Sunday’s Big Ankle News Brief

by Scott Creighton

Good morning.

On Friday evening I was looking at my phone crossing a parking lot when my left foot came across a mini-pothole. The edge was only about a half of an inch but that was enough to roll my ankle and send my goofy ass tumbling across the asphalt. Today my right knee is still skinned and stinging and my left ankle is swollen like Rachel Madcow’s ego (and bank account)

That’s why I didn’t post anything yesterday and why I’m just posting this today. It’s a good thing there’s not much happening in the neoliberalized world today.

related: my ankles are weak because way back when, I broke them, one after the other, playing pick-up and intramural basketball at VCU. Since I was poor back then, as I am now, I could not afford to get them looked after and I just sucked it up and they eventually “healed” on their own. But they were left weakened and these days (I sprained one and then broke the other a couple months ago) in their weakened state, I am always just a 1/2″ away from another embarrassing tumble.

Maybe one day we’ll have real universal healthcare, not the FascistCare that we have now and even poor kids can avoid a life-time of suffering for no apparent reason. But it looks like Ryan/DonaldCare will make sure we have a long wait til those days are here.

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Thanks to Obama Doing Away with Habeas Corpus, Protesters Can Now Be Held Indefinitely Without Trial by King Donald the Rich

by Scott Creighton

They don’t call it “left cover” for nothing, do they?

These days, like the Brownshirts of days gone by, fake “alternative” gurus like Jeff Rense and Di$info Jone$ are squawking about attacking and locking up anti-Trump protesters. High on their Tangy Tangerine enemas and homosexually fortified juice boxes, these one-time pretend defenders of our constitutional rights screech endlessly about bashing the dirty commie lefty hipsters who dare oppose the wishes of King Donald the Rich.

Is it any surprise that they seem blissfully ignorant of the worrisome fact that their glorious neoliberal leader is in the process of having DHS categorize protesters as “domestic terrorists”?

“The United States government considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist until 2008. Mandela was a designated terrorist 18 years after he was released from prison, 15 years after he won the Nobel peace prize, and 14 years after he was elected president of South Africa…

Earlier this week, we learned that people in Portland organizing against police killings of Black men, white nationalist politicians, and the countless systems of racism throughout our local, state, and federal governments are now considered “domestic terrorists” by Department of Homeland Security. Why? Because the Portland Police Bureau labeled the November 10, 2016 protest a “riot.” ACLU March 2017

Too say this is a troubling development doesn’t go nearly far enough but remember, President Trump is only capable of doing this because of President Peace Prize and the magic of left cover.

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Republicans push plan to gut Medicaid and slash taxes for the wealthy

by Kate Randall, WSWS

Top Trump administration officials appeared on the political talk shows Sunday morning to promote the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House Republican bill for the repeal and replacement of Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

The Republican proposal builds on the core features of Obamacare, designed to boost the profits of the private insurers and slash health care costs for the government and big business.

The ACHA seeks to strengthen the grip of the for-profit health care delivery system in America while making sweeping cuts to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor jointly funded by the federal government and the states. It also slashes financial assistance to low-income people seeking to purchase health coverage and cuts taxes for the wealthy and big business by an estimated $600 billion.

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Trump proposes huge hike in military and police spending (and huge austerity cuts to domestic services)

(While the fake news and the unDemocratic Party distract us with tall tales of Russian boogeymen, The Donald is busy imposing reactionary neoliberal austerity cuts to America, turning us into Chile 1973.)

by Patrick Martin, WSWS

The Trump administration sent instructions to federal agencies Monday proposing a $54 billion increase in spending for the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security, to be offset by $54 billion in cuts for other agencies, mainly those involved in domestic social services and regulation of business.

Trump’s budget outline sets the stage for his first address to Congress on Tuesday. It provides further evidence that the Trump administration will be dedicated to radically rolling back social spending to finance a dramatic escalation of military operations, both in the neo-colonial wars in the Middle East and against the United States’ ‘great power’ rivals: China and Russia.

Federal departments are being told to file budget requests for the fiscal year that begins October 1, 2017 based on the numbers they were given by the Office of Management and Budget. Each agency will be responsible for working out the cuts required to meet proposed reductions, while the Pentagon, CIA and DHS will propose expanded operations with the additional funds they are to be awarded.

There were no details made public about the exact budget ceilings given to each federal department, but White House officials made it clear that foreign aid programs in the State Department and anti-pollution regulation through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would suffer some of the largest cuts.

The total budget of the EPA is only $9 billion, so many other domestic programs are certain to be hard-hit, involving such departments as Education, Labor, Transportation, Agriculture (which includes food stamps), Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services.

