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IronLionZion's Journal
IronLionZion's Journal
January 29, 2018

How Trump may end up expanding Medicaid, whether he means to or not


Republican lawmakers in a half-dozen states are launching fresh efforts to expand Medicaid, the nation’s health insurance program for the poor, as party holdouts who had blocked the expansion say they’re now open to it because of Trump administration guidelines allowing states to impose new requirements that program recipients work to get benefits.

In Utah, a Republican legislator working with the GOP governor says he hopes to pass a Medicaid expansion plan with work requirements within the year. In Idaho, a conservative lawmaker who steadfastly opposed Medicaid expansion in the past says the new requirements make him more open to the idea. And in Wyoming, a Republican senator who previously opposed expansion — a key part of President Barack Obama’s health-care law — says he’s ready to take another look at fellow Republicans’ expansion efforts in his state.

Moderate Republicans in North Carolina, Virginia and Kansas are similarly renewing calls to take up Medicaid expansion, though it’s unclear if there will be quite enough conservative support or whether Democrats would consider voting in favor of work requirements.

If successful, though, the efforts could make hundreds of thousands of Americans newly eligible for health coverage, while also opening the door to Medicaid changes that could kick some current beneficiaries out of the program and reduce its benefits to recipients — broadening the program’s reach into red states but with a decidedly conservative bent.

Something is better than nothing. Some new people will get coverage if this happens, even with work requirements.

January 29, 2018

Trump hints at fight over $1 trillion trade with Europe


President Trump has warned that the U.S. administration may soon address "very unfair" trade with the European Union.
"I've had a lot of problems with the European Union, and it may morph into something very big from ... a trade standpoint," Trump said in an interview with British broadcaster ITV on Sunday.

"It's a very unfair situation," he added. "We cannot get our product in. It's very, very tough, and yet they send their product to us -- no taxes, very little taxes."

Trump has on several occasions criticized the EU over trade, singling out export powerhouse Germany for running a big trade deficit with the United States.

The rhetoric has not yet translated into substantial action, but the Trump administration's efforts to crack down on what it perceives as unfair trade now appear to be gaining momentum.

Last week, the U.S. slapped new tariffs on imported residential washing machines and solar panels, a move that is expected to hurt China and South Korea, a key ally and trading partner.

GOP rarely puts much thought into how America can lose manufacturing jobs to desperately impoverished shitholes like Germany. Maybe it's not because of wages.

I suspect the liberal health care and education programs have been good for employers there. Companies also have better relationships with their workers and it's still considered honorable work to build stuff with your hands there.

"The European Union has been very, very unfair to the United States, and I think it'll turn out to be very much to their detriment," he told ITV.
Dumbass is making us the nation of isolation, like North Korea.
January 10, 2018

A pastor admitted a past sexual incident with a teen. His congregation gave him a standing ovation


On Dec. 1, as headlines across the country blared with news about Matt Lauer’s surprise firing from the “Today” show for sexual misconduct, a woman named Jules Woodson tapped out a short email. It ran only about 80 words but was nearly 20 years in the making. “Do you remember?” the subject line read.

“Do you remember that night that you were supposed to drive me home from church and instead drove me to a deserted back road and sexually assaulted me?” Woodson wrote. “Do you remember how you acted like you loved me and cared about me in order for me to cooperate in such acts, only to run out of the vehicle later and fall to your knees begging for forgiveness and for me not to tell anyone what had just happened?”

She closed with three words and a hashtag. “Well I REMEMBER,” the email said. “#me-too.”

The message landed in the inbox of Andy Savage, a pastor at Highpoint Church, an evangelical Memphis mega-congregation that draws more than 2,000 Sunday worshipers. The 42-year-old checked all the right boxes for a rising minister: biblically trained, handsome and CrossFit-cut; an attractive wife and five young sons; social media savvy and unafraid of speaking on topics such as sex. Savage’s career had begun as a college student working at a church outside Houston, a congregation Woodson attended as a high school student.

When Savage failed to respond to Woodson’s December email, she took her allegations public on Jan. 5, posting a detailed account of the alleged sexual assault on a blog for abuse survivors. Evangelical circles started spinning with reports of a then-college student forcing a sexual encounter with a student.

Yet instead of following the course of so many recent sexual harassment scandals — reports that have toppled careers in Hollywood, media and politics — Savage’s public outing seems to have failed to upset his position. In a message on the church’s website, he admitted to a “sexual incident” with a high school student at the time. Highpoint’s main pastor, Chris Conlee, also released a statement supporting Savage. And last Sunday, the pastor addressed his congregation about the allegations, but provided little detail.

For those who are wondering how anyone could still support Roy Moore after what he did. Some wingnuts actually support this behavior and may even envy it.
January 9, 2018

Alligators freeze snouts in ice to stay alive

Alligators at a wildlife park in North Carolina survived frigid conditions by allowing their noses to be frozen in ice. Source: CNN

Video at link:


January 9, 2018

Joe Arpaio running for Senate in Arizona

Source: Washington Examiner

Republican Joe Arpaio, a close ally of President Trump and former sheriff known for his provocative approach to combatting illegal immigration, is running for Senate in Arizona.

The 85-year-old Arpaio could shake up the late August Republican primary in a critical open-seat race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. Trump pardoned Arpaio last summer, sparing the former sheriff jail time after he was convicted of ignoring a federal court order in a racial-profiling case.

