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Articles Posted by reaganaut1

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  • Feds Order Colleges to Stop Checking Criminal/School Discipline History (tr)

    05/25/2016 4:00:39 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 20 replies
    Judicial Watch ^ | May 20, 2016
    The Obama administration has ordered the nation’s colleges and universities to stop asking applicants about criminal and school disciplinary history because it discriminates against minorities. Institutions are also being asked to offer those with criminal records special support services such as counseling, mentoring and legal aid once enrolled. The government’s official term for these perspective students is “justice-involved individuals” and the new directive aims to remove barriers to higher education for the overwhelmingly minority population that’s had encounters with the law or disciplinary issues through high school. Instructions are outlined in a cumbersome document (Beyond the Box) issued by the...
  • Striking Move by Brooklyn Judge in Felony Drug Case: Probation, Not Prison

    05/25/2016 10:22:01 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 35 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 25, 2016 | BENJAMIN WEISER
    A federal judge in Brooklyn, in an extraordinary opinion that calls for courts to pay closer attention to the impact of felony convictions on people’s lives, sentenced a young woman in a drug case to probation rather than prison, saying on Wednesday that the collateral consequences she would face as a felon were punishment enough. The judge, Frederic Block of Federal District Court, said that the broad range of such collateral consequences served no “useful function other than to further punish criminal defendants after they have completed their court-imposed sentences.” The judge noted that there were nearly 50,000 federal and...
  • Justice Sotomayor's Very Bad, No Good Idea For Lawyers (mandatory pro bono work)

    05/24/2016 8:41:24 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 30 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 24, 2016 | George Leef
    On May 16 at an American Law Institute meeting, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor declared that she was in favor of forced labor – at least to the extent of compelling lawyers to do enough pro bono work so that poor people in America can have legal representation when they need it. Many lower income Americans are unable to afford legal assistance when they need it. The legal establishment has known that for a long time, and often indulges in hand-wringing over it. Some law firms require their attorneys to engage in pro bono work, donating their time to help...
  • French Lawmaker’s Fall Over Harassment Claims May Hold Lesson for Men: Behave

    05/23/2016 3:23:46 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 5 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 22, 2016 | ADAM NOSSITER
    PARIS — With its guffawing masculine hilarity, the National Assembly, France’s lower house of Parliament, would not be put to shame by the most boisterous American state legislature. The marble-and-velvet setting may be more elegant, but the rowdy laughter says the same thing: Men dominate. Over the last week, that male world has been shaken. The Assembly’s vice president, Denis Baupin, was forced to resign after several women came forward publicly with accusations that he had sexually harassed numerous female colleagues for years. One said Mr. Baupin had pushed her against a wall, grabbed one of her breasts and tried...
  • Small Businesses Worry About Adjusting for Overtime Rules

    05/20/2016 11:47:20 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 9 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 18, 2016 | SARAH MAX
    With a broad new class of workers becoming eligible for overtime, many small businesses are scrambling to figure out how to factor the regulations into their bottom line. The Obama administration on Wednesday announced the final details of new labor rules to increase the salary cutoff for overtime pay. Although the plan was outlined a year ago and employers have several months to comply, many say the change will be a challenge to small businesses that pride themselves on a scrappy, entrepreneurial culture. “We are pretty flexible,” said Kelli Glasser, who is president and chief executive of Exhibit Concepts, a...
  • Sen. Tom Cotton: U.S. has 'under-incarceration problem'

    05/20/2016 10:58:35 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 32 replies
    Politico ^ | May 19, 2016 | NICK GASS
    Sen. Tom Cotton on Thursday slammed his colleagues' efforts to pass sweeping criminal justice reforms, saying the United States is actually suffering from an "under-incarceration problem." Cotton, who has been an outspoken critic of the bill in Congress that would reduce mandatory minimum sentences, smacked down what he called "baseless" arguments that there are too many offenders locked up for relatively small crimes, that incarceration is too costly, or that "we should show more empathy toward those caught up in the criminal-justice system." "Take a look at the facts. First, the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that...
  • Federal Judge in Texas Demands Justice Dept. Lawyers Take Ethics Class (over immigration case)

