Steve Vladeck and Tess Bridgeman at Just Security write—About that Trial Balloon on Using the 9/11 AUMF to Authorize U.S. Strikes on Iran: Monday’s Washington Times included a breathless “Exclusive” report titled “Iran-al Qaeda Alliance May Provide Legal Rationale for U.S. Military Strikes.” In the piece, the Times strings together a series of paraphrased comments from unidentified “Trump administration officials” and “congressional and legal sources” to suggest that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force—the AUMF—“may now provide a legal rationale for striking Iranian territory or proxies.” Pause on that for a moment; the Times piece basically suggests that, if President Trump wanted to, he could invoke the AUMF to start a war with Iran—and he could do it tomorrow. The main claim behind the Times story, it seems, is that Iran is increasingly “harboring” al Qaeda by providing sanctuary to certain al Qaeda officials in Iran and through indirect financial support. As the Times writes, “Behind the scenes in Washington, there is increasing speculation that the White House could make a case for military strikes [against Iran] using the existing AUMF, which authorizes the president to use all ‘appropriate force’ to target those who ‘planned, authorized, committed or aided’ the 9/11 attacks on America.” (The AUMF also authorized force against those who “harbored” the “organizations or persons” that committed the 9/11 attacks, long understood to refer to the Taliban government in Afghanistan before 9/11.) [...] Although the Times piece asserts that “legal analysts say the administration likely would have a strong argument,” it only quotes one such individual (retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charlie Dunlap), who said only that the AUMF might apply “if the facts show Iran or any other nation is harboring al Qaeda” (emphasis added). As Tess’s piece points out, it’s not remotely clear as a matter of facts or as a matter of law that such a claim holds water. Insofar as the Dunlap quote was answering a hypothetical, it seems deeply irresponsible for the Times to assert that the “administration likely would have a strong argument.” [...] First, it seems crystal clear that the story is nothing more than a trial balloon—something that someone in the Trump administration is publicly planting to see what reaction, if any, it provokes. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with government officials floating trial balloons. But it seems to us that the media has an obligation, when presented with such an obvious plant, to do more than simply repackage it as an exclusive news story—and in particular to be clearer about the nature of the factual and legal claims that are offered to it without attribution or sourcing. If the Times story is intended to plant a seed that there could potentially be a set of facts under which the 2001 AUMF could arguably be extended to encompass Iran on a “harboring” theory, nothing in the piece comes within a country mile of convincing us that those facts exist—or might soon. Nor does it come close to grappling with the obvious legal questions raised by its hugely consequential premise. Second, and at a more basic level, the fact that we’re even having this conversation is yet further proof, alongside years of previous examples, of the desperate need for Congress to revisit the 2001 AUMF—a statute that is now older than some of the soldiers we’re sending into harm’s way under its open-ended but not limitless terms. [...] Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES QUOTATION “In every treaty, insert a clause which can easily be violated, so that the entire agreement can be broken in the case the interests of the state make it expedient to do so.” ~~Louis XIV, Mémoires et instructions de Louis XIV pour le Dauphin (1661-1665) TWEET OF THE DAY xThings the GOP says we canÃ¢ÂÂt afford:-Medicare-for-All-A Green New Deal-A living wage for workers-Universal childcareThings the GOP has deemed affordable:-Giving the big banks another massive tax break https://t.co/jCR765JsOW— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) February 22, 2019 BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2016—Vulnerable Senate Republicans decide blocking Obama's nominee is safest bet: Endangered Senate Republicans have received their marching orders: block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee no matter what. Even at the expense of their own re-election. Confusion over whether to do the job they were elected—and bound by the constitution—to do or to keep the base happy still reins, and some of them are trying to have it both ways, couching their obstruction as somehow doing their duty. [...] So much for that 2014 pledge by Republicans that they'd show they are capable of governing. The only thing Republicans are proving they're good at is doing the bidding of extremists. On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: The big story of the day was Trump Labor Sec. Acosta letting Trump buddy Epstein off the hook for his child sex trafficking. The minute we were done, Trump buddy Kraft got busted in a sex trafficking ring in the very same jurisdiction. Gee whiz! x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!) LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE
Donald Trump retweeted his own video claiming that “the wall is under construction right now,” but the whole thing is about as ridiculous as the national emergency he declared last week before setting off for a long weekend of golfing. Oh, there was some construction all right, but it certainly wasn’t the big fat concrete wall he promised, but rather fencing replacement, and not from “right now,” but rather from last September. “The money for the steel-slatted barrier came from a congressional appropriation in 2017,” the New York Times reported, “not from newly authorized spending in the recent deal that averted a government shutdown, or from money the president is seeking to take from other federal projects under his national emergency declaration from last week.” Congressional Democrats—and perhaps some Republicans—are set to challenge Trump’s fake emergency next week, in an effort being spearheaded in the House by Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro. "This is a historic power grab,” the Congressional Hispanic Caucus chair said, “and it will require historic unity by members of Congress—Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative—to counteract the president’s parasitic movement.” Trump will surely moan and complain and demand to know why he can’t treat the U.S. government like his own personal charity, while continuing to ignore actual threats and crises facing our nation, like deadly white supremacists, asylum-seekers dying in U.S. custody, and the fact that his administration kidnapped thousands of children at the southern border and now says it’s just too darn hard to return them to their families. There’s your national emergency, Donald.
