Category: News & Politics

Craig Unger: There Is a Russian Asset in the White House | The Russia Desk | NowThis

‘There’s a Russian asset in the White House.’ — This journalist isn’t holding any punches in his new book that connects the many dots between Trump, Putin, and Russia’s complex history of influencing U.S. politics.
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Craig Unger: “One doesn’t like to say it but there is a Russian asset in the White House. The Russians were able to install their man in the White House without firing a single shot”

Versha: ‘That man, who certainly isn’t pulling any punches, is journalist and author Craig Unger. He’s worked for Vanity Fair and Esquire but most recently he’s written a book called ‘House of Trump House of Putin’ where he outlines President Trump’s direct connection with the Russian mafia dating back more than 30 years.

Recently I got the chance to sit down with Craig to discuss the book, ‘House of Trump House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia,’ where he lays out Trump’s connection to Russian organized crime via money laundering rackets, the origins of the strategy Russia used to attack the US, and what the ordinary citizen (like you and me) can do to fight back! ‘

Unger: ‘In 1984 Donald Trump met with a man named David Bogatin who was tied to the Russian mafia and Bogatin and came in with six million dollars, that’s equivalent of about 15 million today, and said, “I’ll five condos”. That according to the state attorney general’s office of New York was laundering money. It was a transaction that was all cash and bought through anonymous shell companies. That kind of transaction happened again and again. And if it had only happened two or three times I think you could make a strong case that we don’t know what’s going through his mind.’

‘But there has been investigations that found at least 13 hundred similar transactions, all cash transactions, in which anonymous shell companies are buying Trump real estate. That is probably billions of dollars. And you know the legal concept known as willful ignorance or deliberate ignorance and I think a good case can be made that there’s a real pattern here and that Trump was pretty much aware of going on on some level because it was so highly profitable.’

#Russia #Putin #Trump #Politics #RussiaInvestigation #Corruption

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Sens. Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley Want to Stop Congresspeople From Trading Stocks | Op-Ed | NowThis

It’s legal for members of Congress to buy and sell stock in businesses they write laws on — but Senators Sherrod Brown and Jeff Merkley want to end ‘conflicted trading’ once and for all.
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It’s perfectly legal for members of Congress to buy and sell stock in the very businesses that they are writing laws on. 34 members of Congress traded more than 100 stocks while in office in 2017-2018. Senator James Inhofe bought over $50,000 in stock in a top military contractor days after he pushed for a record $750 billion in military spending. Rep. Chris Collins was arrested on insider trading charges in 2018. He allegedly traded stocks while standing on the White House lawn.

Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown and Jeff Merkley are introducing the Ban Conflicted Trading Act to end this form of insider trading. The bill prohibits members of Congress from abusing their positions by voting on issues while holding stock in individual companies. It would also prohibit members of Congress from serving on any corporate boards while in office.

#SherrodBrown #JeffMerkley #Congress #Politics #Corruption #Stocks

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Bush Official Col. Wilkerson Says Trump Is Priming America for War With Iran | Op-Ed | NowThis

Former official Col. Larry Wilkerson says the Trump admin is priming Americans for war with Iran — and he would know, since he helped George W. Bush do the same for Iraq.
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Colonel Larry Wilkerson: I realized that we had probably pulled the wool over the American people’s eyes and certainly over the international community’s eyes and so I felt pretty low about it.

This state department official regrets his role in promoting the Iraq War. Now he’s speaking out to stop war with Iran.

Colonel Larry Wilkerson: One of the things that disturbs me most about this is that the same tactics are being used as were used in 2002 and early 2003 with regard to Iraq. The same people the same tactics the same litany the same strategy the same everything. And yet there seems to be as Gore Vidal called the American people we are the ‘United States of Amnesia.’ There seems to be no reasonable attitude out there about this that hey we’ve seen this before. We do not need to do this again. We’ve been at war for 17 years now. […] But that’s the problem we have in this country. No one remembers these things. No one associates them with the present or the future. […] And we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

Wilkerson helped Colin Powell prepare his famed presentation to the UN in which he primed the world for war with Iraq.

