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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
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ADECA discusses 7 state programs affected by Trump's 'America First' budget

Source: al.com, by Lucy Berry

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is speaking out about the potential impact of President Donald Trump's new America First federal budget on state programs.

Director Jim Byard, Jr. on Friday said seven programs ADECA manages would be eliminated if the budget passes.

Here is the full list of affected programs:

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a federal-state partnership to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in 420 counties across the 13 Appalachian states. ARC's strategic plan identifies five investment goals to advance this mission: creating economic opportunity; preparing a ready workforce; building critical infrastructure; leveraging natural and cultural assets; and cultivating leadership and community capacity. Thirty-seven Alabama counties are included in the ARC region.

Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) was created in 1982 to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses. CDBG is an important tool for helping local governments address serious challenges facing their communities.

Community Services Block Grant Program provides vital funds to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in Alabama communities to help low-income residents achieve self-sufficiency through a variety of programs designed to mitigate the effects of poverty and address potential barriers to success.

Delta Regional Authority (DRA) is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve life for the 10 million people who reside in 252 Delta counties and parishes of eight states. Twenty Alabama counties are included in the Delta Region and eligible for DRA programs.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides vital one-time assistance to help low-income families cope with high heating and cooling bills.

State Energy Program helps Alabama maximize the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy to plan and implement programs that are designed to achieve goals such as lowering energy costs and consumption and increasing energy security and reliability.

Weatherization Assistance Program coordinates with 16 local agencies to deliver weatherization assistance to low-income households in all 67 counties. The program reduces energy costs for low-income residents by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.

Read it at: http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2017/03/adeca_discusses_7_state_progra.html#incart_river_home

Trump's immigration crackdown is hurting US farms with its unintended consequences

Source: Business Insider, by Christopher Woody


Trump's promises to crackdown on immigrants in the country illegally and ICE's stepped-up enforcement efforts since his election have sent chills through the US agriculture industry. Industry-wide, 16% of workers are undocumented, while undocumented immigrants make up 70% of all fieldworkers — the vast majority of them Mexican.


"If we don't have the ability to have workers on our farms, farms can't survive," Farm Bureau spokesman Steve Ammerman told Crain's.

Farmers are "having such a difficult time" finding workers, he said, "because people are scared, they're nervous to be out in the open seeking employment."

"If we were to engage in massive deportations, our agricultural system would collapse," said Bruce Goldstein, president of the nonprofit Farmworker Justice, which works to improve living and working conditions on farms.


Trump's aggressive stance on immigration is but one issue that has frayed US relations with Mexico.

Mexican politicians and activists seeking to rebuke Trump's actions toward the US's southern neighbor have targeted US corn exports to Mexico — worth $2.5 billion in 2015 — as an avenue through which to pressure the US president, raising the prospect that an industry dealing with labor shortages may soon have to grapple with declining sales as well.

Read it all at: http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-ice-immigration-crackdown-arresting-migrant-farmworkers-2017-3

Speaking of Washington, anyone watching "Homeland" this season? *SPOILERS*

Talk about "straight from the front pages" and the deepest darkest alt-right fantasies!

It's such a perfect day.

Did you hear this one?

A linguistics professor says during a lecture that, "In English, a double negative forms a positive. But in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, in no language in the world can a double positive form a negative."

But then a voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."

17 jokes that only smart people will really appreciate

GOP rep: Health bill 'one of the worst' I've seen

"The enemy of my enemy...

Source: The Hill, by Mark Hensh

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) says the House GOP’s bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare "is one of the worst bills" he's seen in his entire career.

“It is one of the worst bills I have seen in my 30 years as a county commissioner, legislator, district attorney and now congressman,” Brooks said Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

The House Freedom Caucus member, who came out against the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Tuesday, told CNBC he's "not going to surrender on an issue as important as ObamaCare." Far from rolling back ObamaCare, he said, the legislation lets government and welfare programs balloon.

“You’ve also got a bill that is the largest welfare program ever proposed in the history of the Republican Party,” he said.



Go, Mo!

Today's new terrorists were radical before they were religious (3/31/16)

All we hear is Islam, Islamists, radical Islam, radical Islamic terrorism - or is this completely backwards?

WaPo, Fareed Zakaria


Consider one telltale difference. Al-Qaeda and its ilk issued fatwas with detailed critiques and politico-religious demands. What are the demands behind the Paris and Brussels attacks? Writing about these young French jihadis, Olivier Roy, a French scholar of Islam, points out that almost none have a background in political activism (say, Palestine), fundamentalist Islam or social conservatism. “Their radicalization arises around the fantasy of heroism, violence, and death, not of sharia and utopia,” he writes. The Islamic State is the ultimate gang, celebrating violence for its own sake.

These young men — and some women — are usually second-generation Europeans. In fact, Roy points out that often they are revolting against their more traditional, devout immigrant parents. They are unsure of their identity, rooted in neither the old country nor the new. They face discrimination and exclusion. And in this context, they choose a life of rebellion, crime and, then, the ultimate forbidden adventure, jihad.