    05/20/2016 3:59:36 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 17 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 19, 2016 | MICHAEL D. SHEAR
    A federal judge in Texas on Thursday excoriated the Justice Department, demanding ethics classes for the department’s lawyers and ordering other sanctions for those who argued the case involving President Obama’s immigration executive actions. He also ordered the government to produce a list of about 100,000 immigrants who entered illegally and who are participating in a government program that protects them from deportation. In a blistering order, Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court in Brownsville accused the Justice Department lawyers of lying to him during arguments in the case, and he barred them from appearing in his courtroom....
  • Say Good-Bye To Hinga Auto Repair, Killed Off With Zoning By Elitist Politicians

    05/19/2016 10:38:15 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 27 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 19, 2016 | George Leef
    One of the main reasons why America was so attractive to hard-working people used to be that if you were successful, you could enjoy your rewards and use your property as you thought best. Sadly, that is less and less true. One immigrant who can testify to that is Hinga Mbogo, who is about to be forced to close his auto repair business in Dallas. He came to the United States from Kenya in 1974 with some skill in repairing machinery and found a job working as an airplane mechanic. By 1985, he had accumulated the capital necessary to open...
  • High-speed rail gets a four-year delay

    05/18/2016 11:45:07 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 77 replies
    Politico ^ | May 18, 2016 | MICHAEL GRUNWALD
    High-speed rail is turning out to be a slow-speed proposition. The first segment of California’s first-in-the-nation bullet-train project, currently scheduled for completion in 2018, will not be done until the end of 2022, according to a contract revision the Obama administration quietly approved this morning. That initial 119-mile segment through the relatively flat and empty Central Valley was considered the easiest-to-build stretch of a planned $64 billion line, which is eventually supposed to zip passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in under three hours. So the four-year delay is sure to spark new doubts about whether the state’s—and perhaps...
  • Obama rushes out rules to guarantee legacy

    05/18/2016 11:44:58 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 24 replies
    Politico ^ | May 18, 2016 | TIMOTHY NOAH
    The Obama administration is shoveling out regulations nearly one-third faster in its final year than during the previous three — all to beat a May 23 deadline to prevent a President Donald Trump from overturning them. A total of 195 regulations have been pushed through since Jan. 1 at an estimated cost of $69.5 billion to the nation’s businesses, according to the conservative American Action Forum. One of the most significant — a sweeping rule that will extend overtime pay to more than 4 million people without any input from Congress — was released Tuesday night. “This regulatory onslaught has...
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton Have Earned $6.7 Million From Speeches in Past 16 Months

    05/18/2016 11:18:25 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 13 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | May 17, 2016 | RICHARD RUBIN
    Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned $6.7 million from paid speeches since the beginning of 2015, including $2.7 million from speeches the former president gave after his wife officially kicked off her White House bid last April, according to a financial-disclosure form Mrs. Clinton’s campaign released on Tuesday. Mr. Clinton was paid $285,000 to speak to America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for health insurers, in June 2015. He was paid $200,000 to speak at Stephens Inc., an Arkansas financial-services firm run by Warren Stephens, a major Republican donor. And in September 2015, he was paid $225,000 to speak...
  • As Attention Grows, Transgender Children’s Numbers Are Elusive

    05/18/2016 5:35:45 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 20 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 17, 2016 | JAN HOFFMAN
    The Obama administration’s directive last week instructing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with has set off an intense debate. Many politicians and parents have raised alarms about privacy and warned of predatory boys sneaking into girls’ bathrooms. But others say that such accommodations are critical protections for a vulnerable population. For all of the heated debate, a central fact remains elusive: How many students are we talking about? No one knows for sure. Researchers have not figured out how to obtain consistent, reliable answers from teenagers, much less...
  • Rift Between Labor and Environmentalists (Tom Steyer) Threatens Democratic Turnout Plan

