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Politics

Hoocoodanode, Carrier Edition

Balloon Juice - 40 min 45 sec ago

Toodaloo, tontos:

Donald Trump stood outside a Carrier manufacturing plant in Indianapolis, Indiana weeks before taking office and boasted he just saved 1,100 jobs from being shipped to Mexico.

Inside the plant, some workers were skeptical. Carrier had promised layoffs, which Trump glossed over in his claim to save over 1,000 jobs.

On Monday, these workers were proven right. Though Trump struck a deal with Carrier promising them $7 million in local business incentives if they kept their Indianapolis plant open, the heating and cooling company warned that it would still outsource a number of Indiana jobs to Mexico, regardless. But the Trump campaign still championed the deal as a win for American workers. This week, the Carrier announced it will cut 632 jobs from its Indiana plant by the end of the year.

For labor leaders like Chuck Jones, the layoffs are a grim told-you-so moment. Jones is president of the United Steelworkers 1999, which represents employees at Carrier’s Indianapolis plant.

No one could have predicted. Wait, what?

After Trump failed to mention the major layoffs during his December speech, Jones told the Washington Post that Trump “got up there and, for whatever reason, lied his ass off.”

Trump retaliated on Twitter. “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!” Trump tweeted of the local union leader, adding that “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues.”

Now, as Carrier warned on the day of Trump’s triumphant speech outside the plant, the jobs are leaving Indiana anyway.

“It wasn’t a shock by no means,” Jones said.

Expert businessman and his bible thumping sidekick just let the people of Indiana get fleeced for seven million by Carrier who went ahead and did what they said they would do all along. WINNING.

Categories: Politics

Rush Limbaugh: 'Studly Montana Republican' Beat Up A 'Pajama Boy Journalist'

Crooks and Liars - 52 min 12 sec ago
 'Studly Montana Republican' Beat Up A 'Pajama Boy Journalist'

Rush Limbaugh mocked the assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs by Montana's GOP candidate Greg Gianforte ahead of today's special election.

His message as usual is to despise left wing politicians and supporters so much that it's just fine to beat the sh*t out of them without provocation. It's all one big joke.

Hey, they drink seaweed smoothies and tofu latte's anyway, so who needs them, right?

Daily Rushbo supplies the transcript:

RUSH: In Montana — ladies and gentlemen, I must do something. I must join the chorus of people condemning what happened out there. This manly, obviously studly Republican candidate in Montana took the occasion to beat up a pajama-clad journalist, a Pajama Boy journalist out there.

The story is he grabbed his neck and threw the guy to the ground because the journalist was being insolent and disrespectful and whiny and moany and accusatory. And the manly, studly Republican simply didn’t realize that on the big stage you can’t do this kind of stuff and kicked the guy’s ass to the ground. This cannot be accepted. This must be condemned. I wonder how many people in Montana are now gonna vote for the guy, though? (laughing)

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Categories: Politics

Open Thread: #Not All American Politicians

Balloon Juice - 1 hour 24 sec ago


.
Best part, for me, is that we know how badly news pics like this will chafe Lord Smallgloves’ baggy boxers.

Per the Washington Post:

Thanks to an awkward coincidence, President Trump is in Brussels at the same time as predecessor Barack Obama is in Berlin. These two trips are certainly offering contrasting views of the United States’s relationship with Europe.

Obama was in the German capital Thursday morning to appear alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a biennual festival organized by the German protestant church. The two spoke in front of a large crowd at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, with Obama going out of his way to praise Merkel.

“Not only do I love this city, but one of my favorite partners throughout my presidency is sitting next to me,” Obama said with a smile…

“If you look at public opinion surveys, Barack Obama has retained a popularity in Germany that Donald Trump has not achieved,” said Karen Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund and a member of the National Security Council during the Obama administration. “Given the political year that we have in Germany, with a national election in September, the chancellor could be well served by showing her relations with both the past U.S. president and the current U.S. president.”

