Archive | Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

The Trump administration lost again in court, this time on voter ID

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 – Supporters and opponents of a Texas law requiring specific forms of Photo I.D. for voters faced questioning in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The state of Texas says the law was aimed at preventing fraud, while opponent

A federal court in Texas has again ruled the state’s 2011 voter identification law intentionally discriminated against minorities. It’s the latest loss in the case for Texas — which has spent years unsuccessfully defending the law. But it also has implications for the Trump administration. In February, the new administration abruptly abandoned the crux of the… Continue Reading →

Jeff Sessions: ‘We ask God’s blessings on the success’ of deporting immigrants

Jeff Sessions and Granny Clampett separated at birth

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday asked for “God’s blessings” to help in the Trump administration’s effort to crack down on undocumented immigrants. In a press conference on the U.S. border with Mexico, Sessions announced that the “Trump era” in immigration enforcement had begun. “For those who continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this… Continue Reading →

None of that pussy stuff

Grand Canyon National Park

Like hiking and camping! Real men drill!

A leaked document says that extracting coal, oil, and natural gas from public lands will be the top priorities for the Bureau of Land Management under President Donald Trump, a sharp reversal from the previous administration.

The five-page list of “BLM priority work,” reported by E&E News, begins with a page on “Making America safe through energy independence” — which the administration says means opening up more land for energy development.

“It is extremely disappointing that in their first 100 days, the Trump administration has made it clear that they are going to rig the system in favor of Big Oil companies at the expense of Western stakeholders and local leaders who wish to craft smart and balanced forms of energy development on our public lands,” Chris Saeger, executive director of the Western Values Project, a western conservation group, said in a statement emailed to ThinkProgress.

The priorities document and its accompanying communication guidancecalls on the agency to streamline oil, gas, and coal leasing and permitting and to streamline pipeline, transmission, and solar and wind projects. The document also has priorities for conservation, military and law enforcement activities, bureaucratic efficiencies, and “serving the American family.”

BLM was in the news last week, as well, after it replaced a picture of a child and an adult at a park with a picture of coal as the lead image on its website.

Saeger called the memo a “not-so-subtle wink” at Big Oil and “confirmation that we have indeed returned to the days of “Drill Baby Drill,” when lawsuits and conflict ruled the day on Western public lands.”

Official involved in Bush-era purge of gay employees now working for Trump

As Seen on the Hill:  Rainbow Flag/"Don't Tread on Me" Flag Mashup

It was one of the uglier scandals of the Bush administration: Top officials at an agency dedicated to protecting whistleblowers launched a campaign against their own employees based on suspected sexual orientation, according to an inspector general report. Staffers were abruptly reassigned from Washington, D.C., to a new office 500 miles away in Detroit in what… Continue Reading →

Ever notice how the media worries someone might be getting some help they don’t deserve?

Workers Compensation Toms River NJ - 732-240-2428

No, not lobbyists, silly! People on Social Security disability!

The Post is overselling the notion that SSDI creates an incentive for people with disabilities to abstain from work — and it is doing so while linking back to research on ailments of SSDI recipients that was published in 1995. In actuality, SSDI recipients are only eligible to receive benefits if the Social Security Administration agrees that their disability prevents them from working. According to the Center for American Progress(CAP), which analyzed data collected by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), eligibility requirements in the United States are already “among the strictest in the world” and program benefits “are less generous than most other countries’ disability benefit programs.” According to CAP, almost 80 percent of SSDI applicants are denied during the initial application and “thousands of applicants die” annually waiting to learn if they will receive assistance. Furthermore, CAP also found that disability recipients who are approved tend to skew older and had worked in physically demanding jobs before applying for benefits.

An April 9 blog from Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) economist and co-founder Dean Baker browbeat the Post for complaining about people with disabilities not working when inequality is at an “unprecedented” level — the paper’s tone deafness is all the more apparent at a time when the wealthiest Americans live a decade longer than their low-income counterparts. Baker continued by pointing out that the benefits from SSDI are far from lavish, averaging a mere $1,170 a month, which amounts to less than a full-time job paying the federal minimum wage.

The editorial board closed its call for needlessly reforming SSDI by claiming that its aim is to “help people with disabilities retain the earnings and dignity that come from work,” an argument that mirrored rhetoric from the right-wing Heritage Foundation for a more “compassionate” policy of work incentives and dropping recipients after a set time on the program.

The Post’s repeated mischaracterization of SSDI follows a long history of misinformation from mainstream outlets, which often publish error-riddled stories filled with anecdotal evidence portraying disability recipients as undeserving. These pieces sound as if they come from right-wing media, which have spent yearsattacking the program and its recipients.

If only the Post hired people who actually knew enough about this to know how wrong they were. But that would require someone who didn’t go to an Ivy school, and that would be wrong.

For instance, my ex-husband tried for two years to get approved for disability while he was fighting cancer. The letter of approval finally arrived — the day after he died.

United we fly

United Airlines B757-224, N17126 at Shannon Airport.

Two things: First, you’d think companies would realize by now that everyone has a damn news camera in their hand at all times. And: Second, apparently corporate America needs regulations in order to not physically hurt people to maintain profits. This United Airlines passenger was sitting on an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville. The airline… Continue Reading →

Koch caucus continues its assault on healthcare

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Last month, the Congressional “Freedom Caucus” was instrumental in defeating a health bill put forward by Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan. That bill would have deprived an estimated 26 million Americans of health coverage to provide a tax cut for the wealthy, but the Freedom Caucus’ far-right members were demanding even harsher provisions and… Continue Reading →

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