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24 февраля, 13:25

What Elephants and Panda Bears Can Teach Democrats About 2018

Midterm elections are a nightmare for the Democratic Party. But they can change that by embracing a lesson learned by zoos and conservationists long ago.

21 февраля, 04:08

Weekend Reading: Lyndsey Gilpin: Cancer Rates Are Dropping—But Not In Rural Appalachia

**Weekend Reading: Lyndsey Gilpin**: _[Cancer Rates Are Dropping—But Not In Rural Appalachia | FiveThirtyEight][]_: "Just over a year ago, Natasha Lucas, an agent for the University of Kentucky’s Owsley County Extension Office... >...needed a local lung cancer survivor to speak at a popular annual cancer awareness event in Booneville, Kentucky....

17 февраля, 03:35

Wartime Prosperity?

(Don Boudreaux) TweetHere’s a passage from page 18 of volume 1 of Roger Backhouse’s forthcoming (in May) biography of Paul Samuelson (1915-2009): Founder of Modern Economics: Paul A. Samuelson: His remark that he could see the Keynesian multiplier at work when he was on the farm [that he often visited as a boy] is clearly a later […]

14 февраля, 01:08

You're Hired! 3 Highly-Ranked Staffing Firms

You're Hired! 3 Highly-Ranked Staffing Firms

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13 февраля, 15:32

Russian Defense Ministry: Syrian army continues offensive on Palmyra

The Syrian army continues its offensive on Palmyra with the support of the Russian air task force, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Feb. 13. "The Syrian government troops are continuing their offensive towards Palmyra with the support of Russia’s aviation. A distance of less than 20 km remains to be covered. Over the past week, Russian warplanes have conducted over 90 sorties in the Palmyra direction," the Defense Ministry said in a statement obtained by TASS. In the course of their offensive, the Syrian government troops have destroyed over 180 militants’ objectives, including more than 60 strongholds, 15 depots with armaments, munitions and military hardware, 43 armored fighting vehicles, and also jeeps armed with large-caliber machine guns, the statement said. "The terrorists’ losses in manpower have amounted to over 200 men," the ministry said. According to data of Russia’s Defense Ministry, the Syrian government troops have established control of a territory of 22 square kilometers since Feb. 7 and liberated the communities of al-Kulaib and Kirkuk and the surrounding dominant terrain. "Overall, the Syrian government troops have liberated 805 square kilometers of the territory in the province of Homs from terrorists of the ISIS since they launched their operation with the support of the Russian air task force," the ministry said. Russian expert: ISIS demolishes what is easiest to destroy in Palmyra

10 февраля, 01:45

Robert Half Boosts Shareholder Value, Hikes Dividend by 9.1%

The board of directors of Robert Half recently announced a hike of 9.1% in its quarterly dividend.

08 февраля, 16:52

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Why Did The Dems Go To The Mattresses Over DeVos, Rather Than Sessions or Tillers…

KEVIN WILLIAMSON: Why Did The Dems Go To The Mattresses Over DeVos, Rather Than Sessions or Tillerson? It’s About The Money. During the 2008 Democratic primary, Obama gave an off-the-record speech to a group of Wall Street financial executives in which he shared his frustration with the sclerotic and bureaucratic state of American education, and […]