Categories: Politics

There is no $1 trillion Trump infrastructure plan—and there never was

Daily Kos - 1 hour 21 min ago

Hello, fellow Americans just now noticing that Donald Trump's promise to spend "one trillion dollars" on American infrastructure seems noticeably absent from his actual budget plans. Allow me to explain this conundrum: He. Was. Lying.

[A]ny prospects for cooperation on that front seemed to largely evaporate this week, when Trump released a budget proposal that included deep cuts to existing infrastructure programs — angering Democrats and prompting many to question the president’s commitment to an issue he trumpeted as a candidate.

Well, duh. At this point there's no possible pundit take on things that should not begin and end with "because Donald Trump lies." Anyone trying to sell you anything different should be treated with suspicion, and just to be safe, contempt. Even back when he was supposedly promising to spend "one trillion dollars," a cursory glance at the flimsy excuse for a plan showed nothing of the sort. It was smoke and mirrors from the beginning, and anyone who said otherwise is themselves a crook.

Trump’s budget proposes $200 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure over the next decade, an amount his administration argues will be sufficient to spur a promised $1 trillion in new investments once new spending by the private sector and state and local governments are factored in.

It was always this same ephemeral plan of giving a fraction much, much less than "one trillion dollars" to infrastructure programs and presuming the free market would then use that money to build private toll roads, toll bridges, toll ferries and toll airport parking lots worth a bajillion dollars more, and which you, dear commoner, could partake of for a small or large fee. As far as replacing "infrastructure" like failing sewer lines or lead water pipes, that was never in the picture because private companies don't want to own those. Oh, and by the way even the supposed $200 billion was a sham. The real number isn’t $200 billion. The real number is zero.

Categories: Politics

The Late Show Presents: God Thinks Trump Is Getting 'Needy'

Crooks and Liars - 2 hours 52 min ago
 God Thinks Trump Is Getting 'Needy'

Stephen Colbert continues to taunt the man who has enraged most of the EU and NATO, and Europeans are letting Trump have it pretty nicely. Stephen briefly recaps the tour of humiliation for the citizens of this once great beacon of freedom. ..Sigh...

Meanwhile, across the pond, overseas, Donald Trump's 'Magical Misery Tour' continues.

Colbert breaks down Trump's first foreign foray featuring some intensely embarrassing faux pas, from all three religions, no less. He asks the Lord His opinion on this sojourn.

COLBERT: Well, Lord, how do you feel about Trump going to all these holy sites around the world?

THE LORD: I don't know. You pray with three major religions in one week?

Seems a little needy.

Come on, buy a God a drink FIRST.

Trump's loose lips didn't evade this comedy bit, no way!

COLBERT: Well, the 'president' was praying to you at the Western Wall in Jerusalem yesterday. Can you tell us what he prayed for?

LORD: Oh, sorry Stephen. Unlike some people, I don't give away top-secret information from Israel.

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Categories: Politics

Jared Kushner marked by FBI as having 'significant information' in Russia investigation

Daily Kos - 3 hours 5 min ago

The investigation into Russian election hacking and links to the Trump campaign has now reached the doorstep of Trump son-in-law and adviser for All The Things, Jared Kushner. Oops.

Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, has come under FBI scrutiny in the Russia investigation, multiple U.S. officials told NBC News.

Investigators believe Kushner has significant information relevant to their inquiry, officials said. That does not mean they suspect him of a crime or intend to charge him. [...]

It is not known whether Kushner has received any records requests from federal investigators.

Kushner, like multiple other members of the Trump campaign, had meetings with prominent Russian figures during the campaign or transition, including a December meeting in Trump Tower. And while the FBI doesn’t appear to consider Kushner a target, they are “focusing” on his actions.

Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Kushner, who held meetings in December with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow , is being investigated because of the extent and nature of his interactions with the Russians, the people said.

