The FDA is working to restore some food-safety inspections for products deemed high-risk, such as seafood and raw fruit, that have been suspended or delayed because of the government shutdown. “We’re taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we’re doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk…
Category Archives: politics
During the 2016 presidential campaign, we heard “Medicare for all” as the solution to insure all Americans. We are hearing it again now in 2019. Currently, Medicare is not 100 percent coverage at no cost to the insured. If politicians in D.C. can’t make it available without costs to those with Medicare now, how are they going to make it a reality to all Americans?
I am guilty of thinking that after paying into Medicare for more over 40 years, that once I reached 65, I would have healthcare insurance for free. I was mistaken.
Medicare has four (4) parts. The parts are explained in a handbook. As I write this, next to me is “The Official U.S. Government Medicare Handbook”. The subtitle is “Medicare and You, 2019.”
Medicare Part A is “premium free” and only covers hospital admissions, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and home health care. I found at this link that Medicare Part A has a $1,364 deductible for each benefit period. Benefit periods begin with admission to a hospital through the date of discharge. After 90 days of hospitalization, the insured is responsible for all hospital costs.
Medicare Part B covers doctor services. If an insured is admitted to a hospital without Medicare Part B, they are responsible for the cost of doctor services. There is a $185 deductible per year for Medicare Part B. After your deductible is met, Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of doctor services.
The current cost for Medicare Part B is $135.50 per month. That amount might be higher depending on annual income. Currently, most providers do not accept Medicare for vision and dental because what they pay for is limited. Read the rest of this entry
Mueller to testify, government secrecy, Supreme Court news, China-Canada tiff, NRATV, and ICE insight
By Robert A. Vella
He didn’t want to, but former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will comply with a subpoena to testify in public before the House Judiciary and House Intelligence committees next month. Whether or not Democrats will ask probing questions about his truncated prosecutorial decisions, as well as about his reluctance to investigate leads implicating President Trump in criminal behavior, will reveal how serious they really are about impeachment and their constitutional duty to check abuses of power by the executive branch. Government secrecy, a trademark of authoritarian regimes, is obviously increasing under Trump as Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are being undermined by administrative actions and policies on top of Monday’s egregious ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. Addition of the contentious citizenship question to the 2020 census has run into a logistical obstacle which can now only be overcome by overt intervention by the Supreme…
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Chicago has elected its first black, female mayor, becoming the largest U.S. city to do so, and she is a University of Michigan alum.
Lori Lightfoot also made history by becoming the first openly lesbian candidate to run for the office. Chicago is now the largest U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. Lightfoot earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UM in 1984, graduating with honors, before earning a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Chicago.
After receiving a full scholarship to the University of Chicago Law School, Lightfoot moved to Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. With the exception of a one year clerkship on the Michigan Supreme Court in Detroit, she has lived in Chicago since 1986.
Most recently, Lightfoot served as a senior equity partner in the Litigation and conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown LLP before announcing her candidacy for mayor in May 2018.
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“A Symbol of Renewed White Identity and Common Purpose” What Trump is to White Supremacists and Nationalists
Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
Yesterday in Christchurch New Zealand an Australian White Nationalist not only committed mass murder against Muslims at worship in Christchurch’s two mosques. Before he did so he released a 74 page manifesto on Twitter, and announced it on 8chan, a website devoted to White Supremacism, Racism, and war against Muslims, Jews, dark skinned immigrants, and people on the political left. When he made his attack he announced to his followers that it would be carried live on his Facebook page.
He killed 49 men, women and children in cold blood, and wounded many more, live-streaming the whole event. It was an event made for social media and it became viral before media outlets and YouTube attempted to scrub it from their servers, but be assured, it will keep popping up in other places because White Nationalists will publicize it, and ghoulish people will,watch it and…
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Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
On February 15th a U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant, who had served as an enlisted man in both the Marines and the Army National Guard was arrested. The man, Lieutenant Christopher Hasson has been charged with relatively minor gun and drug possession charges and will likely be charged with much more serious terrorism charges.
Hasson was caught because of how he used his work computer to research mass murders and was caught by a Coast Guard investigators using a program which monitors work computers for searches and activities to identify potential insider threats.
