Trump tells US spy chiefs: ‘Go back to school’

US President Donald Trump holding an order withdrawing the US from an landmark nuclear deal with IranPresident Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018

President Donald Trump has called US intelligence agencies “naive” on Iran and also dismissed their assessment of the threat posed by North Korea.

“Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” Mr Trump tweeted.

The testy response came after a US intelligence report said Iran was not making nuclear weapons.

It also said that North Korea remained “unlikely to give up” its weapons stockpiles and production abilities.

National intelligence director Dan Coats and other intelligence chiefs presented the Worldwide Threat Assessment report to the Senate on Tuesday.

Last year, the US pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, triggering widespread criticism from Washington’s allies.

Mr Trump also launched a diplomatic push to improve relations with North Korea, meeting the country’s leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore last June to discuss denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

At the time, Mr Trump said this meeting had ended the North Korean nuclear threat – a claim questioned by a number of US politicians and experts.

N Korea’s leaders ‘view nuclear as key to regime survival’

The US intelligence report also warned that cyber threats from China and Russia were a growing concern, and both countries may be seeking to influence the 2020 US presidential elections.

What did Trump say about Iran?

In a series of tweets, Mr Trump said US intelligence officials “seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!”

Iran, he continued, was “making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond” in 2016, but had been “much different” since the US pullout from the “terrible” Iran nuclear deal.

However, Mr Trump warned that Tehran remained “a source of potential danger and conflict”, referring to reported recent Iranian rocket tests.

Donald J. Trump

At the Senate hearing, CIA director Gina Haspel said Iran was “technically… in compliance” with the nuclear deal, despite the US withdrawal and the imposition of stricter sanctions against Tehran.

However, the intelligence report warned that Iran’s “regional ambitions and improved military capabilities” would probably threaten US interests in the future.

What about Trump’s remarks on North Korea?

The president wrote that “time will tell what will happen with North Korea, but at the end of the previous administration, relationship was horrendous and very bad things were about to happen.

“Now a whole different story. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un shortly. Progress being made – big difference!”

The US intelligence report earlier concluded that North Korea was “unlikely to give up” its weapons stockpiles and production abilities while it tried to negotiate “partial denuclearisation steps to obtain key US and international concessions”.

Having nuclear weapons was seen as “critical to regime survival”, the report added.

In Singapore, Mr Trump and Mr Kim signed an agreement pledging to “work toward complete denuclearisation” – but there was no agreed pathway and little progress has been made since then on the issue.

The White House has said there will be a second summit in February, but no date or location has yet been confirmed.

Presentational white space

For Trump and intelligence chiefs, a gaping chasm is normal

Analysis by BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera

It used to be that finding the tiniest gap between the statements of a political leader and his intelligence chiefs would make for front-page news.

Yet these days a gaping chasm between President Trump and the heads of his intelligence agencies has almost become a new normal.

The willingness of Donald Trump to attack intelligence assessments began after his election and before he took office, when the intelligence community at the tail end of the Obama administration produced an assessment that said Russia had interfered in the 2016 election.

Rather than see the legitimacy of his victory undermined, he targeted the credibility of the spies.

That trend has continued in office even with intelligence chiefs who now serve at his pleasure.

They have to tread a thorny path (easier walked together than alone) between being seen to maintain their integrity in telling “truth to power”, and not risking the wrath of a president which in turn could undermine their work.

Presentational white space

Is this the first time Trump has clashed with US intelligence bosses?

No.

Last year, Mr Trump faced a barrage of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans after he defended Russia over claims it meddled in the 2016 US presidential elections.

US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scales of the US election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.

But after face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July 2018, Mr Trump said there had been no reason for Russia to interfere.

“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Mr Trump told a news conference.

Just 24 hours later, the US president said he misspoke and should have said, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be” Russia.

Trump says he “misspoke” at Putin summit, but is it too late? Anthony Zurcher explains

US special counsel Robert Mueller is continuing his investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US election.

President Trump has repeatedly described the investigation as a “witch-hunt”.

