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Monday, December 11, 2017

Westerly Y settles discrimination lawsuit brought against it by the ACLU

Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Involving Rhode Island’s Public Breastfeeding Law

Related imageThe ACLU of RI announced a settlement in its case on behalf of Elizabeth Gooding who, in May 2017, sued the Ocean Community YMCA for violating her right to breastfeed in public. 

Parties in the lawsuit have agreed to a resolution of all issues presented in the case, and filed a stipulation of dismissal, Friday, December 8, 2017, after signing a confidential settlement agreement and release.

According to ACLU volunteer attorney H. Jefferson Melish, the settlement was “fair to all parties and recognizes the importance of the Rhode Island Breastfeeding in Public Places statute.”

We’ve been here before

A History Lesson On Tax Cuts
By Ralph Martire 

Image may contain: 3 people, textTo stimulate the U.S. economy to "levels you haven't seen in many years"-- President Trump is proposing to cut federal income taxes, for most folks in general, but predominately for really affluent families and mega-corporations. 

His proposal is so skewed to the wealthy that over the next 10 years, more than half of his multi-trillion dollar tax cut will go to the wealthiest one percent. 

Big business does well too, gaining an estimated $4.1 trillion tax cut during the next decade. 

And that's not the only justification offered for the president's full-on, supply-side, tax cut. 

According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), this tax cut will "create so much economic growth, it [will] begin to pay down the nation's debt." Which sounds too good to be true -- because it is.

By now, every American who is objective or can do math should know that the proposed supply-side tax cuts won't work as promised. 

Why expect certain failure? First and foremost is something called "history." Supply-side tax cuts have never worked as promised. Never. Second, focusing tax cuts on affluent individuals and corporations is not an effective way to stimulate private sector job growth -- which pretty much explains why history has proven supply-side economic theory is bogus.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Let's help Puerto Rico

Neglected by the Trump government, Puerto Rico needs help from the American public
By Will Collette

Photo of SANILEC 6 Portable Sodium Hypochlorite Generatorsince Donald Trump has decided to forget about the hurricane-wrecked US territory of Puerto Rico, it’s up to the rest of us to step up to help.

A few rolls of paper towels are just not enough to restore electricity, basic infrastructure and especially clean drinking water to all those neglected US citizens.

I have never in my 68 years of life ever seen the United States turn its back on other Americans stricken by disaster as our government has in the case of Puerto Rico.

You could also add the US Virgin Islands, where power is still out for 60% of the residents, 75% of the capital.

Simply put, Donald Trump does not care. So I'm glad so many other people are stepping up.

Americans major labor unions, led by the teachers’ unions, have put together a charity called Operation Agua to provide practical water cleaning systems both for individual homes as well larger water systems.

As you think about what you can do to help (and make end of year Christmas gifts), I think you should click on Operation Agua and give generously.

Here is an overview of the project from the American Federation of Teachers:

The massive damage caused by Hurricane Maria and the lack of electricity and clean water on the island of Puerto Rico continue to threaten the health, safety and lives of millions of American citizens. 

This is a humanitarian crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our country.

Trump Spy-craft

For more cartoons by Ruben Bolling, CLICK HERE.

Priorities, #2,557

Pic of the Moment

From the Oval Office to where you work

Sexual harassment on the job still carries large impact, study shows
University of Texas at Arlington

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and textTwo University of Texas at Arlington researchers have revisited workplace sexual harassment issues after the initial study was done nearly 20 years ago.

How well is society doing?

The answer is mixed. 

Although there has been a 28 percent decline in complaints, sexual harassment is a continuing, chronic occupational health problem in the workplace.

James Campbell Quick, the John and Judy Goolsby-Jacqualyn A. Fouse Endowed Chair in UTA's Goolsby Leadership Academy, initially published the report in a 1998 special section on sexual harassment in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Quick and M. Ann McFadyen, a UTA associate professor of strategic management, conducted the review earlier this year. It comes at a time when noteworthy sexual harassment and assault incidents have permeated all aspects of American society.

"Our current examination of the evidence suggests that sexual harassment is a continuing occupational problem," Quick said. 

"Have we made progress? Yes, there has been progress on some fronts but not on others and the problem has morphed, becoming more complicated for a variety of reasons found in the current data."