Colin Powell: The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world.

Colin Powell: The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.

Colin Powell: Indeed, the facts and Iraq’s behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction.

Colonel Larry Wilkerson: When I listened to [Powell] present, I realized that the six days and seven nights that we spent preparing his presentation had not allowed me to look at the whole thing to understand exactly what he was saying, particularly the part where he connected the 9/11 attacks from al Qaeda the terrorist organization with Saddam Hussein which I and others in the intelligence community knew was a real stretch. […] So this was bogus information we were putting out at the United Nations. And Richard Cheney the vice president and George Tenet the DCI knew that it was bogus information and never told the secretary of state. […] It was one of the lowest points if not the lowest points in my professional life and Powell has said she’ll ever be ever be remembered for that moment at the United Nations talking about Iraq’s WMD. I suspect he’s right.

George W Bush: My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.

Colonel Larry Wilkerson: This decision in 2003 to invade Iraq was and will be ever interpreted by historians as a catastrophic strategic mistake. What we did when we invaded Iraq was violate 40+ years of U.S. foreign and security policy. We destroyed the balance of power in the Persian Gulf. […] and we started what is going on now and probably will be going on for years to come this massive chaos, killing, death, starvation, states failing and so forth. Syria, Libya, Iraq, and possibly Lebanon, maybe Jordan. […] What we have is chaos and we produce that chaos. Just as sure as we produce the chaos, we produced ISIS. […] We produced all this by that really unwise decision in 2003 to invade Iraq. […] The campaign to convince the American people to support the war in Iraq which is quite effective and when you consider it was built on a house of lies, it was quite effective.

Wilkerson says Trump is using the same tactics to foster an Iran war.

#War #Iran #Politics #Military #TrumpAdministration #DonaldTrump

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Who Is Kevin McCarthy? Narrated by Michael Wolf | NowThis

Kevin McCarthy is the man in charge of getting the Republican agenda through Congress. Michael Wolf explains how he went from working at a deli to getting on the Benghazi committee before eventually finding his way into Trump’s pocket.
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Outgoing House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, was neither tough enough or smart enough for the GOP leadership position. Now that the GOP is the House Minority, McCarthy won’t be able to protect President Trump from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and subpoenas from the incoming Democratic House Majority.

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Who Is’ is a weekly miniseries narrated by celebrities that explores the people behind the Trump administration and their complicated, often salacious histories.

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Ex-FBI Director James Comey Torches Republicans Over Trump | NowThis

‘Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter … Where are those Republicans today?’ — Watch ex-FBI director James Comey slam the GOP over Trump.
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Former FBI director James Comey spoke to the press after being interviewed by Republican lawmakers about Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Steele Dossier. In his impassioned words to reporters, Comey asked why Republicans aren’t standing up to President Donald Trump nor accepting the truth. Comey indirectly blamed Fox News, the GOP base, and Trump’s mean tweets, as the reason for Republican’s alleged cowardice.

‘Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matters, and the truth matters. Where are those Republicans today?’

‘At some point someone has to stand up and in the face of fear of Fox News, fear of their base, fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country and not slink away into retirement, but stand up and speak the truth.’

#Trump #GOP #Republicans #JamesComey #Politics

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Women in Prison Are Finding Peace Through This Running Program | NowThis

Taking up running has completely transformed the lives of women at this prison, helping them overcome trauma and find freedom behind bars.
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These inmates are running 5ks, 10ks, and half-marathons as part of a running program for incarcerated women.

Gina Virgilio: ‘On the track, my mind has no tension, no stress, no dark thoughts. Some people say it’s a runner’s high. But I think it’s like almost like a meditative state or a oneness. I believe that. ‘

Sarah Hayes: ‘My view of the world has completely shifted. I come out of a run and I can handle anything. Like I used to think of little problems as so big and now they’re like ok well that’s not so bad.’

Gina: ‘You break your mental will. You do. On the half -marathon, that’s the one that I’ve ran, you can break barriers down in your own brain. I can go from rags to riches story. From jail to the Boston Marathon.’