The good news for Kushner is he’s got plenty of money to lawyer up with. He’ll need it.

Categories: Politics

Mr. Ivanka Trump Now Under Investigation

Kevin Drum - 3 hours 7 min ago

We now know for sure who the person "close to Trump" is:

Investigators are focusing on a series of meetings held by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and an influential White House adviser, as part of their probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and related matters, according to people familiar with the investigation.

So the Russia investigation now has at least three targets: Manafort, Flynn, and Kushner. That seems like a lot. But maybe it's all just a big coincidence.

Categories: Politics

Paul Romer and the Parataxis of the World Bank

Kevin Drum - 3 hours 25 min ago

Via Tyler Cowen I learn that "Bankspeak," the jargon of the World Bank, is a big issue. Who knew? Here's an excerpt from a 2015 report of the Stanford Literary Lab:

The biggest surprise came with the most frequent collocate of all: “and”. “And”? The most frequent word in English is “the”: everybody knows that. So, what is “and” doing at the top of the list? Two passages from the 1999 Report may help to explain:

  • promote corporate governance and competition policies and reform and privatize state-owned enterprises and labor market/social protection reform
  • There is greater emphasis on quality, responsiveness, and partnerships; on knowledge-sharing and client orientation; and on poverty reduction

The first passage—a grammatico-political monstrosity—is a small present to our patient readers; the second, more guarded, is also more indicative of the rhetoric in question. Knowledge-sharing has really nothing to do with client orientation; poverty reduction, nothing to do with either. There is no reason they should appear together. But those “ands” connect them just the same, despite the total absence of logic, and their paratactical crudity becomes almost a justification: we have so many important things to do, we can’t afford to be elegant; we must take care of our clients, yes (we are, remember, a bank); but we also care about knowledge! and partnership! and sharing! and poverty!

Paratactical? The Stanford folks might want to think about their dedication to clear language too.1 That aside, here's a lovely scatterplot showing the skyrocketing use of the word and in World Bank reports:

Hmmm. "Frequency per million words (thousands)"? I'm just spitballing here, but maybe this could be "frequency per thousand words" instead? Once again, the Stanford folks have some work of their own to do on the plain-speaking front.

Anyway, this brings us to the meat of our story. Apparently Paul Romer, highly-respected macroeconomist and scourge of lazy thinking, decided to start a campaign to improve World Bank writing. He was well placed to do this since he is, these days, the chief economist of the World Bank. Here is the Financial Times:

Circulating a draft of the upcoming World Development Report, Mr Romer warned against bank staff trying to pile their own pet projects and messages into the report. The tendency, he argued, had diluted the impact of past reports and led to a proliferation of “ands”.

....“A WDR, like a knife, has to be narrow to penetrate deeply,” he added. “To drive home the importance of focus, I’ve told the authors that I will not clear the final report if the frequency of ‘and’ exceeds 2.6%.”...The use of the word “and” over the years had doubled to almost 7 per cent in World Bank reports, Mr Romer pointed out in a January memo to his staff.

And Bloomberg:

Romer expressed to those around him that the department should communicate more clearly, dive right into public debates, and align its work with the institution’s goals of ending extreme poverty and reducing inequality....Romer asked for shorter emails and insisted presentations get straight to the point, cutting staff off if they talked too long, said another person familiar with the matter. He canceled a regular publication that didn’t have a clear purpose, one of the people said.

....Romer said the limit on “and” was a “gimmick” he used to show he’s serious about good writing. “They’ve worked it down to 3.4 percent. They said, ‘We’re getting there’.”

It seems to me that Romer is cheating. If you take the lowest and highest numbers from the Stanford report, use of and has gone from about 2.9 percent to 5.5 percent. But using outliers isn't kosher. An eyeball regression suggests that the real increase has been from 3.1 percent to 4.5 percent. That's not great, but not quite so horrible, either. But then again, maybe the report Romer commissioned came up with different numbers. Who knows?