Trump's Week 46

Spirit of giving

Lions team up with Stop and Shop to help Wood River Health Services

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Chariho Centennial Lions Club recently donated Stop & Shop gift cards to Wood River Health Services to be distributed to families and individuals in need during the holiday season.

The club donation was matched by Richmond Stop & Shop.

Michael Lichtenstein Pres. & CEO and Director of Quality Improvement Lynda Green (r) received the c-cards from Lions members Teresa Ellis and Doreen Chin Pratt.

Wood River Health Services is the Federally Qualified Community Health Center for southwestern Rhode Island, providing medical and dental care and social services to over 9,000 area residents.

Koch Lobbyists and Opus Dei

Who’s Dropping in on Trump Budget Czar Mick Mulvaney?
Image result for mick mulvaney
That's if you are a super-rich taxpayer!
One of President Donald Trump’s top cabinet officials has met with a long list of lobbyists, corporate executives and wealthy people with business interests before the government, according to calendars the Trump administration fought to keep secret.

The calendars for Mick Mulvaney, the former South Carolina congressman who now runs the White House Office of Management and Budget, offer a glimpse of who has access to the highest levels of the Trump administration.

Among those visiting Mulvaney: Trump friend and casino magnate Steve Wynn; a flurry of officials from the conservative Heritage Foundation; a string of health care and Wall Street CEOs; lobbyists for Koch Industries; a cryptocurrency evangelist; and a prominent member of the Catholic group Opus Dei.

The Trump administration fought in court to block public records requests by Property of the People, a Washington-based nonprofit transparency group, to release the calendars as well as visitor logs from several other White House offices. Lawyers for the group ultimately prevailed and provided the documents to ProPublica, which we are posting in a searchable format.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

“I Cannot Keep Quiet.”

The Pope criticizes Trump Jerusalem decision
zoom in donald trump GIFPope Francis, speaking hours before President Trump announced his order to eventually move the U.S. Embassy from the modern city of Tel Aviv to the ancient city of Jerusalem, which both Jews and Arabs claim as their capital, predicted the move would bring “new elements of tension to a global panorama that is already convulsed and marked by so many and cruel conflicts.”

Trump has had an uneasy relationship with the leader of Catholicism since the campaign when the Pope denounced politicians who sew seeds of fear about immigration and his plan to build a wall on the Mexican border,

“I appeal not to create walls,” Pope Francis said in February, “but to build bridges.”

The Pope and the president seemed to reach an uneasy truce at the Vatican when Trump was in Europe for the G20 meetings earlier this year, but now Francis is again speaking out, clearing intending his remarks to push Trump to reconsider moving the Embassy:
“I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days.” 

Tastes best when cold.

From Fake Science, the only science news site used by Donald Trump

Prosecutorial Dilemma

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses and text

Wood River Health Services honors South County Hospital head

Awards Community Partner award to Louis Giancola

Louis Giancola, Pres. & CEO of South County Health, received the Wood River Health Services Community Partner Award at the health center’s Board of Directors meeting recently.

The award presentation had been scheduled to take place at a breakfast in October but was canceled by the storm that knocked out power to the region for nearly a week.

Giancola has been a healthcare executive for more than forty-five years and holds numerous national and regional professional memberships. The award recognized his “passion about pro-actively serving the healthcare needs of the community”. 

Confederate monuments are OK. National Monuments are not.

Trump vs. Bears Ears: Outraged Native Groups Respond
Image may contain: 5 people, text“Offensive.” “Illegal.” “Racist.” 

Those are just a few of the words used by Native American leaders and groups this week in response to President Trump’s plan to remove protections from 85 percent of the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. Tribes have spent decades trying to protect the culturally and historically significant Utah landmark.

The long-rumored details of President Trump’s action — fulfilling vague promises he made back in May — were officially announced today at a heavily protested public event in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

“We got it done,” said the president during the event.

At the close of his speech, Trump signed two presidential proclamations to shrink both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by a total of more than 2 million acres and in the process carve up what remains into several smaller monuments.

Native leaders wasted no time condemning Trump’s plan in the days leading up to its formal announcement.

