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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

Trump recognizes Pride Month

Source: The Hill

BY BRETT SAMUELS - 05/31/19 03:41 PM EDT

President Trump on Friday acknowledged Pride Month and praised the "outstanding contributions" of LGBT Americans.

In a pair of tweets, Trump expressed solidarity with people living in countries that criminalize and punish members of the LGBT community, prompting criticism from lawmakers and advocates who pointed to his own administration's policies.


Pride Month is celebrated in June and recognizes the contributions of LGBTQ people to society. The Trump administration has undertaken an effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality and the president has spoken about helping the LGBT community. But the administration has generally drawn rebukes from organizations and advocates over its rollback of LGBTQ rights and protections toward transgender people in particular.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a proposal last week rolling back health care protections for transgender people. The regulation would scrap ObamaCare's definition of "sex discrimination" to remove protections for gender identity.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/446387-trump-recognizes-pride-month

Log Cabin Republicans will be ecstatic

Beto O'Rourke's immigration plan would go even further on executive power than Trump

O’Rourke’s presidential campaign proposal: executive actions on “day one.”

By Dara [email protected] May 31, 2019, 2:20pm EDT

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s campaign proposal on immigration — which came out earlier this week, joining Julian Castro’s as the first detailed immigration plans in the Democratic primary field — is an acknowledgment of an important truth that leading Democratic candidates have been loath to acknowledge: Immigration, right now, is an executive-branch issue rather than a legislative-branch issue.

O’Rourke’s plan focuses on curtailing immigration enforcement — in particular, all but eliminating immigration detention — and focusing instead on building up immigration courts and case management systems for newly arriving asylum seekers, while returning Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests and deportations of immigrants already living in the US to the constraints of President Barack Obama’s last years in office. None of these are things he claims he needs Congress to do, or at least to start doing.

Proposals for “comprehensive immigration reform” have been kicking around in Congress for over a decade, and the politics of the proposal, which centered on a trade-off between increased border security and legalization of current unauthorized immigrants, have grown stale. Even as Republicans have moved to the right on the issue under Donald Trump, Democrats have grown leery of any stepped-up enforcement of immigration laws — and shown increasing enthusiasm for scaling immigration enforcement down.

O’Rourke is leaning into that enthusiasm. In Congress, he took a local approach to immigration, focusing on his border district and his El Paso constituents. As a candidate for Senate and now president, he’s been criticized for making gauzy appeals to a vision of America instead of real policy proposals that might alienate voters. This proposal (for better or worse) is a bridge between the two. While there is some El Paso-style attention to ports of entry and border staffing, it’s mostly a policy in line with a national progressive agenda on immigration, to the extent that one exists.


Spray cheese would count as food stamp staple under Trump administration proposal


MAY 31, 2019 / 12:13 PM / CBS NEWS

A new policy proposed by the Trump administration would allow foods like spray cheese to be considered "staples" for federal food stamps. Staple foods are important to the food stamps program, officially known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), as regulations require SNAP retailers to stock a certain number of these food staples.

Loosening the rules would allow more retailers like convenience stores to accept SNAP benefits, even if they don't carry much in the way of fresh or healthy food.

A 2001 rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) required stores that take SNAP to carry a variety of foods in each of the four "staple food" categories: Meat, poultry, or fish; dairy products; bread or cereals; and vegetables or fruits. The stores must also carry at least one perishable item in at least two of the categories.

Under the new proposal, which was introduced in April, canned spray cheese or canned cheese dipping sauce would count as a dairy, pimento-stuffed olives would count as a vegetable or fruit, and beef jerky would count as a meat.


Trump Has Ceded the Middle

May 31, 2019 at 10:11 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Charlie Cook: “The age-old debate over whether it is better to nominate a candidate who can motivate the party base or one who reaches into the middle, appealing to independent and other swing voters, is presenting a choice of walking or chewing gum—you have to do both. Where these things come into conflict is that the issues that most motivate the base, whether within the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, are often ones that grate on the nonideological, or at least less ideology-driven, voters in the middle.”

“Trump has clearly picked the base-motivation model, effectively conceding the middle ground to Democrats—if they choose to take it.”



Ex-County Official Who Called Michelle Obama an 'Ape' Sentenced for Embezzling FEMA Funds

by Jerry Lambe | 11:00 am, May 31st, 2019

A former West Virginia county official who made headlines in 2016 for her racist online post about then-First Lady Michelle Obama was sentenced to prison Thursday for the embezzlement of disaster relief funds.

Pamela Ramsey Taylor, 57, the former director at the Clay County Development Corporation, a West Virginia-based elderly non-profit group, was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison and fined $10,000 for admitting that she falsely registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster benefits, according to a report from local news outlet WSAZ.

Taylor’s sentence also mandates her to pay restitution of $18,149.04; she will be confined to her home for two months after her release. Three years of supervised release will follow.