    05/17/2016 7:20:08 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 9 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 16, 2016 | JONATHAN MARTIN
    Two of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies, labor and environmentalists, are clashing over an effort to raise tens of millions of dollars for an ambitious voter turnout operation aimed at defeating Donald J. Trump in the November election. The rift developed after some in the labor movement, whose cash flow has dwindled and whose political clout has been increasingly imperiled, announced a partnership last week with a wealthy environmentalist, Tom Steyer, to help bankroll a new fund dedicated to electing Democrats. That joint initiative enraged members of the nation’s biggest construction unions, already on edge about the rising influence...
  • Obama Defends Transgender Directive for School Bathrooms

    05/17/2016 4:07:27 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 29 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 16, 2016 | JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
    WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday made an impassioned argument for his administration’s decision to instruct public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, saying that society must protect the dignity and safety of vulnerable children. The remarks were the president’s first public comments on a directive released Friday that has added fuel to a searing national debate over transgender rights. Mr. Obama said the guidance, issued by the Education and Justice Departments, represented “our best judgment” on how to help schools wrestling with the issue. “We’re talking about kids, and anybody who’s...
  • (Health) Insurance Options Dwindle in Some Rural Regions

    05/16/2016 10:37:34 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 11 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | May 15, 2016 | ANNA WILDE MATHEWS and STEPHANIE ARMOUR
    Health-insurance customers in a growing number of mostly rural regions will have just one insurer’s plans to choose from on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges next year, as some companies pull out of unprofitable markets. The entire states of Alaska and Alabama are expected to have only one insurer on the health law’s signature online marketplaces next year, according to state regulators. The same is expected to be true in parts of several other states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arizona and Oklahoma, state regulators said. So far, more than 650 counties appear on track to have just one insurer on...
  • Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare

    05/15/2016 5:31:53 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 103 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 14, 2016 | ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
    AMY MOSES and her circle of self-employed small-business owners were supporters of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. They bought policies on the newly created New York State exchange. But when they called doctors and hospitals in Manhattan to schedule appointments, they were dismayed to be turned away again and again with a common refrain: “We don’t take Obamacare,” the umbrella epithet for the hundreds of plans offered through the president’s signature health legislation. “Anyone who is on these plans knows it’s a two-tiered system,” said Ms. Moses, describing the emotional sting of those words to a successful entrepreneur....
  • U.S. Stopped Blacklisting Domestic Terror Charities Under Obama

    05/15/2016 5:31:44 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 3 replies
    Bloomberg | May 12, 2016 | Eli Lake
    No link from Bloomberg allowed, story here.
  • You Need 300 Hours Of Training And A License To Shampoo Hair?

    05/13/2016 12:24:25 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 47 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 13, 2016 | George Leef
    Occupational licensure is so damaging to the upward mobility of poor people and does so little to protect the public that even the Obama administration, with its reflexive pro-government inclinations, has criticized it. (See my February 2015 Forbes piece on that.) Unnecessary and anti-competitive licensing rules have been repeatedly challenged in court, and often struck down as a violation of either state law or the U.S. Constitution. The Institute for Justice has been particularly effective in protecting the liberty of people who just want a chance to succeed on their own, by persuading courts to invalidate ridiculous licensing regulations. A...
  • Murder Rates Jump in Many Major U.S. Cities, New Data Shows

    05/13/2016 9:05:54 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 66 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 13, 2016 | ERIC LICHTBLAU and GARDINER HARRIS
    WASHINGTON — More than 20 major cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, have seen large increases in murders in recent months, a spike that the director of the F.B.I. linked to less aggressive policing stemming from a “viral video effect.” The new data released Friday showed clashing trend lines across the country, with many cities seeing a sharp increase in murders while rates in others — including New York and Miami — were down significantly from last year. After receiving an advance look at the data, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey Jr., expressed alarm Wednesday about...
  • Clinton Son-in-Law’s Firm Is Said to Close Greece Hedge Fund (down 90%)

