Monday Dec. 11

White House, GOP prepare to slash the safety net Politico
> The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are hoping to make the most sweeping changes to federal safety net programs in a generation, using legislation and executive actions to target recipients of food stamps, Medicaid and housing benefits.
> The White House is quietly preparing a sweeping executive order that would mandate a top-to-bottom review of the federal programs on which millions of poor Americans rely. And GOP lawmakers are in the early stages of crafting legislation that could make it more difficult to qualify for those programs.

Three Trump accusers go on TV to recount “pervert” claims Washington Examiner
leeds> A women who accused President Trump of groping and forcibly kissing her on an airplane during the 1970s said she decided to share her story to show the public “what kind of pervert” Trump is.
> Jessica Leeds appeared on “Megyn Kelly Today” on Monday morning, along with two other women, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks. All three accused the president of sexual misconduct before he was elected.

Former Facebook exec: Social media ripping society apart Fast Company
> “… there’s no civil discourse, no cooperation; [only] misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem–this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”
> Regarding an incident in which seven innocent men in India were lynched after a hoax about kidnappings spread through WhatsApp: “That’s what we’re dealing with. And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.”

Devastating Huntington’s disease stopped cold by gene therapy BBC
An experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain.
The research team, at University College London, say there is now hope the deadly disease can be stopped.
Experts say it could be the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years.

Top diplomat leaves State Dep’t, ,
says Tillerson should man up and quit too
Foreign Policy
> An award-winning U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department has issued a scathing resignation letter, accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Donald Trump administration of undercutting the State Department and damaging America’s influence in the world.
> Elizabeth Shackelford, who most recently served as a political officer based in Nairobi for the U.S. mission to Somalia, wrote to Tillerson that she reluctantly had decided to quit because the administration had abandoned human rights as a priority and shown disdain for the State Department’s diplomatic work, according to her letter, obtained by Foreign Policy.

For first time in 30 years, Saudis can go to the movies BBC
What’ll they think of next in that daring and innovative nation?

Idiot manages to blow up  himself with NYC bomb NY Daily News

$250 billion at risk if Bitcoin crashes Axios
Like tulips and dotcom shares before them, crypto-currencies—the only blockchain technology currently operating at large scale — have gripped the wise and reckless alike. Investors won’t lose all the $250 billion in bitcoin that they currently hold when the fever inevitably breaks, but many will forgo paper profits, plus much of their original investment.

Monsanto adopts cash-back scheme to keep farmers using pesticide Reuters

London will lose 10,000 jobs on Day One of Brexit The Guardian
City firms plan to move 10,500 jobs out of the UK on “day one” of Brexit, with Dublin and Frankfurt the financial centres most likely to benefit from the UK’s departure from the EU.
The job tracker compiled by accountants EY, which counts job announcements to the end of November, found that the number of roles likely to be affected had fallen from estimates of 12,500 a year ago. But it also concluded that the jobs being affected by Brexit were not just the “back office” ones initially forecast, but “front office” staff who deal directly with clients.

FACT CHECK
No, Roy Moore accuser didn’t admit she forged his signature in her yearbook Politifact
Refuting the bullshit put out by Fox News, the Gateway Pundit, Breitbart …

Racial dispute at century old bakery roils college town AP
OBERLIN, Ohio — Students at Oberlin College have long enjoyed pastries, bagels and chocolates from Gibson’s Bakery, a century-old, family-owned business near campus. That sweet relationship has turned bitter amid hotly disputed accusations of racism, roiling a school and town long known for their liberal politics.
> The dispute, which began in November 2016 with the arrest of three black Oberlin students who tried stealing wine from Gibson’s, is now a lawsuit in which the exasperated bakery owners accuse the college and a top dean of slandering Gibson’s as a “racist establishment” and taking steps to destroy the family’s livelihood.gibson

FOX NEWS TURNS ON PAUL RYAN !
… Ryan is sounding like a guy who thinks he’s convinced the president to take a 180- degree turn on Medicare. Ryan has let the world know that he has been speaking privately with  President Trump, and that the president has started to cotton to the idea of cutting entitlements.

As Ryan framed things: “I think the president is understanding choice and competition works everywhere, especially in Medicare.”

After 50 year quest, scientists discover new element: Excitonium Newsweek
Way too early to speculate on practical applications.


We’ll save you from clicking through USA Today’s click bait “slideshow.” Here’s the list of worst cities for drivers, according to the map app Waze:
(In order of increasing gridlock)

Honolulu-Traffic-B.-Inouye> Savannah
> Miami
> Charlotte
> Orlando
> San Francisco
> Portland OR
> Los Angeles
> San Diego
> Jacksonville
> Honolulu

China doesn’t want US recyclables anymore. OMG! Now what? NPR
> “It just keeps coming and coming and coming,” says Rogue employee Laura Leebrick. In the warehouse, she is dwarfed by stacks of orphaned recycling bales. Outside, employee parking spaces have been taken over by compressed cubes of sour cream containers, broken wine bottles and junk mail.
> And what are recyclables with nowhere to go?
> “Right now, by definition, that material out there is garbage,” she says. “It has no value. There is no demand for it in the marketplace. It’s garbage.”

Judge halts Walmart plan to cut down rare forest. AP
“We are elated,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director for the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the suit with Tropical Audubon, the Miami Pine Rockland Coalition and the South Florida Wildlands Association. “The judge’s order has given these plants and animals and the residents of this community an opportunity for their day in court, an opportunity to have justice upheld, and a fighting chance at survival.”

AP FACT CHECK
Despite what Paul Ryan says, blue states DO subsidize red states
Ryan: “the rest of the country is “propping up profligate, big-government states.”
Facts:
> Mississippi received $2.13 for every tax dollar the state sent to Washington in 2015, according to the Rockefeller study. West Virginia received $2.07, Kentucky got $1.90 and South Carolina got $1.71.
> Meanwhile, New Jersey received 74 cents in federal spending for tax every dollar the state sent to Washington. New York received 81 cents, Connecticut received 82 cents and Massachusetts received 83 cents.
>>> BTW 
<<< According to Politifact,
Ryan’s statements are misleading about 68% of the time. There’s a 32% chance that anything he says is true or mostly true. 

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