Weekender 3.10 & 3.11 & updates

Our formula:
“News” – tabloid fodder = real news

By the very close vote
of 2959 to 2
China dupes make Xi leader for life

xi-won— China has approved the removal of term limits for its leader, in a move that effectively allows Xi Jinping to remain as president for life.
— The constitutional changes were passed by China’s annual sitting of the National People’s Congress on Sunday.
— Two delegates voted against the change and three abstained, out of 2,964 votes.

“Forever let us hold our banners high”
Disneyland workers demo for better pay
LA Times
Their union says 73% can’t pay basic expenses, and 11% are essentially homeless.

“I guess we are not even as good as the fish, down here in Alabama. Every state should be responsible for its own waste. We don’t want it dumped here.”

— Charles Nix, mayor of small Alabama town near site where NYC dumps its, ahem, “biosolids.”
Via The Guardian

Warren takes herself out of the running
Washington Examiner

After spy poisoning attack
Brits in Salisbury told: Wash everything
CBS News

Thiel, Trump’s best tech buddy, wins $876 million gov’t contract
Since the election of President Donald Trump, Peter Thiel has gained significant influence in Washington. He was the most prominent supporter of Trump from Silicon Valley and contributed money to the campaign. Thiel helped fill positions in the Trump administration with former staff, including Trae Stephens, a onetime Palantir employee. Although he recently told the New York Times that Trump’s presidency had “fallen short” in some ways, Thiel said he has no regrets about supporting him.

State employees would join Oklahoma teachers strike
The Hill
Are public employee unions regaining their power?

State employees in Oklahoma voted Saturday to join a planned teachers’ walkout next month if state lawmakers don’t meet their demands for pay raises by April 2.
— NewsOK reports that the Oklahoma Public Employees Association board of directors voted to move forward with the strike set to begin next month unless lawmakers approve more than $213 million in state employee pay raises by then.

Flip/flop again. What’s the Attorney General smoking?
Sessions says US won’t prosecute small time marijuana cases
Of particular interest are problems that federal authorities have tried for years to tackle, like illegal marijuana-growing operations on national parklands and gangs that peddle pot along with more harmful drugs. Some law enforcement officials in pot-legal states argue the legal trade has caused unintended problems like black-market marijuana growing and dealing by people who don’t even try to conform to the legal framework.
— It remains to be seen whether prosecutors will seek to punish state-sanctioned pot businesses. Some have indicated they have no plans to do so.

Airplane noise can be reduced with a simple solution, but…
A recent study found that slowing departing airplanes by about 56 kilometers per hour would significantly lower plane noise heard on the ground. The change would only slow flights by about 30 seconds, but would burn extra fuel.

Sheriff’s deputy hated ex-wife’s Facebook post, so had her arrested
“Why are we even here?” says judge when case reaches court.

Tariffs put Harley-Davidson on endangered list
The Guardian
About 16% of Harley’s sales are to Europe, and the company has warned that in addition to the effects of metal import tariffs in driving up manufacturing costs, “a punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any market would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, their suppliers and our customers”

California bullet train
Years late and over budget, costs now estimated at $77 billion
Courthouse News Service
The cost of connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco by high-speed rail spiked 20 percent, ballooning from an estimated $65 billion to $77 billion according to the draft business plan released by the California High-Speed Rail Authority on Friday. Include Phase II of the project – spurs linking Sacramento and San Diego to the network – and the cost soars to $86 billion.

All 3 hostages, gunman, die in California veterans home attack
Santa Rosa Press-Democrat
A decorated Army veteran with a high-powered rifle returned to the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, where he had recently been kicked out of a program for treatment of combat stress, and killed three mental health workers Friday, officials said.

Tillerson, in Africa, calls in sick
The Hill
Really sick? Or feeling blindsided by Trump’s N. Korea announcement?


Draft dodger Trump to get his $30-million military parade — but no tanks

“As a retired 1st Sgt and Desert Storm Veteran I want the 30 million dollars to be spent ON Veterans who struggle to make ends meet or have inadequate access to healthcare than on a Parade for the worst President in US history. “
— Michelle Tolosky on Twitter

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