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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
April 26, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren says if hospitals keep letting Black mothers die, they should lose funding

She's right.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren says if hospitals keep letting Black mothers die, they should lose funding
Sen. Warren called out racism as the root cause for Black women's high maternal mortality rates in the U.S. and described a plan to address it.
By Natasha S. Alford -
April 25, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) says it’s time to move beyond talking about the problem of Black mothers dying and make hospitals find solutions or pay up.

At the She The People conference in Houston on Wednesday, Sen. Warren rolled out a policy plan that would address the racial disparity between Black and white mothers.

“We have failed our mamas, we have failed our babies,” Sen. Warren told the crowd, eliciting loud cheers and applause.

While the United States has an exceptionally high maternal mortality rate across the board, Black women die at 3 to 4 times the rate of white women.

“If providers deliver quality care to black moms, they’ll make more,” Sen. Warren later tweeted. “If they don’t, they’ll make less. Don’t just observe and debate racism in health care. Make providers pay until this crisis is fixed.”



April 26, 2019

Trump's Visit with the Queen Is Already Looking Like a Mess

womp womp


Trump’s Visit with the Queen Is Already Looking Like a Mess
There’s no room at Buckingham Palace—but the Trump baby blimp will be back to greet him!
by Erin Vanderhoof
April 24, 2019 4:56 pm

A mere day after accepting an official invitation from the Queen to make a state visit to the United Kingdom in June, President Donald Trump couldn’t help but prove why he has a reputation for being a bad guest. After Larry Johnson, a former C.I.A. analyst, appeared on the conservative One America News Network Wednesday and made claims about the British intelligence service and the 2016 election, Trump’s Twitter fingers were burning. He couldn’t help but regurgitate the already-litigated and disproven idea that he was wiretapped and spied on by the British government during the 2016 election:
Maybe he was in a salty mood because he found out there probably wouldn’t be an actual palace for him to stay at while in London. After the invitation’s acceptance was announced, the Daily Mail reported that, despite receiving the Queen’s invitation, Trump and his wife, Melania, would likely not be staying in Buckingham Palace, as her guests usually do. The part of the palace where the aides of foreign dignitaries usually stay, the East Wing, will be closed as part of the 10-year, £365 million renovation of the palace. Instead, they will likely stay at the U.S. ambassador’s residence, Winfield House, where they stayed during Trump’s working visit to the country last summer. It’s probably a coincidence that the renovation will affect that specific wing on those specific dates, but it will at least allow the Queen to keep the Trumps at arm’s length if she so chooses.

Trump is no stranger to a chilly reception in the United Kingdom. His first bid for a state visit was delayed last year, due in part to fears about demonstrations; when Trump finally made it to London in July 2018, he was greeted by tens of thousands of protestors. They followed his every move, even showing up to his Scotland golf course, Trump Turnberry.

Now, protesters are already announcing their intentions for the June visit. After the visit was officially announced, CNN contacted organizers of last year’s London protests and confirmed that the big Trump baby blimp that drew headlines would return for another go-around.

“I mean, it doesn’t take a crystal ball for people to predict there will be protests,” said London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to the BBC Tuesday. “Many of the things that this president has said, people find objectionable.”

The visit is set to occur in time for ceremonies recognizing the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Trump will attend a ceremony in Portsmouth before heading to Normandy for a larger memorial. During the visit, he is also going to conduct bilateral talks with Theresa May, whose handling of Brexit he criticized a day before a meeting with her last summer. That is, should he make it to the visit this time. It’s going to be a long month.
April 25, 2019

CNN Plays 'What If A Democrat Did What Trump Is Doing?'


4/25/19 11:04am
Read time: 3 minutes
Video at link~
CNN Plays 'What If A Democrat Did What Trump Is Doing?'
And a former congressman from the Republican side doesn't sugarcoat it.
By Frances Langum

Charlie Dent was a Republican Congressman and member of the House Ethics Committee. He doesn't sugarcoat it when asked how Congressional Republicans today would react if a Democratic president responded to subpoenas the way Trump is -- with unconstitutional disregard for Article I of the Constitution.

DON LEMON: as a Republican, would Republicans accept this if a Democratic president was doing the same thing?

CHARLIE DENT: Oh, no, that would be a human rights violation, Don, come on! (laughing) I mean, remember during 'Fast and Furious', Congress held Eric Holder in contempt for failing to turn over documents related to Fast and Furious at that time. So if the shoe were on the other foot, oh no, Republicans would be waving a bloody shirt, this would be a human rights violation and they'd be outraged and try and figure out ways to enforce their subpoena.