Most of the stories published about bees in recent years mention that there simply are not enough of them. Around the world, honey bees, bumble bees, and other pollinators have been dying in record numbers from “mystery illnesses” that have been the subject of well-nigh-infinite speculation, but all of which likely come back to a single issue: Colonies exposed to the bulk pesticides used to maintain massive commercial farms are so weakened that they’re subject to failure from numerous causes. That includes situations where the bees have simply been sprayed into oblivion. So with colonies collapsing, species under threat, and an entire insect apocalypse on the doorstep, it’s nice to have a good news story to report about bees, even if the good news does happen to include the phrase “giant nightmare.” In 1859, British explorer—and underappreciated co-discoverer of evolution through natural selection—Alfred Russell Wallace collected the first example of the giant bee that was later named in his honor. The “giant” part is no joke. The body of the bee is roughly the size of an adult’s thumb, its wingspan is considerably larger than that of the bee hummingbird, and at the front end the bee packs a pair of mandibles that lend it a particularly fierce appearance. Rather than build their homes out of wax, like a honey bee, female giant bees harvest tree resin and build rigid “apartments” inside of active termite nests. Despite its size, after Wallace collected it, the world’s biggest bee wasn’t seen again for almost a century, long enough that many researchers believed it had become extinct. Then additional specimens turned up across three tiny Indonesian islands in 1981. And that was that. A couple of additional collected specimens trickled in, but no one had seen a living Wallace’s giant bee since, and for a second time a tentative “Extinct?” tag was slapped next to the bee’s entry in some catalogs. But, as the British Natural History Museum reported this week, the giant bee is not done yet. A team of researchers working in the same small group of islands originally visited by Wallace located and filmed examples of the giant bee still going about their bee-ness, living in the same termite mounds and proceeding with their resin-collecting ways. While this may seem like some kind of resurrection, or even evidence that scientists are too quick to cry “extinction,” it’s really neither. For a rare insect isolated in a small, remote area to go unseen over a long period is not unusual. No one saw the giant bee for so long mostly because no one was looking for it. And the reason some worried that it might have become extinct wasn’t so much a lack of evidence, but evidence of what was happening—deforestation.
Immediately after the voters of Utah passed a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, state officials pressed the Trump administration to approve the state's waiver request to limit expansion, according to correspondence Politico has obtained through public records. After voters approved a full expansion with 53 percent of the vote, Utah officials were pressuring the administration to approve the existing waiver request, completely ignoring the will of the voters. Earlier this month Utah Republicans passed legislation mirroring their waiver request and including significant restrictions on the program, including enrollment caps and per-person limits on spending that were not part of the full Medicaid expansion voted on by the people. These would also be the most extreme restrictions ever granted on the program, if the administration agrees. Rather than the 150,000 people voters elected to cover, this legislation would cover about 90,000. The state first applied for a partial expansion last summer, and Republican lawmakers insist that the administration has provided assurances that it will receive it, though the documents Politico has reviewed, including correspondence between the administration and the state, don't reflect that. What they do show is that «the state, shortly after the election, ramped up pressure on the Trump administration to decide whether to allow partial expansions.» Utah Medicaid Director Nathan Checketts wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Nov. 20, saying that he was aware that «the state's request would be something new for CMS and represents a significant policy decision» and «we understand why CMS has taken time to review and consider the state's request. […] Even if CMS is not able to approve this request, our policy makers will benefit from knowing which options are (or are not) likely to be approved.» As if the vote-passed ballot initiative simply didn't exist! No waiver at all has to be granted from the administration for the state to do what it's supposed to and implement the law as passed by its citizens. What the state is trying to do might very well be illegal under Medicaid statute, and it's just asking for litigation. Nate Crippes, an attorney at the Disability Law Center, basically promises it. «I would be very, very surprised if that wasn't challenged,» he said.
