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The New 'Founder' -- Brought To You By The Koch Brothers - by Jim Hightower

December 1, 2016 6:00 am

When you think of America’s great Constitutional originators, names like Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton and Franklin come to mind. And, of course, Abbott.

This past January, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the multimillionaire protege of the Koch brother’s Plutocratic Kingdom and American Legislative Exchange Council darling, revealed to a startled nation that he has penned not one but NINE new amendments to the Constitution of the USA. Forget the Bill of Rights, Abbott is proposing a Bill of Sale, effectively transferring the title of our national government from The People to The Plutocrats. The upshot of his “tweaks” would be outlawing government actions that restrain corporate abuse of workers and consumers, while also preventing future Congresses from meeting crucial public needs such as health care, voter rights, and restoration of our national infrastructure.

One could call Abbott and his Founding Father pretentious and ludicrous – which both are – but he’s not the force behind this diabolical, ideological tampering with our Constitution and our people’s ideals of fairness and justice. ALEC, at the direction of the Kochs and their corporate cohorts, wrote this Bill of Sale.

Convening an explosive convention, permitted under Article V of the Constitution, is a longtime dream of those elites seeking an American Kochistan, and ALEC is spearheading a hodgepodge of right-wing groups that — believe it or not — are alarmingly close to succeeding. An ALEC/Koch affiliate with the cumbersome acronym of BBATF (Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force) came out of the Tea Party maelstrom in 2010 and is now aggressively pushing governors and state legislatures to endorse such an Article V convention. At the convention, they would attempt to rewrite our nation’s fundamental governing document by adding a balanced budget amendment, along with Abbott’s other eight. Together these changes would enthrone the “moneyed corporations” that Jefferson and other founders abhorred as destroyers of America’s democratic possibilities.

Absurd? Of course. Even the late Phyllis Schlafly who was the head of the right-wing Eagle Forum, called this push “a prescription for political chaos,” adding, “Alas, I don’t see any George Washingtons, James Madisons, Ben Franklins, or Alexander Hamiltons around who could do as good a job as the Founding Fathers, and I’m worried about the men who think they can.”


Read The Fine Print: Carrier Deal Is Not A Permanent Solution

Source: Reuters

December 1, 2016 12:53 am

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – United Technologies Corp said on Wednesday it will retain more than 1,000 jobs at a U.S. Carrier Corp plant that was to close after receiving state financial incentives and a pledge to boost the business climate by the incoming Trump-Pence administration.

The deal was announced on Tuesday but details were disclosed on Wednesday. It came about after talks between the company’s chief executive, President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the Indiana governor.

The company said the announcement was “possible because the incoming Trump-Pence administration has emphasized to us its commitment to support the business community and create an improved, more competitive U.S. business climate. The incentives offered by the state were an important consideration.” Trump, who will tout the deal at an event at Carrier’s Indianapolis plant on Thursday, had vowed during the campaign to impose hefty taxes if Carrier moved jobs overseas.

The deal will save about half of the 2,100 jobs that Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies, announced in February it would cut in closing two Indiana plants. Carrier also vowed to make “significant investments to continue to maintain a world-class furnace factory.”


Read more: http://www.nationalmemo.com/read-fine-print-carrier-deal/

HHS Nominee Could Repeal Free Birth Control Without Act Of Congress

November 30, 2016
Lesley Clark
McClatchy Washington Bureau
Displayed with permission from Tribune Content Agency

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services would be able to repeal one of President Barack Obama's most controversial initiatives: free birth control for women under the Affordable Care Act.

If confirmed, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., a legislator with a 100 percent anti-abortion voting record, would be able to revoke the contraceptive measure, which is deeply unpopular with abortion foes, without engaging Congress.

Price, who like the president-elect has championed repealing the Affordable Care Act, would not have to wait for the overall law to be targeted by Congress because the contraceptive measure exists due to a rule enacted by the Obama administration.

"This would address the problem and could be effective the day it's proposed," said Martin Nussbaum, a religious institutions attorney and general counsel for the Catholic Benefits Association, which sued the government in 2014 over the provision.

The Affordable Care Act provision requires job-based health insurance plans to provide women with free coverage for all contraceptive services approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and prescribed by health professionals. They include diaphragms, birth control pills and intrauterine devices.

Though certain nonprofit religious employers that object to birth control on religious grounds don't have to provide the coverage, they have contested the provision as an unnecessary government intrusion into their faith.

"It would be beneficial to get rid of it," said Nussbaum. "We've never had so many religious institutions file so many lawsuits."

Price in 2010 questioned the need for health insurers to offer birth control at no cost, saying he didn't believe there were women who couldn't afford coverage.