US poor and minority areas turning into ‘pharmacy deserts’ [except for the local drug dealer]

Pharmacies are closing in what they consider unprofitable poor and minority neighbourhoods in the US, often times depriving residents of access to medicine, counselling and local clinics.

https://players.brightcove.net/665003303001/4k5gFJHRe_default/index.html?videoId=5985972062001&usrPersonaAds=false

More and more minority neighbourhoods in US cities are becoming what healthcare experts call “pharmacy deserts”.

From Oregon on the west coast to Baltimore on the east, local drug stores are closing up shop in low-income and minority neighbourhoods.

The decisions may be based on profitability, but with the widening scope of services pharmacies offer in the United States – like physicals, immunisations, drug counselling, sexually transmitted infection screening and other laboratory testing – residents of poor neighbourhoods struggle to access an increasingly important part of the national healthcare system.

Cards against Humanity: 99% Off Sale!

 

 

https://www.99percentoffsale.com/

 

Today is Black Friday, Cards Against Humanity’s favorite holiday. This year, we want to remind everyone of the reason for the season: deals.

Holy fuck have we got some deals. Every ten minutes, a new deal will go live on this page. Don’t be frightened by the deals. Just click and let the savings wash over you.

As the ancient Mayans foretold, a savings event of this magnitude only occurs once every thousand years. Act now while supplies last.

20-foot Yurt

20-foot Yurt

$6,000.00$60.00
  • 336 sq. ft. with room for up to 15 generals and scribes.
  • Complex and arduous assembly required.
  • Only for serious yurt people.
  • Flammable.

DEAL OF THE DAY

All-New Absurd Box

$2,000$20.00
  • We took peyote and wrote this.
  • 300 brand-new cards.
  • Pretty good.

DEALS YOU MISSED

Absurd Box spread #3

$20 Bill

$20.00$0.20
  • A $20 value!
  • Legal tender for all debts public and private!
  • An unbelievable $19.80 in savings!
  • Stay tuned for more incredible deals!

85-inch Sony 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

$3,499.00$34.99
  • Very big.
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17th Century Italian Halberd

$1,850.00$18.50
  • Unique item.
  • 8 feet long.
  • 20% chance to cast Frost Nova.
  • This is an actual Renaissance polearm, it’s totally badass.

Life-Size Orlando Bloom Cut-Out

$75.00$0.75
  • It’s Legolas!
  • There are worse actors.
  • Still pretty hot.
  • Google-Image “orlando bloom penis.”
2015 Red Ford Fiesta (25k miles)

2015 Red Ford Fiesta (25k miles)

$9,750.00$97.50
  • That’s right. It’s a motherfucking car.
  • This car’s got it all–seats, wheels, cupholders, you name it.
  • Drive it to work, or just make it go “beep beep!”
  • No road crimes, please.

Presidential Mahogany Casket

$3,199.00$31.99
  • Brand new, unused.
  • Almond velvet interior.
  • Protect your lifeless body from microbes and insects.

1.5 Carat Lab-Grown Diamond Engagement Ring

$3,215.00$32.15
  • Like it? Put a ring on it.
  • Propose in public. Make a whole scene.
  • 50% of marriages end in divorce.
  • Free returns!

Poncho Toilet

$9.00$0.09
  • It’s a poncho you can poop in.
  • Avoid long bathroom lines.
  • Includes 1 poo bag, 1 pee bag, and 2 cloth wipes.
  • Perfect gift for gamers.

$800 Applebee’s Gift Card

$800.00$8.00
  • Attractive rectangular shape.
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  • Multiple colors.
  • Fits in your wallet.

Original Picasso Lithograph

$6,000.00$60.00
  • Original 11″x15″ signed by Picasso.
  • Supposedly depicts his friend, Jean Cocteau.
  • It’s a Picasso.

Bill Pullman’s Actual Flight Suit from Independence Day

$3,995.00$39.95
  • We will not go quietly into the night!
  • We will not vanish without a fight!
  • We’re going to live on!
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  • Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!