06 февраля, 21:34

The Circular Economy: Extending The Life Of Things

The term circular economy, which shows up more and more at political agendas, is precise but does not express the deep mental change that it implies. We live in a time when machines and labor are used not only to produce jeans, but also to consume them before selling. Actually, the idea of a circular economy is just the opposite. It's meant to extend the life of products and materials, thus making them 'circulate' longer in the economy and reducing the amount of raw materials and newly produced goods, as well as their environmental impact. 'The EU action plan for the Circular Economy' and the Chinese policy for a circular economy are just two examples of the proliferating initiatives in this direction. Walter Stahel, the Swiss architect and industrial adviser, has been since the '70s one of the fathers of the idea of a circular economy, for which he argues with a 'river and lake' metaphor. Thus far, the economy is conceived as a river, in which we should try to double the flow rate per capita every ten or twenty years no matter whether in this eternally doubling flow the content of beneficial nutrients or detrimental toxins grows faster. Instead, a circular economy would be rather like a lake. Citizens and policy makers would rather preserve and improve the quality and accessibility of this lake, without increasing the affluent and effluent river more than absolutely necessary. In a circular economy the damage to the environment is reduced, thanks to increased durability, reuse, reparability, remanufacturing and recycling of products and materials. Both products and materials 'circulate' in the economy far longer, rather than passing quickly through it, becoming garbage and pollution. Some scientists think that current technologies could already provide the population of industrialised countries with products and services by using a mere tenth of today's raw materials and a third of our primary energy. Significant reductions in energy and material consumption are pursued, for example, by the Swiss energy strategy for a '2000 watt society' (2000 watts per capita, instead of the current 6000), the French think-tank Negawatt, the Rocky Mountains Institute, the Factor 10 Institute (a ten-time increase in resource productivity). So why does this 'economy of common sense' fail to catch on? Let's take gold as an example. Its stock above ground is estimated at 180.000 tonnes, equivalent to a cube with sides of just 21 m. A portion of the world's worked gold has been circulating for millennia, melted and re-melted into countless artifacts. Thereby, relatively little material generated a great deal of usage value over time. Another portion of the world's worked gold is instead extracted from mines, at cost of great environmental damage and consumption of energy, returning quickly back underground to the vaults of banks - producing no technical usage value. A further portion of the extracted gold also soon returns underground in landfills, where remains of cellphones and other devices are dumped, each containing small amounts of gold. Again, a lot of materials and energy wasted to generate very brief usage value. In its first iteration, gold is the prototype of a circular economy, yet in the second and third it's that of a linear economy. Current technologies already allow us to put an end to most of the misuse and dissipation of gold and its related environmental damage. Indeed, only our misplaced conceptions prevent us from doing just that; on the one hand, we persist in conventions that give gold an exchange value out of proportion to its technical usage value, on the other hand, in many cases, it is more 'convenient' today to dissipate gold than conserve it as a result of a tax system that discourages what is desirable (employment) and encourages what is not (the use and abuse of nature). In most industrial countries, labor (which abounds and is in part underused) becomes increasingly expensive through taxation and social insurance costs. Thus we encourage replacing labor with more machines, materials and energy. Yet materials and energy (relatively scarce, thus worth saving) are lightly taxed in comparison, or even subsidized, which stimulates their use, abets joblessness (adding to social costs) and increases waste. For example, David Coady, economist at the International Monetary Fund, estimates that global subsidies to fossil fuels in 2015 amount to over 5.3 trillion dollars (6.5% of the global GDP). According to some economists, we urgently need an ecological tax reform to reverse this burden by lowering taxes and charges on labour, while increasing taxes on energy, materials, and generally on the use and abuse of nature. "The unemployed will then be kilowatts and tons, not people", said Ernst Ulrich von Weiszaecker, founder of the Wuppertal Institute, a leading German think-tank. In 1976, Walter Stahel and Genevieve Reday published a report for the European Commission whose title seems a misprint: The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy. Hold on there. For thousands of years progress meant substituting machines for manpower, the exact opposite. This much is true. But the success of two centuries of industrial society brought about a problem of scale; human population and its material throughput reached such proportions as to turn what was real progress for billions of individuals into a collective boomerang. Today, consuming and wasting far too much material and energy compromises long-term planetary equilibrium and leads us into a new era that Earth scientists call the 'Anthropocene'; a geological epoch in which human activities began to have a significant global impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems. 'Substituting Manpower for Energy' (Walter Stahel) doesn't mean giving up the washing machine, nor giving up technical progress. Instead, it means giving direction to progress, using ingenuity and labor to extend the life of things, rather than reduce it. This is the very purpose of The Product-Life Institute, created in 1982 in Geneva by Walter Stahel and Orio Giarini, both university professors and consultants to companies, governments and international institutions. Perhaps the contribution of Giarini and Stahel to the political economy is no less important than that in industrial ecology. In books such as "Dialogue on wealth and welfare" (1980) and "The performance economy" (2010), they redefine the concept of economic value; true value is found in what and how long things really perform, not in the amount of their production and commerce. This simple concept was formulated by Aristotle in his distinction between oikonomia (care for the house) and chrematistics (care for money). But it was abandoned by many modern economists when the political economy seemed to become subordinated to quantitative economics; because it is difficult or impossible to directly measure the real usage of things, in its place we measure the quantity of their production and purchase. This misbegotten premise shaped an economy that aims at continuously doubling both the production and destruction of things, rather than optimizing their lifecycle. Abandoning this concept of linear economy promises to instigate an actual counter-revolution. In the present terminal phase of our consumption-centred civilization, the ancient precept of caring for and preserving both nature and manufactured goods would subvert the present established disorder, while alleviating job loss and protecting the planet. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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30 января, 16:36

Why Earnings Season Could Be Great for Manpower Group (MAN)

Manpower Group (MAN) could be an interesting stock for investors ahead of earnings, as it has a positive ESP and a favorable Zacks Rank.