This year’s Black History Month has been marked with controversy and frequent reminders of America’s fraught relationship with race. Perhaps none has evoked such a powerful reaction as the incidents of white politicians in Virginia who, it was discovered, had dressed in blackface in college back in the 1980s. As a result, there have been numerous conversations about the offensiveness of blackface, and also about the trend among blackface-wearing college students to put photos of themselves in school yearbooks. To see how widespread this issue really is, reporters at USA Today pored through hundreds of old yearbooks. The newspaper assigned 78 reporters to review more than 900 yearbooks spanning the 1970s and 1980s. As a part of their investigation, the reporters discovered more than 200 of these photos, including one from Arizona State University’s yearbook in 1989. It is that one, as the Washington Post notes, that hit very close to home. That is because the editor of the yearbook and designer of the page containing the blackface photo was none other than Nicole Carroll, USA Today’s current editor-in-chief. The photo “reportedly depicts two white students in black makeup dressed up as boxer Mike Tyson and actress Robin Givens.” Carroll had this to say about the incident: “I am sorry for the hurt I caused back then and the hurt it will cause today,” Carroll wrote in a column published Wednesday. “Clearly the 21-year-old me who oversaw the book and that page didn’t understand how offensive the photo was. I wish I had. Today’s 51-year-old me of course understands and is crushed by this mistake." Interestingly, while reporters were looking in the yearbooks for blackface photos of politicians and other high-profile leaders, Carroll was the most prominent leader to be discovered in the process. However, it is noteworthy that most of the racist photos ran without captions—meaning that the participants were impossible to identify. So it’s likely that the story isn’t that our politicians weren’t dressing in blackface in the 1970s and 1980s; it’s that they just haven’t been caught yet. Carroll, who has been in her role at USA Today since March 2018, noted the importance of apologizing publicly and holding herself accountable. “As journalists, we must hold ourselves accountable as we do others, and it is important to call myself out for this poor judgment.” She also says that she would like to grow from this experience. Carroll may be one of the first high-profile people who are not politicians to make recent headlines for her involvement in a blackface yearbook photo, but she won’t be the last. USA Today’s investigation discovered hundreds of photos of white students sporting blackface, wearing KKK robes and Nazi symbols, and mocking Native Americans. And this is a thing that routinely occurs on college campuses to this day. This is a conversation that we as a country desperately need to have. While we should have no tolerance for blackface, we can also acknowledge that each of these cases is different. Carroll wasn’t actually involved in wearing blackface (that we know of), but she definitely participated in perpetuating it. Her participation in a culture of white supremacy is one that should challenge us to talk honestly—not just about individual incidents of blackface, but also about our history of racial abuse and oppression, the impact on black people and all people of color, and how we move toward healing. We won’t get beyond our past until we acknowledge the ways it keeps showing up in the present.
Rep. Steve King remains an unapologetic white supremacist, emphasizing the “unapologetic” part of that in a Thursday interview. King was stripped of his committee assignments in January after asking, in a New York Times interview, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?” He still plans to run for re-election in 2020, though, and in an interview with Iowa Public Television he was defiant, blaming the media for a months-long conspiracy to take him down. “I have nothing to apologize for,” King said. “We know what the news media has done continually, and the president has labeled the New York Times a dishonest entity.” King laid out a string of articles on his racism that, he claimed, were false, with then-National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Steve Stivers having “capitalized” on one of them. King offered no explanation why the head of the committee dedicated to electing Republicans to the House would have been looking for ways to attack a Republican member of the House, but implied that this had something to do with the massive Republican House losses in November. “By the time we got to January 10, however, I had been warned that they were going to try another move, they tried another move, and that came out of the New York Times,” King said, without quite explaining who “they” are. King denied saying what he was quoted saying in the Times, but did detail a Christian Science Monitor interview in which he decried that “terms had been weaponized by the left,” including “racist, and Nazi, and fascist, and white nationalist—I didn’t say the other word, the white supremacy one.” King says that in the New York Times interview he was just talking about Western civilization, not white nationalism or white supremacy, but the newspaper’s politics editor Patrick Healy told the Washington Post that, in addition to their reporter's detailed notes, "I’d point out that for more than 24 hours after the article was published, Mr. King did not dispute he had made the comment.” This is also not the only time recently that King has run the play of denying he said what he said—and previously, the conservative Weekly Standard had the recording of him calling immigrants “dirt.” Which is just one of many reasons it was so believable that King would defend white supremacy. Steve King’s long history of racist comments speaks for itself. And when King tries to explain why he’s not racist, his fancy footwork and conspiracist language continue to undermine his surface claims. Because he’s a giant bleeding racist, and you can’t talk your way out of that by blaming the media or parsing the meaning of “white nationalist.”
