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AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 08:25
It's been a long, difficult week in Trumpworld with all of the incriminating reports of corruption surrounding President Donald Trump and his administration. With Election Day less than five days away, Trump is likely feeling the pressure as the opposing forces work over time to state their case and prove that he is unfit for the office of the presidency. Many of the stories raise more questions about Trump's leadership and the hidden agendas of his White House officials and other members of his administration. Here's a breakdown of the stories circulating this week:. 1. Trump, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the Turkish Bank A new report by the New York Times has uncovered involving billions of dollars worth of gold and cash that.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 08:18
Remember this number: $3. That's how much Trump charged the federal government for a glass of water in April of 2018 when he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. t, Trump's company also charged the government "$13,700 for guest rooms, $16,500 for food and wine and $6,000 for the roses and other floral arrangements," over the two days he held meetings with Abe at the resort. But one day, Trump was scheduled to meet with Abe without aides and advisers, with no meal service or cocktails or any other celebratory nonsense. Just the two leaders, alone in a room, talking. According to the Post, the bill for that day contained a line item reading, "Bilateral meeting. Water. $3.00 each.". Donald Trump ha.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 08:12
The Federal Reserve, which these days seems to be the only major part of the federal government capable of operating drama-free, has done a lot to help keep our economy afloat. It has cut interest rates to unprecedented low levels, bought billions of dollars of corporate IOUs, helped stabilize the debt markets and helped rescue a stock market that had begun falling sharply in mid-February when the COVID-19 recession started and that seemed headed for a crash. In the process, the Fed has indirectly provided support to house prices and to the vital home construction business by forcing down mortgage interest rates to all-time lows of about 3%. Given that home equity is a major asset for many middle-class Americans, supporting home prices is e.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 08:08
In a blistering 17-page letter, the head of a congressional committee on Friday accused federal officials of improperly withholding information on Border Patrol agents' misconduct in a secret Facebook group from congressional investigators. , chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said in the letter that she plans to subpoena internal Border Patrol documents detailing misconduct related to the Facebook group, which included some 9,500 current and former agents.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 08:05
It's been 217 days since Congress instructed the IRS to send $1,200 stimulus checks to every citizen below a certain income threshold. And yet, it's likely as many as 12 million people — including those who most need a financial boost — never got the cash. The reasons include confusion about how the complex program works, IRS missteps, technical snafus and Treasury Department policy decisions that cut out large groups of people altogether. Those who fell through the cracks have until Nov. 21 to claim the money or risk losing out on any second round of stimulus payments, which Congress has been negotiating for months. “Out of what should be an incredibly positive story, [the IRS] just kept getting black eye after black eye after black eye,"
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 07:53
Whatever happens to the economy – jobs, wages, the hardships so many are facing – the stock market seems to be in a world of its own. Why? The primary answer is simple. Stock values roughly reflect profits, especially anticipated profits. When profits are expected to rise, stock prices trend upward. But that only raises a deeper question: How can profits be trending upward when jobs and wages are doing so badly? Because of a disconnect in the American economy that began way before the pandemic – about 30 years ago. Before the 1980s, the main driver of profits and the stock market was economic growth. When the economy grew, profits and the stock market rose in tandem. It was a virtuous cycle: Demand for goods and services generated more jobs.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 07:43
Sen. Susan Collins, the embattled Maine Republican, is not closing out the final week of her campaign with glory. Pretty much the opposite, in fact. In the final debate with Democrat Sara Gideon Wednesday night, Collins totally blew off the existence of systemic racism in Maine. Granted, Maine is , but it's not that white. There's a of refugees and immigrants in the state. So when Susan Collins, their senator, "I do not believe systemic racism is a problem in the state of Maine," and "it's clear that in some parts of our country there is systemic racism or problems in police departments" but "we are very fortunate in the state of Maine because we have terrific members of law enforcement," she might seem just a little bit out of touch to tho.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 07:39
According to a report from the Daily Beast, a dark cloud has descended over close associates of Donald Trump as well as White House officials as they prepare for a disastrous Election Day where . In interviews, multiple officials indicated they see no way the president can pull off his re-election, with the Beast characterizing their responses as "Our guy blew it.".