In any case, my guess is that the proliferation of and has less to do with "pet projects" and more to do with bureaucratic dynamics. If you leave out knowledge-sharing, the communications staff get upset. If you leave out client orientation, the field workers get upset. If you leave out poverty reduction, the poverty folks get upset. So it's easier just to cut and paste them all in to keep everyone from getting upset. Who needs the grief?

The ending of this story is a sad one: the World Bank staff rebelled and Romer no longer manages the research group. "They felt under-appreciated," he said. "It reflected a kind of siege mentality that I can't quite understand." It's possible, of course, that they were on high alert already. After all, shortly before he took over at the World Bank Romer gave a speech in which he called modern macroeconomics a "pseudoscience" that was now "post-real." This probably gave him a rough start managing a group of macroeconomists.

As for better writing at the World Bank, I wouldn't count on it. The key imperative for anyone in a big bureaucracy is to make sure that (a) you don't offend anyone, and (b) no one can blame you for anything. In a big international bureaucracy, this imperative is even stronger since God only knows who you might accidentally offend if you choose the wrong words. Mushspeak is a natural reaction to this.

1From parataxis, "the placing together of sentences, clauses, or phrases without a conjunctive word or words."

Categories: Politics

Thursday Evening Open Thread: America’s Embarrasment-in-Chief

Balloon Juice - 3 hours 47 min ago


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Look, Donald, I’m dyslexic (too), so it’s hard for me to read something out loud and not sound like a moron. That’s why, when I know I’ll have to do so, I always practice my script in advance. It’s a two-minute speech, you putz! You could’ve pre-read the thing during the commercials on your favorite Fox News shows! Get “your guys” to print it out on a big card, using Comic Sans!

Of course, the speech would still be a thuggish demand for tribute from a guy who famously can’t back up his threats, but at least you wouldn’t look like a second-grader told to read Granny’s hand-written blessing at the family Thanksgiving table…
***********

Apart from [facepalming], what’s on the agenda for the evening?

Categories: Politics

Stupid Republican Wants Conspiracy Investigated 'Because It's On The Internet'

Crooks and Liars - 3 hours 52 min ago
Stupid Republican Wants Conspiracy Investigated 'Because It's On The Internet'

Okay, that does it. I’m moving to Corpus Christi and running for congress, dammit.

Republican congressman Blake Farenthold often gets talked about at the beauty salon. That’s because he is a gluttonous, gap-toothed, knuckle dragging, ducky pajama wearing, idiot man who is as worthless as a four card flush.

All over the news is a story about Sean Hannity ranting for weeks about the young man killed in Washington, DC being the source of the DNC leaks. It is fake news, has been proven to be fake news, and the murder victim’s parents and brother have begged Hannity to stop it. Fox News and Hannity have backed off the story and one particularly insane story about it has been removed from the Fox News website.

Everyone thought this conspiracy theory went the same way as the story that Hillary Clinton ran a child pornography ring in the basement of a Washington, DC pizza joint that doesn’t even have a basement.

But, no, some damn fool told Blake about it.

And Blake says we need to investigate it because “it’s on the internet.”

Out loud. He said that crap out loud. Hellfire, there’s even a video of it via CNN.

[embed eid="24080" /]

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Categories: Politics

The Bob Cesca Show: Biggus Dickus

Little Green Footballs - 4 hours 42 min ago

http://bobcesca.com/podcast/052517/BCS_052517.mp3?_=1

Today's program from our podcasting affiliate, The Bob Cesca Show:

Biggus Dickus: It's Thuggish Thursday with the great Jacki Schechner; GOP candidate assaults Guardian reporter; Rick Wilson's outstanding tweetstorm; Trump embarrasses the United States with profoundly stupid NATO speech; The brand new CBO report on Trumpcare; McConnell's worried about the votes for Trumpcare; Bob's theory on kompromat; England refusing to share intelligence on Manchester attack with America; and more.

