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FEMA Head Blames Hurricane Deaths in Puerto Rico on ‘Spousal Abuse’

September 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Gwendolyn Smith, The New Civil Rights Movement

Brock Long appeared to try and give cover to Donald Trump.


Brock Long, the administrator of FEMA, echoed Trump's statements disputing the death toll in Puerto Rico last year on Meet The Press today, going so far as to claim some of the hurricane-related deaths may be incidents of “spousal abuse.”

Long was being interviewed in large part over FEMA efforts with Hurricane Florence, but the topic shifted to Hurricane Maria and President Trump's accusations that the 2,975 deaths reported by the Puerto Rico government were inflated by Democrats to make the president look bad.

Initially, Long attempted to deflect, claiming the president was “taken out of context” when he said there were no lessons to learn from the response in Puerto Rico and blamed the local government and the private sector for the botched response.

When pressed on the disparity of death counts, Long claimed that FEMA only takes counts from local coroners, noting that the number of deaths were “all over the place.”

Long then attempted to break down these cases into “direct deaths” and “indirect deaths.”

“IN MY OPINION, WHAT WE'VE GOT TO DO IS FIGURE OUT WHY PEOPLE DIE FROM DIRECT DEATHS, WHICH IS THE WIND, THE WATER, AND THE WAVES — YOU KNOW, BUILDINGS COLLAPSING WHICH IS PROBABLY WHERE THE 65 NUMBER CAME FROM, AND THEN THERE'S INDIRECT DEATHS.”

“SO THE GEORGE WASHINGTON STUDY LOOKED AT WHAT HAPPENED SIX MONTHS AFTER THE FACT — AND WHAT HAPPENS IS… YOU MIGHT SEE MORE DEATHS INDIRECTLY OCCUR AS TIME GOES ON BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE HEART ATTACKS DUE TO STRESS, THEY FALL OFF THEIR HOUSE TRYING TO FIX THE ROOF, THEY DIE IN CAR CRASHES BECAUSE THEY WENT THROUGH AN INTERSECTION WHERE THE STOP LIGHTS WEREN'T WORKING.”

“YOU KNOW THE OTHER THING, THERE'S ALL KINDS OF STUDIES ON THIS THAT WE TAKE A LOOK AT. SPOUSAL ABUSE GOES THROUGH THE ROOF. YOU CAN'T BLAME SPOUSAL ABUSE AFTER A DISASTER ON ANYBODY.”

Long has been under fire for his misuse of FEMA vehicles.

Watch the video below:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Kavanaugh Accuser Goes Public With Her Story

September 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Gwendolyn Smith, The New Civil Rights Movement

Christine Blasey Ford claimed Bret Kavanaugh assaulted her when she was 17.


The woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assault has gone public, detailing what happened to her in high school in the early 1980s in an exposé in the Washington Post

Christine Blasey Ford is a professor of clinical psychology at Palo Alto University. She claims that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a house party in 1982. At the time Kavanaugh was 17 years old.

Ford felt that she had to come forward, especially after a reporter from BuzzFeed showed up at her home, and another reporter began to question her colleagues.

“THESE ARE ALL THE ILLS THAT I WAS TRYING TO AVOID. NOW I FEEL LIKE MY CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY IS OUTWEIGHING MY ANGUISH AND TERROR ABOUT RETALIATION,” SHE SAID TO THE WASHINGTON POST.

Ford alleges that Kavanaugh and another friend of his, Mark Judge, cornered her in a bedroom. Kavanaugh pinned her down to a bed, griped her, and attempted to remove her clothing. Kavanaugh also put his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming.

She only escaped when Judge also jumped into the fray, knocking them all onto the floor.

Ford had sent a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) earlier this Summer. The Senator presented it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and addressed it last week in conjunction with the Kavanaugh hearings.

Ford discussed the assault for the first time in private, during couple therapy with her husband in 2012. While the notes from that session do detail the attack, they do not name her attacker.

Kavanaugh and Judge both deny the incident.

  …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Here's Why the Republican Party Has Abandoned Reality

September 16, 2018 in Blogs

By David Akadjian, Daily Kos

It's Trump's GOP now.


This year, the Republican candidate for governor in Georgia was decided in a special runoff election between Brian Kemp and Casey Cagle, the top two finishers in the Republican primary. Before the runoff election, Casey Cagle was secretly recordedtalking about the craziness of the Georgia Republican primary. He said:

The problem is in a primary—and you and I are just talking off-the-record frank—they don’t give a shit about those things. Okay. In the general election, they care about it. Okay. But they don’t care about it in a primary. This primary felt like it was who had the biggest gun, who had the biggest truck, and who could be the craziest.

Kemp quickly pounced on these remarks and used them to win the runoff by 40 points—which, ironically, validated Cagle’s remarks.

Here in Ohio, I saw the same thing in our race for governor. The entire race was about  who was the most conservative. Mary Taylor called Mike DeWine a “liberal” and DeWine said Taylor was a criminal, so “lock her up.”

You’ve probably seen something similar in a race where you live. Conspiracy theorists are falling out of trees in Republican primaries.

So why is this going, on and what can we learn from it?  

Politicians are cowards

Almost a year before the 2016 election, Devin Nunes spoke with The New Yorker about then-House Speaker John Boehner’s ouster.

