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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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White House says it will offer largest military package in US history

Source: Ynetnews, Reuters

The United States plans to offer Israel the largest military assistance package in US history, according to an Obama administration official.

"We are prepared to sign an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Israel that would constitute the largest single pledge of military assistance to any country in US history," a White House official told Reuters.

The statement came hours after 83 US senators sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to reach a military assistance deal with Israel.

"In light of Israel's dramatically rising defense challenges, we stand ready to support a substantially enhanced new long-term agreement to help provide Israel the resources it requires to defend itself and preserve its qualitative military edge," said the letter.

Read more: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4796369,00.html

Snyder, Schuette: No Right For Local Voters to Choose Their Leaders

Voters don’t have a constitutional right to choose their local government leaders. That’s a central argument used by lawyers for state Attorney General Bill Schuette and Gov. Rick Snyder as they defend the state’s emergency manager law against a federal lawsuit.

The state’s response to the lawsuit was filed earlier this month. The lawsuit says the statute that allowed the state takeover of cities like Detroit and Flint violates the rights of local voters. And that it discriminates based on race and on wealth.

The state is asking the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to toss the lawsuit because the U.S. Constitution guarantees voters’ rights to elect their state officials — but, they argue, it doesn’t offer the same promises when it comes to local governments.

Both sides are waiting to hear if the federal appeals court will call them in for oral arguments later this year.


Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: The Rest










Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Gotta Stop Him!

Tuesday Bernie Group Toons

How America's rich betrayed their fellow citizens

The author F Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that the “rich are different than you and me”.

Fitzgerald’s observation rings especially true today. The growing divide between the wealthy and everyone else is one of the pre-eminent issues of the 2016 presidential election. A tidal wave of public anger over income inequality and the decline of the middle class has made the rich a popular target on the campaign trail. The best example is the remarkable success of Bernie Sanders, who has tapped into the populist spirit of the electorate by calling for a “political revolution” against the “billionaire class”.

Republicans routinely condemn such rhetoric as the reckless promotion of “class warfare” by irresponsible populists, but the reality is class conflict is a two-way street.

Sanders and other populists did not create the class tensions in American society. Instead, wealthy Americans themselves played a central role in creating the conditions that gave rise to the angry and populist mood of the 2016 election.

The economic data make clear why populism is the dominant theme of the 2016 campaign.


White House sits down with marijuana law reformers today

Just a few weeks after staging a huge smoke-in at the White House gates, cannabis law reform advocates are getting a meeting with the Obama Administration today.

DC Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) co-founders Adam Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller, who led Washington D.C.’s successful marijuana legalization initiative in 2014, are scheduled to meet with an unnamed policy advisor this morning in the White House, according to DCMJ releases.

The goal: discuss why cannabis does not deserve to be federally designated as among the most dangerous substances on the planet.

That designation has increasingly come under fire by lawmakers, researchers, doctors and the public. About 61 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana.

“This is an opportunity for the White House to meet with serious and committed cannabis activists and hear our case for why it’s in President Obama’s best interest to work with the attorney general to fully remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, ” stated DCMJ communications director Schiller.

The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today and is expected to last 30-45 minutes, and is considered groundbreaking. Members of the group Weed for Warriors, including former Paratrooper and Attorney Brandon Wyatt, will give interviews at a press conference on Pennsylvania Avenue after their meeting.


Desert dolphins: plan to bring animals to Arizona for show outrages activists

by Oliver Milman

A plan to transport a group of dolphins to the Arizona desert so tourists can pay to frolic with them has come under fire from animal welfare activists who claim the attraction will be harmful to people as well as the dolphins.

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition against a plan for a Dolphinaris to be established on tribal land near Scottsdale, Arizona. The facility would house dolphins in pools and allow people to swim with and ride the marine mammals.

Dolphinaris is already established in five locations in Mexico. Its parent company, Ventura Entertainment, is looking to expand to the US with the Arizona attraction, which will be near OdySea in the Desert – a 35-acre complex featuring sharks, turtles and penguins.

OdySea has denied that it is affiliated with the Dolphinaris project. According to reports in the Mexican media, the $20m Dolphinaris development is set to open in July. A protest against the attraction is planned for 7 May.


Six Cases of Measles reported in Tennesee

By Tom Charlier of The Commercial Appeal

Shelby County health officials said Monday that six cases of measles have been confirmed — a threefold increase from the two announced late last week.

The cases involve a "very diverse" group of patients in terms of age and place of residence, said Dr. Helen Morrow, health officer for the Health Department. Some of the cases appear to be linked, she said, but health officials have not identified the source of the outbreak.

The patients, who live in "every quadrant" of the county, are expected to recover completely, Morrow said. But she declined to give further information, citing privacy laws.

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that is preventable through vaccines that typically are administered to children as they turn 1 year old and before entering kindergarten. Usually, the infection causes only a minor illness, but it can trigger life-threatening complications.



“To me, time folds back on itself”: Prince squirreled away 26 albums’ worth of unreleased music

he musical legacy left behind by Prince, who died on Thursday (Apr. 21), might be even richer than previously imagined.

In addition to the 39 studio albums the artist released, his Minnesota mansion is home to a vault of 26 albums’ worth of unpublished music.

“I’ve vaulted so much stuff, going way back to the ’80s, because I didn’t want people to hear it—it wasn’t ready,” the musician told the New York Post last year. “One day I’ll go back and finish it, and it’ll feel like no time has passed. To me, time folds back on itself.”

“It’s an actual bank vault, with a thick door,” Susan Rogers, Prince’s former sound engineer, told the Guardian in 2015 ahead of a BBC radio documentary about the stash of music.

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