Portable Sauna

$170.00$1.70
  • Your personal paradise.
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  • Just look at it!
  • Probably a fire hazard.

Portable Hair Dryer Bonnet Attachment

$10.00$0.10
  • It’s finally here.
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  • Take your hair on a journey from wet to dry.
  • Hair dryer not included.

$100 Bill

$100.00$1.00
  • A $100 value!
  • Legal tender for all debts public and private!
  • A once-in-a-lifetime $99.00 in savings!
  • As big as money as goes!

“Big Bertha” Arcade Game

$900.00$9.00
  • Feed Big Bertha.
  • Throw the balls into Bertha’s mouth.
  • She’s really hungry.
  • Hurry.

LELO “Olga” 24-Karat Gold Dildo

$3,490.00$34.90
  • Pleasure fit for a queen.
  • Pointed tip for deep satisfaction, flattened tip for G-spot and clitoral stimulation.
  • Hand wash only.

5-day Vacation to Fiji for Two

$7,160.00$71.60
  • What a great idea.
  • You deserve it.
  • Long plane ride.
  • Come to Fiji.

Costco 50-lb Wheel of Pecorino Romano Cheese

$329.00$3.29
  • Pungent.
  • Italian.
  • Too much.
  • Warning: contains dairy.

Bowflex Revolution Home Gym

$3,999.00$39.99
  • SpiraFlex® Technology designed for NASA.
  • Over 100 exercises with up to 400 variations.
  • Join the revolution!
  • You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Gucci Princetown Goat Hair Slides

$600.00$6.00
  • Oh my god.
  • US Size 7-B.

500 Pounds of Dry Garbanzo Beans

$579.00$5.79
  • High in protein.
  • Probably a superfood.
  • Hope you’re hungry!

Bust of Former President Barack Obama

$550.00$5.50
  • Life-size.
  • Looks just like Barack Obama.
  • Ask him for advice or absorb his noble silence.
  • No nipples, sorry.
Alchemical Rainbow Crystal Harp with Silver Ions

Alchemical Rainbow Crystal Harp with Silver Ions

$1,790.00$17.90
  • Escape the illusion of linear time.
  • Reunfiy your lower vibrational consciousness with your multidimensional self.
  • Ascend in the crystalline beingness of the Solar Cosmic Christ.

Eight Foot Gummy Python

$149.00$1.49
  • Weighs 27 pounds.
  • Longest recorded gummy snake.
  • Sticky.
  • Guaranteed diarrhea.

La-Z-Boy PowerRecline XR

$1,999.00$19.99
  • You know this one.
  • Big chair.

Double-Decker Cat Stroller

$290.00$2.90
  • When a single decker cat stroller isn’t enough.
  • Take your cats to the park or to visit your son in prison.
  • Cats not included.

Herbeau “Dagobert” Toilet Throne

$10,133.00$101.33
  • Ash wood exterior.
  • Exquisite hand-painted porcelain.
  • Take a crap like a Hapsburg prince.
  • Ring a bell when you’re done.

GERi Nursing Skills Geriatric Medical Doll

$1,769.00$17.69
  • Interchangeable female and uncircumcised male genitalia
  • Intramuscular injection sites at arm, thigh, and buttock
  • Great for dinner parties!

40-Inch Disco Ball

$749.00$7.49
  • Big.
  • Shiny.
  • Spherical.
  • Really fucking big.

Rejuvenique Facial Toning Mask

$169.00$1.69
  • Something to do with skincare?
  • I think it electrocutes your face.
  • I don’t know what it does, actually.
  • Please be careful.

Tremendous Inflatable Eagle

$1,200.00$12.00
  • Absolute unit.
  • This eagle is going to be a problem for you if you buy it.

Signed “Mean Girls” Poster

$799.00$7.99
  • We were told Rachel McAdams signed this through her car window while leaving Jimmy Kimmel Live, Amanda Seyfried signed it at an Italian restaurant, and Lindsay Lohan signed at a radio station.
  • It’s from eBay.

September 11th Commemorative Coin

$43.00$0.43
  • One ounce of 99.9% pure silver.
  • Support our troops.
  • Never forget.
  • Don’t let the terrorists win.

