such shamelessness is nothing new in Republican circles. It may even be part of their twisted political DNA—the attitude that everything they do is magically patriotic, all-American and justified. The truth is congressional Republicans are running away from the voters in their districts who have ample reasons to be angered at the GOP’s uncritical embrace of Trump and the far right’s extremist economic and cultural agenda.

Cowardice, plain and simple, and that’s just the start.

Petition Demanding Immediate Release Of Trump’s Tax Returns Surpasses 1 Million Signatures

For months, Donald Trump has refused to voluntarily release his tax returns, claiming people aren’t interested. Well, the American people disagree.

On Tuesday, a petition on the White House website demanding the immediate release of Trump’s tax returns surpassed 1 million signatures.

The petition demands the federal government to “immediately release Donald Trump’s full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance.”

“The unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation which can reveal the foreign influences and financial interests which may put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution,” the description of the petition says.

The petition system, which President Barack Obama’s administration created in 2011 to increase government accessibility, requires the White House to provide an official response within 60 days if a petition garners at least 100,000 signatures.

But Trump’s press office didn’t respond to a question asking whether the administration will respond to the tax returns petition.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee last week blocked an attempt by Democrats to obtain Trump’s tax returns. The committee has the authority to obtain an individual’s tax returns and can then vote on whether to release them to the public.

The American people deserve to know the truth about Trump’s murky business ties to Russia.

Mr. Trump, release your taxes now!

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