Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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good morning, it's 22 april 2017

Sorry this is a short summary. A proper post takes a few hours and I've been too busy the last couple of days. :/

Reports of a new ACA repeal:
White House Officials, Craving Progress, Push Revised Health Bill
White House pressures GOP leaders on Obamacare showdown next week.

Fascism and Racism:
Tax-Dodging Nazi Sovereign Citizen Furries Forced To Cancel Denver Furry Convention. Yes, Really.
Why gay French men are voting far right
AG Sessions says he's 'amazed' a judge 'on an island in the Pacific' can block Trump's immigration order

Russia, et al:
House intel panel invites former acting AG Sally Yates to testify
Leader Of Justice Department National Security Division On The Way Out

Vote suppression:
Georgia Is Trying To Block Newly Registered Voters From Taking Part In Fierce Runoff Election

An Actual Real Life False Flag:
Borussia Dortmund bombs: 'Speculator' charged with bus attack

Environment and corruption:
AP Exclusive: Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study

Finally, culture war:
Army Secretary Nom: Trans People Are 'Evil' Who Must Be 'Crushed'

----- 1 -----
White House Officials, Craving Progress, Push Revised Health Bill
APRIL 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — White House officials, desperate to demonstrate progress on President Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, are pushing to resurrect a Republican health care bill before his 100th day in office next week.

Some members of the president’s team have grown consumed by that deadline, worrying that appraisals of the president’s tenure will be brutal and hoping that a last push on health care might bring a measure of salvation.

But Congress usually cannot take on two big things at once. At the same moment Mr. Trump hits his 100th day on Saturday, April 29, Republican congressional leaders face a far more urgent deadline: Much of the federal government will run out of money.

Reaching agreement to keep the government open past midnight that Friday will be the first priority of Republican leaders when Congress returns Monday from a two-week recess.

----- 2 -----
White House pressures GOP leaders on Obamacare showdown next week
‘The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House, and the answer isn't clear at this time,’ a senior GOP aide said.
By Rachael Bade , Josh Dawsey and Adam Cancryn | Politico
04/20/17 09:40 AM EDT

A frantic and impatient White House is pressuring House GOP leaders for another showdown vote on repealing Obamacare next week so it can notch a legislative win before President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office.

But while the outlines of a possible deal are starting to come together, it’s far from clear that House Republican leaders have found the sweet spot to pass their embattled alternative health plan.

The White House does not schedule House floor votes. And while some senior administration officials suggested Thursday that a vote will occur next week, multiple House GOP sources told POLITICO that is unlikely.

Indeed, the vote is not currently on the calendar. Nor do Republican insiders think it’s even possible, as Congress will reconvene Tuesday after a two-week Easter recess. That would leave them with one day to whip votes — an unlikely time frame for such a heavy legislative lift.

“The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House, and the answer isn't clear at this time,” a senior GOP aide said. “There is no legislative text and therefore no agreement to do a whip count on.”

----- 3 -----
Tax-Dodging Nazi Sovereign Citizen Furries Forced To Cancel Denver Furry Convention. Yes, Really.
By Doktor Zoom - April 19, 2017

Now here’s something new: Rocky Mountain Fur Con (RMFC), Denver’s big annual furry convention, has been cancelled for 2017 after one of the organizers, Kendal Emery, turned out to be a sovereign citizen kook who’s also pals with a group of white supremacist furries calling itself the “Furry Raiders.” On top of that, the supposed nonprofit group that organized the convention had its nonprofit status revoked in 2011; the group failed to file tax returns between 2008 and 2015. Oh, and then there was the weirdass not-actually-legal “cease and desist” letter organizer Emery sent to a woman who’d exposed his 1993 conviction for criminal sexual contact with a minor. So things are, to say the least, a little strange in the Furry community right now. Trekkies and My Little Pony fans are reportedly shaking their heads and saying “what a bunch of weirdos.”

----- 4 -----
AG Sessions says he's 'amazed' a judge 'on an island in the Pacific' can block Trump's immigration order
By Andrew Kaczynski, CNN
Updated 5:46 PM ET, Thu April 20, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this week he was amazed that a judge in Hawaii could block President Donald Trump's executive order halting immigration from several majority Muslim countries.

Sessions made the comments in an interview with "The Mark Levin Show" Tuesday evening that was put online Wednesday.

"We've got cases moving in the very, very liberal Ninth Circuit, who, they've been hostile to the order," Sessions said. "We won a case in Virginia recently that was a nicely-written order that just demolished, I thought, all the arguments that some of the other people have been making. We are confident that the President will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the Ninth Circuit. So this is a huge matter. I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power."

Last month, a federal judge in Hawaii, Judge Derrick Watson, issued an order that blocked Trump's ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries. The Department of Justice is currently appealing the decision.

----- 5 -----
House intel panel invites former acting AG Sally Yates to testify
The Hill
By Katie Bo Williams - 04/21/17 12:30 PM EDT

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday asked several senior Obama administration officials, including former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, to testify publicly in the panel’s probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election.

The committee has also invited FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to return before the committee to testify in a closed setting.

The Yates hearing would be scheduled after Comey and Rogers appear, slated for May 2. Former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have also been invited to testify with Yates.

The timing of the two hearings has been a point of partisan contention on the panel and has been one of many fights that has threatened to undermine the committee's investigation.

The open panel, including Yates, had previously been scheduled in March, but was canceled by committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

The Washington Post reported at the time that the White House sought to block her from testifying, a charge that White House press secretary Sean Spicer has denied.

----- 6 -----
Why gay French men are voting far right
By Will Chalk Newsbeat reporter | BBC News

The main gay district in Paris is full of bars, clubs and sex shops - not a place you'd expect to find support for banning same-sex marriage.