Sarah Hayes and Gina Virgilio are both in prison for murder. They’re also participating in Running Free Alaska, a running program for female inmates.

Gina: ‘Had I not come to jail, I would have failed in life because I had no strength — mentally, emotionally, anything. I was doomed.

The first time I heard the word meth I think I was 20. I didn’t even know that drug existed. I was clean for like six months maybe seven months. I went to a barbecue and I knew there was gonna be drugs there. I tell myself like, oh you didn’t, but at the end of the day, I did. I got high. Never got that high before. It was a lot of meth I did. And after that night, something changed mentally for me. When you’re in a psychosis, you get messages. I got messages from every single thing. All day, every day. I was going crazy.’

Gina says she was in a drug-induced psychosis when she killed her boyfriend, Michael, in 2012.

‘My mental state was the same. Far after being here — many, many months.’

In U.S. prisons and jails, more than two-thirds of female inmates suffer from some form of mental illness.

Sarah Hayes: ‘I think I’ve always had trouble coping — never really knowing how to navigate life. When I was about 30, I got baby fever just so bad, and it seemed like everyone in the world was having babies. I spent my whole 40 weeks thinking any minute now the shoe’s going to drop, like something is going to be wrong. It kept me from any kind of attachment. When I delivered her I still had this detachment and I never got that kind of [sigh of relief] everyone talks about, you know, you’re just there, and you’re in love and the experience. I wasn’t at all there. It’s like something’s just weighted down The anxiety of it and just the uneasiness, like, this doesn’t feel right. And no one to talk to about it.’

In the midst of postpartum depression, Sarah killed her 3-week-old daughter, Pepper.

‘In the hours and days after, I didn’t get any of the relief that my whole body and being told me I would get. Nothing. It just got worse. It got worse. I was imploding, self-destructing, and coming here saved my life.

I had a really great attorney and she encouraged me. She’s like they have a running project. She’s a runner and she’s like you need join, you need to do that. I couldn’t even run a lap when I started but I was able to build up.’

Many mentally ill inmates don’t receive proper treatment, and their conditions often get worse.

#Running #Prison #CriminalJustice #Run #Women

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Aunt Speaks Out After Losing 9-Year-Old Niece to Suicide | NowThis

This aunt is speaking out against bullying after losing her 9-year-old niece to suicide.
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Eddwina Harris: ‘And I’m gonna be that voice for the voiceless. I’m gonna be that voice to help continue to bring this out because until it’s out and we talk about it there’s no healing that’s going to be able to take place. I hate to my heart that my niece had to be this sacrifice. I hate that. That is heartbreaking.’

9-year-old McKenzie Nicole Adams was found dead in her home on Dec 3. According to her family, the fourth grader had been bullied at school

‘She was a very happy and loving little girl. She’s very smart and wanted to be a scientist. She always had great grades. She was the life of the party, you can guarantee when the kids came in she was always laughing or having fun.’

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among youth aged 5-14. The rate of suicides among 10-14-year-olds has grown more than 50% over the past 30 years. While suicide among elementary-aged kids remains rare, there has been an alarming increase over the past decade.Deaths more than doubled from 2008-2016.

Dr. John Ackerman works for the Center of Suicide Prevention & Research at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He said he has observed the increase in the rate of youth suicides first-hand

Dr. Ackerman, Suicide Prevention Coordinator: ‘We’re seeing real increases in depression, anxiety, emergency rooms are seeing twice as many kids for self-harm and suicidal behaviors than they did just ten years ago so this is a real thing. We don’t really have a good handle on the why. We know what to do a lot better than we ever did before but the why is still, needs a lot of research.’

#Bullying #Antibullying #Suicide #MentalHealth #Children

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Why We Need a Green New Deal, According to Robert Reich | Op-Ed | NowThis

Here’s one of the best arguments for why we need to invest in clean energy jobs now.
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It’s time for the Green New Deal now. We’re facing two major issues: Climate change and stagnant wages among growing inequality. The Green New Deal could tackle both problems. As Robert Reich says, ‘A Green New Deal would provide massive investments in the clean energy infrastructure necessary to cut carbon pollution.’ This would create good paying jobs and revitalize the economy. The proposal would tax carbon polluters, creating incentives for companies to cut their fossil fuel use and switch to clean energy. The tax revenue would then be invested in new constructions, energy efficiency, deforestation, and industry training.