    05/11/2016 10:41:50 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 26 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 10, 2016 | ALEXANDRA STEVENSON and MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN
    It was a hedge fund portfolio pitched by Hillary Clinton’s son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, as an opportunity to bet on a Greek economic revival. Now, two years later, the Greece-focused fund is shutting down, after losing nearly 90 percent of its value, according to two investors with direct knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Investors were told last month that the fund would close. The fund, Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity, had raised $25 million from investors to buy Greek bank stocks and government debt. Eaglevale Partners, a Manhattan hedge fund firm founded by Mr. Mezvinsky and two...
  • U.S. Urges Colleges to Rethink Questions About Criminal Records

    05/10/2016 6:51:56 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 31 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 9, 2016 | STEPHANIE SAUL
    The Obama administration is urging universities and colleges to re-evaluate how questions about an applicant’s criminal history are used in the admissions process, part of an effort to remove barriers to education, employment and housing for those with past convictions, in many cases for minor crimes. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. released a “Dear Colleague” letter to universities and colleges on Monday along with a guide, “Beyond the Box: Increasing Access to Higher Education for Justice Involved Individuals.” Among the guide’s recommendations is a suggestion that colleges consider delaying questions about criminal records until after admissions decisions to avoid...
  • Hillary Clinton Takes a Step to the Left on Health Care

    05/10/2016 1:08:13 PM PDT · by reaganaut1
    New York Times ^ | May 10, 2016 | ALAN RAPPEPORT and MARGOT SANGER-KATZ
    New London mayor Sadiq Khan has told US presidential hopeful Donald Trump that he doesn’t want to be an “exception” to Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the US. Khan accused Trump of having an “ignorant view of Islam” that could make Britain and the US less safe. “This isn’t just about me,” said Khan, after Trump suggested he might allow the new mayor into the US if he becomes president. “It’s about my friends, my family, and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world.” The mayor of London made the comments after Trump...
  • Obama to visit Hiroshima to promote nuke-free world

    05/10/2016 6:09:54 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 50 replies
    Politico ^ | May 10, 2016 | NOLAN D. MCCASKILL
    President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima later this month, the White House announced Tuesday. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated by atomic bombs the U.S. dropped on the Japanese cities in 1945 during World War II. Obama will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. He is scheduled to travel to Vietnam and Japan from May 21 through May 28 on his 10th trip to Asia, where he is expected to highlight America’s commitment to increase diplomatic, economic and security engagement with Asian nations and their people. The White House said Obama will participate in his final G-7 Summit...
  • Transgender Activism Has Produced a Legal Absurdity

    05/10/2016 4:51:04 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 26 replies
    National Review ^ | May 10, 2016 | Ed Whelan
    In a 2–1 panel ruling in mid April, a federal appellate court decided (or at least seemed to think that it decided) that G.G., a girl who identifies herself as male, has a legal right to use the boys’ restrooms at her high school in rural Gloucester County, Va. In so doing, the panel’s majority, consisting of two appointees of President Obama, kowtowed to the Obama administration’s radical claim that federal law requires any college or school that receives federal funding to make its single-sex restrooms, locker rooms, showers, housing, and sports teams available to “transgender students consistent with their...
  • Bartenders Can’t Refuse Pregnant Women Alcohol, New York City Says

    05/10/2016 3:14:44 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 32 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 9, 2016 | MIKE McPHATE
    It can be an awkward order for a pregnant woman: A glass of merlot, please. But she is legally entitled to it, according to New York City. For the first time, the city is explicitly prohibiting restaurants and bars from refusing alcoholic drink orders to mothers-to-be, with new guidelines that say doing so would represent discrimination under the city’s Human Rights Law. “While covered entities may attempt to justify certain categorical exclusions based on maternal or fetal safety, using safety as a pretext for discrimination or as a way to reinforce traditional gender norms or stereotypes is unlawful,” the guidance...
  • Report: Conservative news sites left out of Facebook's trending news column

