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Congress returns to shutdown threats from an out-of-control White House

Daily Kos - 8 hours 31 min ago

It's a short but big week in Washington as Congress returns from two weeks of recess. The Senate convenes Monday afternoon and the House doesn't wander in until Tuesday, when they'll face a potential government shutdown at the end of the week. We've been here before, way too many times, but now there's an entirely new dynamic—a White House that is making the shutdown threats and throwing the process into total chaos as they keep throwing in new issues to muck things up.

Democrats have made their demands—funding for Obamacare's cost sharing repayments to keep the marketplace stable, permanent funding for retired coal miners' health benefits, and no border wall. Over the past few weeks, bipartisan negotiations on those issues have been stumbling along because those are actually all things House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would like to achieve, too. They're getting pressured on the Obamacare payments from the entire healthcare industry as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Settling the issue for coal miners is perhaps less urgent, but McConnell made a solemn promise to the coal miners of Kentucky that he'd take care of them this year. Passing wall funding isn't going to be easy in either chamber. So getting to agreement would probably not be as hard as previous confrontation when the demands coming from the House were Freedom Caucus-inspired and outlandish.

Now it's popular vote loser Trump's turn to make the outlandish demands, striving for something, anything to call an accomplishment in his first 100 days. He's throwing everything into the mix and making threats left and right to complicate the week. He's already tried to hold Obamacare payments hostage to border wall funding to make Democrats cave, a challenge Democrats laughed at, with the reminder that Trump promised Mexico would be paying for that wall. Plenty of Republicans remember that promise, too. Trump's latest tweet on the situation is not convincing anyone.

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Categories: Politics

Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into Russia has no staff, no witnesses, no progress

Daily Kos - 8 hours 35 min ago

With Devin Nunes leading the House Intelligence Committee down the “unmasking” blind alley, there’s been a general feeling that at least the Senate investigation appeared to be on track. Multiple articles were written praising Republican Committee Chairman Richard Burr who, despite his own connections to Trump, made good noises about being impartial, country first, etc. But while the House investigation finally seems to be getting back down to business, the truth seems to be that Richard Burr has been following one of the core precepts of Donald Trump: Talk big, but do nothing.

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As the Daily Beast reported over the weekend, Burr hasn’t moved the Senate investigation even one step forward. They have no staff …

The investigation does not have a single staffer dedicated to it full-time, and those staff members working on it part-time do not have significant investigative experience. 

They have talked to none of the principals …

No interviews have been conducted with key individuals suspected of being in the Trump-Russia orbit: not Michael Flynn, not Roger Stone, not Carter Page, not Paul Manafort, and not Jared Kushner, according to two sources familiar with the committee’s procedures.
 

And Yahoo News shows how confidence that the senior circuit was going to handle this thing properly has been strongly eroded.

More than three months after the Senate Intelligence Committee launched its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — including allegations of collusion by associates of President Trump — the panel has made little progress and is increasingly stymied by partisan divisions that are jeopardizing the future of the inquiry, according to multiple sources involved in the probe.

By “partisan divisions” they mean “Republicans refuse to do anything.”

Categories: Politics

Police warn of IRS phone scam

Medina Gazette - 8 hours 38 min ago

Lodi police are warning of a scam using local phone numbers to scare residents into believing that they are being investigated for IRS fraud.

Categories: Misc

Police warn of IRS phone scam

Medina Gazette - 8 hours 38 min ago

Lodi police are warning of a scam using local phone numbers to scare residents into believing that they are being investigated for IRS fraud.

Categories: Misc

Mayor laments departure of Medina Hospital president

Medina Gazette - 8 hours 40 min ago
Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said Friday that Dr. Thomas Tulisiak's commitment to the community came to mind when he learned of Tulisiak's resignation.
Categories: Misc

Mayor laments departure of Medina Hospital president

Medina Gazette - 8 hours 40 min ago
Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said Friday that Dr. Thomas Tulisiak's commitment to the community came to mind when he learned of Tulisiak's resignation.
Categories: Misc

Brunswick Schools: Allowing graduates to walk

Medina Gazette - 8 hours 41 min ago
Brunswick Schools is considering a policy that would allow seniors who meet district academic standards but fail a portion of state-mandated tests to participate in graduation ceremonies.
Categories: Misc

Brunswick Schools: Allowing graduates to walk

Medina Gazette - 8 hours 41 min ago
Brunswick Schools is considering a policy that would allow seniors who meet district academic standards but fail a portion of state-mandated tests to participate in graduation ceremonies.
Categories: Misc

Nancy Pelosi: Trump Is 'Expressing A Sign Of Weakness' Over His Wall

Crooks and Liars - 8 hours 47 min ago

On NBC's Meet The Press, Rep. Nancy Pelosi called Donald Trump's bellyaching over his proposed southern border wall as "expressing a sign of weakness" for a president who can't keep us safe as well as it being an immoral act.