#Economy #Politics #GreenNewDeal #ClimateChange

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Little Lobbyists on Trump’s Public Charge Effect on Immigrants with Disabilities | Op-Ed | NowThis

Trump’s new public charge rule is punishing immigrants for having disabilities.
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A new Trump rule punishes immigrants for having a disability.

Elena Hung, Co-founder, Little Lobbyists: ‘I am a mom and an activist. I am an immigrant, I came here when I was 8 years old. I have since become a U.S. citizen. I care very much about the immigrant community. I’m an immigrant and I’m also an immigration lawyer. I care very much about the immigrant community. I have a daughter who is disabled and I care very much about the disability community as well.

The Trump administration proposed a rule that would unfairly affect immigrants and their families to live permanently in the United States. The specific rule is called the public charge rule and the public charge rule has been used by U.S. immigration officials to determine if an immigrant would financially be dependent once they’re here in the U.S. What this rule does is redefine that criteria and exclude people with disabilities, people who use or could use, have used services like Medicaid, public housing, and SNAP.

This proposed rule affects immigrants who are already on the road to lawful status. They’re here in the United States legally, they’re seeking to adjust their status. But if they have used any kind of public benefit to support their families … this could put their family in jeopardy.

Many in the disability community rely on services for basic needs to help them survive and thrive. Many of these services are not included in private insurance and it is covered by Medicaid or SNAP or section 8 housing or other social problems that is really a life saving program. So when you take that away from those families, you are directly affecting their ability to have a good quality of life.

The disability community has a number of health care needs and concerns. It extends well beyond medical care … This includes skilled nursing care, a personal care attendant to help them with basic life necessities.

Children will be especially hit hard by this proposal. One in four children have an immigrant parent.

If the parents are afraid to seek the basic care that they need … that affects those children. Families eat together, they live in the same house together. If the parents are scared to seek those services they need to survive and thrive, these children will be affected, children who are both immigrants and U.S. citizens alike.’

Immigrants are not the only communities impacted by the Trump admin’s change 40% of direct care workers, who provide care to seniors and people with disabilities, 40% of direct care workers, like home health aides and nursing assistants, also rely on public benefits to meet their own basic needs

Hung: ‘Make your voice heard and submit a personalized comment opposing this cruel rule that will affect many families. Please go to protectingimmigrantfamilies.org. You can enter your information, submit your personalized comment, and it will be sent directly to the department of homeland security.

The public charge rule isn’t just an immigration issue or a disability issue or a poverty issue, this is an issue that defines who we are as Americans. And attack on one of us is an attack on all of us and we need to speak up.’

#Disabilities #Immigration #Trump #Politics #PublicCharge #Activism

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What Big Tobacco’s $1.8 Billion Weed Investment Means For Legalization | NowThis

Big Tobacco just invested $1.8 billion into weed, so what does that mean for legalization?
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In American capitalism, when there’s a market that can be made money in, big corporations are going to capitalize on that and come into play.

On Dec 7, 2018, Altria Group, the company that owns Marlboro, bought a 45% stake in Canadian cannabis company Cronos Group for approx $1.8 billion NowThis talked to Erik Altieri, the executive director of NORML, to get his take on what this might mean for cannabis in the U.S.

“It is encouraging to see a huge corporation like Altria jump in in such a serious way, if only from the standpoint that it means, being a big risk averse corporation, they clearly see the writing is on the wall on this. They wouldn’t be making this substantial investment otherwise, if they thought that there was still a chance that marijuana was gonna be—remain a Schedule 1 illegal drug in the United States for the next 10 years. It means that the progress that we see is only going to continue and that federal action is imminent on this topic of particularly scheduling.”