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 07:35
As infection rates surge, Democrats still are outpacing Republicans in thwarting coronavirus spread according to my interpretation of data. A few weeks back I noted in a that states governed by Republicans had the highest positive COVID-19 test rates, while the states with the lowest positive rates mostly were governed by Democrats. I argued that positive test rates are a good measure of how serious, or not, governors are in trying to bring the pandemic under control. While leaders can take measures to limit the actual spread, such as longer and stronger lockdowns and mask requirements, many factors determining the spread are outside their control. By contrast, they do have control over the amount of testing, although legislatures can play
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 07:30
Listen Now:. In an exclusive interview with Raw Story's Mike Rogers and Shannyn Moore — the co-hosts of Raw Story's new weekly podcast — Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of television's Shark Tank, unloads on Donald Trump, likening him to Tony Soprano and suggesting that his presidency may serve as "political chemotherapy," a reset of America's party "duopoly.". "
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 07:26
The top legal officers of Texas, Louisiana and Indiana—all Republicans—are trying to that make it more difficult for child welfare agencies to tear apart Native American families. Texas Attorney General argued that the the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment because children are put into one of two child welfare systems based on whether they are Native American. "The ICWA to coerce state agencies and courts to carry out an unconstitutional and illegal federal policy of deciding custody based on race," Paxton said. Congress set up this dual system in 1978 after decades of native American families being destroyed by child welfare agencies.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 07:08
Former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) showed off the sense of rumor that put him on "Saturday Night Live" during a Friday night appearance on HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher. The two politically-minded comedians had a fascinating debate on what would happen if President Donald Trump refuses to leave office on January 20, 2021. Franken said that would be a good thing, as it would mean Trump lost and would be escorted from the premises.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 07:03
It's no secret that U.S. politics . Even so, there are probably few living Americans who ever witnessed anything that quite compares with . Was it really the case that the nation could do no better than a verbal food fight, with two candidates hurling fourth-grade insults and talking past each other? To us, the discordant debate was just one more symptom of the nation's fraying civic discourse, which, in a recent study, we were able to show extends to the words we use to talk about politics. Earlier this year, we started constructing a data set that consists of all of the viewer comments on YouTube videos posted by four television networks — MSNBC, CNN, Fox News and — that .
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 06:57
"Blessed be our new founding fathers and America ... A nation reborn.". This year will see us celebrating a very different Halloween. In many places around the country, children will not be able to go trick-or-treating, and adults will not be able to dress up and make fools of themselves at the club, given the current pandemic. But what is Halloween without a scary story? And what is the nature of those spooky tales? Most of the time they are rooted in very real issues and very real threats. Sometimes the scariest thing in movies or books is not the killer, monster, or demon jumping out of the dark. Some of the best works scare people with what they can get the viewer or reader to imagine to be behind the creaking door, without ever spelling.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 06:46
President Donald Trump has given rally speeches that last longer than 100 minutes, but on Friday cut thing short for his speech at a rally in Minnesota. "President Trump only spoke for 21 (!) minutes at this smaller event in Rochester, MN tonight. Can't remember him ever speaking for less than 45 minutes at a rally but this was restricted to only 250 people due to coronavirus safety guidelines and Trump was not pleased," NBC News correspondent Monica Alba . ABC News producer John Santucci , "I've never seen Trump look less interested. "This is about half his average speech length, and he often goes much longer when he's into the crowd (nearly 90 min in Tampa yesterday)," LA Times White House correspondent Eli Stokols . NBC News reporter Gar.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 06:44
Instead of focusing on a viable stimulus plan to help the American people and the country's flailing small businesses, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is focused on doing the one thing he and his Republican colleagues said Democrats would do: pack the courts. During an interview with Conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who will likely uphold their views and strike down opposing views. "We're going to run through the tape.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 06:33
More than 1 million mail-in ballots could be rejected in the 2020 election if recent trends hold up, experts say, raising fears that the rejections could swing close races. Mail-in ballots have been rejected at around a 1% rate in recent years, though 2020 is expected to be on the higher end due to the number of voters , at the U.S. Postal Service, and court decisions but do not arrive in time. "It is possible millions of ballots will be disqualified — at least one or two million due to the normal 1-2% disqualification of mail-in ballots, primarily for errors in completing the ballot, such as a signature problem or late submission," Richard Briffault, a professor a the Columbia School of Law, told Salon.
AlterNet - Environment blog 10/31/2020 06:19
Sen. , R-Tx., who currently finds himself in against Democratic opponent MJ Hegar, previously himself as a graduate of Oxford University in England in the run-up to his successful election to the Texas Supreme Court, press and public records show. In the eight months before Cornyn's 1990 election to the state's highest court, seven Texas publications, including regional standard-bearers such as the Austin-American Statesman and the Houston Chronicle, published 10 profiles claiming that Cornyn had "graduated" from "the Judicial Studies Program" at Oxford. The profiles, archived versions of which were reviewed by Salon, ran from February until days before the election in November, with headlines like "Judge Promises 'Restoration of Integrity'

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