19th Century Butter Churn

$575.00$5.75
  • Life on the prairie is simple, but honest.
  • Typhoid took little Eustace this autumn past.
  • Pa said he’ll break out the fiddle after supper.
  • Back to work, Joseph. Winter won’t be long now.

Dan Aykroyd’s Cone Head from the Movie “Coneheads”

$1,995.00$19.95
  • The titular cone from the eponymous head.
  • Actually worn by Dan Aykroyd in “Coneheads”
  • Disgusting.
  • Gnarfel the Garthok in style.

Fist-Sized Emerald

$1,800.00$18.00
  • The size of a fist!
  • Over 2,500 carats.
  • Polish it endlessly.
  • Jealously guard it like a dragon.
  • Throw it into a pond or something.

Guitar Signed By Jimmy Carter

$2,300.00$23.00
  • Make up your own story for why Jimmy Carter signed this guitar.

Inflatable Bubble Camping Tent

$1,300.00$13.00
  • Post it on Instagram. Make your life look better than it really is.
  • Extremely loud pump included.
  • Could you suffocate in this thing?
  • We have substantial concerns regarding the quality of this product.

600 Live Ants

$66.00$0.66
  • 700 ants? Too many.
  • 500 ants? Not enough.
  • 600? Just the right number of ants.

Hot Dog Cart

$4,000.00$40.00
  • Live the American Dream. Own a small business.
  • Classic chrome exterior with iconic umbrella.
  • Does not include hot dogs or condiments.

Pirate Ship Adventure Party Bounce House

$1,790.00$17.90
  • It’s a bounce house!
  • Bounce up and down.
  • Turn your backyard into a deadly carnival.
  • Great for your weekend with the kids.
Emperor Workstation

Emperor Workstation

$7,000.00$70.00
  • Overwhelm your senses.
  • Alienate your family.
  • You’ve been in this chair your entire life.

“King of the Jungle” Lion Mask

$480.00$4.80
  • Hand-made in the Netherlands.
  • Resembles a lion.

Hot Dog Cart

$4,000.00$40.00
  • Live the American Dream. Own a small business.
  • Classic chrome exterior with iconic umbrella.
  • Does not include hot dogs or condiments.

Pirate Ship Adventure Party Bounce House

$1,790.00$17.90
  • It’s a bounce house!
  • Bounce up and down.
  • Turn your backyard into a deadly carnival.
  • Great for your weekend with the kids.

Signed Photograph of Richard Nixon

$600.00$6.00
  • Features 37th president and total dreamboat, Richard Nixon.
  • Did you know that Richard Nixon founded the EPA?
  • America’s original daddy!

8-foot Statue of Anubis, Egyptian God of the Dead

$1,295.00$12.95
  • Bow before me or suffer my wrath!
  • Enjoy my sturdy fiber-glass construction!
  • Gaze upon my staff of power!
  • Don’t tip me over.
Honeywell Survivair 777777

Honeywell Survivair 777777

$1,860.00$18.60
  • Features low-pressure aluminum puma facepiece with 2,216 PSIG.
  • Not for use in outer space.
  • You might not need this now, but you will some day.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What the fuck is going on?

    To celebrate this season of incredible Black Friday deals, Cards Against Humanity is offering a dazzling array of consumer products for 99% off.

  • Is this real?

    Yes. All of these products are actually available for 99% off, and if you purchase something we will actually ship it to you.

  • But the deals seem too good to be true!

    We’ve chosen to make them true. That’s the miracle of Black Friday.

  • Can the global financial system handle these deals?

    Most economic indicators suggest “no.”

  • Surely you must be losing a lot of money on this promotion.

    Oh dear yes. This is a financial catastrophe for our company.

  • How were the products on this page selected?

    Our team of experts spent over 500 hours researching the highest-rated consumer goods and exclusive collectable items. Every item was plotted on a six-dimensional chart of desirability, style, functionality, value, charisma, and je ne sais quoi.