And most Americans see legalization as a good thing, a move like this could have big impact on how it’s done

“As you’re seeing now with the debate in places like New Jersey and other states that are moving forward, we need to keep the focus on small business, micro-licensing, social justice, and especially home cultivation. Consumers need to have the right to cultivate some plants at home as a check on the industry, to make sure that they keep delivering quality product and that tax rates and prices are fair.”

So if this move means legalization is coming, what should it look like?

“What we’d want to see is something more akin to a wine model or a microbrew model, and less of a cigarette model when it comes to legal marijuana in the United States. Something that prioritizes quality and small-scale operations over large, hundreds-of-acre cultivators and box store brand dispensaries.”

Big tobacco isn’t known for their small-scale operations. So there’s a chance these companies come in and try to change regulation

“They’re coming a bit late to the party here. We have a good number of states with operating legal markets here already. Those regulations are in place. I don’t think most state lawmakers want to see those regulations and oversight controls go away. So they may come in and start spending big money on lobbyists to try to fight against those things, but that’s where the — the responsibility is on us as advocates to fight back and to make sure that what we have now not only stays in place, but we push for even stronger controls — particularly when it comes to big corporations. Because we know they don’t have scruples about doing anything that it takes to make an extra cent per sale.”

At the end of the day, this investment could be very good for cannabis, but Altieri says it’s going to be up to consumers to hold these companies accountable and make sure legalization happens with good structure and scale.

“For the first time in potentially ever—at least in a very long time in the modern history of this country, we pretty much have the ability to build an entire industry from scratch and kind of dictate what it looks like, make sure that it’s an ethical industry, that it’s one that prioritizes diversity, both racial and gender diversity, as well as diversity of business operations, from small-scale to larger scale.”

#Tobacco #Weed #Cannabis #Legalization #Business

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Alyssa Milano Calls on Lawmakers to Act on Yemen | Op-Ed | NowThis

The war in Yemen might be the worst humanitarian crisis in a century — since the president won’t stop U.S. involvement, Congress has to act, says Alyssa Milano.
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“Congressman Ro Khanna and Senator Bernie Sanders are leading an effort in Congress to end the catastrophic war in Yemen that has been raging on for over three years now,” explained actress and activist Alyssa Milano. “Please call your members of Congress to pass their War Powers Resolutions to stop this mass atrocity.”

Due to the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war, 12 to 14 million people are on the brink of mass starvation and 85,000 children under the age of five have died already.

“This has the potential to be the worst humanitarian crisis. And the sad part is that this crisis is all man-made,” Milano said. “But the good news is we know how to fix it.”

According to Milano, Saudis are attacking countless civilians using American-made bombs with American taxpayers footing the costs. They are also creating a whole new generation of young people in the middle East who grew up seeing U.S. bombs kill their loved ones.

“This war is not making us any safer,” Milano said. “We must put pressure on the Saudis to end the bombing at the port of Al-Hudaydah.”

#Yemen #Congress #Politics #War #MiddleEast #AlyssaMilano

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Charles Johnson Lost His Wife Suddenly in Child Birth — Now He Wants Change | NowThis

This man’s wife died tragically after giving birth, even though she was perfectly healthy — now he’s asking Congress to make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else.
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Charles Johnson: He told me that my wife will be back in 15 minutes. And that was the last time I saw her alive.

This man’s story about his wife’s abrupt death shook the internet and now he’s taking on Congress for action

Charles Johnson: I thought if this was life threatening, they’d be moving a lot more — with a lot more urgency and even as I was walking with Kyra on the way back to the operating room and she’s holding my hand, she’s saying to me, baby I’m scared. I’m scared. The doctor has – his level of concern or sense of urgency never elevated. And in fact he said to me, this happens all the time. […] and he told me that she would be back in 15 minutes. He told me that my wife will be back in 15 minutes. And that was the last time I saw her alive. So it never crossed my mind that she would actually that I would ever leave the hospital without my wife. That was something that never crossed my mind.