During one of many public protests held in Salt Lake City this past weekend, Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch said Trump does not have the authority to remove or shrink national monuments, a position on which Constitutional scholars agree.

Natalie Landreth, senior staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, also took that position in a prepared statement last week, calling Trump’s action “completely illegal.” 

She added: “This is an issue of tribal sovereignty, tribal self-determination. The five tribes that advocated tirelessly to create this monument did so to protect their ancient and modern cultural and spiritual importance. The fact that it is being revoked without any consultation, or even concern, for the tribes is offensive.”

Landreth also spoke to the cultural threats that led to the establishment of Bears Ears. “The monument was created in large part to help stem the tide of widespread looting and grave robbing, which was the original purpose of the Antiquities Act, and removal of that protection leaves more than 60,000 known sites in danger. It’s disgraceful.”

And it’s not just about history; it’s also about the cultural and political reality of today. “Bears Ears isn’t just about a few artifacts in isolated locations,” Shaun Chapoose, a member of the Ute Indian Tribal Business Committee, said in an earlier statement issued by the Rights Fund. 

“Our cultures are still here and still thriving. The Bears Ears region is a cultural landscape — a place to nurture our families in our traditions. The monument came about through government-to-government negotiations with the previous administration, state and local officials. The president’s proposed unilateral action pleases a few powerful Utah politicians. It’s a sad state of affairs, but we are prepared to fight for our rights, and to protect Bears Ears.”

Many critics spoke to how Trump’s plan attempts to erase the years of effort put into seeking protection for Bears Ears

“The establishment of the Bears Ears National Monument was a historic advancement for all five Native Nations (Navajo, Hopi, Ute, Ute Mountain, Zuni) who advocated for the monument,” Russell Begaye, president of the Navajo Nation, said in the Rights Fund prepared statement. 

“At the very least, President Trump should have consulted with the original local governments of the Bears Ears region: our five Indian nations. Instead, our many requests for consultation were ignored. An action to diminish the Bears Ears National Monument in any way will be an action against the Navajo Nation and the Navajo people who have worked so tirelessly to protect these lands.”

American Indian groups have been gearing up for a fight ever since the president first promised to remove protections for the monument, which was established by President Obama. 

“What the politicians are doing is violating what’s sacred to us,” Alfred Lomahquahu Jr., vice chairman of the Hopi Tribal Council, told The Nation last week, comparing it to removing protections for Arlington National Cemetery. “Our holy, sacred ground happens to be the big landscape out here. But people don’t understand that. Not honoring Bears Ears is against our religion. And it’s racist.”

Ironically, Trump said during his speech that removing protections from Bears Ears protects religion. “We will ensure the right of the people to live according to the faith in their hearts, which is why we will always protect your religious liberty,” he said.

Immediately following the end of Trump’s speech, the Navajo Nation announced plans to sue to protect Bears Ears National Monument.

 “This is a sad day for indigenous people and for America,” Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez said in a press release. “However, we are resilient and refuse to allow President Trump’s unlawful decision to discourage us. We will continue to fight in honor of our ancestral warriors who fought for our way of life, for our culture and for our land too.”

John R. Platt  is the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. His “Extinction Countdown” column has run continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Ore., where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Progressive dilemma

Is it a good thing or bad thing that Trump broke his promise about golfing?
Trump on track to obliterate Obama And Bush’s records for time spent on the golf course.

By April 2017, with less than 100 days in office, the cost of Trump’s trips to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort had already cost taxpayers more than $21 million.

The Independent reported that by August 4, 2017, Trump had already “enjoyed more than three times as many holiday days as his predecessor had enjoyed at the same stage in his tenure,” adding that “Trump’s trips have already cost the taxpayer $30m on private travel to his estates, according to an estimate from the liberal think tank, Center for American Progress.

As The Guardian reported on Friday, 24 November 2017, “Trump’s regular trips to his own golf courses in Florida, Virginia and New Jersey have become a lightning rod for criticism, particularly in light of his own attacks on Barack Obama for time spent on the fairways when he was president.”

In August 2016, Trump told supporters in Virginia: “If I win I may never see my property — I may never see these places again. But because I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go golfing, believe me. Believe me. Believe me, folks.