  • What’s the Absurd Box?

    The Absurd Box is Cards Against Humanity’s brand new 300-card expansion. While it normally retails for $2,000 USD, today it’s available for 99% off.

  • I tried to get in on a deal but it sold out!

    You have no one to blame but yourself.

  • I thought you were a potato chip company now.

    Yeah, that didn’t work out. We did a 360 pivot.

  • What’s your strategy here?

    We might be losing a little money now, but in the long run, we hope to make it up in volume. We like to think we’re following in the footsteps of our hero, Jeff Bezos.

  • Is there any language that your lawyers demanded you paste onto this website?

    Yes.

    All items are sold “as-is.” If your item doesn’t arrive, or is damaged in transit to you, or you are otherwise unhappy with the purchase, you are eligible for a refund of up to a maximum of the purchase price you paid (plus applicable sales tax). No exchanges will be made. All items except the Absurd Box are available only in the US. It is your responsibility to ascertain and obey all applicable local, state, federal, and international laws (including minimum age requirements) in regards to the possession, use, and sale of any item purchased from this site. By placing an order, you represent that the products ordered will be used only in a lawful manner.

Trump is waging a war on people with disabilities

Policies the Trump administration has pursued have made it difficult for many disable people to lead independent lives.

Disabled people protest in front of the Senate Finance Committee room hours before a hearing on the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare on September 25, 2017 [Reuters/Kevin Lamarque]
Disabled people protest in front of the Senate Finance Committee room hours before a hearing on the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare on September 25, 2017 

Three Novembers ago, then-candidate Donald Trump came under fire for mocking a reporter living with arthrogryposis, a condition that limits joint function. It was a harbinger of what was to come for America’s disabled in the Trump era. His administration and representatives of his party in Congress have been dead-set on destroying the lives of disabled Americans for the last two years.

Upon taking office, Trump made repealing and replacing Obamacare, the healthcare insurance law passed under former President Barack Obama, his first congressional priority. This insistence to do away with a law that significantly expanded national healthcare coverage almost left millions of disabled Americans in the dust.

As part of ongoing efforts to repeal Obamacare and cut America’s safety-net, Trump and congressional Republicans wish to undermine Medicaid, the federal health programme for the poor, elderly, disabled and children. The neediest Americans, including many members of the disabled community, use 80 percent of Medicaid’s budgeted services.

To this day, Republicans advocate limiting federal per-capita Medicaid spending. Such cuts would cause states to raise taxes, pay doctors less, limit coverage eligibility and cut back on services. Cuts would bring an end to programmes such as Medicaid-funded personal care attendants. Almost three million disabled Americans use this programme to live, get out of bed, bathe, eat, drive to work and go to sleep.

Medicaid pays for more than half of in-home services in the US. It’s the engine that allows many disabled Americans to live independently. Previous Obamacare repeal attempts could have lead to the unnecessary institutionalisation of millions, condemning them to a life of limited freedom and autonomy. Trump and congressional Republicans could care less, as they clearly demonstrated with multiple attempts to destroy Medicaid and gut civil rights laws.

Last winter, 253 congressional Republicans voted to pass HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, a bill that would alter the enforcement provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA grants civil rights to people with disabilities, ensuring they have equal access to public places and businesses, requiring owners to supply reasonable accommodations. This bill would undermine the ADA, making it more challenging and time intensive to force businesses to accommodate people with disabilities.

The bill would force a disabled person to first file a notice that usually requires counsel, wait 60 days for a response and wait 120 more days to see if progress is made on remedying a violation of the law before the issue can be brought to the courts. It’s intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits against retailers.

However, the Center for American Progress found that a recent uptick in ADA lawsuits is not widespread and it stems from a single law firm. Republicans can easily patch up the law to deter profiteering lawyers while maintaining civil rights protections. But they have chosen to take a drastic measure that would make it even harder for disabled Americans to stand up for their rights.

Members of the Trump administration have also been punishing disabled Americans. Last year, Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents that detailed the rights of special needs students. The rescinded documents were created to clarify how federal disability rights law should apply to the nation’s school districts.

