Agent Orange Wants to Drop Climate Change from Environmental Reviews

More infuriating shit from, of all places, Bloomberg

President Donald Trump is set to sign a sweeping directive to dramatically shrink the role climate change plays in decisions across the government, ranging from appliance standards to pipeline approvals, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plan.

The order, which could be signed this week, goes far beyond a targeted assault on Obama-era measures blocking coal leasing and throttling greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that has been discussed for weeks. Some of the changes could happen immediately; others could take years to implement.

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They Want to Kill Civilians, Too…

Not to say that previous administrations didn’t do their damndest to find ways to murder civilians, but this takes it to a level that (and I’m sure this will surprise y’all, as it certainly surprised me) hasn’t been seen since Bush II at the latest

From the New York Times

The Trump administration is exploring how to dismantle or bypass Obama-era constraints intended to prevent civilian deaths from drone attacks, commando raids and other counterterrorism missions outside conventional war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.

Already, President Trump has granted a Pentagon request to declare parts of three provinces of Yemen to be an “area of active hostilities” where looser battlefield rules apply. That opened the door to a Special Operations raid in late January in which several civilians were killed, as well as to the largest-ever series of American airstrikes targeting Yemen-based Qaeda militants, starting nearly two weeks ago, the officials said.

Mr. Trump is also expected to sign off soon on a similar Pentagon proposal to designate parts of Somalia to be another such battlefield-style zone for 180 days, removing constraints on airstrikes and raids targeting people suspected of being militants with the Qaeda-linked group the Shabab, they said.

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And the Excuse for These Unfilled Positions?

From the Washington Post

President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce.

This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said.

The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday will offer the clearest snapshot of his vision for the size and role of government. Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting and research. Simply put, government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America, with private companies and states playing a much bigger role.

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Fined for… Not Getting Genetic Testing? … WHAT?!?

I don’t… how… what…

Why is this a thing?

From the Washington Post

Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law.

In general, employers don’t have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce would allow employers to get around those obstacles if the information is collected as part of a workplace wellness program.

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Patriarchy in Action: Abortion Under Attack

On a whim, I decided to have a look through Congress’s repository of legislation currently being considered, and found the following bills. All have only been introduced, but I find them to be rather disturbing. Almost all of the ones I’m highlighting here have to do with abortion, and, of course, banning it. Considering the fact that they all include “exceptions”, I have a feeling that they won’t pass a conservative congress that wants to ban abortion outright, with no exceptions at all.

But they are worth highlighting, regardless…

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Government Contractors No Longer Have to Disclose Labor Law Violations

From APNews

The Senate on Monday reversed an Obama administration rule designed to ensure government contractors disclose violations of federal labor laws as they seek more work.

Senate approval of the measure sends it to President Donald Trump for his signature and marks another success in the GOP’s efforts to quash an array of regulations issued during President Barack Obama’s final months in office.

This time, the Senate voted 49-48 to overturn a rule that required contractors to disclose violations of 14 federal labor laws, including those pertaining to workplace safety, wages and discrimination. Contracting officers would then consider the violations when evaluating bids.

The rule addressed government auditors’ concerns over the years that contracting officers frequently failed to consider violations when awarding contracts because they lacked adequate information.

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DHS Outright Tells Us That They’re Going to Separate Children from Their Parents

Just pure evil…

From CNN

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly confirmed that the department is considering separating children from their parents at the border.

“We have tremendous experience of dealing with unaccompanied minors,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.” “We turn them over to (Health and Human Services) and they do a very, very good job of putting them in foster care or linking them up with parents or family members in the United States.”

He continued: “Yes I’m considering (that), in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network. I am considering exactly that. They will be well cared for as we deal with their parents. … It’s more important to me, Wolf, to try to keep people off of this awful network.”

A senior DHS official had previously told CNN that the department was considering a proposal to separate children from adults when they are trying to enter the country illegally at the southern border.

The official told CNN the proposal is meant to deter the exploitation of children.

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Republicans Finally Tell Us How They Plan On Replacing The ACA

From the Washington Post

House Republicans on Monday released long-anticipated legislation to supplant the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative vision for the nation’s health-care system, replacing federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and grants to help states shape their own policies.

Under two bills drafted by separate House committees, the government would no longer penalize Americans for failing to have health insurance but would try to encourage people to maintain coverage by allowing insurers to impose a surcharge of 30 percent for those who have a gap between health plans.

The legislation would preserve two of the most popular features of the 2010 health-care law, letting young adults stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 and forbidding insurers to deny coverage or charge more to people with preexisting medical problems. It would also target Planned Parenthood, rendering the women’s health organization ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants — a key priority for antiabortion groups.

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Agent Orange Signs a New Islamophobic Travel Ban

From Reuters

President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order on Monday banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the United States but removing Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts.

The new order, which takes effect on March 16, keeps a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It applies only to new visa applicants, meaning some 60,000 people whose visas were revoked under the previous order will now be permitted to enter.

Immigration advocates said the new ban still discriminated against Muslims and failed to address some of their concerns with the previous order. Legal experts said it would, however, be harder to challenge because it affects fewer people living in the United States and allows more exemptions to protect them.

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Updates on Agent Orange’s Wiretapping Claims

Y’all already know the story… Agent Orange claimed on Twitter that President Obama wiretapped his cell phone.

Here’s some more info…

First, from the Hill

White House press secretary Sean Spicer early Sunday said investigations into Russian attempts to influence the election should include President Trump’s claims that the Obama administration “abused” its investigative powers in 2016.

“Reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling,” Spicer tweeted.

Second, from the NY Times

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement.

Mr. Comey, who made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter, has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment. Sarah Isgur Flores, the spokeswoman for the Justice Department, also declined to comment.

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