Categories: Politics

Trump: I'll Put a Stop to Germany Selling Cars in the US

Kevin Drum - 4 hours 50 min ago

This from Der Spiegel:

US President Donald Trump complained bitterly about the German trade surplus on his meeting with the EU top in Brussels. "The Germans are evil, very evil," said Trump. This was learned by the SPIEGEL from participants in the meeting. Trump said, "Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US, and we'll stop that."

....According to a report from the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", the EU side was terrified about the lack of awareness of the Americans about trade policy. Apparently, it was unclear to the guests that the EU countries concluded trade agreements only jointly.

Two comments. First of all, this is a remarkably lifelike translation from Google Translate. There were a few hiccups elsewhere, and I doubt that Trump called the Germans "evil." I'm guessing he called them "nasty," which Spiegel translated to "böse," which Google then translated back to "evil." Nevertheless, I could read the entire article and figure out what everything meant without any trouble.

Second, forgodssake, when are the Trumpies going to learn that they can't do a trade deal with only Germany? It's the whole EU or nothing. Last month we heard reports that Angela Merkel had to tell Trump a dozen times before he finally got it, but it sounds like he's already forgotten.

Categories: Politics

It's Easy To Imagine The Pope's Gift Backfiring

Crooks and Liars - 4 hours 52 min ago
It's Easy To Imagine The Pope's Gift Backfiring

You probably know about this:

Pope Francis joined an international chorus urging Donald Trump to meet U.S. commitments on climate change in talks at the Vatican Wednesday.

Francis gave the U.S. president a copy of his 2015 encyclical calling for urgent, drastic cuts in fossil-fuel emissions after a half-hour meeting in his private study.

Francis’s choice of gift suggests he is adding his voice to those pressing Trump not to renege on the Paris accord, which is the cornerstone of global efforts to limit climate change.....

“Thank you, thank you,” Trump told Francis as they shook hands after the meeting. “I won’t forget what you said.”

Charlie Pierce called this "some expert trolling" on the pope's part. Dave Weigel called it "trolling of biblical proportions."

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Categories: Politics

Florida Man Admits GOP-Russia Collusion

Balloon Juice - 4 hours 56 min ago

Via TPM:

A Republican political operative in Florida asked the alleged Russian hacker who broke into Democratic Party organizations’ servers at the height of the 2016 campaign to pass him stolen documents, according to a report Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

In return, that operative received valuable Democratic voter-turnout analyses, which the newspaper found at least one GOP campaign used to its advantage. The hacker went on to flag that same data to Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of Donald Trump’s who briefly advised his presidential campaign, and who is currently under federal investigation for potential collusion with Russia.

The Wall Street Journal’s report presents the clearest allegations to date of collusion between people connected to Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The Florida man in question is GOP consultant Aaron Nevins. A campaign consultant for U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) admitted to using the stolen information to his candidate’s advantage. Funny that the tip of the iceberg would emerge in Florida of all places.

PS: I hope this story puts some focus back on the fact that other elections were tampered with — not just the presidential race. They’re going to keep doing it if we don’t stop them.

PPS: The funniest part of the story is that Roger Stone admits he received the stolen info but says he didn’t share it with anyone. As if the original ratfucker would leave a rat unfucked! It is to laugh…

Categories: Politics

Is GOP assailant Greg Gianforte still a 'wonderful guy'? Trump and Pence spinelessly won't say

Daily Kos - 5 hours 32 min ago

Here’s how Donald Trump endorsed the GOP candidate for Montana’s at-large seat in a robocall released on Wednesday:

“You have to get to the polls tomorrow to vote for my friend, Republican Greg Gianforte, for Congress. He's a wonderful guy…”

Mike Pence also recorded a robocall and then some—campaigning with Gianforte in Montana.

“We need more allies in Congress to make America great again,” Pence said, “and we need Greg Gianforte.”