Chuck Todd asked, "Is there any scenario that you will support or that Democrats will help keep the government open if there is money designated to build the wall?"

Pelosi replied that since Republicans control Congress, it's up to them to keep the government open.

She said. "The wall is, in my view, immoral, expensive, unwise, and when the president says "well I promised a wall during my campaign," I don't think he said he was going to pass billions of dollars of cost of the wall on to the taxpayer."

After making believe Trump's OMB Director had a valid argument about election consequences, he asked, "What's wrong with giving the president his money for a border wall in exchange for a priority that is not his, keeping Obamacare fully functional and funded, as a priority that's important to you? What's wrong with that kind of horse trading in Washington?"

Pelosi replied by saying the all itself is what's wrong.

"The president, I think, talking about this wall is expressing a sign of weakness. He's saying, "I can't control our borders. I have to build a wall." We certainly would like to-- We have a responsibility to control our borders. Building a wall is not an answer, not here or any place, " Rep. Pelosi said.

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Categories: Politics

Unroll.me 'Heartbroken' After Being Caught Selling User Data To Uber

Slashdot - 8 hours 47 min ago
The chief executive of email unsubscription service Unroll.me has said he is "heartbroken" that users felt betrayed by the fact that his company monetises the contents of their inbox by selling their data to companies such as Uber. Over the weekend, The New York Times published a profile of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, in which, among other things, it reported that following an acquisition by shopping app Slice in 2014, Unroll.me developed a side-business: selling aggregated data about users to the very apps they were unsubscribing from. Uber was one of Slice's big data arm Slice Intelligence's customers. CNET adds: While Unroll.me did not specifically admit to selling data to Uber, it has apologised for not being "explicit enough" in explaining how its free service worked. "It was heartbreaking to see that some of our users were upset to learn about how we monetize our free service," CEO Jojo Hedaya said on the Unroll.me blog. While reiterating that "all data is completely anonymous and related to purchases only," Hedaya admitted, "we need to do better for our users" by offering clearer information on its website.

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Categories: Misc

Trump demands his wall, Republicans are afraid to fund it, and media will want to blame Democrats

Daily Kos - 8 hours 54 min ago

If the government shuts down over funding for Donald Trump’s precious border wall, who will be to blame? Be prepared for an avalanche of “both sides” claims from journalists—even where their own reporting doesn’t back that up. Take this self-contradictory three-reporter effort from Politico. According to the lede:

President Donald Trump and Congress are on a collision course over government funding this week, as the White House demands money for a border wall with Mexico and Democrats vow it will never see a penny.

Democrats vow? Good for them, and it’s a crucial piece of blocking border wall billions, but that’s not all that’s going on here.

Even Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the former Homeland Security Committee chairman who wrote the 2006 law authorizing the wall’s construction, said the White House should push for it later in the year.

“There’s going to be compromises going on,” King said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “Once the government is up and running, and stays open and running, then we have to fight this out over the next year.”

Sen. Marco Rubio echoed those sentiments:

“We cannot shut down the government right now,” Rubio said on CBS' "Face the Nation," later adding that the border fight is “worth having for 2018” funding rather than for the current fiscal year. “The last thing we can afford is to send a message to the world is that the United States government, by the way, is partially functioning.”

Democratic opposition to the Trump border wall is a necessary but not a sufficient condition here, so any “both sides” reporting—and this article literally contains the claim that “both sides are puffing up their chests”—is just silly, because there are at a minimum three sides here: the Trump side, Democrats, and congressional Republicans. And congressional Republicans may have embraced Trump as the best way for them to pass their hateful agenda, but that doesn’t mean they have the nerve to actually pass his agenda.

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: How government works now

Daily Kos - 8 hours 56 min ago

This cartoon was initially inspired by Trump’s “Obama tapped my wires” tweets, and the laughably supportive GOP response. It was supposed to run a couple weeks ago, but I ended up bumping it for a last-minute cartoon on the Syria missile strike. Bannon had just been kicked off the NSC at that point; I wasn’t entirely sure he’d still be in the White House by the time this one finally ran. It’s not easy staying ahead of the news these days. (But as always, if you want to support my ongoing attempts, please consider joining Sparky’s List!)
 

Categories: Politics

Comment: With the iPhone 8, Apple appears to be tearing up its own rulebook

9to5Mac - 9 hours 10 min ago

Growing evidence that the iPhone 8 may go on sale significantly later than the usual September timeframe speaks volumes about the very different approach Apple is taking to this year’s flagship model. It is breaking not just one, but two of the cardinal rules in the How To Be Apple manual.

