bipartisan

9

Jeff Sessions talked with the Russian ambassador twice — and then told Congress he didn’t

  • Senior Department of Justice officials allege Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign. (Washington Post)
  • He then Sessions later told Congress no such contact occurred, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
  • 1 of the 2 discussions in question was a closed-door September meeting with Kislyak in the then-senator’s office. Read more (3/1/17 10:42 PM)
  • Sessions repeatedly said he was not aware of any discussions between him or other Trump campaign members at congressional hearings, which is on video.

Pelosi, Warren and more Democrats call for Sessions to resign

  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Sessions to resign.
  • “There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians,” she said. Read more (3/1/17 11:38 PM)
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Sessions’ statements during his confirmation were “demonstrably false” and that he "should resign immediately,” (Washington Post)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren pulled no punches calling for his resignation and an independent investigation.  Read more (3/2/17 5:43 AM)
bzfd.it
Betsy DeVos Is Confirmed As Education Secretary, Thanks To An Unprecedented Tie-Breaking Vote
The Senate voted 50-50 on Trump's controversial pick to head the Department of Education, forcing Vice President Mike Pence to cast a historic vote to break the tie.
By Molly Hensley-Clancy

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary by a razor-thin margin Tuesday, with Vice President Mike Pence casting an unprecedented vote to break a 50-50 tie on a cabinet nomination. It is also the first time in history that an education secretary has ever been confirmed without bipartisan support.

No Democrats voted for DeVos’s nomination, and two Republicans crossed party lines to oppose her, saying they believed she was too inexperienced and narrowly focused on school choice issues like charter schools and vouchers to adequately support public schools.

But a frantic effort by Democrats — including a deluge of phone calls from constituents and 24 straight hours of anti-DeVos speeches on the Senate floor — failed to convince a third Republican to jump ship and kill the nomination. That left Pence with the deciding vote, the first time in Congressional history that a vice president has broken a tie on a cabinet nominee.

4

Thanks to cheap natural gas and renewable energy, coal is dying. That’s just a fact of modern life. While some coal will still exist, it won’t be enough to save the Rust Belt and Appalachia (areas that weren’t exactly swimming in money before coal disappeared). 

So the next step is figuring out what thriving modern industry can replace those jobs for a long period of time. It would have to be a livelihood that’s a) easy to train coal miners to do and b) growing enough to sustain a huge workforce.

The transition is already happening in places like Australia, where a coal mining town transformed itself into one of the country’s largest solar farming communities. It’s also in the U.S., where areas in Colorado rose from the coal ashes with a $800,000 boost in marijuana tax revenue. There have even been studies looking into the transition, which found that most coal mining workers not only could be cheaply retrained to work solar and wind farm gigs, but would also make more doing it. 

This isn’t a hard decision, people. So what’s the goddamn holdup?

Well … despite creating 150,000 full- and part-time jobs, certain politicians can’t seem to leave the 1980s when it comes to marijuana. While obviously not the wonder drug stoners want you to think, it’s insane we have an attorney general who’s apparently possessed by the ghost of Nancy Reagan. As for renewable energy, well, that’s oddly off the current administration’s to-do list, despite overwhelming bipartisan support for it.

5 Surprisingly Solvable Problems (America Can’t Figure Out)

yahoo.com
How the town of Whitefish defeated its neo-Nazi trolls — and became a national model of resistance
WHITEFISH, Mont. — If you were to judge the small, northwestern Montana town of Whitefish solely on the national media frenzy that has descended upon it in recent weeks, like a blizzard that blots out everything else, then you’d probably write it off as a frightening place — an intolerant place, an unwelcoming

As pleasing as it is to see Richard Spencer get hit in the face over and over and over on my dash tonight, he actually suffered a far more humiliating and important defeat earlier this week. 

Remember how he called for an armed march against the tiny Jewish community in his hometown of Whitefish, Montana for last Monday? Yeah. About that:

The rabbi’s voice began to break. For several seconds, the park was silent, save for the sound of Roston sniffling. “You let us know that we are not alone,” she finally said. “You let us know that our community, that our amazing magnificent town of Whitefish, is not only protected by great, divinely formed mountains of earth — this town is protected by a wall of humanity that refuses to be quiet or sit still in the face of bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia or anti-Semitism.”

TL;DR – the entire town rallied around their neighbors. They got unequivocal, strong, bipartisan support from state officials. Reinforcements arrived from around the country. And the nazis fucking bailed. They never even showed up.

That article needs editing, but it’s worth a scan for the lessons in it. The one I’m holding onto is that we can never give these clowns power they don’t actually have, especially the nameless online assbags. We can’t cede an inch. If we care about each other, and just show up, they will lose every. fucking. time. 