I read the news reports but did not write anything until today when I read the Court Filing by prosecutors from Justice Department in the District Court for Maryland. The filing https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/625-us-v-hasson/be7a4841596aba86cce4/optimized/full.pdf#page=1 is quite specific in what it alleges that Hasson was researching, preparing for, and his ultimate goal of a White Homeland…
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Today’s cable news carried the headlines about Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam. Northam is the 73rd Governor of Virginia, being elected in January 2018. He attended Eastern Virginia Medical School. He is a physician by occupation having served as an United States Army medical officer from 1984 to 1992. Northam completed pediatric residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, and did a child neurology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D. C. and John Hopkins Hospital. Since 1992, Northam had been a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA.
On February 1, 2019, a photo from Northam’s medical school yearbook’s page was released. It shows an image of a person alleged to be Northham in blackface standing next to a person dressed in the hood and robe of the Ku Klux Klan. A spokesman for Eastern Virginia Medical School confirmed that the image appeared in its 1984 yearbook.
I watched his press conference and could address Governor Northam’s excuses and inconsistencies, but there is something that weighs on me more. That something is why would a medical school allow such an environment? There is a presumptive thought that anyone who wants to practice medicine respects human lives regardless of skin color. Apparently, Eastern Virginia Medical School did not instill respect for all humans in their curriculum. Read the rest of this entry
Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony, claims ‘threats’ from President Trump and Rudy Giuliani
Trump’s veiled threats of blackmail or extortion on Cohen’s father-in-law are illegal. In my opinion, rather than depending on Congress to do more than use strong words, Cohen should file a criminal complaint against Guiliani and Trump.
WASHINGTON – Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and longtime fixer, announced through a spokesman Wednesday that he wouldn’t testify before Congress on Feb. 7 because of “threats” from the president.
“Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen’s continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen’s appearance will be postponed to a later date,” said Lanny Davis, a Cohen spokesman. “This is a time when Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first.”
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: Two weeks ago, I wrote the following regarding Michael Cohen’s scheduled congressional testimony:
Knowing Trump as Americans do now after two tumultuous years in office, it is conceivable that the president…
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This Washington Post video from the USA says about itself:
Furloughed employees rally against shutdown: ‘Stop playing politics with our lives’
From the World Socialist Web Site in the USA:
“We are being treated like pawns”
As payless payday looms, federal unions stage protests in US cities
By our reporter
11 January 2019
Friday will be the first payless payday for hundreds of thousands of federal workers forced to work without pay during the US government shutdown. Hundreds of thousands more are on furlough without pay, impacting everything from federal food inspections to environmental health and safety, services on Indian reservations and the operation of national parks.
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FDA looks to restart safety inspections for risky foods amid shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories
‘Never been more depressed’: Trump kills Graham effort to end shutdown — Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories
President Donald Trump has rejected a plan proposed by a bloc of Senate Republicans who had hoped to break an impasse over the government shutdown, leaving Congress and the White House with little obvious way out of the extended battle over Trump’s border wall.On the 20th day of the shutdown, the GOP group tried to…
Department of Justice lawyers representing Donald Trump have asked a federal appeals court to indefinitely postpone all filings in an appeal related to a suit that the governments of Maryland and Washington, D.C. filed over Trump’s alleged violation of profiting from business his Washington hotel does with foreign countries.
Their argument? Because they cannot work during a government shutdown. Politico reports;
“The Department does not know when funding will be restored by Congress,” Justice lawyers wrote. “Absent an appropriation, Department of Justice attorneys and employees are prohibited from working, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances, including ‘emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property’. … Undersigned counsel for the Department of Justice therefore requests a stay of briefing on the President’s mandamus petition until Congress has restored appropriations to the Department.”
The court of appeals granted the motion. Read the rest of this entry
December 20, 2018
Dear Mr. President:
I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.
I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.
One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model – gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic and security decisions – to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
Because you have the right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.
I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.
I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.
James N. Mattis
Friday Roundup: Oil Prices, Mueller investigation, Trump, Clinton, N.C. Election Fraud, and a Bomb Threat
Thanks for the updates. Today I learned that yet another Trump appointee might resign. The revolving door makes my head swim.
