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demmiblue

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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
Number of posts: 31,158

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Pentagon goes into 'damage control' mode to reassure NATO allies

Source: NBC

WASHINGTON — Hours after President Donald Trump departed NATO headquarters Thursday, U.S. military leaders embarked on a full-scale “damage control” operation with calls to their counterparts across Europe to reassure them that America will abide by its defense commitments in the region.

The outreach, directed by the Pentagon leadership, came after Trump threatened to reassess those commitments during a gathering with NATO allies in Brussels, according to multiple current and former diplomatic and military officials familiar with the calls.

The overall message from senior military officials in a series of phone calls to members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been that U.S. military bases in their countries will remain open and American troop levels in the region will not be reduced.

The Pentagon-led effort was meant to counter Trump’s withering criticism about the security alliance that rattled European leaders.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/pentagon-goes-damage-control-mode-reassure-nato-allies-n891096

OPP ART: Make America Great Again



https://www.thenation.com/article/make-america-great/?utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=twitter

Trump visibly annoyed about a reporter having the audacity to ask if he regrets his comments...

https://twitter.com/JamieRoss7/status/1017716401774133248

A daughter of Detroit defies odds, takes car industry into the future



Denise Gray arrived at Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant in Livonia, along with nearly three dozen clients and employees, for her business dinner. A well-dressed man she didn't know took her aside and expressed concern about the evening's corporate host, a Korean battery company that recently made leadership changes.

Minutes later, she noticed a horrified look on the customer's face when she introduced herself as the company's president. The man realized Gray was the leadership of LG Chem's Michigan Inc. tech center.

"It's just being a female in a male-dominated industry," Gray said. "People expect the CEO to be male or Korean or I don't know. Just not me."

The little girl raised at Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church on the corner of McDougall and Charlevoix in Detroit, grew up to be one of the world’s most respected electrical engineers who is helping guide the auto industry into the future.

She designs, develops and manufactures lithium-ion battery systems that turn cars into electric and driverless vehicles and provide power for the DVD system playing "Finding Dory" in the backseat of SUVs across America.

Gray's operation is a subsidiary of the $24 billion LG Chem Ltd., headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Her clients include Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Volvo.

“My life is an example of a person who comes from humble beginnings,” Gray said, seated in a pew on a hot July afternoon. It is nearly 90 degrees inside the church. Yet she tells stories, unhurried, for more than an hour on this particular day.

https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2018/07/13/denise-gray-lg-chem-michigan-auto-industry/761518002/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Detaining immigrant kids is now a billion-dollar industry

Source: ABC News

Detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging industry in the U.S. that now reaps $1 billion annually — a tenfold increase over the past decade, an Associated Press analysis finds.

Health and Human Services grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million in 2017. The agency is also reviewing a new round of proposals amid a growing effort by the White House to keep immigrant children in government custody.

Currently, more than 11,800 children, from a few months old to 17, are housed in nearly 90 facilities in 15 states — Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

They are being held while their parents await immigration proceedings or, if the children arrived unaccompanied, are reviewed for possible asylum themselves.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/detaining-immigrant-kids-now-billion-dollar-industry-56546291?cid=social_twitter_abcn

"Stateless" boy who emerged as leader in Thailand cave was key to rescue

The 12 boys rescued from a cave in Thailand are reported to be feeling better Thursday morning. The boys and their soccer coach have been hospitalized since their 18-day ordeal ended earlier this week and are expected to spend at least a week at the hospital, followed by 30 days at home.

The British divers who found the boys also had a helper inside the cave: A student who was able to take a leadership role by translating for them. Staff at his school told CBS News' Anna Werner, that's not surprising. He's a boy who has already faced significant challenges in his life and overcome them.

Teacher Kru Nice says 14-year-old Adun Sam-On has always been a leader, despite the fact he doesn't have his parents with him or even an official home. Since Adun's parents slipped him out of Myanmar eight years ago to escape the ethnic conflicts there, he's become one of many students at this school considered "stateless." He's not a citizen of any country. Yet in Thailand, Adun is a top student and a standout athlete.

Kru told us she was so worried when she learned Adun was trapped in the cave. But Adun's proficiency in languages – he speaks four – proved key inside the cave, as he acted as translator for the British divers during the complicated rescue.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/thailand-cave-rescue-new-details-about-boy-who-emerged-as-leader/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=54175357

The Utah Gun Exchange is following the Parkland students around the country to combat their call for



From Texas to New York to Utah, students continue to hold rallies and town halls calling for new gun regulations after repeated mass shootings. It is a political movement sparked by the massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school in February.