30 января, 04:48

Democratic Party Scrambles To Catch Up With The Anti-Trump Wave

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Last week, as hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied against the inauguration of Donald Trump, many of the top contenders to lead the Democratic Party were nowhere in sight. Instead, six of the seven candidates for chair of the Democratic National Committee were attending a retreat of top party donors in Florida. The lone exception was South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who joined the women’s march in his hometown in Indiana. A week later, and with another wave of protests erupting, those DNC officials made sure to place themselves squarely on the vanguard. The two top contenders for the post ― Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez ― both rushed to the airport in Houston to join the masses demonstrating against Trump’s executive order outlawing refugees and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The next day, Perez was at the airport in San Francisco, protesting once more, and Ellison ― as the first Muslim-American to serve in Congress ― was on CBS’s “Face the Nation” attacking Trump and joining protesters in Minneapolis. Nine days into his presidency, Trump has unleashed a wave of angst and opposition far greater than anticipated. But as the evolving travel schedules of the prospective party chairs illustrate, Democratic officials are still sprinting madly to catch up. “These are not the standard activists. This is finally the awakening of what I’d call the first global generation. These are people whose principles Trump’s victory has thrown out the window. They feel left behind by their own country and finally they are going to do something about it,” said Howard Dean, the former DNC chair who has been privately encouraging Senate leadership to more forcefully oppose Trump. “And if Democrats don’t take the leadership of this, they won’t have the opportunity to do so later on.” There is little dispute that the backlash against Trump has engendered a tremendous opportunity for the Democratic Party. But from the onset, there’s been confusion and disagreement over what the best posture should be. Elected officials settled on a hybrid approach: firm opposition to much of Trump’s agenda, with a notable willingness to compromise on select issues like infrastructure. For the base, such nuance glossed over the unique moral threat that Trump represented. Resist isn’t a hashtag for them; it is the cause.  Right now we’re sort of rudderless from the Democratic Party perspective. John Garrity, who attended an anti-Trump protest in Washington, D.C. So when the DNC candidates showed up at the Florida fundraiser instead of marching in D.C., they faced blowback for misguided priorities. And when Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) ― two progressive stalwarts ― voted to move forward with Dr. Ben Carson’s nomination for secretary of housing and urban development, they were charged with helping legitimize Trump. When Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) held a spaghetti dinner this past weekend in Providence, approximately 1,000 people showed up to urge him to oppose Trump’s policies and his cabinet nominees. (Whitehouse had voted to confirm Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo.)   The progressive group Democracy for America, which endorsed both Warren and Brown for reelection before the Women’s March, got complaints from its members who were disappointed over the Carson vote. “That certainly serves as a warning shot to anybody who’s up for reelection in 2018. The Democratic base is watching, and they do not want to see Democrats aiding and abetting or appeasing or voting for any of Trump’s nominees. They want to see them actually stand up and be strong. If they do that, they’re going to be rewarded. If they don’t, then they’re not. And it’s really that straightforward,” said DFA Executive Director Charles Chamberlain.  And as the second wave of protests erupted over the weekend, activists began more forcefully airing their frustrations that elected officials weren’t doing enough. “Honestly, as someone who’s worked for elected officials before, I don’t have a lot of hope for Democrats,” said Arona Kessler of Fairfax, Virginia, who marched from the White House to the Capitol on Sunday to protest the executive order on refugees. “His nominees are getting confirmed with Democratic support, so that’s all you need to know.” “We need leadership,” said John Garrity, of Washington, D.C, who also attended the march. “We need somebody to step up and really try and leverage the momentum that we’re seeing over the last couple of days. It’s incumbent for someone to step up and build off of what we’re seeing. Right now we’re sort of rudderless from the Democratic Party perspective.” Matching the concerns of the protestors is a difficult task for a Democratic Party with no tools of political power, save the Senate filibuster that will force 60 votes for Trump’s legislative agenda. And while they were despondent over the likelihood of Trump’s Cabinet being confirmed, most protesters on Sunday said they recognized that there were few, if any, leverage points to stop those nominees. But progressive groups that provide resources, donations and manpower to Democratic candidates all told The Huffington Post Sunday that their members now want uniform opposition to the nominees. MoveOn.org said it expects Democrats to do everything in their power to slow the nomination process and, by extension, much of the business in the Senate. “After the last 72 hours, they expect Democrats to vote against every single nominee and resist and obstruct every single one of his legislative initiatives,” said Murshed Zaheed, vice president and political director of CREDO Action. Added Progressive Change Campaign Committee Co-Founder Stephanie Taylor: “Voting for Trump’s nominees at this point normalizes his hate-filled actions like the Muslim ban.” For lawmakers more accustomed to the slow pace of governance, where opposition comes in the form of roll calls and procedural gamesmanship, it’s been an adjustment. But already, a more aggressive posture is apparent. On Sunday afternoon, congressional Democratic leadership announced that they’d meet at the steps of the Supreme Court Monday to demand that Trump withdraw his executive order. Other Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, said they’d introduce legislation to rescind the ban, in addition to exploring filing an amicus brief in support of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has fought the executive order in the courts. Lawmakers were conspicuous on Saturday and Sunday at the protests around the country, with even freshmen like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) taking a prominent role, breaking with the tradition of new senators keeping low profiles. Other Democratic lawmakers directly confronted Customs and Border Protection officials to get access to detainees.  Rep. Raskin, Connelly, Beyer at Dulles demanding access to Customs over detainees pic.twitter.com/j772vl7Blm— jasoncherkis (@jasoncherkis) January 29, 2017 Others who didn’t show up may feel the consequences. Zaheed, who was at the San Francisco airport, said protesters confronted Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) when he arrived, asking why other California elected officials weren’t there with him. Senate Democrats will soon face a key test, when Trump nominates his choice to fill the Supreme Court seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Unless they change the filibuster rules, Republicans will need some Democratic votes to approve Trump’s pick. Progressives hope to turn the battle into a litmus test on Trump’s orders and to keep the party uniformly opposed. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he will oppose any Trump pick that is out of the “mainstream,” but for many in the base ― and even more establishment types ― more may be needed, and soon. “If the Democratic officeholders don’t start [showing fight] soon, then they are going to become irrelevant,” predicted Dean. Travis Waldron contributed reporting.   Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here. Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. Each Sunday, we will bring you the best original reporting, long form writing and breaking news from The Huffington Post and around the web, plus behind-the-scenes looks at how it’s all made. Click here to sign up! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 января, 02:58