"Bring me one woman who has been left behind," he demanded in an interview with ThinkProgress. "Bring me one. There's not one."

One option for Price would be to broaden the religious exemption to cover more organizations.

But revising or repealing the provision would be "more complicated than just flipping a switch," said Alina Salganicoff, vice president and director of women's health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The new administration would be required to follow a formal notice-and-comment period before enacting a new rule. And health insurance plans can't be changed outside the annual enrollment period, meaning any changes could be at least months away.

Repealing the measure would mean reverting to pre-2010 coverage.

More than half of the states — 28 — have laws requiring health care plans to cover birth control, but those states don't all cover every FDA-approved method and do not ban requiring women to pay part of the cost.

Only California, Illinois, Maryland and Vermont have laws that ban cost-sharing and require coverage of a full range of contraceptives, Salganicoff said.

Women's groups say they would fight the administration, arguing that taking away access to birth control could lead to what they said would be a "bitter irony" of an increase in unwanted pregnancies.

"The pro-life crowd dismantling these regulations could lead to the exact result they claim to decry," said Donna Crane, vice president for policy at NARAL Pro-Choice America. "We could go back to the old days where plans didn't have to cover contraception, but there's pretty good evidence that a good number of women have a hard time covering that cost and some choose less effective measures because it's out of reach for them."

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 20.2 million women in the U.S. were in need of publicly funded family planning services like birth control in 2014, an increase of 1 million since 2010.

Already, Planned Parenthood has said it has seen a "significant increase" in online appointments for birth control, with a more than tenfold increase in people seeking intrauterine devices in the week after the election.

"The Senate should give Rep. Price's record the full examination it deserves," said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "Each senator must decide whether a man who wants take away no-copay birth control coverage from 55 million women is the right choice to serve as the secretary of health and human services."



Permission to republish this entire article online has been granted by The National Memo and McClatchy News

NC Elections Board Grants GOP Request For Recount In Durham County

Source: Talking Points Memo

By CAITLIN MACNEAL Published DECEMBER 1, 2016, 7:18 AM EDT

The North Carolina State Board of Elections on Wednesday approved a request for a machine recount of more than 90,000 early vote ballots in Durham County that had to be counted by hand late on Election Day after a machine malfunction.

When the county added the early vote ballots to the tally, Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper took the lead over Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in the governor's race, and McCrory's campaign argued that the "irregularities" warranted a recount.

The state elections board voted 3-2 along party lines to approve the recount, with Republican members of the board agreeing that adding more than 90,000 votes late on election night constitutes an "irregularity," according to the News and Observer.

“What harm would it do to scan these votes and count them?” James Baker, a Republican member of the state board said, according to the News and Observer. “It’s not likely to change anything. There was enough of an irregularity to make people wonder.”


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/north-carolina-recount-durham-county-mccrory

McCrory Refuses to Concede Election He's Clearly Lost While 'Slandering Innocent Citizens' Says...

Pat McCrory Refuses to Concede Election He's Clearly Lost While 'Slandering Innocent Citizens' Says Top Paper

by David Badash
November 30, 2016 9:30 AM

'He and His Fellow Scaremongers Have Disrespected Democracy'

Pat McCrory has clearly lost the election but the soon-to-be unemployed one-term North Carolina Republican governor, three weeks after Election Day, refuses to concede. McCrory, teaming up with GOP lawmakers, has tried every trick in the book to pull out a win, by challenging ballots, trying to get large groups of votes declared invalid, and none of it has worked. While the election has been close, McCrory is losing by just under 10,000 votes.

On Monday the Republican controlled board of elections quashed what little hope McCrory had left.

On Tuesday the Editorial Board of The Charlotte Observer, the state's largest paper, slammed the North Carolina governor.

"McCrory will be remembered for this lack of grace," the paper's editors write. "He and his fellow scaremongers have disrespected democracy and honest election workers of both parties while slandering innocent North Carolina citizens by recklessly accusing them of felonies. In doing so, he has further tarnished his already-stained legacy," the paper says. And the editors, all too aware of the North Carolina Republicans' voting law that was recently struck down as unconstitutional because it targeted African American voters, disenfranchising them "with surgical precision," surmise what's next.

"His behavior is so incomprehensible – he fights in the face of virtually certain defeat – that it suggests there is an alternative goal. Like President-elect Donald Trump’s, McCrory’s creation of phantom election cheats tills the ground for future voter suppression efforts. Flimsy though the allegations are, they are all legislative leaders would need in their efforts to justify politically motivated restrictions."