But there are people in Le Marais backing the Front National (FN) ahead of this weekend's presidential election in France - and that's exactly what the party's leader says she'll do.

Polls suggest Marine Le Pen has plenty of support from gay voters.

Newsbeat's been out in the district finding out why.


It's a view that's at least partially backed up by the facts. Counter-intuitively, the Front National has more high level gay figures than any other major party, people like Marine Le Pen's closest adviser Florian Philippot.

Cedric, for one, is prepared to take the risk.

"In my view, she won't do it. If the FN were to win, I think she would prioritise other things."

As Cedric talks to us, drinkers on nearby tables are visibly shocked.

The majority of the people we chat to in Le Marais laugh, or physically recoil, when we ask if they're backing the Front National.

"You won't find FN supporters here," we're frequently told. But we do.

"I don't think she's a threat to gay rights at all," Baptiste tells us. He and his boyfriend Anthony are both voting for Marine Le Pen.

----- 7 -----
Borussia Dortmund bombs: 'Speculator' charged with bus attack
21 April 2017 | BBC News

Police in Germany have charged a man suspected of being behind an attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus.

Rather than having links to radical Islamism, he was a market trader hoping to make money if the price of shares in the team fell, prosecutors say.

The suspect has been charged with attempted murder, triggering explosions and causing serious physical injury.

He has been identified only as Sergej W, and was staying in the team's hotel overlooking the scene of the attack.

Two people needed medical help after three bombs exploded near the bus.

----- 8 -----
AP Exclusive: Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study
By MICHAEL BIESECKER | Associated Press
21 April 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dow Chemical is pushing a Trump administration open to scrapping regulations to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species.

Lawyers representing Dow, whose CEO is a close adviser to Trump, and two other manufacturers of organophosphates sent letters last week to the heads of three of Trump's Cabinet agencies. The companies asked them "to set aside" the results of government studies the companies contend are fundamentally flawed.

Dow Chemical wrote a $1 million check to help underwrite Trump's inaugural festivities, and its chairman and CEO, Andrew Liveris, heads a White House manufacturing working group.

The industry's request comes after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced last month he was reversing an Obama-era effort to bar the use of Dow's chlorpyrifos pesticide on food after recent peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children's brains. In his prior job as Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt often aligned himself in legal disputes with the interests of executives and corporations who supported his state campaigns. He filed more than a dozen lawsuits seeking to overturn some of the same regulations he is now charged with enforcing.

----- 9 -----
Leader Of Justice Department National Security Division On The Way Out
April 20, 2017 | NPR | Carrie Johnson

The woman leading the Justice Department's investigation of foreign meddling into the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia has told staff members she will leave the department in May.

Mary B. McCord has served at the highest levels in the national security unit, either as its leader or chief deputy, for the past three years. A longtime federal prosecutor based in Washington, McCord easily won the confidence of both career lawyers and her supervisors inside the Justice Department.

McCord did not offer a public reason for her departure. In a message to her staff earlier this week, she wrote that she did not make the decision easily, but she concluded "the time is now right for me to pursue new career opportunities."

Her exit leaves a huge vacancy at one of the Justice Department's most important divisions, at a time when the Trump administration is struggling to fill the ranks. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the only leader so far in the building to have secured Senate confirmation. His picks for deputy and associate attorney general await votes by the full Senate. The administration has not yet announced political appointees for other top posts.

----- 10 -----
Army Secretary Nom: Trans People Are 'Evil' Who Must Be 'Crushed'
The Advocate | By Neal Broverman
April 20 2017 3:20 PM EDT

Mark Green, the Tennessee state senator nominated for Army Secretary by President Trump, is a rabid homophobe and transphobe who publicly called trans people an "evil" who should be "crushed."

Green is a proud opponent of LGBT rights, sponsoring bills in Tennesse that would allow businesses to turn away gay people and demand trans people use bathrooms that conflict with their gender identity. But the true level of his animus became clearer after it was revealed he said being "transender is a disease." The politician though, went even further than that during a July radio interview.

Green said the following on the Hotwash with CJ and Alex Program, according to GLAAD:

“The government exists to honor those people who live honorable who do good things – to reward people who behave well and to crush evil. So that means as a state senator, my responsibility very clearly in Romans 13 is to create an environment where people who do right are rewards and the people who do wrong are crushed. Evil is crushed. So I’m going to protect women in their bathrooms, and I’m going to protect our state against potential infiltration from the Syrian ISIS people in the refugee program. And whoever wants to stand up and take me on that, I’m ready to fight.”

----- 11 -----
Georgia Is Trying To Block Newly Registered Voters From Taking Part In Fierce Runoff Election
By Sam Levine | The Huffington Post | 20 April 2017

Five civil rights and civic engagement groups have filed suit against Georgia and its secretary of state for attempting to block registered voters from participating in a closely watched runoff election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

On Thursday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a complaint in the federal district court in Atlanta, arguing that the state is violating the National Voter Registration Act. That law sets 30 days before a federal election as the earliest permissible deadline for voter registration.

Georgia complied with the provision for the special congressional election held this past Tuesday. But because no candidate won 50 percent of the vote, there will be a second election on June 20 ― a runoff between the top two finishers, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel.

Georgia election officials contend that the June runoff is simply a continuation of the special election this week, so they don’t have to allow newly registered voters to participate. The registration deadline for Tuesday’s election was March 20, and officials say anybody who registers after that day is not eligible to vote in the June runoff.

Ezra Rosenberg, co-director of the voting rights project at the Lawyers’ Committee, argues that under the federal law, Georgia can’t set the registration deadline for the June 20 runoff any earlier than 30 days before that election ― that is, May 22.

“The case is actually a very, very simple case,” Rosenberg told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “Federal law specifically defines elections as including runoff elections.”

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Tags: fascism watch, politics
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