So now that Gianforte wrapped his hands around a reporter’s neck in a fit of rage for asking him a question and wound up with an assault charge, what are Trump and Pence saying? Nada.

x

Good god. Grow a pair, will ya? The guy assaulted someone without provocation other than feeling a bit testy, just because, ya know. So yeah, hit the guy. I mean, Trump’s probably jealous Gianforte beat him to such a deplorable act; but Pence, Mr. Family Values guy—really, have some self-respect, buddy. 

If this overt display of spinelessness ticks you off, remember that you can register to vote in Montana right up until the last moment. 

Categories: Politics

People whose names were used in fake anti-net neutrality astroturf demand FCC delete comments

Daily Kos - 5 hours 49 min ago

News that the Federal Communications Commission would not disregard hundreds of thousands of identical anti-net neutrality comments made by bots is not sitting well with some of the people whose names were stolen and attached to those comments. They are in fact open internet supporters, and are demanding that those comments be tossed.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signed by 14 people, the group offers support for the principle of net neutrality, after the fake comments under their names called for the end of those rules.

They also called for the comments to be removed.

“We are disturbed by reports that indicate you have no plans to remove these fraudulent comments from the public docket,” the group wrote in a letter posted on Fight for the Future's web site.

“Whoever is behind this stole our names and addresses, publicly exposed our private information without our permission, and used our identities to file a political statement we did not sign onto.”

Here's what they're demanding in that letter:

  • Notify all who have been impacted by this attack
  • Remove all of the fraudulent comments, including the ones made in our names, from the public docket immediately
  • Publicly disclose any information the FCC may have about the group or person behind the 450,000+ fake comments
  • Call for an investigation by the appropriate authorities into possible violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (“making false statements”) and other relevant laws.

At the least—the very, very least—they should do the first two of those demands. In this of all issues—the open internet—they should be operating with complete transparency, not to mention technological competence. That seems to be asking too much of Trump's FCC under Ajit Pai.

We'll keep fighting. Sign the petition to send the FCC and our elected officials in D.C. a clear message that we won’t stand by and let them kill net neutrality.

Categories: Politics

DeVos Says School Choice Means No Gay Families Allowed

Crooks and Liars - 5 hours 52 min ago
DeVos Says School Choice Means No Gay Families Allowed

Betsy DeVos testified today before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education in regards to Trump's disastrous 2018 Budget. And just like her confirmation hearing, DeVos refused to answer any questions that would expose her true agenda of funding bigoted religious schools with taxpayer dollars.

Bloomington, IN is home to Lighthouse Christian Academy, a Christian school that receives over $665,000 in state taxpayer funded vouchers. Yet in their handout, they flatly state that:

The Bible prohibits specific behaviors and limits marriage to a covenant relationship between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:21-25; Ephesians 5:22-33). LCA will instruct students in these teachings. Behaviors prohibited in the Bible include, but are not limited to:

 Heterosexual activity outside of one man-one-woman marriage. For example, premarital sex, cohabitation, or adultery (John 8:1-11; I Corinthians 6:9-20; Hebrews 13:4);
 Homosexual or bisexual activity or any form of sexual immorality (Romans 1:21-27; I
Corinthians 6:9-20);
 Practicing alternate gender identity or any other identity or behavior that violates God’s
ordained distinctions between the two sexes, male and female (Genesis 1:26-27;
Deuteronomy 22:5);

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Categories: Politics

ICE agents ate breakfast before arresting immigrant employees, restaurant owner says

Daily Kos - 6 hours 9 min ago

ICE agents in Ann Arbor, Michigan, enjoyed a breakfast of waffles with bacon and egg whites made by immigrant employees before rounding up at least three of them in a raid, the business owner said. ICE agents stationed themselves at the restaurant’s entrance and exit while two others ordered food and asked about one particular employee, who turned out to be not present at the time. But instead of leaving, agents carried out what appeared to be “collateral arrests,” a crass term ICE uses to describe when “bystanders are … taken in if they are suspected to be undocumented, even if they have committed no crime”. From Huffington Post:

Line cook Carlos Rivera-Ochoa took out the trash in the back when officers slapped handcuffs on him, according to Lelcaj. Rivera-Ochoa told MLive he carries his permanent residency card with him, and he was released shortly after being taken into a vehicle and fingerprinted.