Nunes told the author that one of the biggest changes he’s seen since his arrival in 2002 is the rise of online media outlets and for-profit groups that spread bad or even false information:

I used to spend ninety per cent of my constituent response time on people who call, e-mail, or send a letter, such as, ‘I really like this bill, H.R. 123,’ and they really believe in it because they heard about it through one of the groups that they belong to, but their view was based on actual legislation. Ten per cent were about ‘Chemtrails from airplanes are poisoning me’ to every other conspiracy theory that’s out there. And that has essentially flipped on its head.

Today, the calls and emails are 90 percent about …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Ted Cruz is Mailing Elderly Voters Contribution Spam Disguised as County Summons

September 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

Well, this is despicable.


What to do when the only Republican who will fund raise with you is a discredited, odious joke of a so called President?

Try to scam elderly voters of course…

Received this for my 88-year-old grandma. Says it's a summons from Travis County, but is actually asking for money for @tedcruz . Did your campaign authorize this? Is this even legal? Shame on you. That's one more @BetoORourke voter. pic.twitter.com/NcFoOCvjFj

— Sean Owen (@sean_r_owen) September 16, 2018

It’s not like Cruz hasn’t done anything like this before:

You're right , you did -https://t.co/tLh6455DUw

— Nalini Moorthy (@KnollMoor) September 16, 2018

From that New Yorker article:

“Given its obsession with political science, it’s no surprise that the Cruz campaign decided to adopt the “social pressure” techniques to turn out voters in Iowa for Monday night’s caucuses. On Saturday, Twitter came alive with pictures from voters in the state who received mailers from the Cruz campaign. At the top of the mailers, in a bold red box, are the words “VOTING VIOLATION.” Below that warning is an explanation:

“”You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.””

One Twitter user tells you what to do if you get one of the fake summons:

Or, you could just send your pocket Change to Beto!

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump Defender Alan Dershowitz Drops a Truth Bomb About Manafort's Plea Deal: 'A Very Bad Day for' the President

September 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Preza, AlterNet

“If you don’t know what a cooperator is saying then it’s a bad day for you because you’re vulnerable.”


Alan Dershowitz on Sunday flipped the script on Donald Trump, telling NBC’s Chuck Todd that news of Paul Manafort’s plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller is bad news for the president.

Dershowitz argued Manafort should have agreed to cooperate with Mueller before he was found guilty on 8 counts last month before pointing out the “deal says that Manafort will cooperate on anything the special counsel asks him about. There are no limits.”

The frequent Trump defender then suggested Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is ignoring the harsh reality of Manafort’s guilt plea.

“I understand why Rudy Giuliani wants to put this in the most positive light,” Dershowitz acknowledged. “But this was a very bad day for the Trump administration. It’s very bad because he doesn’t know what Manafort is saying and [Trump] can’t count on Manafort saying things that the special counsel already knows.”

“If you don’t know what a cooperator is saying then it’s a bad day for you because you’re vulnerable.”

Watch below:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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In Bernie Sanders vs. Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Only Workers Lose

September 16, 2018 in Economics

By Ryan Bourne

Ryan Bourne

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fight against corporate America
over low worker pay has progressed in the Stop Bad Employers by
Zeroing Out Subsidies Act (aka the Stop BEZOS Act), targeted at Amazon and
Walmart. Bernie claims taxpayers subsidize these corporations
because many employees receive government welfare through food
stamps, school meals, rental assistance or federal contributions to
Medicaid. To stop this, his bill would tax companies with 500 employees or more
dollar-for-dollar for the value of benefits received by
workers.

This is an extraordinarily dangerous policy based upon major
economic misunderstandings. In fact, it is difficult to think of a
worse way of helping lower income workers.

However much Sanders insists otherwise, in competitive
industries, workers’ pay and benefits tend to match the value of
the work they’re doing. Firms cannot “underpay,” or else they risk
losing employees to other businesses, while “overpaying” would be
financial suicide. Yet this bill does not raise workers’
productivity, just the cost of hiring welfare recipients. Sanders’
“Corporate Welfare Tax” threatens welfare recipients’ access to
jobs.

Taxing companies who
employ welfare recipients might raise pay rates for some workers,
but its main effect will be to make large numbers of people
unemployable.

The U.S. Census Bureau shows a single-parent household
with two children earning $20,000 per year receives (on average)
$2,100 in food stamps and $770 in school meal support. The federal
government finances about 63 percent of Medicaid spending, too. Add in
housing assistance and it’s not inconceivable that households like
this receive upward of $10,000 in the benefits Sanders singles out.
Under Sanders’ legislation, the cost of employing a single mother
in that situation will rise dramatically, through a combination of
the tax and/or higher wages. She probably would lose her job,
becoming more dependent on federal government benefits as a
result.

Making workers unemployable

Despite Sanders’ professed intentions, his bill risks branding
millions of workers as too expensive to hire. Even though he plans
to outlaw employers asking employees questions about welfare
received, companies will engage in significant profiling to weed
out workers in receipt of large welfare payments.

Working-age people over 45 cost almost twice as much in Medicaid as younger
workers. The tax liability for employees with disabled dependents
could be huge and uncertain, whacking companies years after medical
care is delivered. Given companies hire people to undertake given
tasks, the tax therefore encourages businesses to opt for young
men, those available full-time, the childless or machines.
Part-time work seekers could be particularly hard hit, given
Sanders’ tax charges for dollars received in welfare benefits
irrespective of an employee’s hours.

Sanders stems from …read more

Source: OP-EDS