Thur July 5

√ In the wake of Independence Day, it seems a good time to declare my bias. I don’t believe either left or right has all the answers. I believe we can resolve our conflicts via Democracy … but the problem is, we don’t have a Democracy.
√  I am for the working man and woman, who are getting screwed by both  Big Corporations and Big Government.
√ It’s with these things in mind that I look for the day’s most impactful stories. 

√ Thank you for reading RealNews.

US military discharging many immigrant troops

Pruitt dumped at EPA

(NPR) — Scott Pruitt was among the most controversial of President Trump’s original Cabinet-level picks. He embodied the administration’s broad support for the fossil fuel industry and its disdain for climate science, and attracted the attention of Congress and the EPA’s inspector general for a wide range of potential ethics violations that hinged on misusing his power and spending far more taxpayer money than his predecessors had on travel and security expenses.

Is it great to be a worker in the US?
Not compared to the rest of the world
Washington Post
… a report shows the United States’s unemployed and at-risk workers are getting very little support from the government, and their employed peers are set back by a particularly weak collective-bargaining system.
— Those factors have contributed to the United States having a higher level of income inequality and a larger share of low-income residents than almost any other advanced nation. Only Spain and Greece, whose economies have been ravaged by the euro-zone crisis, have more households earning less than half the nation’s median income.
>>> Meanwhile … Russians among the world’s worst workers.
Moscow Times

Little Rhode Island takes on Big Oil
… (Oil companies have) engaged in a coordinated, multi-front effort to conceal and deny their own knowledge of (climate) threats, discredit the growing body of publicly available scientific evidence, and persistently create doubt in the minds of customers, consumers, regulators, the media, journalists, teachers, and the public about the reality and consequences of the impacts of their fossil fuel pollution.

Jailed child refugees? It’s an old, old American story
Via those wild-eyed radicals at Voice of America
— When a 12-year-old boy traveled to the United States from Poland, looking for his mother in New York City, he was put into detention. The unaccompanied minor, Chain Shlome Kleinman, was slated to be deported unless the U.S. government found his relatives and verified his information.
immigrant kids

Why is the US military killing people in Niger?
The Guardian
— The president of Niger has said American and other foreign troops working in his country should limit themselves to providing training, equipment and intelligence, not fighting jihadists, in the wake of the botched raid in which five Nigerien and four US soldiers died last year.

Your “smart” TV is watching you, oh, yes it is
NY Times

The growing concern over online data and user privacy has been focused on tech giants like Facebook and devices like smartphones. But people’s data is also increasingly being vacuumed right out of their living rooms via their televisions, sometimes without their knowledge.

Harvard fighting to keep Big Secret: Who gets in
… the school has argued that the way it selects its incoming classes is tantamount to a trade secret. Harvard officials say keeping the “narrow category of documents” under seal is necessary to protect both student privacy and the (ahem) integrity of its admissions process.
√ Yeah, here’s the secret. Let in the kids whose parents can donate big bucks.

Pot’s legal in California, but black market thrives
US News
— Broad marijuana legalization arrived in California at the start of the year. From the beginning, there was concern the legal market would be undercut by the massive black market that has existed for decades.
— And that’s what’s happening. Nowhere is it a bigger problem than in the state’s biggest legal local marijuana market: Los Angeles County.

McConnell: Congress helpless to stop school shootings
— McConnell is not in favor of gun control laws. (√ To say the least.) He pointed out that Congress appropriated money for school counseling and school safety in its appropriations bill and said he thinks school security is the most likely way that schools can stop shootings.
— “You would think, given how much it takes to get on an American plane or given how much it takes to get into courthouses, that this might be something that we could achieve, but I don’t think we could do that from Washington, I think it’s basically a local decision,” he said.
mcconnell guns.jpg

In Poplar Bluff, tariffs may cost them jobs, homes
but they’re still gung ho for their Hero President
L.A. Times
— Jimmie Coffer, a machine programmer at the nation’s largest nail-making plant, voted for Donald Trump partly because he was confident he would bring manufacturing jobs back to America.
— So the 39-year-old factory worker was shocked last month when 60 of his co-workers were laid off after the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on the steel his company imports from Mexico. Now, as his bosses cut back hours and warn they may have to let 200 more workers go in the coming weeks, he worries he may lose his job as a result of the president’s policies.
— But Coffer is still gung-ho about Trump.
— “I support him 100%,” he said last week. “In fact, I’d like to shake his hand. He’s doing a great job.”

Diane Brogdon, a machine operator at the Mid Continent Nail Corp., looks at a set of nails that fit into a nail gun at the company production factory in Poplar Bluff, Mo. (Bill Greenblatt / AFP/Getty Images)

>>> US distillers sobered by tariffs as world whiskey sales boom

Russkies are at it again, poisoning Brits
— The home secretary has accused Russia of using Britain as a “dumping ground for poison” after a second incident involving the nerve agent Novichok.
— Charlie Rowley, 45, and Dawn Sturgess, 44, collapsed at a house in Amesbury, Wiltshire, on Saturday and remain critically ill.
— Sajid Javid said the agent was the same as that used on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.
— The Russian foreign ministry urged police not to be fooled by the “dirty political game” and said London would have to apologize to Russia.

What did these people ever do to Vladimir Putin?

Mueller hires more prosecutors in Russia/Trump probe
— Special Counsel Robert Mueller is tapping additional Justice Department resources for help with new legal battles as his year-old investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election continues to expand.
— As Mueller pursues his probe, he’s making more use of career prosecutors from the offices of U.S. attorneys and from Justice Department headquarters, as well as FBI agents — a sign that he may be laying the groundwork to hand off parts of his investigation eventually, several current and former U.S. officials said.

The Trump Effect? ACLU membership quadruples
Politicus USA

Trump “baby balloon” to fly during his London visit
(London) Metro
trump balloon baby


Sessions pretends to kill race as college admissions factor
Courthouse News Service
dog-pony-juggle— Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday withdrew 24 Justice Department guidance documents regarding the use of race as a factor in college admissions.
— The guidance documents, which are informal statements from departments that do not carry the force of law, touch on issues from affirmative action to the ability of asylum seekers and refugees to work while in the country.
√ In other words, this is PR bullshit meant to appease Trump’s base.

US labor shortage reaching critical point
√  Utter bullshit. There’s a shortage in the narrow pools of people that corporations want to hire, at wages they wish to pay. There are millions of people left out of these narrow pools because they are (a) the “wrong” sex (b) the “wrong” color (c) the “wrong” ethnic group (d) the “wrong” age.

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