Oppo has seen the success that Huawei and OnePlus have had in Western markets.
The policy lays strategies to address issues pertinent to the sector including consumer protection, data privacy and maintenance of a level-playing field.
It has been 40 days since Uri: The Surgical Strike released but it is still enjoying an uninterrupted run -- an usual scenario especially for a mid-budget film.
It has been 40 days since Uri: The Surgical Strike released but it is still enjoying an uninterrupted run -- an usual scenario especially for a mid-budget film.
While DGCA reasoned that the slow pace was due to a «lean tourist period», sector watchers say it is a «self-inflicted» pain for the industry
Besides funding challenges, select firms face solvency risks
YouTube will demonetize channels that promote anti-vaccination views, after a report by BuzzFeed News found ads, including from health companies, running before anti-vax videos. The platform will also place a new information panel that links to the Wikipedia entry on “vaccine hesitancy” before anti-vax videos. Information panels (part of YouTube’s efforts to combat misinformation) about […]
Bassem Hamdy has been in the construction business for a long time. He spent the last few years at the construction software business Procore, now a $3 billion dollar company developing technology for the construction industry, and now Hamdy is ready to unveil his next act as chief executive and co-founder of Briq, a new […]
Ev Wiliams is stepping down from Twitter's board of directors effective at the end of the month, according to documents submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
NASA has selected LJT & Associates, Incorporated of Columbia, Maryland, to provide support services to the Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been teasing — and his fanbase has been making pleas — to host a meme review. And after tweeted hints, meme review has arrived via YouTube star PewDiePie. Musk tweeted last month a photo and a question “Host meme review?” Host meme review? pic.twitter.com/k2SFtIUh1k — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) […]
Relationships between landlords and their tenants don’t need to be fraught ones. With Y Combinator -backed Latchel, landlords and property managers can access a 24/7 maintenance service that takes requests from tenants and deploys the right professional to fix the things that need fixing. “At first we thought of doing a high-tech property management system,” Latchel founder […]
It’s a “go” for SpaceX’s first uncrewed flight of its passenger capsule. After a flight readiness review Friday, NASA and SpaceX have decided to proceed with plans to conduct Demo-1, the first uncrewed […] The post NASA Clears SpaceX Crew Dragon March 2 Test Flight to Space Station appeared first on Geek.com.
PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to release a decision Monday in a challenge of a car rental tax surcharge imposed in Maricopa County to pay for building a football stadium and other sports and recreational facilities. The state's highest court said last year that it would ...
DENVER (AP) - «Friends don't let friends drive I-70.» The tongue-in-cheek mantra is often uttered by Colorado skiers and snowboarders who frequent resorts far from the crowded mountain corridor, which funnels thousands of vehicles onto two lanes west of Denver every winter weekend. "It's nightmarish. Hours and hours in the ...
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A man who previously was the first child pornography suspect named to the FBI's Most Wanted list has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to watching child porn on a bus traveling across Montana. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy also sentenced 67-year-old ...
Have trouble sleeping, feel anxious, or got sore muscles? If traditional therapies have failed you, maybe it’s time to give something else a try. Tasty gummies containing CBD, are now offered with savings […] The post CBD Savings: Get These High-Potency CBD Gummies For Under $30 appeared first on Geek.com.
The first men's World Cup super-G after the world championships has been canceled due to snowfall a few hours before its scheduled start
Honda’s first week supplying two teams in the V6 turbo-hybrid era was very productive, as its new team Red Bull and 2018 partner Toro Rosso logged almost 1,000 laps between them.Answering a suggestion there has been a vibration with Honda’s 2019 engine, Egginton said: “The engine programme has been fantastic.“Honda have been working along on the background doing their thing. It’s ...Keep reading
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