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The Other Side of the News



 



American Nationalists Are Quiet as Mice on Russia

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:52:19 -0500

Jonah Goldberg, National Review: Most of the rah-rah nationalists on cable, talk radio, and social media have been remarkably blasé, more interested in Hillary Clinton's misdeeds than those of a contemptuous foreign power. For some of the alt-right, the silence is understandable; many of them are simply fanboys (or clients) of Vladimir Putin. ... Its government attempted to meddle in our elections and is planning on doing so again this year. Where is the outrage? How powerful can nationalism be if it cannot overpower partisan loyalty?(image)



Michigan GOP Chair Blasts Trump and Resigns

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:29:28 -0500

Expressing disappointment over President Donald Trump and vowing to no longer be affiliated with any political party, the chairman of the Bay County Republican Party has stepped down from his post. Brandon DeFrain, who has served as the chairman of the Bay County Republican Party since 2014, announced his resignation in a 333-word post on his personal Facebook page on Thursday, Feb. 8. ... In his announcement, DeFrain said, "I can no longer remain silent about our President. I have not seen a leader, I've only seen more of the same ... I'm tired of attempting to defend a machine that does not defend the people I love."(image)



Cleaning Your House Can Damage Your Lungs

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 15:19:52 -0500

Researchers from universities in Norway recently conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, to determine how cleaners may contribute to lung decline over time. "While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact," senior author Cecile Svanes said in a statement. "We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age." For their assessment, they examined the lungs of more than 6,200 women and men from 22 health institutions, following them over a course of 20 years. During that time span, the participants were asked if they cleaned their homes and if they were professional cleaners. If so, they were also required to record how much they used typical liquid cleaning products.(image)



Economists Fear Trump is Nuking the Economy

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 11:49:18 -0500

Bess Levin, Vanity Fair: [A]s everyone but the president seems to understand, screwing over your creditors isn't something you can do as a head of state, nor is the United States government some seedy Atlantic City casino you can refinance -- a fact that economists have been at pains to drive home since the president embarked on his massive spending spree. "My view is that this fiscal expansion is probably the most foolhardy escapade in modern economic policy history," Albert Edwards, a global strategist at Société Générale wrote in a report to clients on Wednesday. Noting that the timing of Trump's giant fiscal stimulus was "utterly ridiculous" considering the strength of the economy, Edwards warned that Trump's yuge tax cuts, plus a $300 billion spending package, plus a proposed $200 billion infrastructure plan "will only accelerate the collapse of U.S. financial markets as the Federal Reserve hikes rates even more quickly. ... The post-mortem will identify President Trump's ludicrously timed fiscal stimulus as a key trigger for the collapse."(image)



Trump Isn't Even Close to Being Off the Hook

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 08:39:00 -0500

The Guardian editorial: [Donald] Trump is not off the hook. Far from it. His oft-repeated argument, contradicting US and British intelligence agencies, that stories of covert Russian meddling were "fake news" has been exposed as false. The US, like other western countries, is incontrovertibly under sustained assault from the Kremlin. Why does Trump continue to defend Russia? With Trump, it is difficult to talk about credibility. What little he does retain has just measurably diminished ... [D]espite Trump's crowing about vindication, that does not mean there was no collusion. It does not mean there was no wider conspiracy. Nor does it mean there was no impact on the election.(image)



The Age of Constant Surveillance

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 08:21:24 -0500

Robert Draper, National Geographic: In 1949, amid the specter of European authoritarianism, the British novelist George Orwell published his dystopian masterpiece 1984, with its grim admonition: "Big Brother is watching you." Today more than 2.5 trillion images are shared or stored on the Internet annually -- to say nothing of the billions more photographs and videos people keep to themselves. By 2020, one telecommunications company estimates, 6.1 billion people will have phones with picture-taking capabilities. Meanwhile, in a single year an estimated 106 million new surveillance cameras are sold. More than three million ATMs around the planet stare back at their customers. Tens of thousands of cameras known as automatic number plate recognition devices, or ANPRs, hover over roadways -- to catch speeding motorists or parking violators but also, in the case of the United Kingdom, to track the comings and goings of suspected criminals.(image)



