Shutdown fears spur horse-trading | TheHill


Democrats have offered to agree to an additional $15 billion in military funding as part of a spending package to keep the government operating if Republicans in Congress agree to fund ­ObamaCare insurer subsidies.

Signing off on the Democratic offer would avert a government shutdown set to begin Saturday.

It would ensure that the reimbursements to health insurers would continue, preventing what could be a mass exit from the exchanges.

Source: Shutdown fears spur horse-trading | TheHill

If you really respect Trump voters, tell them the truth | Vox


What exactly a given place needs to do to deal with those realities — how to improve the quality of K-12 schools, increase college graduation rates, attract new businesses, and so forth — is contentious.

But there’s simply no realistic regional development strategy that’s based on indulging nostalgia.

To improve, places need to change. Indeed, they probably need to accelerate the pace of change. And not everyone is going to like it.

Source: If you really respect Trump voters, tell them the truth – Vox

Trump’s Separate Pursuit of Two Government Reform Plans Will Hurt Both | GovExec.com


a very basic question remains unanswered: Why are there two such initiatives?

By any measure, the objectives of both OAI (Office of American Innovation) and the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) “reorganization” directive are related, if not entirely intertwined.

But they are not obviously in synch. And that could create both confusion and redundancy.

Then there is the question of the budget. Agencies are developing their reorganization plans mostly after the President’s 2018 budget proposal has been essentially completed. Reorganization plans, based on careful evidence-based evaluations, represent the logical foundation for the next budget.

But if the budget is not aligned with the plans, how can even the most worthy reorganization be executed?

Source: Trump’s Separate Pursuit of Two Government Reform Plans Will Hurt Both – Promising Practices – Management – GovExec.com

Jim Hightower | To Have a People’s Government, We the People Must Build It


.. millions of our neighbors have long been disengaged, viewing the political scrum as somewhere between irrelevant and repugnant.

But, suddenly they’re back — alert not only to Trump, but to their congress critters and to that menagerie of freaky, rightwing corporate mutants that Trump-Pence has put in charge of our government.

In January, one red-district Texan told a reporter: “I think of politics the way I think of my car. I just want it to run [without my spending] a lot of time.”

Only a few weeks into the Trump-Does-Washington spectacle, he learned a fundamental lesson: “You get the politics you work for.”

Source: Jim Hightower | To Have a People’s Government, We the People Must Build It

Explainer: The Trumps’ conflict of interest issues


Among the Trump Organization’s holdings are 16 hotels, 17 golf courses, a modeling agency, a production agency and at least 25 residential real estate properties (a minimum of 17 domestically and eight overseas).

His over 500 companies have dealings in 25 countries including India, Panama, Scotland and the Philippines.

Source: Explainer: The Trumps’ conflict of interest issues

Dahr Jamail | Great Barrier Reef Reaches “Terminal Stage” as CO2 Levels Rise at Record Rate


Several weeks later Eyewitness News in Australia reported on scientists giving the GBR a “terminal prognosis” unless ACD (anthropogenic climate disruption) is slowed dramatically.

By April, scientists were in shock, realizing that two-thirds of the entire reef was now bleached out. Some of them declared the GBR (Great Barrier Reef) had reached a “terminal stage,” describing the situation as “unprecedented.”

Thanks to ACD, Earth has lost approximately half of all its coral reefs in just the last three decades. A quarter of all marine species depend on reefs. Reefs provide the sole source of protein for more than one billion people, and they are now vanishing before our eyes.

Source: Dahr Jamail | Great Barrier Reef Reaches “Terminal Stage” as CO2 Levels Rise at Record Rate

Senate Trump-Russia Probe Has No Full-Time Staff, No Key Witnesses – The Daily Beast


“It’s either a real investigation or not,” said one individual with knowledge of the committee’s activities. “You have to have an approved investigative guide. You have to make it formal. Can you have a credible investigation with only seven part-time staffers, doing everything in secret?”

This is despite the committee’s leadership giving off a bipartisan, cooperative impression to the public.

Source: Senate Trump-Russia Probe Has No Full-Time Staff, No Key Witnesses – The Daily Beast

AT&T plays underdog, and bully, in cable war | SFGate


AT&T expects the merger review to be completed this year.

To get the deal approved, AT&T has begun a major lobbying and marketing effort. The company recently hired lobbyists close to Vice President Mike Pence and others in the administration. It increased its lobbying expenses to $3.7 million in 2016’s fourth quarter, up 6 percent from a year earlier. AT&T was one of the top donors to Trump’s inauguration.

Source: AT&T plays underdog, and bully, in cable war – SFGate

The Decline And Fall Of The Empire Of Liberty


America, the apotheosis of liberal republicanism, has been the arch-foe of imperialism. Something, however, has changed. The tide of liberal republicanism is going out: in America, in Russia, and, vividly, around the world.

Liberal republicanism thrived as it delivered the goods — a rising standard of living — wherever well applied. That process stalled out, at least in America — America, the premier engine of the liberal republican world order — around the turn of the millennium.

Yes, free markets are the foundation for equitable prosperity. Yet sometimes — all too often — the rhetoric of “free markets” is used to veil special pleading for oligarchs. Capitalism was the wrecking ball for feudalism.

What is one to do when the modern equivalent of feudal barons appropriate the language of capitalism to justify their power and privilege?

Source: The Decline And Fall Of The Empire Of Liberty

April 23, 2017 – Most-Viewed Bills | Congress.gov

April 23, 2017

1. H.R.392 [115th] Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017
2. H.R.367 [115th] Hearing Protection Act of 2017
3. S.544 [115th] A bill to amend the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 to modify the termination date for the Veterans Choice Program, and for other purposes.
4. H.R.676 [115th] Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act
5. H.R.353 [115th] Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017
6. H.R.861 [115th] To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.
7. H.R.610 [115th] To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools.
8. H.R.38 [115th] Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017
9. H.J.Res.69 [115th] Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the Department of the Interior relating to “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures, on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska”.
10. H.J.Res.43 [115th] Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients.

Source: Most-Viewed Bills – Congress.gov Resources –