2

Immigrant labor is more important now than ever

  • On Monday, tens of thousands were expected to walk out of their jobs and take to the streets for a national Day Without Immigrants strike. 
  • The strike was predicted by organizers to be the largest single-day labor strike in over a decade.
  • The message of Monday’s protest was simple: Immigrants power the U.S. economy, and America needs them now more than ever. Experts couldn’t agree more.
  • “All net job growth is coming from new businesses, and native-born Americans are becoming less entrepreneurial while new immigrants are picking up the slack,” Jeremy Robbins, executive director for New American Economy, a bipartisan organization devoted to highlighting the economic benefits of immigration reform, said in an interview. 
  • “Last year, even though immigrants were 13% of the population, they started 20% of new businesses, and that’s a huge thing.”
  • According to Robbins, new businesses created by immigrants are key to net job growth in America, which ends up benefiting native-born Americans economic prospects. Read more (5/1/17)
8

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s furious tweetstorm on Michael Flynn

Top Republican investigators on Capitol Hill say they don’t have plans to investigate Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, or his conversations with President Donald Trump — and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is furious, previewing an attack line Democrats are likely to deploy frequently in the days to come.

“Congress must pull its head out of the sand and launch a real, bipartisan, transparent inquiry into Russia. Our natl security is at stake,” Warren wrote Tuesday in a series of condemning tweets aimed at Trump’s administration after Flynn resigned from his post as national security adviser late Monday night.

Flynn stepped down after a series of leaks revealed he had lied to top White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about the extent of his conversations with a Russian envoy prior to Trump’s inauguration.

Warren raised the concerns many in Washington have long had about Flynn’s role in the White House and his alleged close ties to Russian officials.

2

Scientists hate Trump’s proposed funding cuts to the National Institutes of Health

  • Republicans and Democrats have finally found something they agree on: President Donald Trump’s proposed $5.8 billion funding cut to the National Institutes of Health is a terrible idea.
  • During a House budget hearing Wednesday, representatives from both sides of the aisle spoke in support of the NIH — and expressed “disappointment” in the dramatic cuts Trump floated in March.
  • “I’m concerned that the reductions in the request would stall progress that our recent investments were intended to achieve and potentially discouraging promising scientists from entering or remaining in biomedical research,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee in charge of the NIH budget, said.
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), ranking member of the House Appropriations health subcommittee, praised Cole’s bipartisan support for the NIH funding. Read more (5/19/17)

follow @the-future-now

washingtonpost.com
Trump’s budget calls for seismic disruption in medical and science research
Many targeted research agencies have historically had broad bipartisan support.
By https://www.facebook.com/jlachenbach

President Trump’s budget calls for a seismic disruption in government-funded medical and scientific research. The cuts are deep and broad.

They also go beyond what many political observers expected. Trump had made clear that he would target the Environmental Protection Agency, but the budget blueprint calls for a startling downsizing of agencies that historically have received steady bipartisan support. The National Institutes of Health, for example, would be cut by nearly $6 billion, about a fifth of the NIH budget.

The shock waves of this blueprint will be felt far beyond the walls of government bureaucracies. The scientific endeavor across America depends to a large degree on competitive grants distributed by federal agencies that face dramatic budget cuts. NIH uses only about 10 percent of its $30 billion budget for in-house studies; more than 80 percent goes to some 300,000 outside researchers.

Investment in research and development has been seen since World War II as critical to national prosperity and security. But the Trump administration has signaled that government-funded science, like government more broadly, has become too sprawling.

The result is a budget that takes a sharp bite out of some programs and kills others outright. Those targeted for termination include an EPA program to clean up the Cheseapeake Bay, the accident-investigating Chemical Safety Board, and a NASA satellite program (long ago known as the GoreSat, after the idea was promoted by then-Vice President Al Gore) that monitors solar storms and Earth’s climate.

Continue Reading.

3

A bipartisan Senate Intel Committee duo just shut down Trump’s wiretapping claim

  • Trump’s explosive accusation that Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the campaign was dealt a death blow on Thursday by the Senate Intelligence Committee, which said there is no evidence whatsoever to back up that claim.
  • “Based on the information available to us, we see no indication that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016,” Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a statement.
  • Their statement comes a day after the House Intelligence Committee said there was no evidence that Trump Tower was wiretapped. Read more (3/16/17 2:18 PM)
Why Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer is SNL’s Best Sketch of the Year

It’s no secret that Saturday Night Live has grown more and more liberal over the years. Sure, they make fun of Democrats, but they really go after Republicans to the nth degree, certainly during this election cycle. With President Trump in particular, the SNL writers hold nothing back and neither does Alec Baldwin.

