17-050117-IM to MR On giving WH a “big win”

Do you remember when President Barack Obama was credited for Harry Reid applying the “nuclear option” on judicial nominees under the level of SCOTUS? Me either, but this morning, on MSNBC, that’s the one “big win” DAILY BEAST reporter Betsy Woodruff gave tRumpleThinSkin for Mitch McConnell eliminating the filibuster to confirm the executioner, Neal Gorsuch. Judging by the new commercial trumpeting the first 100 days of our “glorious leader,” our heads have spun completely off by all of the “winning” oozing out of the White House.

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17-040517-IM to MR – Happy Birthday Amber

Happy April 5th to the Majority Report and listeners, First Contact Day to the Star Trek universe and my youngest daughter’s 43rd birthday in my much smaller universe; but to the topic of universal health care, opponents to a single payer plan point to higher taxes, but businesses won’t be required to pay for employees health plans so shouldn’t those employees get a pay increase commensurate with that savings minus any increase in business tax if any? I can’t recall that factor being extolled in health care coverage discussions.

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17-031517-IM to MajorityReport: Microwaves

Hello to all at the Majority Report, very glad to see no one was swept away by the awesome power of Stella, but moving on to the many memes online with Kelley Ann Conway taking selfies with a microwave oven camera which are funny and appropriate, but are what I see as a great study in how humans make assumptions based on experience. I worked on radars while serving in the navy, the shipyard, and when I wrote tech manuals as a private contractor so that experience affects my perspective. Almost everyone old enough to use a microwave oven to pop corn calls the heating appliance a “microwave,” therefore when Conway heard the reference vis a vis the Wikileaks CIA spying methods documents release, she and most others probably assumed microwaves are the picture taking oven appliance, thus the many memes on social media. But, microwave frequencies run from 300 Mhz to 300 Ghz which encompasses the frequencies of millimeter wave (mmw) scanners used by TSA at airports. These devices are a privacy concern, because the highly detailed pictures are very graphic and have been shared by TSA employees. The scanners are “microwave” devices which operate at 24Ghz-30Ghz (about 10 millimeters), so in my opinion are most likely what was referred to in the the CIA dump.



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17-031317-Deadline for tRump evidence

Today is the deadline the House Intelligence Committee gave tRump to provide them evidence of his tweet that Obama tapped the campaign at the NY tRump Dump. Amanda Terkle reports it’s not clear whether the tRumplings will respond or if their is any evidence at all.
So far, there is no evidence that tRump’s allegation was anything but a conspiracy theory, perhaps picked up from a right-wing website. If there is proof, Trump seems to be the only person to have it. Today, Conway admitted she personally didn’t have any evidence that Obama had ordered wiretapping of tRump, although she put forward the theory that it could have happened through “microwaves that turn into cameras.”
The current occupant of the White House has been quiet about his explosive allegation since his original tweetstorm and this morning he ignored a reporter’s question about whether the Justice Department would comply with the committee’s request.


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17-030217- IM to MR: Spanish dockworkers strike

Hi Sam, Since you’ve been speaking of worker action, I just wanted to clue you in: The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has threatened to call a “day of action” to shut down ports along the East and Gulf coasts to protest “government interference” in hiring practices and job losses on the docks. The union is expected to soon announce the date (*probably march 10*) for the work stoppage, which would also include a march on Washington, DC. This action is under review at other union ports on the US west coast and around the world.

The complete story can be found here: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/02/27/dock-f27.html

The call for a work stoppage follows a number of recent job actions, including a one-day unsanctioned walkout in New York and New Jersey in January, 2016 and a slowdown at the Port of Charleston, South Carolina earlier this year. Internationally the situation is just as volatile. Most recently, 6,000 Spanish dockworkers have carried out protests and are preparing to strike in March to defend jobs against attacks by employers and the Spanish and EU governments. Over the past month, informal negotiations resumed between the ILA and the United States Maritime Alliance, which represents employers, well in advance of the September, 2018 contract expiration. The main issues, according to the ILA, are ensuring local contracts are settled concurrently with the master contract and preventing full terminal automation.