    05/09/2016 12:04:08 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 7 replies
    Politico ^ | May 9, 2016 | KELSEY SUTTON, HADAS GOLD and PETER STERNE
    A former Facebook employee told Gizmodo that employees prevented news from conservative news outlets and news about conservative politics from appearing in Facebook’s trending news column. The former employee, a political conservative who worked as a news curator for the social network, told Gizmodo that the practice prevented news about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder, among others, from being included in the trending section despite their popularity. The source said that individual curators determined which stories would appear on Facebook’s trending section, and that conservative news outlets were routinely left out. Another former employee,...
  • North Carolina Governor Sues Justice Department Over Bias Law

    05/09/2016 10:07:51 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 31 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 9, 2016 | ALAN BLINDER
    Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina on Monday escalated the nation’s clash over transgender rights by suing the Justice Department, which said last week that the state had violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it passed a law prohibiting people from using public restrooms that do not correspond with the gender listed on their birth certificates. In the suit, the governor accused the Justice Department of a “radical reinterpretation” of the law. “The department contends that North Carolina’s common sense privacy policy constitutes a pattern or practice of discriminating against transgender employees in the terms and conditions of...
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Not Appearing in This Movie

    05/07/2016 9:52:45 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 55 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 2, 2016 | Liam Stack
    The number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender characters in films released by the seven major Hollywood studios held steady in 2015, but many were included only to be the butt of a joke and an overwhelming majority of them were white or male, according to a new report by GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. While the overall percentage of such characters in films stayed the same, the advocacy group said in its fourth annual report that a closer look at the data revealed 2015 to have been a less inclusive year on the...
  • As North Korea’s Nuclear Program Advances, U.S. Strategy Is Tested

    05/06/2016 7:30:45 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 9 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 6, 2016 | DAVID E. SANGER and CHOE SANG-HUN
    SEOUL, South Korea — After years of trying to separate fact from propaganda about North Korea’s nuclear program, American and South Korean intelligence officials say they have concluded that the country can now mount a small nuclear warhead on short- and medium-range missiles capable of hitting much of Japan and South Korea. The United States and its allies have sought for nearly a decade to prevent the North from gaining such capabilities, ever since it detonated its first atomic device a decade ago. Their failure is likely to raise new questions about the effectiveness of the policy toward North Korea,...
  • Against the Dangerous Myth that the GOP Has ‘Given Obama Everything He Wanted’

    05/06/2016 9:34:43 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 58 replies
    National Review ^ | May 6, 2016 | CHARLES C. W. COOKE
    ... The Republican party is an imperfect vehicle and it has, of course, made mistakes. But the idea that it hasn’t effectively and consistently opposed President Obama’s agenda is little more than a dangerous and ignorant fiction. Had the GOP not been standing in the way — both from 2008, when it was in the minority everywhere, and from 2010, when it regained the House — the United States would look dramatically different than it does today. Without the GOP manning the barricades, Obamacare could well have been single payer, and, at the very least, the law would have included...
  • Donald Trump Seeks Republican Unity but Finds Rejection

    05/06/2016 9:28:46 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 69 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 6, 2016 | ALEXANDER BURNS
    Donald J. Trump’s moment of triumph this week quickly gave way to a trying and even humiliating test of his standing as a Republican leader, as a phalanx of the party’s most respected figures shunned the man anointed as their presumptive presidential nominee. Hoping for a moment of party unity, Mr. Trump had scarcely declared victory in Indiana when the cascade of rejection began, starting with the announcement by George Bush and his son George W. Bush, the only former Republican presidents still living, that they would not back his candidacy. And on Thursday night, Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012...
  • Get Ready for Higher Obamacare Rates Next Year