The biggest federal social programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are not affected by the budget order, which involves only funding for so-called discretionary programs, those financed through annual congressional appropriations. Entitlement programs, where benefits are paid out automatically to those who establish their eligibility, are covered by a separate budget process…

[read more here]

Ninth Circuit Court Upholds Judge James L. Robart’s TRO on Behalf of Big Business and their (near) Slave Labor Importing Scheme

by Scott Creighton

At first it was a “Muslim ban”. Then it was a “travel ban”. But let’s call it what it is… a ban on cheap labor shipped over from destabilized countries made up of refugees the Obama administration has created with their endless Globalist Free Market Wars and his “moderate” terrorists, his CIA company men, that helped destabilize them.

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court in San Fransisco voted 3-0 to usurp national and constitutional law and uphold the Temporary Restraining Order issued by Judge James L. Robart on behalf of the plaintiffs, the states of Washington and Minnesota along with a number of Big Businesses  from those states. Their argument (once you got past the PR bullshit that Microsoft, Amazon and other only cared about keeping some woman from visiting her sister here in the states that just happened to be working at Amazon or some such crap) is that the ban would hurt their business by keeping them from profiting off the cheap labor.

Microsoft, Amazon, and Expedia  have filed a lawsuit basically claiming the Trump executive order is going to hurt their profit margins because the cheap labor provided by the refugees will be unavailable now.” Scott Creighton

“A federal judge in Washington has joined several of his counterparts across the country in ruling against the federal government’s executive order that restricts citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

In the suit, which was filed by the State of Washington earlier in the week, officials from Expedia and Amazon filed formal legal declarations saying that their employees are directly affected by the President Donald Trump’s policy. Expedia further explained that its business interests would be negatively impacted if the executive order was allowed to stand.Ars Technica

Both Amazon and Expedia are also preparing statements that demonstrate the order’s negative impact on their business.” CNBC

Judge Robart’s decision did not overturn Trump’s executive order, all it did was issue a temporary ban on the restriction based on Robart’s opinion that there was a possibility of the suit’s success in the future.

What that did was keep the doors open a little longer for Obama’s terrorists to file into the country so they can start their new lives (and new jobs at Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia and Starbucks) after terrorizing places like Syria and Libya, just like the CIA and State Department promised them. Can you say “special immigrant visas”?

On Tuesday, he and other DHS officials announced additional exceptions to the order. Iraqi nationals will now be eligible for entry using Special Immigrant Visas, which are granted to people who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq, officials said.” Elise Folley

The Ninth Circuit ruling is a striking example of judicial reactionary activism gone too far… on behalf of Big Business. Like we haven’t seen that before. Ironically enough, it is being couched in the complicit press as an example of the “liberalism” of the court when nothing could be further from the truth.

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Roland Martin: That Hustla Ova There Tryna Sell Us School Privatization

by Bruce Dixon, BAR

Roland Martin pretends to be a journalist. But what does a guy do when the one percent won’t pay for an informed public? Roland is a hustla for hire, and he’s found a dependable set of clients. Roland is all about blackening up and selling us the destruction and privatization of public schools, which is what both elite Democrats and Republicans want. Journalists tell the truth without fear or favor. Hustlas do what they’re paid to do, and the charter school sugar daddies pay well…

[read more here]

Billionaire Religious Fanatic Public School Privatizer Betsy DeVos Becomes Trump’s Sec. of Education

by Scott Creighton

devos

the mask of the free market sociopath

I have written about this neoliberalization crap all day long for almost a decade now and as it unfolds it still makes me as sick as the first day I figured out what these fascist bastards were really up to.

Trump’s VP, Pence, had to step in and break the tie vote in the senate and so the billionaire privatizer who’s married to the Amway pyramid scheme fortune and the sister of Eric Prince (former owner of Blackwater and a guy looking forward to when he can cash in on the new Phoenix Program right here in America) is now your Secretary of Education.

Her goal, now that her cover is blown, will be to privatize as much of the Department of Education as she can, making billions in profits for her colleagues in the charter business while cheating at least a generation of young poor Americans out of their education.

Gov. Martinez of New Mexico can’t wait to help the “brave reformer” DeVos chop up public education on behalf of a couple billionaire oligarchs.

This isn’t about conservative verses liberal ideology. This is about bringing Milton Friedman’s economic brick to America and watching the Miracle of Chile being imposed on us in slow motion. School for profit ideology is sickening just like running prisons for profit or police for profit or wars for profit. It is all the same. And it sickens me.

Donald Trump has done a lot of things already that make me proud to have refused to vote for him. This tops the list thus far.  Makes you kinda wonder what he has up his sleeve next, doesn’t it?