Presidential Memorandum on Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces

NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE                                           THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET SUBJECT:  Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including my authority as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, I hereby direct the following: Section 1.  Policy.  To pursue peace through strength, it shall be the policy of the United States to rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces. Sec. 2.  Readiness.  (a)  The Secretary of Defense (Secretary) shall conduct a 30-day Readiness Review.  As part of this review, the Secretary shall: (i)   assess readiness conditions, including training, equipment maintenance, munitions, modernization, and infrastructure; and (ii)  submit to the President a report identifying actions that can be implemented within the current fiscal year and that are necessary to improve readiness conditions. (b)  Concurrently with the Readiness Review, the Secretary, together with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), shall develop a Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget amendment for military readiness, including any proposed reallocations. (c)  The Secretary shall work with the Director of OMB to develop levels for the Department of Defense's FY 2018 budget request that are necessary to improve readiness conditions and address risks to national security. (d)  Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall submit to the President a plan of action to achieve the levels of readiness identified in the Secretary's Readiness Review before FY 2019.  That plan of action shall address areas for improvement, including insufficient maintenance, delays in acquiring parts, access to training ranges, combatant command operational demands, funding needed for consumables (e.g., fuel, ammunition), manpower shortfalls, depot maintenance capacity, and time needed to plan, coordinate, and execute readiness and training activities. Sec. 3.  Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces.  (a)  Upon transmission of a new National Security Strategy to Congress, the Secretary shall produce a National Defense Strategy (NDS).  The goal of the NDS shall be to give the President and the Secretary maximum strategic flexibility and to determine the force structure necessary to meet requirements. (b)  The Secretary shall initiate a new Nuclear Posture Review to ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies. (c)  The Secretary shall initiate a new Ballistic Missile Defense Review to identify ways of strengthening missile-defense capabilities, rebalancing homeland and theater defense priorities, and highlighting priority funding areas. Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or (ii)  the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. (b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. (c)  All actions taken pursuant to this memorandum shall be consistent with requirements and authorities to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources and methods.  Nothing in this order shall be interpreted to supersede measures established under authority of law to protect the security and integrity of specific activities and associations that are in direct support of intelligence and law enforcement operations. (d)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. (e)  The Secretary is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register. DONALD J. TRUMP

27 января, 04:14

Israel's 10 Most Dominating Killer Weapons on Land and in the Air

Kyle Mizokami Security, These weapons ensure Israel's dominance. Merkava tanks were some of the first armored vehicles to be equipped with active protection systems against guided missiles. Israel has built just over 2,000 Merkavas in all versions, with 660 of the latest Mark IV built. This tank, as well a powerful collection of land and air assets, make up the backbone of Israel's mighty military.  Land Power:  Much like the Israeli Air Force, the Israeli Army came from humble—but more established—beginnings. Israel’s ground forces had their origins in the Haganah, a Zionist paramilitary force created in the early 1920s to protect Jewish interests. The Haganah cooperated with British authorities, but turned hostile in 1944 when the Axis neared defeat and the need for a Jewish state became increasingly clear. In 1947 the Haganah was reorganized into regular army units, and renamed the Israeli Army two weeks after the founding of the State of Israel. Since then, the Israeli Army has seen combat every decade since its founding. It has fought numerous wars in defense of Israel, and embarked on numerous punitive expeditions into the Sinai, Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank. In 1947, Israel’s low population but high level of education meant its citizens could train and organize a national army fairly quickly. Manpower limitations also meant the Israeli Army tended to gravitate towards technologically advanced, high firepower forces, and become more proficient at them than its neighbors. With that said, here are five Israeli army weapons of war that no one in the Middle East would certainly want to tangle with in a fight: Merkava Main Battle Tank: The brainchild of General Israel Tal, chief of the Armored Forces, the Merkava is Israel’s first and only indigenous main battle tank. The tank was especially designed for Israeli tank doctrine: low to the ground, with a powerful gun, the Merkava even had the engine placed in the front of the tank to provide protection to the crew. Combined with heavily sloped composite armor, Merkava made an excellent defensive tank, well suited to defending against Egyptian armored formations on the Sinai or Syrian forces on the Golan Heights. Read full article

26 января, 05:49

What If Trump Did Send the Feds to Chicago?