    05/06/2016 5:58:14 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 11 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 6, 2016 | Margot Sanger-Katz
    It already looks clear that many Obamacare insurance plans are going to raise their prices significantly. Over the last few years, average premium increases in the Obamacare markets have been lower than the increases for people who bought their own insurance in premiums before the Affordable Care Act. But several trends are coming together that suggest that pattern will break when plan premiums are announced in early November. Many plans may increase prices by 10 percent, or more. Over the last two years, I’ve written articles warning against scary headlines that exaggerate premium increases. Next year, those scary headlines are...
  • Donald Trump’s Idea to Cut National Debt: Get Creditors to Accept Less

    05/06/2016 5:38:20 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 154 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 6, 2016 | BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
    One day after assuring Americans he is not running for president “to make things unstable for the country,” the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, said in a television interview Thursday that he might seek to reduce the national debt by persuading creditors to accept something less than full payment. Asked whether the United States needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Mr. Trump told the cable network CNBC, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.” He added, “And if the economy was good, it...
  • Former Officer Is Jailed Months Without Charges, Over Encrypted Drives

    05/06/2016 2:45:22 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 8 replies
    New York Times ^ | MAY 5, 2016 | CHRISTINE HAUSER
    A former police sergeant has been held without charges in a federal detention cell in Philadelphia, part of an effort by the authorities to pressure him to decrypt two computer hard drives believed to contain child pornography. The case reveals yet another battle line for law enforcement and digital privacy advocates over encryption, this time on an Apple computer, not an iPhone. ... Law enforcement agencies have typically made encryption an issue in high-profile cases involving terrorism or child pornography. In March, President Obama said the United States had already accepted that law enforcement can “rifle through your underwear” in...
  • #AirBnBWhileBlack hashtag highlights potential racial bias on rental app

    05/06/2016 2:29:40 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 28 replies
    The Guardian ^ | May 5, 2016 | Hannah Jane Parkinson
    A trending social media hashtag has highlighted experiences of possible racial bias by users of the AirBnB rental app. Quirtina Crittenden, a 23-year-old business consultant living in Chicago, who is African-American, started the hashtag #AirBnBWhileBlack after noting how often she was declined by hosts when seeking a place to rent – even when the apartments advertised appeared to be available. “The hosts would always come up with excuses like, ‘oh, someone actually just booked it’ or ‘oh, some of my regulars are coming in town, and they’re going to stay there,’” Crittenden said in an NPR interview. “But I got...
  • North Carolina Officials Say They’ll Defy Federal Deadline on Bathroom Law

    05/06/2016 2:05:50 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 30 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 5, 2016 | ALAN BLINDER and RICHARD FAUSSET
    RALEIGH, N.C. — The Republican leaders of North Carolina’s General Assembly defiantly announced Thursday that they would not meet a Monday deadline to suspend or repeal a state law limiting bathroom access for transgender people, setting up a potential legal showdown over what has become one of the nation’s most explosive cultural issues. “We will take no action by Monday,” said Tim Moore, the speaker of the State House of Representatives, referring to the deadline the Justice Department gave the state to tell federal officials whether the law would stand. “That deadline will come and go.” Though Mr. Moore criticized...
  • How Ryan decided to ditch Trump

    05/06/2016 1:18:29 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 102 replies
    Politico ^ | May 5, 2016 | Jake Sherman
    On Wednesday morning, not even 24 hours after Donald Trump effectively clinched the Republican nomination, Paul Ryan convened his top advisers for a call. With Congress out of session, Ryan was bouncing between multiple states, raising the piles of money needed to keep House Republicans in the majority. But Donald Trump was on his mind. The speaker could not — at least at this point — support him. And he wanted to talk through how to proceed. Ryan never expected Trump to lock up the nomination so quickly. He didn't think Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would drop out of the...
  • Planned Parenthood helping transgender patients with sex changes

    05/05/2016 1:45:27 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 17 replies
    Fox News ^ | May 5, 2016 | Cody Derespina
    Planned Parenthood has found a new niche that could prove nearly as controversial as providing abortions: helping transgendered people through the sex-change process. In the wake of last summer’s undercover videos that appeared to show Planned Parenthood officials selling baby body parts for money – which is illegal – legislators in several states have looked for ways to deny funding to the women’s health giant. While Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing, they have stopped accepting reimbursements for providing fetal parts to researchers. However, the gender reassignment process may enable the organization to make up the lost cash by other...
  • Paul Ryan Says He Cannot Support Donald Trump for Now