Kira Dixon Johnson died hours after childbirth, despite her sterling health. Black women are 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes than white women

Charles Johnson: Although there’s nothing we can do to bring her back, the highest honor and the highest tribute that we can take here is to do everything we can to send other mothers home with their babies. That’s why I’m here on Capitol Hill today.

Johnson has met with dozens of congressional offices over the past year to advocate for legislation addressing maternal mortality

Charles Johnson: This piece of legislation is so critically important. It is H.R. 1318 and S. 1112, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act. And what this bill will do very importantly is it will fund what’s called maternal mortality review committees in all 50 states.

Charles Johnson: It has to get done. It has to get done, right. Procedures aren’t the priority right now. That’s one of the things — I’m frustrated, I’m tired of hearing that women aren’t a priority and procedures are the priority or protocols are the priority. Like, let’s get it done. […] It’s too important. It’s too important.

Charles Johnson candid walking into elevator: I was frustrated because as I was sitting there in that meeting I was thinking about the families that I talk to, right. The families that I sit on the phone with, and the fathers that I sit on the phone with till 2 am and they’re crying because they can’t explain to their children why mommy isn’t coming home.

Charles Johnson: We’ve got to get this bill passed. We’ve got to get it passed now because women are continuing to die. And when I talk to families who’ve lost their mothers and their daughters as a result of maternal mortality, they don’t want to hear about regular order. They don’t want to hear about procedures and protocols and they don’t want to hear that. Oh you know what maybe we’ll pass this next session. It’s not good enough. And the women that are sacrificing their lives to give the gift of life the least that we can do — the very least that Congress can do is honor them by making a bold, courageous step and making it clear and sending a clear message that mothers and babies in this country are important.

Charles Johnson: This is my 8th visit to Washington, D.C. in support of this bill. And this is — we all know that this is a very very very challenging time in politics in our country. But the wonderful thing about this issue of maternal mortality is it’s uniquely bipartisan, right. There’s nothing more critical to the sustainability and the future of our country than the health and the well-being of mothers and babies.

#MaternalCare #MaternalMortality #Childbirth #Loss #Politics

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What’s At Stake for Women’s Health in 2019 | NowThis

Title X, birth control, and Title IX are at stake in 2019 — here’s what you should know about the future of women’s health.
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The midterms are over but there’s still a lot of uncertainty regarding women’s health. Trump has made his views on abortion, sexual assault, and women in general clear — and that could have sever impact for several important policies. Title X, which 4 million people rely on for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, and organizations like Planned Parenthood could be in jeopardy with budgeting restraints. 9 out of 10 women will rely on birth control in their lifetimes, but the Trump administration is chipping away at the birth control protections created in the Affordable Care Act. Betsy DeVos has proposed new rules for Title IX that would eliminate schools’ responsibility for investigation off-campus incidents and make them legally responsible for fewer assault cases.

#WomensHealth #Birthcontrol #Women #Womenrights #ReproductiveRights #TitleIX #TitleX

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What ‘All Lives Matter’ Really Means in 2018 | Op-Ed | NowThis

The people who claim ‘all lives matter’ are suspiciously silent when it comes to refugees, asylum seekers, starving children, and victims of gun violence, according to Qasim Rashid.
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Being pro-life and saying ‘all lives matter’ has become an easy cover, but as Qasim Rashid, host of the Re-Sight Islam podcast, explains those messages are hollow these days. He says being pro-life or claiming ‘all lives matter’ is among the most largest contradictions.

‘The voices that scream “all lives matter” are suddenly quiet when it comes to Syrian refugees escaping dictatorships and Western bombs,’ Rashid says while citing numbers other examples of strife worldwide that the ‘all lives matter’ folks don’t care about. ‘Pro-life and all lives matter doesn’t seem to apply to marginalized communities or people of color.’

‘If you truly believe in the sanctity and value of all life, you have to act like it.’

#Racism #Compassion #Politics

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Ibtihaj Muhammad on Competing in the Olympics During Trump Era | NowThis

Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad says representing the U.S. during the Trump presidency was an opportunity to ‘be unapologetic’ about who she is.
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Ibtihaj Muhammad: ‘I qualified for the U.S. Olympic team at the height of the presidential election where there was a lot of divisive rhetoric specifically around the Muslim community.’

Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad says competing during the Olympics couldn’t have come at a better time for her

‘It’s important to me to represent my country at the highest level of sport and be unapologetic about who I am. As A woman who is very clearly Muslim, I’ve been fortunate to bring home a medal for our country. I feel as though my qualifying for the team could not have come at a better time because it flips that narrative on its head that Muslims are all of these things that are super dark that closely aligned to terrorism or oppression or even being something outside of native to the United States. Those are all things that I’m not.’

Ibtihaj became the first woman to wear a hijab while representing the United States at Rio in 2016. She is the first woman Muslim American athlete to win a bronze medal at the Games.

‘I have not changed any part of myself. And I want to show one, the Muslim community that you don’t have to change. You don’t have to feel pressure to change parts of yourself to be more palatable to bigotry, racism, discrimination, xenophobia.’

Ibtihaj is from Maplewood, New Jersey where she grew up as a multi-sport athlete.

‘I remember being young and not seeing myself represented and when I watched sports on television and being really hard pressed to find athletes who looked like me. And now, I feel like my life has kind of come full circle. I’ve been you know in the trenches and worked for this moment as an athlete and it’s not for me but I feel like it was for my younger self to be that source of inspiration for young kids who are athletes of color are you know may or may not wear hijab who may be from Jersey or it may just be a kid with a dream.’

Ibtihaj wrote about her journey in her book ‘Proud.’

‘I am a testimony to hard work and looking you know fear and obstacles in the face and just try to power through and kind of break through those barriers. For those who question someone like me and my belonging, who more American than a girl from Jersey with a dream of competing for the United States at the Olympic Games.’

#IbtihajMuhammad #Olympian #Olympics #Fencing #MuslimAmerican #Muslim #Politics

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‘Queer Eye’ Karamo Brown’s Tips for Dealing With Political Differences at the Holidays | NowThis

‘Queer Eye’ star Karamo Brown has some smart advice for dealing with family political differences during the holidays.
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Nervous about discussing politics at the dinner table this holiday season? ‘Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown has some advice for navigating the differences between Democrats and Republicans at the family holiday table. Whether it’s your parents, grandparents, uncles, or siblings, Karamo is offering the advice you need. Karamo Brown is best known for his advice on Netflix’s 2018 update of ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,’ now simply titled ‘Queer Eye.’ He’s one of ‘Queer Eye’ cast a.k.a. the Fab Five along with Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, and Tan France.

#QueerEye #KaramoBrown #Family #FamilyDifferences #Advice #Politics

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Republican Reps Question Google CEO Sundar Pichai Over ‘Bias’ Against GOP | NowThis

These GOP reps think Google has a ‘bias’ because they don’t like the search results.
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Confused Republican representatives in Congress confronted Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the company’s ‘bias’ against Republicans because they don’t like the articles they see in search results. Rep. Steve Chabot brought up seeing articles about the Affordable Care Act and the American Health Care Act, saying the coverage of the latter was mostly negative, despite the fact that 23 million people would lose health insurance under the American Health Care Act. Pichai explained that Google uses robust methodology to ‘reflect what is being said about any given topic at any particular time.’ Pichai said that Google is committed to unbiased rubrics and is not influenced by political ideology. Pichai also explained that Google employees are not able to alter specific search results. Rep. Lamar Smith chose not to believe that fact.

#Google #Search #Politics #Republicans #Internet #Technology

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Congress Was Confused by the Internet During Hearing With Google CEO | NowThis

Congress having no idea how the internet works, part II.
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Google CEO Sundar Pichai was brought in for a hearing with members of Congress about political bias in search results. But as the hearing went on, Congress members including Rep. Ted Poe, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Steve King, and Rep. Steve Cohen have no idea how the Internet and technology works. They asked about movement tracking, political bias in search results, how Donald Trump’s image became associated with a search of the word ‘idiot,’ unrelated issues with the iPhone, manipulating search, an online school, and more.

#Congress #Google #Search #Internet #Politics

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