LEMON: what happens -- listen, the presidency comes with term limits unless this president goes to the Supreme Court because he wants to be president for life. I'm being facetious, but that wouldn't be far off. I wouldn't be shocked. So then what happens after this administration? After this presidency when maybe a Democratic president comes into office, then what happens? What do Republicans do then? What if the Democratic president says the same thing? "I'm not going to abide by anything you say, I'm just going to do what I'm going to do, I'm not going to comply with anything," What do you think happens?

DENT: Well, what I fear is that precedents get set. and future administrations will look at what happened now and say this justifies their action at a point in the future. so I think that's really the bigger concern. in fact, I would argue that Congress's powers have eroded steadily, I could argue probably since the Roosevelt administration under both Democratic and Republican administrations, Congress has seated a lot of power to the executive. and if this issue is resolved in an unsatisfactory way for congress this will just be a further erosion of the power of Congress. the president will be further empowered institutionally. so again, Republicans -- I was a Republican and I saw how my colleagues reacted at the time. when Obama was president. and when Eric Holder defied, you know, the subpoena for documents. I mean, they went crazy over that. and went to court and it was pretty ugly. Again, nobody's pure in this business. A lot of people are guilty of hypocrisy.

LEMON: This is beyond. You're using Eric Holder as one example. This is an example of many -- all in a row.

Thank you, Don Lemon, for calling out Dent's bothsiderism. Dent is right, Republicans would be on full freak-out if Trump was a Democratic President. How do we know? Because they did this already with Obama and Clinton. There is NO comparison to what Trump is doing with the possible exception of Richard M. Nixon.

April 25, 2019

Interior abruptly pauses offshore drilling action following legal setbacks and bipartisan uproar

Interior abruptly pauses offshore drilling action following legal setbacks and bipartisan uproar
Coastal communities have united across party lines to oppose the Trump administration's plans.
E.A. Crunden
Apr 25, 2019, 4:28 pm

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the agency has abruptly paused its controversial plans to open virtually all U.S. waters to offshore drilling, a stunning reversal following more than a year of bipartisan uproar from coastal communities.

The news comes as some Democratic presidential candidates have started to speak out on the issue. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) recently took a strong stand against offshore drilling in South Carolina, a key primary state that has largely revolted against President Donald Trump’s coastal fossil fuel ambitions. Several others have since joined in calls against the expansion of offshore drilling.

In an interview Thursday with the Wall Street Journal, Bernhardt said the administration’s long-anticipated five-year leasing plan targeting the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been sidelined following a federal court decision in Alaska earlier this month. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason blocked Trump administration efforts to reverse the Obama-era ban on oil and gas leasing in both the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic Ocean, determining that Trump had “exceeded” his authority in challenging the limits on drilling.

The decision left DOI officials unsure of how to proceed on broader offshore drilling efforts. “By the time the court rules, that may be discombobulating to our plan,” Bernhardt said, pointing to the limits of any future efforts to expand offshore drilling in the area.


April 25, 2019

Sam Ervin during the Watergate hearings:

From our own Burke County, NC Senator Sam Ervin during the Watergate hearings:

“Senator Ervin then called on the president's closest top advisers to appear. The president said they could not. They were protected, as he constitutionally is, by executive privilege. Senator Ervin immediately called a press conference and began with a line from Julius Caesar, 'What meat doth this Caesar eat that he grows so great? And I say to you, what meat do these White House aides eat that they grow so great? We abolished titles of nobility in the long ago and if these men refuse to come down here, I shall instruct the sergeant-at-arms in the Senate to go to the White House and fetch 'em. They are as subject to questioning as any other citizens. The president calls it executive privilege. I call it executive poppycock.'”
April 25, 2019

Coast Guard officer who allegedly planned mass attack to be released

Coast Guard officer who allegedly planned mass attack to be released
Apr 25, 2019 | 3:49 PM

The U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant who stands accused of planning to launch a mass domestic terror attack, will be released, a judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Day ruled that the government could not hold Christopher Hasson any longer after not charging him with terrorism; the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed to the Daily News last week that he had not been charged with any terrorism-related offenses.

Hasson, 49, pleaded not guilty last month to unlawful possession of silencers, possession of firearms by a drug addict and unlawful use and possession of a controlled substance, charges that officials previously called “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.”

Law enforcement officials found 15 firearms and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition at his Silver Spring, Md., apartment earlier this month, along with a list of “prominent Democratic Congressional leaders, activists, political organizations, and MSNBC and CNN media personalities,” including Sens. Tim Kaine, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, as well as Rep. Maxine Waters, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, CNN hosts Chris Cuomo, Van Jones and Don Lemon, MSNBC host Chris Hayes and former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.