It probably wouldn’t work, says criminologist John Pfaff. But if Trump were really serious, here’s what has a better chance of helping.

25 января, 22:01

California Braces for Immigration Battle With Trump

Co-published by Capital & Main: Republicans didn’t just win total control of the federal government last November. They also emerged holding a record number of governorships and retained their overwhelming dominance of state legislatures. There are now only five states in which Democrats have a “trifecta” — control of both legislative chambers as well as the governorship — compared to 24 for the Republicans. That’s two fewer such states than Democrats had held before the election, which was in turn the fewest they’d held since the Civil War, when there were only 35 states. Fortunately for the Democrats, one of those trifecta states is the most populous and economically powerful in the country. Additionally, California has, by far, the largest number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.: 2.4 million out of about 11 million total. Moreover, three-quarters of Californians oppose mass deportation measures of the kind that President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for, and nearly two-thirds believe immigrants who are already here should be able to apply for U.S. citizenship. California is now simultaneously the welcome home (relatively speaking) to more than a fifth of America’s unauthorized residents, and one of the last strongholds of a besieged Democratic Party. A collision between the Trump administration and Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento is inevitable. California lawmakers are counting on it. Today the president is expected to sign an executive order authorizing construction of his vaunted border wall, and to withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities” like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Since November, in anticipation of actions such as these, state legislators in California have been rushing to pass a slate of new laws to put the state’s undocumented population as far out of reach of federal authorities as possible, and to give them at least a modicum of protection from summary deportation once they’re ensnared by Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Here are the ways state lawmakers are preparing for the coming showdown.   Non-Cooperation With ICE Shortly after Trump was elected, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck declared that his officers would continue to adhere to the department’s long-standing policy of not assisting federal agents in deporting immigrants. Beck referenced Special Order 40, a directive from 1979 that prohibits LAPD officers from questioning people about their immigration status. The LAPD’s hands-off approach to immigration enforcement is part of why Los Angeles is considered a “sanctuary city.” But despite Special Order 40, the department in fact routinely collaborates with ICE, whose agents and the LAPD conduct joint operations together. The LAPD shares intelligence with ICE, and LAPD officers have rounded people up on raids ostensibly unrelated to immigration, then allowed ICE to take custody of those arrestees for the purpose of deportation. Outside of the LAPD’s jurisdiction, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has allowed ICE agents to operate inside county jails. Immigration attorneys and immigrant-rights advocates have criticized this kind of cooperation between local police forces and federal agents throughout the Obama administration. Now, with Trump pledging to deport two to three million immigrants — the equivalent of the total number of removals through eight years of record-setting deportations under Obama — California lawmakers are finally proposing to put an end to the practice. A bill introduced last month by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León of Los Angeles would bar state, local and school police officers from pursuing or helping federal agents track down people for immigration violations. That includes sharing information with ICE that’s gathered in databases such as California’s “CalGang” system, which purports to track gang affiliations. The bill would also stop law enforcement from helping the feds put anyone on an identity-based registry, such as Trump has proposed for Muslims living in the United States. In effect, the bill would make California a sanctuary state. Passing this bill would throw a pretty big monkey wrench into Trump’s deportation machine. Without active, concerted assistance from local law enforcement, it’s hard to imagine the federal government having the intelligence or the sheer manpower to track down millions of undocumented California immigrants. “Trump’s deportation plans really depend on cooperation or voluntary assistance from states and localities,” Jessica Karp Bansal, an attorney with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, told me. “This bill just says no. We’re not using our local resources to assist in deportation.” No Data Sharing De León’s bill would also prevent state agencies from collecting information from people beyond what they need to perform their official duties, and from sharing that information for any reason other than fulfilling the services they’re tasked with. In an era of Big Data, this might be one of the most significant requirements of the entire package of legislation. One immigration attorney told me that there are probably two to three million undocumented immigrants who the government can already track down easily through biometric data gathered from prior interactions with the state, whether through criminal convictions or simply going to the DMV. It’s unclear how many and which state agencies have already shared their data with ICE, though we know that law enforcement agencies have done so as a matter of course. However extensive the practice has been, de León’s bill would work to put an end to it. Due Process for Deportation Defendants Under federal law, non-citizens have no legal right to government-provided lawyers in deportation proceedings — there is no public defender system in the immigration courts. Most defendants, unable to afford an attorney, are forced to represent themselves. A 2015 study of over 1.2 million deportation cases between 2007 and 2012 found that just 37 percent of defendants had counsel, and only 14 percent of defendants who were in detention did. Having a lawyer makes a difference – with legal representation, detained defendants were up to 10.5 times more likely to avoid deportation. The Central American refugee crisis, which peaked in 2014, provided example after example of what “due process” can look like without the guarantee of legal representation. When I reported on the subject for Capital & Main two-and-a-half years ago, Lindsay Toczylowski, currently executive director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, told me: “I’ve seen infants going into court. I’ve seen a five-year-old girl questioned by a judge while she’s sitting in a chair big enough so her feet don’t even touch the floor.” Ahilan Arulanantham, deputy legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, and senior staff attorney at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, described the process as “a joke.” Last month, State Senator Ben Hueso of San Diego introduced a bill that would require the state to guarantee legal representation to immigrants who are in detention and facing removal proceedings by contracting or subcontracting out to nonprofit law firms. The bill would also establish a legal defense fund that could take donations from private foundations to pay for the lawyers. Pro-immigrant municipal and county officials are also creating legal defense funds at the local level. In San Francisco, where an estimated 44,000 undocumented immigrants live, Supervisor David Campos has proposed that the city and county put $5 million toward establishing such a fund (the measure has become bogged down in a dispute with the mayor over whether the funds should go largely to the city’s Public Defender’s office or exclusively to private nonprofit community legal-services groups). In Los Angeles, the county has voted to contribute to a $10 million legal fund for immigrants in removal proceedings; the city is expected to take a similar vote. Immigration Law Training for Public Defenders Another bill, introduced by East Bay Assemblymember Rob Bonta, sets up centers to train public defenders in immigration law. When undocumented immigrants are charged with crimes, their plea deals can often create unexpected problems related to their immigration status, even when they might result in a lighter criminal penalty. Public defenders who are versed only in criminal, and not immigration, law can unwittingly advise clients to agree to accept charges that end in deportation. Bonta’s bill aims to solve this problem. The Upshot The immense power of the federal executive can be dangerously abused, especially when a prickly chief with autocratic tendencies and single-party control of all three branches of government sits atop it. But rounding up, detaining and deporting millions of people is a hard enough task even with pliable and obedient state and local agencies to work with. In California’s case, these agencies are soon likely to become not just unhelpful, but legally obligated to recalcitrance. And these agencies happen to serve the largest concentration of undocumented immigrants in the country. Open, unbridled confrontation with a hostile federal government is an unenviable scenario to be in. But so is having the core commitment of your entire presidential campaign depend, in large part, on the decisions of people who are committed to defy everything you stand for. The emerging showdown between Sacramento and Washington over the fate of millions of California residents will be forced into a standoff, a compromise or an epic political battle. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