Top Trump Advisor Tells 17 Year Old She's 'Mean' and Using 'Sexual Assault to Try to Make News'

by david badash
November 30, 2016 6:15 PM

'For You to Use Sexual Assault to Try to Make News Here I Think Is Unfortunate'

Kellyanne Conway on Wedneday told a 17-year old high school student she is "mean" and using "sexual assault to try to make news." Conway, now a senior adviser to the Trump transition team, was the first woman campaign manager to deliver the White House to a presidential candidate.

Speaking with a group of students at an event hosted by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics in Washington, D.C., Conway was asked how she was able to support Donald Trump, a man who apparently admitted to acts of sexual assault against women, and who has been accused of sexual assault by about a dozen women.

“Donald Trump has negated claims that he sexually assaulted women but also admitted to a tape where he seemed to be describing sexual assault,” the 17-year old young woman asked Conway at the event, the 18th Annual American Democracy Conference. (Video at link, below), starting at the 1:52:00 mark.)

“How do you rationalize that as a woman and also as his campaign manager?” the 17-year old asked, as Politico reported.


Sanders Blasts Deal Between Carrier, Trump: Workers Should Be 'Nervous'

Source: Talking Points Memo

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Thursday blasted Donald Trump's reported deal to keep 1,000 Carrier jobs in Indiana, warning that the agreement could set a bad precedent for companies looking for tax breaks.

"Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States. Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives," Sanders wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Thursday morning. "Even corporations that weren’t thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be re-evaluating their stance this morning. And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America."

Trump and Carrier Corp. said this week that they will announce a deal on Thursday to keep 1,000 Carrier jobs in Indiana after the company announced it would be moving a plant to Mexico. In exchange for keeping some jobs in Indiana, Carrier will get a tax incentive package from the state. Trump and Pence also pledged to reduce federal regulations and make changes in the tax code during the negotiations, according to the New York Times.

Carrier's parent company, United Technologies, is a big federal defense contractor and likely had a big incentive to keep jobs in the U.S. and curry favor with the incoming administration.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sanders-carrier-deal-trump

Poll: Only About 1 In 4 Wants Trump To Repeal Obamacare

Source: Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) — Only about one in four Americans wants President-elect Donald Trump to entirely repeal his predecessor's health care law that extended coverage to millions, a new poll has found.

The post-election survey released Thursday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation also found hints of a pragmatic shift among some Republican foes of "Obamacare."

While 52 percent of Republicans say they want the law completely repealed, that share is down from 69 percent just last month, before the election. And more Republicans now say they want the law "scaled back" under the new president and GOP Congress, with that share more than doubling from 11 percent before the election to 24 percent after.

Kaiser CEO Drew Altman said the foundation's polling experts aren't quite sure what to make of that finding, and will continue to track the apparent shift in future polls. The organization is a clearinghouse for information and analysis about the health care system.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-obamacare-repeal-poll

Trumps Midwest swing today is the unofficial kickoff of his 2020 reelection campaign

By James Hohmann December 1 at 7:21 AM

THE BIG IDEA: Donald Trump is coming back to the Midwest today for the first time since the election to take a victory lap in the region that gave him the presidency. The billionaire businessman quipped throughout the campaign that America is going to win so much when he’s president that people are going to get tired of winning. This morning he flies to Indiana to tout the first such win, a deal he cut with Carrier to keep 1,000 jobs in the U.S. that were otherwise going to Mexico. (He’ll tour a plant that will no longer be closing.) From there, he flies to Cincinnati for a blowout rally at U.S. Bank Arena, the first stop of a “Thank You Tour” that will also take him to Iowa and Michigan in the coming days.

-- Like so many issues throughout 2016, from Trump’s support for waterboarding to his proposed Muslim ban, there is a wide chasm between elite skepticism of the Carrier deal and the unadulterated excitement of Trump’s base.

Intellectuals, conservative economists and good-government experts have many substantive concerns about the agreement and the secretive process in which it was negotiated. The real reason that the jobs are staying appears to be that United Technologies, which owns Carrier, is one of the largest defense contractors and worries about losing billions a year in high-margin business with the federal government if it doesn’t placate the incoming president. While Carrier publicly attributes its reversal to an aid package offered by Indiana, a state economic development official said yesterday that the company rejected similar terms before the election.

You know who doesn’t care that Trump might have shaken down a federal contractor to score an early political victory? People who live in the Rust Belt and want good-paying jobs. The non-college-educated, blue-collar workers who voted for Trump, who feel that free trade is bad for them and who believe government has been working for others – not them. More fundamentally, the vast majority of Americans will see nothing more than the headline that just says Trump saved 1,000 jobs. For the president-elect, that is mission accomplished.


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