But when three other cooks in the kitchen saw officers confront Rivera-Ochoa, they “panicked,” Lelcaj said, and ran out the front door and were then arrested.

Rachael Yong Yow, ICE public affairs officer, said the agents were “conducting a targeted enforcement action” and arrested the three men on immigration violations. Two men who were detained had unlawfully entered the country, Yong Yow said, and the third had entered lawfully “but did not depart in accordance with the terms of his status.”

However, the restaurant owner claims her business “goes through a vetting process to make sure potential employees have the right documentation to work in the United States” and that “those taken into custody do have the proper documents to work in the country,” but “they did not have the papers on hand when the agents were at Sava’s.” 

There’s still conflicting reports about the status of the men who were arrested and hauled off to detention, though Newsweek reports “the people taken into custody were released on Wednesday evening, after the restaurant owner’s company, Savco Hospitality, sent the workers’ documents to ICE.” What isn’t up in the air, though, is the fact that the worker with a green card, a Latino man, was detained and fingerprinted. Guess ICE agents just thought he looked the part of a “bad hombre”?

"They just slapped some handcuffs on him," Nicki Sanchez, Rivera-Ochoa’s wife, said about his detainment. "Not only is that offensive, he was embarrassed in front of the whole restaurant. Why didn't they ask him before they detained him?" The truth is he shouldn’t have been asked “papers please” in the first place—after all, were any of the white employees asked for their papers as well?—but that’s the kind of world an unshackled and emboldened ICE wants.

Categories: Politics

McConnell: CBO Trumpcare score just a 'procedural step' for Senate to start work on the big tax cuts

Daily Kos - 6 hours 22 min ago

House Speaker Paul Ryan can now send Zombie Trumpcare over to the Senate, three weeks after it was passed without a Congressional Budget Office score. Now that the score is in, it meets the requirements for budget reconciliation for the Senate to take it. But after that awful CBO score, some in the Senate don't want anything to do with it.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), one of the few Senate Republicans expected to face a tough reelection contest next year, said the House bill “does not do enough to address Nevada’s Medicaid population or protect Nevadans with pre-existing conditions.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) also criticized the House bill for failing to adequately protect Americans with pre-existing medical conditions.

“Congress’s focus must be to lower premiums with coverage which passes the Jimmy Kimmel Test,” Cassidy said in statement, referencing the late-night talk-show host who garnered national attention last month with his tearful monologue about his newborn’s heart surgery. “The AHCA does not. I am working with Senate colleagues to do so.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn't offer an opinion, emerging from his shell to say that the CBO report was just a simple "procedural step" that would pave the way for the Senate to do its work. Which will actually be done by staff while the senators are off having their Memorial Day recess. And which will still likely gut Medicaid in order to give those big fat tax breaks to their buddies.

How much the secret Senate death panel meetings have accomplished isn't clear and it's kind of a surprise that they're getting down to the drafting already, since just Wednesday McConnell said that the path to 50 yes votes was unclear. Maybe he's decided to take the Ryan approach, and jam this through as quickly as he can, thinking he can twist 49 arms hard enough.

But that's a big chance, considering all the senators are going to be facing their constituents next week, with the brand-new CBO score fresh on their minds.

Categories: Politics

Lunchtime Photo

Kevin Drum - 6 hours 22 min ago

Here's a morning glory with a busy little bee inside. Actually, two bees, I guess. Isn't it nice to see everyone doing the job nature has assigned them?

UPDATE: Not a bee! I thought it looked a little small. Apparently it's a hoverfly, or some related critter, mimicking a bee.

Categories: Politics