President Trump Ramps Up North Korea “Fire and Fury” Threats

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Returning to our top story, President Trump on Thursday ramped up his threats of hitting North Korea with “fire and fury,” saying if the North were to carry out an attack on Guam, the U.S. would retaliate with military action, “the likes of which nobody has seen before.” This is President Trump speaking to reporters from inside his private golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

President Donald Trump: “And I think they—it’s the first time they’ve heard it like they heard it. And frankly, the people that were questioning that statement—was it too tough? Maybe it wasn’t tough enough. They’ve been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries.”

North Korea responded in a statement calling Trump a “senile man who can’t think rationally.” The North also detailed its threat to strike Guam, saying it would launch four intermediate-range missiles into the waters off the U.S. territory.

Your Trump administration attacks the “give me your tired, your poor…” statement on the statue of liberty. Are you happy yet, Amerika?!

On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta pressed senior policy adviser Stephen Miller over President Trump’s push to admit only English-speaking immigrants in a back-and-forth that lasted for several minutes. Acosta asked Miller about the iconic poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed at the base of the State of Liberty, which reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

JIM ACOSTA: What you’re proposing, or what the president is proposing here, does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration. The Statue of Liberty says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” It doesn’t say anything about speaking English or being able to be a computer programmer. Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country, if you’re telling them you have to speak English? Can’t people learn how to speak English when they get here?

STEPHEN MILLER: Well, first of all, right now, it’s a requirement that to be naturalized, you have to speak English. So the notion that speaking English wouldn’t be a part of our immigration systems would be actually very ahistorical. Secondly, I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty enlightening the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to was added later. It’s not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.

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7/4/1986 Nancy Reagan waves while visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York City

ACLU Sues Maine Governor for Deleting Critical Comments from His Facebook Page

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The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Maine Governor Paul LePage over his practice of deleting comments and blocking people from his official Facebook page in order to censor dissent. The ACLU says, “Free speech must be protected from government censorship on Facebook just as is it in any other public forum.”

Trump trans ban tweet

In a surprise announcement, President Trump tweeted Wednesday he would ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.  This is despite his pledge at the Republican National Convention last year that he would “do everything in [his] power to protect our LGBTQ citizens.”

This is Mara Keisling of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Mara Keisling: “Well, it seems that what the president is saying is that he is going to fire 15,000 highly trained, motivated troops. It is a catastrophe for military readiness. But it is just absurd that he would think to do this—and do it apparently without consulting the Pentagon.”

Trump’s announcement appeared to shock even the Pentagon, which has directed all questions about the order to the White House. Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said he learned of the policy change from Trump’s tweet. It came after Defense Secretary James Mattis said last month he would give generals another six months to determine whether to allow trangender troops to enlist.

A study by the RAND Corporation estimates gender reassignment treatments would cost the military between $2.5 million and $8.5 million annually—a minuscule fraction of the Pentagon’s $600 billion budget. By comparison, the total military spending on erectile dysfunction medicines amounts to 10 times as much annually.

Trump allegedly looking into ways that he could pardon HIMSELF for his evil deeds.

Donald Trump boards Air Force OneThe US president says he has “complete power” to issue pardons

A lawyer for Donald Trump says the US president’s legal team is not looking at ways he could pardon himself.

“I don’t know where this came from. There is nothing to pardon,” Jay Sekulow said.

On Saturday, Mr Trump said he had “complete power” to issue pardons, following reports he had asked advisers about the scope of his authority.

Criminal and congressional inquiries are underway into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

ExxonMobil Fined $2M for Russia Sanctions Breach Under CEO Tillerson, now your Secretary of State

HEADLINEJUL 21, 2017

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The U.S. Treasury Department has fined ExxonMobil $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russia three years ago, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson served as the oil company’s CEO. The Treasury said ExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” for U.S. law in 2014 when it signed contracts with Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic. The move violated sanctions placed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Tillerson said at the time his company opposed Russia sanctions, calling them “ineffective.” At the State Department Thursday, spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked whether Tillerson had changed his views on Russian sanctions.

Heather Nauert: “This all predates his time here at the Department of State.”

Matthew Lee: “I understand that.”

Heather Nauert: “And so, I’m going to refrain from giving any comment on that at this time.”

Matthew Lee: “I understand this predates his time as secretary of state, but now he is in a position in which he is part of the team that is supposed to enforce sanctions, not violate them or allow others to violate them, so I think it’s relevant to know what he thinks about this decision today.”

Heather Nauert: “I think—I will say this. The secretary continues to abide by his ethical commitments, including that recusal from Exxon-related activities.”

Secretary of State Tillerson is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. The Treasury Department’s $2 million fine against ExxonMobil was the maximum amount allowed by law. It represents just over two hours’ profit for the oil giant.

Let’s have a big hand for all of my fellow Amerikans who voted for Comrade Trump.  Stupid is as stupid does, and evil is what evil does.

God have mercy on your souls.

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Single-Payer Healthcare = Universal Coverage

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Meanwhile, proponents of a single-payer healthcare plan are organizing to urge Congress not only to stop the effort to repeal Obamacare, but to pass a bill that would guarantee Medicare for all. On Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore became the latest prominent Democrat to speak in favor of single payer.

Al Gore: “The private sector has not shown any ability to provide a good, accessible, affordable healthcare for all. I believe, for example, we ought to have a single-payer healthcare plan.”

We’ll have more on the Republicans’ failed push on healthcare and the growing fight for single payer after headlines.

Single-payer healthcare is a healthcare system in which the state, financed by taxes, covers basic healthcare costs for all residents regardless of income, occupation, or health status. “Single-payer” describes the mechanism by which healthcare is paid for by a single public authority, not the type of delivery or for whom physicians work. In contrast, multi-payer healthcare uses a mixed public-private system.

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