25 января, 00:16

Trump’s Agriculture Pick Slashed Food Safety Funding In Georgia Before Deadly Outbreak

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, nominated as agriculture secretary by President Donald Trump, would face the task of helping ensure the safety and quality of America’s food supply. His record in Georgia raises doubts about whether he could handle the job. Georgia slashed its budget for food safety 29 percent under Perdue. Two years after the cuts, in 2008, at least 714 people across 46 states were sickened by salmonella traced to peanut paste produced at a Peanut Corporation of America factory in Blakely, Georgia. Nine people died, triggering one of the largest food safety recalls in U.S. history. The company’s CEO was later sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowingly shipping tainted products. Other executives also were jailed. Blame fell on Perdue’s state Agriculture Department and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which had delegated responsibility for inspecting the peanut factory to the state. State officials said manpower and funding prevented inspections that could have spotted the contamination issues, according to media reports at the time. Perdue responded by restoring some of the money that had been cut from his Agriculture Department’s consumer protection division. In his final state budget, in 2010, funding for the division remained 22 percent below what it was when he took office. “You had to have a situation where you had a bunch of people die before Georgia got its act together,” Jaydee Hanson, senior policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, told HuffPost. “Sonny Perdue may have helped cause it, and he may have helped correct it.” Perdue took office in 2003. His first budget, for fiscal 2004, provided $39.5 million for the Agriculture Department’s consumer protection division. Georgia, like many states, gets some of its food safety funding from federal government and contracted with the FDA to perform inspections. Two years later, the consumer protection division budget was slashed 29 percent, to $28.2 million. The impact of the cuts on food inspections, compared with other duties of the division, is unclear.  Following the peanut factory scandal, Perdue signed legislation in 2009 that gave regulators authority set higher standards for food safety practices, testing and reporting. The state legislature approved funding for a new food processing program. The budget for the Agriculture Department’s consumer protection division increased slightly, though it remained far below what it was before Perdue’s term. The Peanut Corporation of America outbreak wasn’t Georgia’s first indication that its inspections of peanut processing facilities were inadequate. In 2007, at least 625 people were sickened after eating contaminated Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter in a salmonella outbreak traced to a Sylvester, Georgia, facility.  ConAgra, Peter Pan’s parent company,  paid $11.2 million in fines for knowingly shipping tainted products that contributed to the outbreak. The Associated Press called it the largest criminal fine ever in a U.S. food safety case. It’s unclear whether Perdue personally had a role in cutting Georgia’s food inspection budget. A state Agriculture Department spokeswoman offered few specifics, but said there “are no direct ties of management” between the governor and the agriculture commissioner. Despite the deadly toll of the contamination, Perdue has his defenders. Bill Marler, a prominent food safety attorney who represented victims in the outbreak, said it would “probably be a stretch” to “put all the onus” on Perdue. The blame, he said, should primarily go to the companies and the regulators themselves. Still, Marler said he’s concerned about Trump administration signals to reverse food safety progress made under President Barack Obama. The FDA, together with the USDA, oversees the nation’s food supply. The FDA is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Trump’s nominee to lead that department — Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) — voted against the Food Safety Modernization Act, an overhaul of food safety laws in the wake of the Peanut Corporation of America outbreak.  Trump has offered few recent details of his plans for food policies. Last fall, his campaign website briefly featured a threat to “eliminate” the “FDA Food Police” due to “inspection overkill.”  Marler said he suspects his law firm will be “busier than ever” under Trump. But it will be hard to know for sure until more appointments, including the USDA’s food safety undersecretary. “The volume of outbreaks has dropped significantly over the last several years,” Marler added. “But who knows what’s going to happen once they may or may not start enforcing anything anymore?” type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=588010e9e4b02c1837e9a38d,58826920e4b070d8cad255e7,5665d709e4b08e945ff03f74 ―- Joseph Erbentraut covers promising innovations and challenges in the areas of food and water. In addition, Erbentraut explores the evolving ways Americans are identifying and defining themselves. Follow Erbentraut on Twitter at @robojojo. Tips? Email [email protected] -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