Last December, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded two dozen guidance documents including several clarifying the implications of the ADA. By doing so, Sessions undermined an Obama-era guidance preventing unnecessary segregation of settings in workplaces as well as vocation and day programmes.

The guidance warned states that they needed to modify their policies to ensure employment programmes offer people with disabilities opportunities to work in fully integrated settings. Rescinding this guidance does not change the ADA’s mandates, but it can create uncertainty about how the law should be interpreted.

All is not lost in the fight to protect people with disabilities in the United States. Americans have risen up to resist Trump and bring about change. ADAPT activists, for example, played a critical role in the failure of Republicans to repeal Obamacare by staging “die-ins” in US congressional offices.

As the 2018 US congressional midterm elections approach, momentum is with the Democrats to take control of the US House. Democratic chairpersons in critical US House congressional committees are poised to hold President Trump accountable, investigating and deflecting Republican attempts to weaken safety-net programmes like Medicaid.

Undoubtedly, some damage has already been done and we have a very long way to go to create an America that caters to all Americans. Contesting conservative attacks on safety-net programmes and public accommodations will not be enough on their own to achieve this. National and state leaders will also need to take steps to make sure all feel welcome in our country’s department stores, restaurants, schools, bus terminals, subways and workplaces.

The president claims the US is now stronger than ever before, and everybody is doing better. However, this is not the case for millions of vulnerable Americans and low-income families. Trump’s America denies its people healthcare, evicts poor parents and hobbles the disabled.

Hard fought protections and investments are being scaled back and many Americans are feeling that they are being abandoned by their country.

Republicans say they celebrate self-sufficiency. However, now that they are in power, rather than help more Americans get back on their feet and live independent and productive lives, they are gutting consumer safeguards, civil rights regulations and social services.

If Republicans really want more Americans to be truly independent, they should question their ruthless adherence to tax cuts for the super-rich, small government and deregulation. Disabled Americans want to lead independent lives. They want to work, raise a family, and contribute to society like all able-bodied adults. It’s time America gives them the tools and resources to do so.

Trump is waging a war on people with disabilities

Policies the Trump administration has pursued have made it difficult for many disable people to lead independent lives.

Disabled people protest in front of the Senate Finance Committee room hours before a hearing on the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare on September 25, 2017 [Reuters/Kevin Lamarque]
Disabled people protest in front of the Senate Finance Committee room hours before a hearing on the latest Republican effort to repeal Obamacare on September 25, 2017 [Reuters/Kevin Lamarque]

Three Novembers ago, then-candidate Donald Trump came under fire for mocking a reporter living with arthrogryposis, a condition that limits joint function. It was a harbinger of what was to come for America’s disabled in the Trump era. His administration and representatives of his party in Congress have been dead-set on destroying the lives of disabled Americans for the last two years.

Upon taking office, Trump made repealing and replacing Obamacare, the healthcare insurance law passed under former President Barack Obama, his first congressional priority. This insistence to do away with a law that significantly expanded national healthcare coverage almost left millions of disabled Americans in the dust.

As part of ongoing efforts to repeal Obamacare and cut America’s safety-net, Trump and congressional Republicans wish to undermine Medicaid, the federal health programme for the poor, elderly, disabled and children. The neediest Americans, including many members of the disabled community, use 80 percent of Medicaid’s budgeted services.

To this day, Republicans advocate limiting federal per-capita Medicaid spending. Such cuts would cause states to raise taxes, pay doctors less, limit coverage eligibility and cut back on services. Cuts would bring an end to programmes such as Medicaid-funded personal care attendants. Almost three million disabled Americans use this programme to live, get out of bed, bathe, eat, drive to work and go to sleep.

Medicaid pays for more than half of in-home services in the US. It’s the engine that allows many disabled Americans to live independently. Previous Obamacare repeal attempts could have lead to the unnecessary institutionalisation of millions, condemning them to a life of limited freedom and autonomy. Trump and congressional Republicans could care less, as they clearly demonstrated with multiple attempts to destroy Medicaid and gut civil rights laws.