But in the latest episode, they found themselves a new target: Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

The result? The best sketch of the year.

It’s a bold statement, especially after months of watching Baldwin channel Trump and Kate McKinnon doing an uncanny Hillary Clinton. But there are two reasons why this sketch in particular was best in the class.

First, it was brilliant satire. Melissa McCarthy captured Spicer’s hostility to the White House press corps. While Spicer in real life isn’t that angry, the sketch pokes fun at what he might want to do like jailing CNN’s Jim Acosta or squirting reporters with a water gun. And his now-iconic way to respond to tough questions was completely spot-on like his bickering with a reporter about who starting using the word “ban”. And like the real daily press briefings, the sketch covered a lot of topics including Steve Bannon, the White House’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Trump’s Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos (played briefly by McKinnon). It was a long checklist and this sketch nailed every one of them. And the prop comedy was hysterical (”radical moose lambs” had me crying!).

Second, and most importantly, this was the first political sketch that was funny without having to be malicious. Nearly every sketch involving Trump makes him out to be a racist, a fascist, and an utter moron. Even in the cold open, there were more tiresome jokes that eluded to the president being a Nazi and Steve Bannon literally being the Grim Reaper. But in this sketch, SNL managed to poke fun at Spicer without outrageous personal attacks. The writing was good-natured and disciplined. Even the biggest Trump supporters should be able to laugh out loud at this.

Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer is the greatest impression since Larry David played Bernie Sanders last season and this sketch is on-par with Tina Fey’s debut as Sarah Palin. Bipartisan humor that can have both Democrats and Republicans laughing is the winning strategy. While the odds are still strong that President Trump will angrily tweet about SNL at 3 o’clock in the morning, it’s sketches like this that can make SNL great again.

LATEST: List of bipartisan reactions to Pres. Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey:

• “Nothing less than Nixonian,” Sen. Leahy says.

• “We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis,” Sen. Schatz says.

• “No comment,” Pres. Obama’s spokesperson says.

• “No comment,” Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson says.

• “You’re making a very big mistake,” Senate Minority Leader Schumer says he told Pres. Trump

• “Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well,” Sen. Graham says.

• Pres. Trump has authority to remove the FBI director, but “I am disappointed in the president’s decision” to fire Comey, Sen. McCain says.

• House Oversight Ranking Member Cummings calls for emergency hearings with AG Sessions, Deputy AG Rosenstein and FBI Director Comey.

• FBI Director Comey’s “removal at this particular time will raise questions,” Sen. Corker says.

• “Any suggestion” that Pres. Trump’s firing of FBI director is attempt to influence Russia investigation “is misplaced,” Sen. Collins says.

• “The American people need clarity and deserve an explanation for” FBI Director Comey’s “immediate firing,” Sen. Lankford says.

• “Unprecedented interference” in Russia invest by Pres. Trump “leaves no doubt” about need for independent investigation, Sen. Shaheen says.

• Firing of Comey “raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter,” Rep. Schiff says.

• “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination,” Sen. Burr says.

• “Urgently necessary to appoint a special counsel to carry forward” Russia investigation,“ Sen. Angus King says.

• "Time for Congress to get their heads out of the sand. Pres. Trump cannot pick the person to continue this critical” investigation, Sen. Warren says.

• Pres. Trump “just fired the person who was investigating his campaign, which should set off alarm bells across the country,” Sen. Booker says.

• Pres. Trump firing FBI Director Comey, who is leading the Russian invest, “is beyond the pale – even for him,” and the move has “undermined the integrity of the FBI’s investigation,” and special prosecutor is needed, Sen. Cardin says.

http://nbcnews.to/2qZvZ61

Liberalism is the dominant ideology of the capitalist system, encompassing ideas like classical liberalism, social liberalism, and neoliberalism. Modern conservatism melds old school concern for tradition with classical liberal and neoliberal economics (so in many ways conservatives are still liberal), and modern “Democrat Party style liberals” fall into social liberalism. It’s confusing because there’s a lot of overlap, but what’s important to realize is that everyone acquires varying levels of liberal ideology by default through living in capitalist society, regardless of whether or not they’re Democrats or Republicans, Tory or Labor, etc.