Why are these findings so important? They paint a picture of a new kind of terrorist, one who is less drawn into terrorism through religion but rather who has chosen the path of terror as the ultimate act of rebellion against the modern world — and who then finds an ideology that can justify his desires. Radical Islam provides that off-the-shelf ideology, easily available through the Internet and social media. But it is the endpoint in the chain, not the start.

This still means that Muslims have to battle and eradicate the cancer in their midst that is radical Islam. But it does suggest that for Western law enforcement, bugging mosques, patrolling Muslim community centers and even fighting fundamentalist Muslims might be focusing attention in the wrong direction — if the goal is to find terrorists. Those people might instead be in the bars, drug alleys, unemployment lines and prisons, getting radicalized before they get Islamized.

Read it at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/todays-new-terrorists-were-radical-before-they-were-religious/2016/03/31/9cb8e916-f762-11e5-9804-537defcc3cf6_story.html?utm_campaign=93c1ac4103-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_03_23&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Fareed%27s

'The Knick' Not Moving Forward With More Seasons *SPOILERS*

In case you had been looking for it, too.

Variety, Elizabeth Wagmeister, Brent Lang

“The Knick” last aired in December 2015, wrapping up its second season by seemingly killing off its main character lead by star Clive Owen. However, Variety was first to report that a script and outline for Season 3 had been ordered with creators Michael Begler and Jack Amiel both set to return as executive producers and writers.

Insiders say that at one point, discussions were had for a double-renewal that would take the series through a third and fourth season, which would move to an entirely new time period with an entirely new cast, but set in the same hospital. The idea was for the show to have jumped 20 years ahead to the 1920’s for Season 3, and then jump forward another 20 years for subsequent seasons, showing the medical advancements through the decades. As part of the plan, Soderbergh was going to direct each episode.

The first two seasons starred Owen as Dr. Thackery, who in the Season 2 finale, appeared to die on the table, after a botched attempt to perform surgery on himself. Following the episode, when asked if he is indeed dead, Owen told Variety, “It certainly looks that way.”


Good bye, Thack! You sure gave 'Goodfellas' a run for drug-induced mania!

The future is female: Over 10,000 women sign up to run for office

Democratic women are turning their loss last November into action. In the few months since the election, thousands of them have made plans to run for office themselves, proving that the resistance is female — and so is the future.

Source: Shareblue, by Alison R. Parker  Note: Maxine Waters loves Shareblue! 


Since the November election, over 10,000 Democratic women have contacted EMILY’s List with the desire to run for office themselves. As Stephanie Schriock, the organization’s president, noted in a statement, “Over ten thousand women isn’t a ripple — it’s a wave.” She noted that these numbers are “a testament to the energy, determination, and resistance we’ve seen from Day One of Donald Trump’s presidency.”

Indeed, women have made their readiness to fight back against the Trump administration, and Trump himself, loud and clear — from the public sphere to within the halls of Congress, where Democratic women’s wins in November have made this the most diverse Congress in U.S. history.

It is heartening for those in the resistance to see so many women inspired by those wins, rather than being demoralized by the still-painful shock of Trump’s election. As Schriock further declared:

"For women, running for office is a direct response to the dangerous agenda pushed by a president and Republican Party determined to turn back the clock on women’s progress. Women everywhere are alarmed at the GOP’s attacks on their health care, on immigrant families, on refugees, on the environment, and on their economic security. In working with EMILY’s List, these thousands of women are fighting to ensure their voices are heard at decision-making tables in communities across the country. Republicans everywhere should sit up and take notice – because this is only the beginning."

The election may be in the past, but the future is still wide open. And Democratic women across the nation are ready to take the lead.


The FBI Did Wiretap Trump Tower But Not to Spy on Trump

A "coincidence" is just God's way of saying "It wasn't me!"

Source: Newsweek, by Mirren Gidda

The FBI has said it did wiretap Trump Tower, though its target was not the building’s owner. From 2011 to 2013, two years before Trump announced his presidential campaign, the bureau spied on a Russian crime organization operating on the tower’s 63rd floor.

The FBI had a court-approved warrant to monitor mafia members running what prosecutors described as an “international money-laundering, sports gambling and extortion ring,” ABC News reported.


The FBI’s findings led to a federal grand jury indicting more than 30 people in April 2013. Among the group was a Russian mafia boss named Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, who the U.S. attempted to extradite in 2002. That year, Italian officials arrested Tokhtakhounov over charges that he bribed judges during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Italy refused the extradition request and Tokhtakhounov returned to Moscow.

Seven months after the 2013 indictment, and with an Interpol red notice—which seeks the arrest of wanted people—pending against him, Tokhtakhounov was seen on November 9 in the VIP section of the Miss Universe competition in Moscow. Also present was Trump, owner of the pageant, who had tweeted a few months earlier:



Read it all at: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-fbi-did-wiretap-trump-tower-but-not-to-spy-on-trump/ar-BByCzcW?li=BBnb7Kz
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