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17-022717-IM to MajorityReport CBP/ICE papers please

The authority for CBP/ICE to stop and search all passengers on a domestic flight by demanding they “show me your papers” is not in the authorizing statutes for either organization according to two sources interviewed in THE ATLANTIC:
Barry Friedman, the Jacob D. Fuchsberg professor of law and affiliated professor of politics at New York University, is the author of “Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission,” a new book-length study of intrusive police investigation and search practices. “Is this remotely constitutional?” he asked. “I think it isn’t. We all know generally the government can’t come up and demand to see identification.” Officers need to have statutory authority to search and reasonable suspicion that the person to be searched has violated the law, he said. Andre Segura, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, told me that “I’m not aware of any aviation exception” for domestic passengers. Unfortunately, for most who fly, the time and effort to challenge federal agents in uniform carrying weapons is not worth the hassle, so citizens abdicate their civil rights due to pragmatic expediency.


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17-021717-IM to MajorityReport tRump’s expense

It has already cost over $15M to pay for travel and security for the tRump family which is 1/6 of Obama’s eight year term. Estimates are $183M/yr just to secure tRump Tower in NY and Jared Kushner’s recent business trip to Uruguay cost the US embassy there $100,000 just in hotel bills for him and entourage. “This is an expensive way to conduct business, and the president should recognize that,” said Tom Fitton, president of the conservative group Judicial Watch, which closely tracked President Barack Obama’s family vacation costs and said that it intends to continue the effort for the Trump administration. Camp David is much closer and a shrt helicopter ride, but tRump insists on Mar-a-Lugi.

Washington Post goes into great detail here https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-familys-elaborate-lifestyle-a-logistical-nightmare–at-taxpayer-expense/2017/02/16/763cce8e-f2ce-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html?utm_term=.18a9db6fb639

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17-021617-IM to Majority Report – Trump vs Press

The first thing tRump says this morning after announcing his new pick for Labor Secretary is tell them he is holding an impromptu press conference to objurgate them as you can see on the 19 sec video at TPM (link below) Trump then repeated a well-worn campaign trope — that the media represented coastal power structures that had been corrupted by a global elite.

“Washington, D.C., along with New York and Los Angeles, speaks not for the people but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system,” he said. “The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk about it, to find out what’s going on because the press, honestly, is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.”


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17-021317- IM to MR – Oroville Dam about to go

Get out your pans: Oroville Dam erosion may yield a tiny gold rush. The picture below is from March 2017 after the reservoir level was lowered so the emergency runoff could be closed off, the huge sluice of earth revealed new gold discoveries
tmp_7012-img_20170302_110249-834544631Over the weekend (mid February 2017) the damaged water release spillway at the Oroville Dam near Sacramento, CA, got much worse as the water that feeds the dammed reservoir overwhelmed the spillway and began to flow over the Emergency Spillway which could undercut the complete dam. A massive crevasse that formed in primary spillway at the dam has spurred mass evacuations, with nearby residents fleeing the worst-case specter of a three-story wall of water rushing downstream.
In all, about 188,000 people, mostly in Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties, evacuated from the area, some being given only minutes to gather their things.
Several short videos here depicting the scene earlier today.






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17-021017-IM to MajorityReport BetsyDevos shame

Hi Sam,
According to Raw Story, Betsy DeVos quickly retreated from her trip to Jefferson Academy Washington DC in reaction to a handful of quietly standing demonstrators with signs. When she quickly departed with security guard in tow to a waiting blackened windowed urban assault vehicle flashing red and blue lights in the grill, the few demonstrators began calling shame and momentarily stood in front of the vehicle with sign raised.
You can find the video here


Or in this tweet

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