25 января, 00:16

Trump’s Agriculture Pick Slashed Food Safety Funding In Georgia Before Deadly Outbreak

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, nominated as agriculture secretary by President Donald Trump, would face the task of helping ensure the safety and quality of America’s food supply. His record in Georgia raises doubts about whether he could handle the job. Georgia slashed its budget for food safety 29 percent under Perdue. Two years after the cuts, in 2008, at least 714 people across 46 states were sickened by salmonella traced to peanut paste produced at a Peanut Corporation of America factory in Blakely, Georgia. Nine people died, triggering one of the largest food safety recalls in U.S. history. The company’s CEO was later sentenced to 28 years in prison for knowingly shipping tainted products. Other executives also were jailed. Blame fell on Perdue’s state Agriculture Department and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which had delegated responsibility for inspecting the peanut factory to the state. State officials said manpower and funding prevented inspections that could have spotted the contamination issues, according to media reports at the time. Perdue responded by restoring some of the money that had been cut from his Agriculture Department’s consumer protection division. In his final state budget, in 2010, funding for the division remained 22 percent below what it was when he took office. “You had to have a situation where you had a bunch of people die before Georgia got its act together,” Jaydee Hanson, senior policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, told HuffPost. “Sonny Perdue may have helped cause it, and he may have helped correct it.” Perdue took office in 2003. His first budget, for fiscal 2004, provided $39.5 million for the Agriculture Department’s consumer protection division. Georgia, like many states, gets some of its food safety funding from federal government and contracted with the FDA to perform inspections. Two years later, the consumer protection division budget was slashed 29 percent, to $28.2 million. The impact of the cuts on food inspections, compared with other duties of the division, is unclear.  Following the peanut factory scandal, Perdue signed legislation in 2009 that gave regulators authority set higher standards for food safety practices, testing and reporting. The state legislature approved funding for a new food processing program. The budget for the Agriculture Department’s consumer protection division increased slightly, though it remained far below what it was before Perdue’s term. The Peanut Corporation of America outbreak wasn’t Georgia’s first indication that its inspections of peanut processing facilities were inadequate. In 2007, at least 625 people were sickened after eating contaminated Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter in a salmonella outbreak traced to a Sylvester, Georgia, facility.  ConAgra, Peter Pan’s parent company,  paid $11.2 million in fines for knowingly shipping tainted products that contributed to the outbreak. The Associated Press called it the largest criminal fine ever in a U.S. food safety case. It’s unclear whether Perdue personally had a role in cutting Georgia’s food inspection budget. A state Agriculture Department spokeswoman offered few specifics, but said there “are no direct ties of management” between the governor and the agriculture commissioner. Despite the deadly toll of the contamination, Perdue has his defenders. Bill Marler, a prominent food safety attorney who represented victims in the outbreak, said it would “probably be a stretch” to “put all the onus” on Perdue. The blame, he said, should primarily go to the companies and the regulators themselves. Still, Marler said he’s concerned about Trump administration signals to reverse food safety progress made under President Barack Obama. The FDA, together with the USDA, oversees the nation’s food supply. The FDA is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Trump’s nominee to lead that department — Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) — voted against the Food Safety Modernization Act, an overhaul of food safety laws in the wake of the Peanut Corporation of America outbreak.  Trump has offered few recent details of his plans for food policies. Last fall, his campaign website briefly featured a threat to “eliminate” the “FDA Food Police” due to “inspection overkill.”  Marler said he suspects his law firm will be “busier than ever” under Trump. But it will be hard to know for sure until more appointments, including the USDA’s food safety undersecretary. “The volume of outbreaks has dropped significantly over the last several years,” Marler added. “But who knows what’s going to happen once they may or may not start enforcing anything anymore?” type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=588010e9e4b02c1837e9a38d,58826920e4b070d8cad255e7,5665d709e4b08e945ff03f74 ―- Joseph Erbentraut covers promising innovations and challenges in the areas of food and water. In addition, Erbentraut explores the evolving ways Americans are identifying and defining themselves. Follow Erbentraut on Twitter at @robojojo. Tips? Email [email protected] -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