By dominant ideology, here’s a few examples of what that might mean in real-world context:
-Liberal representative democratic capitalism is seen as the “end of history”, an unspoken dogma that social organization cannot advance beyond what we find ourselves in right now
-A vague notion that “all views” ought to be accepted at the “marketplace of ideas”, with zero concern for power dynamics (which merely reinforces the imbalanced status quo)
-A belief that the system can be worked with and reformed to eventual perfection, even if there’s disagreement on what those reforms entail
-A reverence for the concept of private property and a belief that hierarchical market transactions are economic freedom in its purest form, even if they believe that that “economic freedom” needs to be curbed a bit for the betterment of society (as social liberals argue)
-Believes in some degree of horseshoe theory, where politics is seen as a “circle” (militant ideologies are all seen as inherently the same thing) rather than as historical struggle over the modes of production and the accompanying ideologies
-Will ultimately admit that the economy’s #1 priority is to meet the needs of capital when the chips are down (indeed, that is capitalism’s primary function).

With regard to the above examples, it doesn’t generally matter what a person labels themself – if they subscribe to a mainstream political position, they very likely believe in most of the above. When politicians accept “bipartisan” actions; when crisis afflicts the capitalist system and people need to “come together” to find solutions; when Michelle Obama hugs George W Bush and they act like best pals; when Democrats peacefully hand power over to Donald Trump after months of labeling him dangerous and on-par with proto-fascism – that’s when the idealistic bubble of political liberalism tears and you’re able to see the unified interests of the ruling classes, realized in the maintenance of capitalist society.

anonymous asked:

This is going to sound like a stupid question, but it seems like most of your campsites are literally just in the middle of no where, not like at a legit camping ground. Is that necessarily legal? Asking because I'm real inspired to try something like this myself

This is not a dumb question at all - and perfectly relevant to our current fight to protect our public lands.  I can legally camp in the middle of nowhere because I do so on public lands - lands owned by all American Citizens.  This is land set aside for public use - be it camping, hunting, fishing, biking, climbing, hiking, etc…  Public Lands are owned and supported by tax payers and also sometimes referred to as Federal Land (most research shows public land costs about $4 dollars per tax payer a year).  Restrictions depend on the agency that manages the area - Forest Service Land, for example, does not allow mountain biking while most BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land has very few restrictions and allows for camping almost anywhere (without the need for a campground).  However, I strongly encourage Leave No Trace ethics when camping in wilderness and if you are going to camp on our public lands please go to the following link and read the 7 Leave No Trace Principles:

 https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles 

I prefer to camp in the wild - to leave the city behind and experience the outdoors as a refuge from human impact - and in order to continue to experience it as such we need to keep it looking as if we were never there.  I am a climber, a hunter, a mountaineer, a fisher, a hiker, a biker, and most importantly I was lucky enough to be born in the USA which gives me access to public wilderness as if I had the money to own a cabin in the mountains.  However, I don’t have the money to own a cabin and so when the weekend rolls around I throw a few things in the back of the Land Cruiser and head for public lands… I find a spot that is my own, that feels as if I am one of the few lucky enough to sit on this rock and watch the sun go down - and I am lucky.  

Watch the video link below:  4 minute bipartisan history of how the USA came to have so much public federal land, specifically in the west.  This video educated me on how almost all federal land has always been federal land - and is not land that was taken from the states:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC_mnRu-4gA

It is my opinion that there is falsehood in state legislator’s desire to want public lands to be taken from the federal government and given to the state for the resident’s interests.  Federal land is held in a trust for the use of the American people -  and that’s it, that’s all, it is there for our future generations - so that I can teach my kid to ethically hunt and camp in the mountains just as my grandfather and father taught me.  Some states do a great job with land they manage for public access, but the problem is that the land is no longer explicitly a trust and if the wrong individuals become elected, or are already are elected, that land can now be sold to private entities and will no longer be accessible to the public.  This is not to say it WILL but that it CAN… but I would rather not risk the possibility of my land being sold off so that I can not use it.  Historically this has occurred when a state’s budget isn’t balanced because it is pretty easy to sell of a chunk of land to compensate for debt.  

Please vote to protect our public lands! 

Public lands for our use and what agency manages them can be seen in the map below: 


Its quite stunning that Trump’s budget plans, Trumpcare, tax policies disproportionately fall on his supporters. Its quite a thing …

“In rural Appalachia, people are so poor that there is a federal program dedicated to lifting them out of poverty. Through the Appalachian Regional Commission, the government pitches in on projects that these rural communities badly need but can’t quite afford — everything from fixing roads, to building computer labs, to training workers, to opening health clinics.

   These efforts have become so widely admired that in recent years Congress launched, with bipartisan backing, sister agencies to help other rural regions stuck in generational cycles of poverty. Together the programs spend about $175 million each year bringing jobs and opportunities to places that long have felt left behind.

   President Trump, who won rousing victories in these same parts of rural America, would eliminate that funding.”

Also See: President Trump won big in these places. Now he wants to eliminate 3 agencies dedicated to helping them - Washington Post