Now, an owner of a Utah online gun marketplace has taken the company’s military-style armored vehicle on the road, following these students and holding counter-rallies. That includes urging its members to attend a March for Our Lives town hall in Salt Lake County this weekend, which is led by some of the Parkland, Fla., victims.

Bryan Melchior, a co-owner of the Utah Gun Exchange, is now on the Gulf Coast in Florida, staging to attend town halls organized by the Parkland teenagers. So far the pro-gun group at these events has been limited to Melchior and his seven traveling companions, though they urge supporters to attend any event intended to push for new gun restrictions.

Their road trip hasn’t exactly been incident free.

Police stopped Melchior and the group in New York and Chicago while an officer in Georgia just wanted to check out the military-style armored vehicle. It is usually topped with a replica machine gun that is propane-powered so it sounds like the real thing, but doesn’t shoot bullets.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/07/10/utah-gun-exchange-is/



Sick fucks.

California slashes emissions, hits major greenhouse gas goal years early

Source: San Fransisco Chronicle

In a major win for California’s fight against global warming, the state appears to have hit its first target for cutting greenhouse gases — and it reached the goal four years early.

Data released by the California Air Resource Board on Wednesday show that the state’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped 2.7 percent in 2016 — the latest year available — to 429.4 million metric tons.

That’s slightly below the 431 million metric tons the state produced in 1990. And California law requires that the state’s emissions, which peaked in 2004, return to 1990 levels by 2020.

Since the peak, emissions have dropped 13 percent. The 2008 financial crisis helped, cutting the number of miles Californians drove and the amount of freight moving through the state’s ports, railways and roads. But emissions have continued falling in recent years even as the state’s economy surged.

Read more: https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/California-hits-2020-greenhouse-gas-reduction-13066821.php?utm_campaign=twitter-premium&utm_source=CMS%20Sharing%20Button&utm_medium=social

Whitmer: On the campaign trail, we sometimes run into people looking to throw shade our way.

https://twitter.com/gretchenwhitmer/status/1017076372945231872

Timeline: Trump's Acts of Accommodation/Engagement with Russia, Nov. 2016-July 2018

President Donald Trump’s comments and actions in relation to Russia – and especially toward President Vladimir Putin — are strikingly conciliatory considering Moscow’s documented attacks on America’s democracy and its repeated violations of international norms and repression at home. Certainly some U.S. measures under the Trump administration have been contrary to Russian interests if not punitive, including some implementation of sanctions legislation. But Trump signed the sanctions legislation reluctantly, and overall his comments and actions have demonstrated a desire to embrace Russia.

In the past, Just Security published a timeline called, “Russian Provocations and Dangerous Acts since January 20, 2017.” The new timeline below, which now includes developments since early June and up until July 10, 2018, chronicles publicly reported Trump comments and actions toward Russia since the 2016 U.S. presidential election—whether accommodationist or adversarial or defying easy classification. Some may view certain steps as acts of rapprochement aimed at a more cooperative relationship with Russia to fight common enemies and avoid dangerous escalation. Other observers will see the acts as incriminating evidence of a quid pro quo or a dangerous appeasement to an adversary who attacked and continues to attack America’s democratic institutions.

Are we missing anything? If so, tell us on Twitter at Just Security’s account.

Nov. 14, 2016 — In their first official phone call, President-elect Trump and Putin agree on the “absolutely unsatisfactory state of bilateral relations” between Russia and the U.S., according to the New York Times. The two leaders agreed to meet at some point in the future and “endorse” the idea of taking efforts “to normalize relations and pursue constructive cooperation on the broadest possible range of issues.”

Nov. 18, 2016 — President-elect Trump names retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security advisor, stirring controversy in part because of Flynn’s ties to Russia, according to the Washington Post. In 2015, Flynn accepted payment from RT — a Russian news channel that had become a propaganda arm — to attend the station’s gala event in Moscow. Putin also attended the gala, and RT later published photos of the two dining next to each other.

Dec. 1 or 2, 2016 — Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak meets with former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Trump Senior Advisor Jared Kushner in Trump Tower. The meeting is not disclosed to the public until March 2017. The White House first states that its purpose was to “establish a line of communication.” Kislyak later reports to superiors in Moscow that, in the meeting, Kushner suggested setting up a secure channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin, to be hosted at the Russian embassy or consulate, according to the Washington Post.

https://www.justsecurity.org/58108/timeline-trumps-acts-accommodation-engagement-russia/
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