Fri 5.4

Asking the same question every day: Where is America headed? And as always …

Man of God 1, Paul Ryan, less than zero

Speaker Paul Ryan reversed his decision to fire House Chaplain Patrick Conroy. The Jesuit priest sent a letter withdrawing his resignation and bipartisan outrage mounted.

Federal judge says Yup, Foxconn can force you off your land
Courthouse News Service
— A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit related to a $10 billion electronics manufacturing factory touted by President Donald Trump over the objections of Wisconsin residents who said a development agreement between their city and Foxconn Technology Group unlawfully takes their property.
— The Village of Mount Pleasant entered into an agreement with Foxconn to purchase property so the company can build a 22 million-square-foot manufacturing factory.

Woman says got scary visit from restaurant manager after Yelp review
Fox News
— Yesha Callahan says around 10 p.m., she heard several knocks at her door. “I live alone and I’m not going to go to my door at ten o’clock at night and answer it,” she said.
— After the knocks, “Two phone calls came. I sent them both to voicemail and when I finally listened to the message he was saying he was outside my door to talk about the Yelp review.”

Millions of  Americans have lost health insurance
CBS Money Watch
— The number of uninsured adults between the ages of 19 and 64 rose to 15.5 percent in March 2018, up from 12.7 percent in 2016. An estimated 4 million people lost individual coverage during that period, while the number of people with employer-sponsored coverage stayed steady.

Bernie Sanders claims Amazon paid no federal taxes last year
— Amazon reported $5.6 billion in 2017 profit.
— In its annual report filed to the SEC in February 2018, Amazon estimated that not only would the company not be paying anything in 2017 federal income taxes, but it would be getting a $137 million tax refund.
>>> Inside Amazon’s warehouses: Surveillance and fear
Business Insider

Trump often starts important meetings with a prayer
Raw Story
— This obvious whopper told by VP Mike Pence. Or maybe it’s true if the prayer is: Dear God, please strike Robert Mueller dead.

Six face prison term for telling the truth about shitty turkey farm
The Intercept
— What the activists found at the farm was something radically different: tens of thousands of turkeys crammed inside filthy industrial barns, virtually on top of one another. The activists say the animals were suffering from diseases, infections, open wounds and injuries sustained by pecking and trampling one another. Countless chicks and adult turkeys were barely able to stand, or were lying in their own waste close to death.
— All of this takes place in the context of a state whose government has been almost entirely captured by the industry it is supposed to regulate. 

White House denies it’s considering S. Korea troop drawdown
Stars & Stripes
… and South Korea’s presidential office said Friday that the report of a drawdown was “not true at all.” 

The new best place to retire: in boom cities, near the kids
NY Times
— More assisted living, independent living and continuing care retirement communities are being built — not necessarily in the warmer climates where seniors have traditionally retired, like Florida and Arizona, but wherever economies are robust and booming, in places like New York, Denver, Chicago and Atlanta.

Your genome? Ha ha, it’s not just yours anymore
Live Science
—  Genome companies are lightly regulated. Eventually one or more of them will be hacked or even caught selling “risk profiling” services to third parties.

Proud racist gets nearly 40% of vote in Tennessee city.
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Keith Alexander’s bid to repeat as Republican nominee for assessor of property, despite disclosure of ties to white supremacists … longtime assessor’s office employee Robert Trouy defeated Alexander 16,540 or 62 percent to 10,018 or 38 percent, according to unofficial returns.pride

US secretly preparing for more troops in Somalia
Vice News
— The U.S. military is dramatically expanding its operations at a former Soviet air strip in Somalia, constructing more than 800 beds at the Baledogle base, VICE News has learned. The construction at the secretive base marks the latest example of America’s growing and controversial shadow war in Africa.
— Baledogle’s expansion is one part of what appears to be a massive U.S. military infrastructure development project in the Horn of Africa country that will see at least six new U.S. outposts built this year, according to multiple defense contractors.

Sad Sack Sanders claims to be person of “human decency”

“I would always advise against giving false information as a person of human decency.”

Arizona teachers win pay raise, will end walkout
… state lawmakers passed a budget overnight that included a pay raise for teachers —the protest’s leaders promised  to head back to class if the raise was signed into law, despite their reservations about how that pay bump would affect school funding.
— The measure, which would lift teacher pay by 20 percent by 2020, now has that long-awaited signature.

Chinese design a membrane to dramatically improve water desalinization
Courthouse News Service
— Chinese researchers have developed a sophisticated membrane that can dramatically improve water desalination systems, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.
— The mounting threats posed by climate change and pollution jeopardize global access to clean water, making desalination and other processes critical to humanity’s ability to survive and tackling various crises.


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