    05/05/2016 1:17:07 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 84 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 5, 2016 | JENNIFER STEINHAUER
    Speaker Paul D. Ryan, the nation’s highest-ranking elected Republican, said Thursday he was “not ready” to endorse Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. Mr. Ryan, who is also chairman of the Republican National Convention, has repeatedly said he would support his party’s nominee. But he has carved out some terrain to differentiate himself, by insisting that House Republicans write their own policy agenda this year and by giving speeches that at times criticized Mr. Trump’s views. Mr. Ryan said Republicans needed a “standard-bearer” who embodied the party’s standards. “I don’t want to underplay what he accomplished,” Mr. Ryan said...
  • No, Mr. Trump, NAFTA Was Not a ‘Bad Deal’

    05/05/2016 9:30:43 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 94 replies
    National Review ^ | May 5, 2016 | Tim Kane
    ... Trump promises a return to tariffs. He also promises a wall with Mexico, penalties against profitable American companies, skimming foreign remittances, and more. Trump does not mince words, and you have to respect his forthrightness. What each of these solutions has in common is a heavy-handed government that imposes its will at the price of consumer freedom. What right does a White House staffer have to tell you what you can buy and the extra price you have to pay if you choose the wrong product? Your freedom to trade — to buy what you want — is what’s...
  • The BDS Movement Overreaches, Now Faces A Lawsuit

    05/04/2016 12:26:31 PM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 2 replies
    Forbes ^ | May 4, 2016 | George Leef
    The Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement opposes Israeli policy toward the Palestinians and maintains that Israeli policy can be pressured to change through a combination of boycotts, divestment of assets, and other sanctions. People should be entirely free to make and oppose those arguments. What people should not, however, be free to do is to dragoon non-profit scholarly associations into their political battles against Israel (or anything else for that matter). But that is just what has occurred with the stance taken by the American Studies Association in favor of boycotting Israeli universities. Back in 2013, the association’s National Council...
  • ‘President Trump?’ Here’s How He Says It Would Look

    05/04/2016 10:52:22 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 102 replies
    New York Times ^ | May 4, 2016 | PATRICK HEALY
    Donald J. Trump is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but he is also keenly aware that many in his own party — and many Americans, frankly — are scared and anxious about the idea of him in the Oval Office. Even he is not sure how a deeply divided nation would adjust to the first 100 days of a Trump presidency. What he does know, however, is what he wants to do in those early months. In a series of recent interviews, he sketched out plans that include showdowns with business leaders over jobs and key roles for military...
  • Target faces backlash on stance on transgender bathrooms

    05/04/2016 8:42:23 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 40 replies
    Associated Press ^ | May 4, 2016 | ANNE D'INNOCENZIO
    NEW YORK (AP) — Consumer backlash is growing against Target's stance on what type of bathrooms its transgender customers and employees can use. Two weeks ago, the Minneapolis-based discounter issued a statement that said customers and employees can use the restroom or fitting room that "corresponds to their gender identity." The move made Target the first major retailer to take such a prominent position on the issue, and won praise from supporters of transgender rights. But Target's position has also sparked criticism on social media. One online petition started by a group called The American Family Association, a conservative Christian...
  • US trade deficit shrinks as goods imports hit five-year low

    05/04/2016 7:29:22 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 11 replies
    Reuters ^ | May 4, 2016
    The U.S. trade deficit fell more than expected in March as imports of goods tumbled to their lowest level since 2010, a potential boost to first-quarter economic growth estimates that also hints at sluggish domestic demand. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap fell 13.9 percent to $40.4 billion, the smallest since February 2015, also as exports fell. February's trade deficit was revised slightly down to $46.96 billion from the previously reported $47.1 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit falling to $41.5 billion in March. When adjusted for inflation, the deficit declined to $57.4...
  • Detroit's Dual Crises Continue: Teacher Sickouts, Water Shutoffs