Last winter, 253 congressional Republicans voted to pass HR 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, a bill that would alter the enforcement provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA grants civil rights to people with disabilities, ensuring they have equal access to public places and businesses, requiring owners to supply reasonable accommodations. This bill would undermine the ADA, making it more challenging and time intensive to force businesses to accommodate people with disabilities.

The bill would force a disabled person to first file a notice that usually requires counsel, wait 60 days for a response and wait 120 more days to see if progress is made on remedying a violation of the law before the issue can be brought to the courts. It’s intended to prevent frivolous lawsuits against retailers.

However, the Center for American Progress found that a recent uptick in ADA lawsuits is not widespread and it stems from a single law firm. Republicans can easily patch up the law to deter profiteering lawyers while maintaining civil rights protections. But they have chosen to take a drastic measure that would make it even harder for disabled Americans to stand up for their rights.

Members of the Trump administration have also been punishing disabled Americans. Last year, Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded 72 guidance documents that detailed the rights of special needs students. The rescinded documents were created to clarify how federal disability rights law should apply to the nation’s school districts.

Last December, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded two dozen guidance documents including several clarifying the implications of the ADA. By doing so, Sessions undermined an Obama-era guidance preventing unnecessary segregation of settings in workplaces as well as vocation and day programmes.

The guidance warned states that they needed to modify their policies to ensure employment programmes offer people with disabilities opportunities to work in fully integrated settings. Rescinding this guidance does not change the ADA’s mandates, but it can create uncertainty about how the law should be interpreted.

All is not lost in the fight to protect people with disabilities in the United States. Americans have risen up to resist Trump and bring about change. ADAPT activists, for example, played a critical role in the failure of Republicans to repeal Obamacare by staging “die-ins” in US congressional offices.

As the 2018 US congressional midterm elections approach, momentum is with the Democrats to take control of the US House. Democratic chairpersons in critical US House congressional committees are poised to hold President Trump accountable, investigating and deflecting Republican attempts to weaken safety-net programmes like Medicaid.

Undoubtedly, some damage has already been done and we have a very long way to go to create an America that caters to all Americans. Contesting conservative attacks on safety-net programmes and public accommodations will not be enough on their own to achieve this. National and state leaders will also need to take steps to make sure all feel welcome in our country’s department stores, restaurants, schools, bus terminals, subways and workplaces.

The president claims the US is now stronger than ever before, and everybody is doing better. However, this is not the case for millions of vulnerable Americans and low-income families. Trump’s America denies its people healthcare, evicts poor parents and hobbles the disabled.

Hard fought protections and investments are being scaled back and many Americans are feeling that they are being abandoned by their country.

Republicans say they celebrate self-sufficiency. However, now that they are in power, rather than help more Americans get back on their feet and live independent and productive lives, they are gutting consumer safeguards, civil rights regulations and social services.

If Republicans really want more Americans to be truly independent, they should question their ruthless adherence to tax cuts for the super-rich, small government and deregulation. Disabled Americans want to lead independent lives. They want to work, raise a family, and contribute to society like all able-bodied adults. It’s time America gives them the tools and resources to do so.

The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.


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Abortion protesters return to Portland, Maine after court rules against them

PORTLAND, Maine — The protesters outside Portland’s Planned Parenthood clinic weren’t screaming Friday morning, but not because of a court order.

It was the first of the regularly scheduled anti-abortion demonstrations since a federal judge ruled that police may again enforce Maine’s noise ordinance against protesters outside the women’s health center. And the activists kept their admonitions to a low shout despite the decision not yet being in effect.

On Tuesday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, finding that police can enforce the noise section of the Maine Civil Rights Act against the protesters because, as written, the law is message neutral.

The ruling is the latest step in a legal drama that started in 2015 and could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue at hand being whether or not the First Amendment gives protesters the right to scream epithets such as “Murderer!” and “Whore!” at patients entering the clinic, of course, in the name of Jesus.

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Down Goes the Mooch! – The Resistance with Keith Olbermann