U.S. National Security Adviser Says Russia Meddling Now Undeniable

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 17:31:39 -0500

Trump's national security adviser said Saturday that Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections is beyond dispute, marking a sharp reversal of Trump's frequent dismissal of alleged Russian cyber-meddling as a "hoax." H.R. McMaster was speaking at an international conference in Munich in response to a question from a Russian delegate. He spoke shortly after an appearance at the same gathering by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who had dismissed as "just claptrap" allegations of Russian meddling found in U.S. indictments handed down Friday.(image)



A 'Mass Shooting Generation' Cries Out for Change

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:26:04 -0500

The New York Times writes about America's generation of children who have grown up with mass shootings and practicing active shooter drills at school. Whether at school, a movie theater or a concert they no longer feel safe and many are saying they are not going to take it anymore. The paper compares the stunned silent reaction after the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting to Wednesday's reaction. Many of survivors quickly began talking politics. "It is the time to talk about guns ... it's scary to think these are the people making our laws," Cameron Kasky is a 17-year-old junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School told CNN. "Our community just took 17 bullets to the heart and it feels like the only people who don't care are the people making the laws."(image)



A White House Budget Fit for the King of Debt

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:32:40 -0500

As Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives, told the Washington Post, "Budgets are aspirational documents and seldom have a real impact on spending." But this doesn't mean that the new budget document should be completely ignored. For one thing, the proposal confirms that the country's finances will be in a wretched state once the G.O.P.'s recent tax-cut bill is fully enacted. Second, it provides yet another window into the deeply inequitable policy priorities of the Republican Party. And, finally, it illustrates the rank hypocrisy and chronic cognitive dissonance afflicting the Party under Donald Trump.(image)



President's Personal Attorney Broke NDA, Stormy's Lawyer Says

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 13:31:15 -0500

President Trump's Stormy Daniels problem is getting worse. The porn star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says she is ready to spill the beans about a 2006 extramarital sexual encounter with the president now that Michael Cohen, the president's personal attorney, has acknowledged he paid her $130,000 to not discuss the allegations publicly. A lawyer for Clifford says Cohen violated their nondisclosure agreement and that she's preparing to tell the story in full. "Everything is off now and Stormy is going to tell her story," said Gina Rodriguez, an attorney for Clifford. A watchdog group has filed complaints with the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission alleging that Cohen's payment to Clifford runs afoul of campaign finance laws, although GOP lawyers are dismissive of the claims.(image)



Proposed WH Change Could Jeopardize Kushner's Security Clearance

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:52:45 -0500

President Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner has reportedly requested more intelligence information than almost every other White House official. The Washington Post reports that Kushner, whose portfolio encompasses issues ranging from the Middle East peace process to modernizing the federal government's use of technology, has put in more requests for U.S. intelligence information than any White House staffer not working for the National Security Council. Kushner holds a Top Secret/sensitive compartmented information (SCI) security clearance, the highest level, which allows him to review some of the nation's most closely-guarded secrets and allows him access to the presidential daily briefing, according to the Post.(image)



Trump's 'Russia Hoax' Turns Out to Be Very Real

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 11:30:16 -0500

When Donald Trump finally acknowledged publicly that Russians had hacked Democratic emails and interfered in the 2016 presidential election, the then-president-elect immediately regretted it. He confided to advisers that he did not believe the intelligence. The last thing Trump wanted to do was to endorse the notion that his victory may have been caused by any force other than his own strategy, message and charisma. But Trump's own Justice Department has concluded otherwise. A 37-page federal indictment released Friday afternoon spells out in exhaustive detail a three-year Russian plot to disrupt America's democracy and boost Trump's campaign, dealing a fatal blow to one of the president's favorite talking points. According to the federal charges, Russian operatives spread pro-Trump and anti- Clinton propaganda. They posed as Americans to coordinate and infiltrate political activities. They stoked racial tensions and sowed social discord.(image)



American Pleads Guilty in Mueller's Russia Probe

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 22:32:35 -0500

A California man has pleaded guilty to identity fraud as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in U.S. elections. Richard Pinedo, of Santa Paula, ran an online service called Auction Essistance, through which he bought and sold bank account numbers that would help users circumvent security measures of digital payment companies. Pinedo transferred, possessed and used the identities of other people in connection with unlawful activity, according to a statement of the offense. He pleaded guilty on February 12, according to court documents. Pinedo faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the plea agreement. It said he has no criminal history and that he agrees to cooperate with Mueller's office.(image)