Taylor made headlines for all the wrong reasons back in 2016. She posted the following on Facebook: “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.” The Mayor of Clay County at the time, Beverly Whaling, responded to her post saying, “Just made my day Pam.”

The post was shared thousands of times. It resulted in a petition of nearly 2,000 local signatures, demanding that both women be fired from their jobs. Taylor eventually deleted the post and replaced it with an apology which she later amended, telling WSAZ she wanted to “make it less inflammatory.”

full article:

EXCLUSIVE Team Obama Tells Iran: Don't Escalate, Don't Take Trump's Bait

As tensions with Iran heat up, former Obama administration officials have quietly urged government officials there to keep their cool.

Betsy Woodruff, Erin Banco
05.31.19 5:19 AM ET

As the Trump administration sent warplanes and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, a small group of former Obama administration officials reached out to their contacts in the Iranian government, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Their message to Iran: Don’t take Trump’s bait. Stay calm.

Conversations between former Obama officials and Iranian government officials have been ongoing since November 2016. Zarif, who visits the U.S. every year for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, usually meets with lawmakers, think tanks, journalists, and former officials when he is in town.

But the recent round of conversations, which took place over the phone and in person over the last two months, came as lines of communication between the U.S. and Iran, through intermediaries in Europe and elsewhere, deteriorated.

The U.S. policy toward Iran—a scorched-earth campaign to crush the country’s economy—took a turn this month when the Trump administration, following new Iranian activity that concerned American intelligence and national-security officials, sent ships and B-52 bombers to the region in a show of force. That move fed fears of military conflict between the two powers.


Team Trump Now Wants Mueller to Testify Before Congress in Hopes of a Grilling

The president has said he doesn’t want the special counsel to talk on the Hill. But after Mueller’s statement Wednesday, Trump’s team is itching for it.

Sam Stein, Asawin Suebsaeng
05.30.19 7:20 PM ET

President Trump’s close advisers are increasingly pining for Robert Mueller to be dragged before Congress and subjected to conservative lawmakers’ questions about the conduct and outcome of his investigation.

Their embrace of such a hearing is a sharp reversal in White House sentiment over the past few weeks since the release of the special counsel’s report. Trump himself has come out against Mueller testifying before Congress, and key Republicans on Capitol Hill have followed suit by stating that the issue is effectively “closed.”

But those positions have softened, if not changed, significantly after Mueller’s public statement on Wednesday, in which he stated that he would have exonerated Trump if he could have and said that he was prohibited by Department of Justice guidelines from bringing charges against a sitting president.

“If they allow [GOP Reps.] Meadows and Jordan and few of the others there, they’ll eviscerate him more than they did Michael Cohen,” said Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney during and after the Mueller probe. Giuliani said it would be “emotionally satisfying to have” Mueller testify and that “in terms of the politics of it, I would love to have him testify. I think he’s afraid to.”

The former New York City mayor and current Trump lawyer said he’d spoken to the president both before and after Mueller’s televised statement to the press. Asked to describe Trump’s views, Giuliani told The Daily Beast that all he could say was, “I can sum up his feelings as: Nothing new, no new facts, it’s all smoke and mirrors, so what?” Of Mueller’s conduct, he added: “I’m angrier about this than [Trump] is.”


Barr is 'unraveling in plain view' - & 'struggling hard to cover up' his lies to Congress

'Unapologetically' Christian pizza parlor went viral -- then its owner got busted for trying...

‘Unapologetically’ Christian pizza parlor went viral — then its owner got busted for trying to have sex with underage staff

Sources: Kentucky man accused of asking minor for sex is a pastor, business owner

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) -- Sources tell WYMT that a man who faces child sexual exploitation charges is a local pastor and business owner.

Bobby "BJ" Blackburn is charged with using an electronic device to try to get a minor to engage in sexual activities. Police said he messaged an employee, who was a minor, and asked her to engage in a "threesome" with another minor, among other obscene messages.

Sources confirmed that Blackburn is the pastor of Elevate Church of Prestonsburg. He also owns the Giovanni's.

Blackburn turned himself in to police Wednesday but has already bonded out at $5,000.

WYMT interviewed Blackburn in 2016 about his restaurant , which played Christian music and put Bible verses on receipts.

Blackburn is scheduled to appear in court June 19th.


Conservative Christians are outraged by an 'offensive' shampoo ad this time

They are calling for a boycott of Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo. No joke.

By Alex Bollinger Friday, May 31, 2019

A conservative Christian organization is outraged by an “offensive” shampoo ad that featured lesbians and has launched a campaign against the company.

One Million Moms (OMM) is an initiative of the America Family Association and focuses on media that it deems inappropriate for children, often because it shows LGBTQ people.

They are frequently outraged that LGBTQ people exist and that artists, media corporations, and advertisers choose to acknowledge that fact every now and then. And this week they’re angry at this cute Head & Shoulders ad, which shows a lesbian couple at prom.

To hear OMM describe the ad, the lesbians were having sex in front of the C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N.

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