The polarizing yet iconic former Maricopa County sheriff, beloved by many conservatives for his hawkish immigration policies, presents an alternative to the unimpressive Kelli Ward and a potential obstacle to Rep. Martha McSally. She is expected to launch within days and is widely viewed as the Republicans’ strongest general election candidate.

In a telephone interview with the Washington Examiner, Arpaio shrugged off concerns about his age, dismissed Republican insiders’ anxiety that his poor reputation with nonwhite voters would put the seat in play for the Democrats in the midterm, and discussed plans to work with Trump on behalf of Arizona.

Read more: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/joe-arpaio-running-for-senate-in-arizona/article/2645354

Arizona can do better than this. He should be in prison under the same conditions he put his inmates through.

January 9, 2018

Anyone misplace 9 lbs of weed, D.C. police asked on Twitter


The box from FedEx contained eight vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana, and it left D.C. police with a question they posed on Twitter:

“Anyone misplace 9 lbs of weed over the weekend? Feel free to stop by #DCPolice headquarters .?.?. we’d be happy to chat.”

It turned out police were just making a point. They already had a suspect in custody — a 25-year-old named Jacob Greenbaum of Leesburg, Va., charged with possession of drugs with intent to distribute. It’s legal to possess marijuana in the District, but only up to two ounces.

Greenbaum was arrested Saturday after police said he tried to retrieve the box that had been sent to the Blind Whino, a nonprofit community arts program in the 700 block of Delaware Avenue SW, housed in a Baptist church built in 1886.

The Blind Whino! Why bother smuggling it? Just grow it legally.

January 8, 2018

Salaries have risen for high-skilled foreign workers in U.S. on H-1B visas


U.S. employers planned to pay high-skilled foreign workers with H-1B visas a median salary of $80,000 a year in fiscal year 2016, up from about $69,000 a decade earlier, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data.

This is the first time the U.S. government has made salary information about H-1B applicants publicly available. Most H-1B applicants get approved for visas, so the data provide a window into the salaries of high-skilled foreign workers employed in the United States.

The 2016 median salary reported for H-1B visa applicants was higher than the median salary paid to some U.S. workers in similar high-skill occupations. For example, U.S. workers in computer and mathematical occupations had a median salary of $75,036 in fiscal 2016, a slight increase from 2007, when the median salary was $73,979 (adjusted to 2016 dollars), according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on all U.S. workers. The majority (60%) of all H-1B applicants from fiscal 2007 to 2016 were seeking employment in computer and mathematical occupations.

The H-1B visa program is the primary way employers in the U.S. hire high-skilled foreign workers. The program allows employers to hire foreigners to work for up to six years in jobs that require highly specialized knowledge, and workers’ employment may be extended if they have green card applications pending. To participate, employers first submit applications to the U.S. Department of Labor attesting that no U.S. citizen worker would be displaced by the prospective foreign worker. The application is then reviewed by USCIS before the State Department interviews the foreign worker and issues the visa.

It's from August. I just wanted DUers to see the salaries and think a little bit deeper about why companies want to hire foreign workers on visas instead of Americans. Maybe it's not to pay them less.
January 7, 2018



Thousands of mostly Indian skilled workers with H-1B visas could be deported while they wait for their green cards to be granted under a proposal that President Donald Trump is reportedly considering.

The proposal is being drafted by Department of Homeland Security leaders and came from Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative he promised on the campaign trail, sources told McClatchy DC.

Trump administration officials are examining whether they can come up with a new interpretation of the “may grant” language in the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act to block H-1B visa extensions. Thousands of immigrants, most of them Indian, currently can apply for H-1B visa extensions beyond the permitted two 3-year terms if they have green card applications in the system.

“The idea is to create a sort of ‘self-deportation’ of hundreds of thousands of Indian tech workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans,” a source who spoke with Homeland Security officials told McClatchy DC.

If the proposal passes, 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders could be forced to leave the U.S., according to IndiaToday.in.

How many DUers have applied to client services contracting firms? Now's your chance. Update that resume and start applying.

January 5, 2018

Blue-collar jobs are booming in America


2017 was a great year to be employed in the construction and manufacturing sectors. And if President Trump and Congress push for infrastructure spending, this year could be even better.

The government said Friday that the construction industry added 30,000 jobs last month, with a big chunk coming from the hiring of more specialty trade contractors, like plumbing and electrical work. Manufacturers added 25,000 jobs.

Construction and manufacturing combined added 406,000 jobs for all of last year.

This is clearly a sign that the broader economy remains in healthy shape. Consumers are spending. Corporate profits are rising.

So what's next? If infrastructure really does become a political priority, as Trump has promised, then spending on roads and bridges should lead to even more jobs in construction and manufacturing.

Some construction and manufacturing firms have been unable to find as much skilled labor as they need. These businesses will have to ramp up hiring -- and probably pay more -- if big federal contracts are on the line.

"If we see anything with infrastructure spending from Trump, we will get even more hiring and wage growth simply because of the shortage of workers in construction," said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

Unemployment is 4.1% now. There are jobs to be had. Maybe some job creators will take their millions in tax cuts and raise some wages?
January 4, 2018

Galsplaining with Gal Gadot GQ

Gal can splain things to me any time she wants

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Southwestern PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Washington, DC
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 06:36 PM
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About IronLionZion

If an H-1b has an American accent, they are probably not an H-1b. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.

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