24 января, 16:11

US Navy's Ultimate Dream Weapon (That Russia Feared): Merging a Super Battleship and an Aircraft Carrier

Kyle Mizokami Security, Was it possible?  In the early 1980s, the Reagan Administration was looking to fund high visibility defense programs. Reagan had been elected on a platform of rebuilding the armed services after the “hollowing out” of the early 1970s. One example was the reactivation of four World War II-era Iowa-class battleships, which started in 1982. Each of the four ships, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey and Wisconsin was refurbished, their sixteen and five-inch guns brought back online. Each battleship was also equipped with sixteen Harpoon anti-ship missiles, thirtytwo Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and four Phalanx close-in weapon systems (CIWS) for defense. The four battlewagons were swiftly retired after the end of the Cold War because the manpower-intensive vessels each required a crew of nearly two thousand. That made them early victims of the post-Cold War drawdown as the defense budget was sharply reduced. Today, all four serve as memorials or floating museums. Retirement put an end to future upgrades, which might have included the boldest of them all. In the November, 1980 issue of the United States Naval Institute Proceedings, Captain Charles Myers, USN (retired) proposed reactivating the battleships with significant modifications to the aft section.The proposal envisioned deleting the number three turret near the stern and the three sixteen-inch guns housed in it. In place of the number three turret would be an extraordinary set of armaments. A V-shaped, ramped flight deck would be installed, with the base of the V on the ship’s stern. Each leg of the V would extend forward, so that planes taking off would fly past the stacks and ship’s bridge. Two elevators would bring Boeing AV-8B Harrier II jump-jets up from a new hangar to the flight deck. It was envisioned such a conversion could support up to twelve Harriers. Read full article

22 января, 08:44

*Forged Through Fire*

Written by John Ferejohn and Frances McCall Rosenbluth, with the subtitle War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain, this is a very important book.  Here is the main thesis: If the modern democratic republic is a product of wars that required both manpower and money for success, it is time to take stock of what happens […] The post *Forged Through Fire* appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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20 января, 19:10

Russian expert: ISIS demolishes what is easiest to destroy in Palmyra

On Jan. 20, Syrian state television reported that militants from the Islamic State terrorist group had destroyed the facade of the Roman Theater and the Tetrapylon architecture complex in Palmyra. The news report did not specify the extent to which the ancient monuments had suffered in the act of vandalism. Timur Karmov, scientific advisor at the Russian Culture Ministry Heritage Institute, said latest information he had received suggested the militants had not blown up the entire amphitheater but only the façade and structures adjoining the stage - the easiest sections to demolish. A combination of satellite pictures shows the Roman Amphitheater before and after it was damaged, in the historical city of Palmyra, in Homs Governorate, in these handout picture acquired on Dec. 26, 2016 (top) and Jan. 10, 2017. Source: Reuters "The monolithic stands are more difficult to blow up. You need more explosives and effort. Concerning the Tetrapylon, the small structure near the theater, this was simpler to destroy. It was a prefabricated structure standing on four columns and blowing it up required a small quantity of explosives," Karmov said. "It seems that the entire top was blown off, only the foundation remains." Karmov added that the institute had received details of the destruction via photos taken with satellites provided by Boston University. Militant return Speaking on Jan. 18, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoy, Chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operations Department, said that ISIS militants were moving weapons and manpower "almost without impediment" towards Palmyra. A combination of satellite pictures shows the Tetrapylon before and after it was damaged, in the historical city of Palmyra, in Homs Governorate, in these handout picture acquired on Dec. 26, 2016 (top) and Jan. 10, 2017 Source: Reuters According to Rudskoy, the Russian military have received information "on a large amount of explosives being moved to the area of Palmyra as ISIS terrorists are aiming to destroy the world cultural heritage in the town." ISIS attacked Palmyra on Dec. 9, 2016. They attempted to seize oil installations and a military aerodrome near the city. On December 11 Syrian government forces retreated from the ancient city, which they had taken on March 27, 2016 with the help of Russian air support. Russian sappers later participated in removing mines from the city and its ancient monuments. Possible restoration The theater in Palmyra is not the biggest of similar ancient monuments preserved in the Middle East, thought it is considered unique. Before the current destruction, the Roman theater in Palmyra was noted for the high level of its preservation, Karmov said. "If we speak about its restoration, there exist sketches, plans and photographs of the structure, that is, material that can be used for the work. Fortunately, researchers from various countries have managed to photograph all this. Therefore, I think that with the right resources and efforts, restoration will be possible." Read more: After the end of hostilities in Aleppo, what next for Russia in Syria?>>>