By Robert A. Vella
Here’s the news roundup for another busy Friday:
Russia has negotiated a deal between bitter rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran to raise crude oil prices on the world market by implementing across-the-board production cuts (with exemptions) which have been long-desired by OPEC nations and which have been vociferously opposed by President Trump. However, the cuts may benefit U.S. shale oil producers who struggle to compete when market prices are low. OPEC’s move also boosts Vladimir Putin’s prominence on the world stage as the Russian strongman appears to be abandoning his close relationship with the weakening American president.
Later today, Special Counsel Robert Mueller will submit disclosures in the court cases involving Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort. Although the information will likely be redacted, as was evident in the court case for Trump’s former national…
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Former President George H.W. Bush has died, his son, former president George W. Bush, announced Friday night. He was 94. “Jeb, Nell, Marvin, Doro, and I are saddened to announce that after 94 remarkable years, our dear Dad has died,” George W. Bush said in a statement. “George H. W. Bush was a man of […]
Reported By CBS News
“Jeff Sessions has been forced out as attorney general. “At your request, I am submitting my resignation,” Sessions wrote to the president Wednesday. President Trump tweeted the news, writing, “We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well!”
A senior Justice Department official said that White House chief of staff John Kelly called Sessions to request his resignation. The president did not call him. Sessions has repeatedly come under attack by Mr. Trump for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Matthew G. Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, will now become acting attorney general, and he will also oversee the Russia investigation that the president often refers to as a “witch hunt.” Before Whitaker joined to the Justice Department, he wrote an opinion piece for CNN in August 2017 criticizing the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Whitaker argued that Mueller should not be able to investigate the Trump family’s finances in the course of his probe. “It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel,” Whitaker wrote.”
The revolving door of Trump selected officials continues turning.
Full article at this link.
By Robert A. Vella
The hoped for “blue wave” didn’t materialize in the 2018 midterm elections held yesterday, but it still was a good night for the Democratic opposition to President Trump. Dems won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and gained some governorships and in some state legislatures across the nation by about the middle margins that were expected while Republicans added to their majority in the U.S. Senate by the high-side margins that were projected (see the full results here).
Voter turnout was high for a midterm, and the U.S. Elections Project currently puts the number at just over 47% – precisely where my pre-election assessment report had anticipated. However, it did not uniformly favor one party over the other. Democratic candidates did very well in the suburban areas I cited in the report, but Republican candidates for statewide offices excelled in the red states won…
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Hello. chuquestaquenumber1 here, sharing some thoughts about how authorities pick and choose who should be charged with committing acts of terrorism.
When people witness acts of violence like the Manchester concert attack, Pulse night club shooting, Charlie Hebdo attacks, etc, or attempted acts of violence such as the would be Times Square bomber, would be JFK fuel container bombers, etc., it’s called and classified terrorism. The perpetrators of these crimes received terrorist charges.
There is unfortunately, as all things in a system motivated by racism/white supremacy, not to call acts of political violence committed and said to be committed by white males, “terrorism”. Here are some recent and not so recent examples of what I speak of: Read the rest of this entry
Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, addresses 7 excuses people use not to vote, and explains why those excuses should not prevent them from voting.
Each vote matters.
The New York Times has published an an anonymous Op-Ed essay by someone who works inside the Trump administration. An excerpt says;
“From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.”
“Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.”
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.”
Based on many observations of his words and actions, it is my opinion that Trump believes he works for himself rather than for the American people. This ideology also applies to his staff; i.e., that his staff works for his interests and not those of this nation.
A disadvantage that Trump has is a lack of communicating with former Presidents. He doesn’t have to talk to them about policies. Truly, the ability to talk to others who have experience in the same position can relieve stress. Along with this, we have witnessed that past presidents do not hold grudges against each other.
Maybe Trump fails to appreciate any of our currently living, former Presidents. My opinion might be different had Trump served in any political capacity on a state or federal level, but he has no experience representing the interests of anyone other than himself. In his business position, there has not been anyone in a position to overrule him.
I remember when Ronald Reagan ran for president. My first question was that as an actor, would he be suited for the job as president? However, at least Reagan had served the people of the State of California as their governor. As an actor, he worked under directors who worked under producers and the directions of studios. It helps when people are disciplined in taking directions from others. Lone rangers appear to lack self-discipline and also have a screwed view of team work, thinking it to mean that all others simply allow them to do what they want. They lack seeing the bigger picture. Read the rest of this entry