Rule 1 is that the company avoids ‘bleeding edge’ technology. When new tech rolls around, the company watches and waits while other manufacturers do the trial-and-error bit. Apple launches only when it is satisfied that the tech is stable and that it has figured out the optimal way to employ it.

We saw this with the iPod. The first portable media player was invented in 1979, and the first actual mp3 player went on sale in 1998. Apple waited until 2001 to release the iPod. The first smartphones went on sale in the mid-1990s; the iPhone wasn’t released until more than a decade later. The first phone to have a fingerprint reader was the Motorola Atrix in 2011; Apple didn’t add one to the iPhone until two years later …

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Categories: Misc

Meet George Jetson

Balloon Juice - 9 hours 12 min ago

When losing $2.8 billion in one year is harshing your mellow, there’s always vaporware:

On Tuesday, Uber will kick off its very first “Elevate Summit,” a three-day conference in Dallas on vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft — more commonly known as “flying cars.”[…]

These VTOL (pronounced vee-toll) aircraft would operate using fixed wings with tilt prop-rotors. In other words, they would take off vertically like a helicopter, and then accelerate into forward flight using wing-borne lift.

Most notably, Uber said it wasn’t going to build its own flying car, but stood ready to “contribute to the nascent but growing VTOL ecosystem and to start to play whatever role is most helpful to accelerate this industry’s development.”

At least Uber isn’t building VTOL aircraft, because if they worked as well as their self-driving cars, they would be dropping from the sky on a regular basis. That would be some serious “disruption”.

Categories: Politics

Commentary: Cavaliers, with the obvious and large exception of LeBron James, are still impossible to figure out

Medina Gazette - 9 hours 26 min ago

With the Cavs on the verge of expunging the Indiana Pacers from the playoffs, what are we to make of the NBA’s most confounding team?

Categories: Misc

Commentary: Cavaliers, with the obvious and large exception of LeBron James, are still impossible to figure out

Medina Gazette - 9 hours 26 min ago

With the Cavs on the verge of expunging the Indiana Pacers from the playoffs, what are we to make of the NBA’s most confounding team?

Categories: Misc

KGI: iPhone 8 could launch in extremely limited supply in September

iDownloadBlog - 9 hours 33 min ago

According to the latest KGI Securities research note Monday, Apple’s iPhone 8 could be in extremely limited supply to end 2017. The note, obtained by MacRumors, blames the delay on significant hardware upgrades like a custom edge-to-edge OLED display panel, a redesigned thin-film 3D Touch module, 3D sensing cameras, ten-nanometer A11 Fusion processors and substrate-like printed circuit board.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo writes in the note that Apple’s suppliers are now expected to ramp up production of the handset as late as October or November versus the usual August-September timeframe for a new iPhone. As a result, Kuo believes that iPhone 8 will launch in September to face “severe supply shortages” for some time.... Read the rest of this post here

"KGI: iPhone 8 could launch in extremely limited supply in September" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Categories: Misc

DHS Secretary Doesn't Know How To Stop Home-Grown Terrorists

Crooks and Liars - 9 hours 47 min ago

This week, DHS Secretary John Kelly has made a lot of noise about the fact that sweeping raids and deportations are working, but it's all smoke for a far larger problem.

As Kelly admitted today on CBS' Face the Nation, he hasn't got the vaguest clue about how to stop homegrown terrorists, no matter whether they are ISIS sympathizers or sovereign citizens, apparently.

When John Dickerson pointed out that the attack in France came from a French-born citizen and asked Kelly what he could learn from that, Kelly threw his hands in the air. Verbally, at least.

He answered, "Obviously, you got the homegrown terrorists. I don't know how to stop that. I don't know how to detect that."

Staying with the Trump party line, he turned back to the border.

"You got other terrorist threats that come across the border," Kelly said. "I believe in the case of the murder, in the Paris shooting I believe he was homegrown. But, again, there are so many threats that come in from across border. And it's essential absolutely to control one's border."

The most recent spate of killings at the hands of domestic terrorists have not come across the border. They were born and raised here. But Kelly was undeterred.

Dickerson pressed him on homegrown terrorists a little later but Kelly stuck to his talking points.

"It's a big threat. Is it the number one threat? I think it's the most common threat.," he insisted. "I think the appeal I would make on the homegrown threat is if you see something, say something."

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Categories: Politics

Indians 7, White Sox 0: Carlos Carrasco goes 8 brilliant innings as Tribe posts 2nd straight shutout

Medina Gazette - 9 hours 48 min ago

CHICAGO — Carlos Carrasco can’t help but wonder what could have been last year.

Categories: Misc

Indians 7, White Sox 0: Carlos Carrasco goes 8 brilliant innings as Tribe posts 2nd straight shutout

Medina Gazette - 9 hours 48 min ago

CHICAGO — Carlos Carrasco can’t help but wonder what could have been last year.

Categories: Misc