April 25, 2019

Why Won't Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS?...

by Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler
Apr 25 2019, 12:21pm
Why Won’t Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS? Because It Would Mean Banning Some Republican Politicians Too.
A Twitter employee who works on machine learning believes that a proactive, algorithmic solution to white supremacy would also catch Republican politicians.

At a Twitter all-hands meeting on March 22, an employee asked a blunt question: Twitter has largely eradicated Islamic State propaganda off its platform. Why can’t it do the same for white supremacist content?

An executive responded by explaining that Twitter follows the law, and a technical employee who works on machine learning and artificial intelligence issues went up to the mic to add some context. (As Motherboard has previously reported, algorithms are the next great hope for platforms trying to moderate the posts of their hundreds of millions, or billions, of users.)

With every sort of content filter, there is a tradeoff, he explained. When a platform aggressively enforces against ISIS content, for instance, it can also flag innocent accounts as well, such as Arabic language broadcasters. Society, in general, accepts the benefit of banning ISIS for inconveniencing some others, he said.

In separate discussions verified by Motherboard, that employee said Twitter hasn’t taken the same aggressive approach to white supremacist content because the collateral accounts that are impacted can, in some instances, be Republican politicians.

The employee argued that, on a technical level, content from Republican politicians could get swept up by algorithms aggressively removing white supremacist material. Banning politicians wouldn’t be accepted by society as a trade-off for flagging all of the white supremacist propaganda, he argued.



April 25, 2019

Do you think Biden will lose support

due to his stance on weed, medical or otherwise?

Uncle Joe's 2020 pot problem
by Erin Dunne
| April 16, 2019 11:05 AM

Former Vice President Joe Biden hasn’t officially entered the Democratic primary yet. But if he does, he’ll have a lot of explaining to do when it comes to actual policies rather than just talking up his ties to the Obama White House and claims of appeal to the Democratic base. And on marijuana, this is especially evident.

Among the Democrats who have already declared their candidacy and those likely to, Biden is a clear outlier. As the rest of his party clamors to support legalization of recreational marijuana, Biden still seems to be questioning medical marijuana.

Indeed, just last week Biden applauded medical marijuana opponent Bertha Madras as she criticized the medical applications of the drug. The other panelists at the University of Pennsylvania event kept their hands in their laps.



April 25, 2019

Connie Schultz: This Could Be Melania Trump's Barbara Bush Moment


This Could Be Melania Trump's Barbara Bush Moment
By Connie Schultz

April 25, 2019 6 min read


Countless doctors and children's advocates have sent letters to the Trump administration about the dangers of these long-term separations. Nearly 8,000 mental health experts signed a petition with this warning: "To pretend that separated children do not grow up with the shrapnel of this traumatic experience embedded in their minds is to disregard everything we know about child development, the brain, and trauma."

Journalists have chronicled how, after just three months' separation, some of these young children no longer recognize their parents. Grieving parents describe bright and engaged kids changed by the wounds of trauma.

Donald Trump's response: Let's do it again.

There is one person in this administration who could force his hand.

Go to the border, first lady Melania Trump.

Take the reporters and photographers with you and go cradle the babies that your husband wants to rip from parents' arms. Hold the hands of those mothers and fathers, and listen to them describe why they have risked everything to flee and save their children's lives. Hear the anguish in their voices. See the fear in their eyes.

At the Easter roll, you read Emily Winfield Martin's book, "The Wonderful Things You Will Be." You held up that page and asked the children gathered around you, "Will you stand up for good by saving the day?"

Go to the border, Mrs. Trump.
April 24, 2019

Oklahoma governor signs law banning bans on plastic bags

Can you say douchenozzle?


Oklahoma governor signs law banning bans on plastic bags
By Chris Mills Rodrigo - 04/24/19 01:57 PM EDT

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has reportedly signed a law banning bans and fines on plastic bags.

"I want to make sure I make it easy for industry to do business in Oklahoma," Stitt said at the bill-signing on Tuesday, according to KFOR in Oklahoma City.

The bill blocks municipalities from banning or putting a tax on auxiliary containers made of plastic, cloth, paper, cardboard, aluminum and glass, the station noted, adding that Stitt stressed regulatory consistency in signing the measure.

"I just don't think that we should be putting laws and rules on business from 500 municipalities," he said, according to KFOR.

The legislation, which was approved by the state House and Senate, comes shortly after Norman, Okla., announced plans to put a 5 cent tax on single-use plastic bags.



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