    05/03/2016 8:47:08 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 12 replies
    NBC News ^ | May 3, 2016 | Jon Schuppe
    A Detroit teacher sickout continued into a second day on Tuesday, as the city's school district reeled from a funding crisis that could threaten some educators' paychecks. All but a handful of the city's 97 public schools were closed as of 7 a.m., NBC affiliate WDIV reported. Dozens of teachers gathered outside district headquarters in red union t-shirts and with signs with messages like "No pay no work" and "DPS better have my money" and "This is teacher abuse." Meanwhile, Detroit was dealing with a second crisis — this one related to the solvency of the city's water system. The...
  • Trump accuses Cruz's father of helping JFK's assassin

    05/03/2016 5:57:15 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 182 replies
    Politico ^ | May 3, 2016 | Nolan D. McCaskill
    Donald Trump on Tuesday alleged that Ted Cruz’s father was with John F. Kennedy’s assassin shortly before he murdered the president, parroting a National Enquirer story claiming that Rafael Cruz was pictured with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out pro-Fidel Castro pamphlets in New Orleans in 1963. A Cruz campaign spokesperson told the Miami Herald, which pointed out numerous flaws in the Enquirer story, that it was “another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage.” “His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald's being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said Tuesday...
  • Obamacare's November surprise (consumers will see large rate increases for the first time Nov. 1)

    05/02/2016 11:23:52 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 49 replies
    Politico ^ | May 2, 2016 | Paul Demko
    The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare. But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates. Just a week after the nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealth Group, pulled out of most Obamacare exchanges because it anticipates $650 million in losses this year, Aetna’s CEO said Thursday that his company expects to break even, but legislative fixes are needed to make the marketplace sustainable. “I...
  • AT&T offering $5 internet to low-income families (under deal with FCC)

    05/02/2016 9:12:07 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 29 replies
    CNN ^ | April 22, 2016 | Heather Kelly
    Any home where at least one person receives food stamps will be eligible for the new program, called Access from AT&T. The offering is part of an agreement AT&T (T, Tech30) made with the FCC as part of last year's DirectTV merger and will be available until 2020. The company is the latest to offer discounted internet to low-income households in the United States, joining Comcast (CCV), Google Fiber, and some local government and nonprofit. These programs help close the so-called "digital divide" for families who would otherwise be forced to rely on school connections or cell phones. A lack...
  • Make Colleges Back Up Their Student Loans

    05/02/2016 8:48:35 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 56 replies
    National Review ^ | May 2, 2016 | PAUL KUPIEC & RYAN NABIL
    ... The key to controlling costs and student-debt burdens is to require colleges themselves to have “skin in the game” so they have strong incentives not only to provide a good education, but also to safeguard the financial solvency of their graduates. Colleges should be required to offer all students the first tranche of their funding. The funding could be an ISA or a student loan, but in either case, the student’s future payments on these obligations must be subordinate to all outside student-loan obligations. In other words, federal student loans must be paid before loans or ISA reimbursements are...
  • Progressives' Paranoid Fantasy of "Right-wing Billionaires Infiltrating Higher Ed"

    05/02/2016 7:54:30 AM PDT · by reaganaut1 · 12 replies
    Foundation for Economic Education ^ | April 29, 2016 | George Leef
    Jane Mayer is a writer for the New Yorker who knows her audience. It consists mostly of elitist progressives who like hearing that their enlightened transformation of America is imperiled by greedy conservative villains. She has written lots of articles and most recently a book entitled Dark Money on that theme. The February 26, 2016 issue of Chronicle Review (the companion publication to the Chronicle of Higher Education, but much more overtly political) contains an essay drawn from that book, “How Right-Wing Billionaires Infiltrated Higher Education.” To leftist readers, that’s certain to sound terrifying. Higher education, after all, is supposed...