The shadowy Mar-a-Lago trio secretly running the Veterans Administration
√Once again, thank you for your service.
> Ike Perlmutter, the reclusive chairman of Marvel Entertainment, longtime Trump crony.
> Bruce Moskowitz, a Palm Beach doctor who helps wealthy people obtain “concierge” medical care.
> Marc Sherman, attorney with focus on white collar crime.
National Security lawyer Bradley Moss: “How does Omarosa get an unsecured cell phone into the Situation Room? What is wrong with these folks in the White House?”
(The Daily Beast)
Oh boy, now Avenatti’s gone from stripper’s lawyer to presidential candidate
— The lawyer for Stormy Daniels has become a national sensation with his ever-constant appearances on cable news advocating for his client and attacking Donald Trump. But while Democratic activists like Avenatti on television, they love his live show Friday. They clapped, they cheered and flocked to him for selfies afterwards in a mob scene.
— Jeff Link, a top Democratic operative in the state who was spending the day accompanying Avenatti, said the only comparison he had ever witnessed was Barack Obama’s first visit to the state, in 2006.
Lawyer for Melania’s parents calls Trump immigration blather “unconscionable.”
“I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this … just a broken guy, got a few screws loose, I guess.”
— Seattle airline worker who stole, crashed plane
Indicted Congressman drops re-election campaign
“I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Donald Trump’s agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress.”
— Rep. Chris Collins.
Federal government is biggest cheapskate employer in US
— The federal government employs more workers making less than $15 an hour than any other employer in the US, a new report has revealed.
— The study, compiled by pro-union group Good Jobs Nation, analyzed federal data and showed that the government spends more than $1.6tn on federal contractors employing more than 12.5 million people with 4.5 million of those workers making below $15 an hour.
— Many of these workers are employed by contractors as janitors, cafeteria workers, call center workers, administrative assistants and healthcare aides, and union campaigners say they are being kept on poverty wages.
>>> Highest core inflation in decades flattens wage growth
Guiliani/Trump’s secret weapon: The Stall
Giuliani’s strategy here appears to be more political than legal. Giuliani knows that, if he demands unreasonable conditions for a Trump interview,, and Mueller declines, then Mueller likely will issue a subpoena. The court battle over the subpoena, in turn, will take several months, running up to and through the midterms.
Let’s keep the shitty status quo in US health care
With billions of dollars at stake, powerful healthcare companies have formed a new group to fight single payer healthcare. The entrenched and highly-profitable healthcare “establishment” is clearly worried that the movement toward single payer would cut into their obscene and unconscionable profit margins that force millions of Americans into financial ruin and bankruptcy.
Judge halts mother/daughter deportation, threatens Sessions with contempt
— A federal judge in Washington halted a deportation in progress Thursday and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt after learning that the Trump administration started to remove a woman and her daughter while a court hearing appealing their deportations was underway.
— “This is pretty outrageous,” U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said after being told about the removal. “That someone seeking justice in U.S. court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?”
EPA, the sleeping watchdog
Courthouse News Service
So here we go. Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide known have detrimental health impacts to children. No problem, says the EPA. Court says, We’re ordering you assholes to ban it.
— Chlorpyrifos is a nerve agent pesticide, first used by the Nazis during World War II and later repurposed for agricultural use by Dow Chemical in 1965. It kills insects by suppressing the enzymes crucial for cell reproduction.
Mere expectation of checking work email after hours harms health of workers and families
— “The competing demands of work and nonwork lives present a dilemma for employees, which triggers feelings of anxiety and endangers work and personal lives.”
— Other studies have shown that the stress of increased job demands leads to strain and conflict in family relationships when the employee is unable to fulfill nonwork roles at home — “such as when someone brings work home to finish up.
Russkies mock US “Space Force”
Booted from the ballot, this Michigan Dem got 30,000 write-in votes, and he’s back in the race.
— In April, Michigan officials who oversee elections kicked Democrat Matt Morgan off the congressional ballot, leaving the Republican incumbent, Rep. Jack Bergman, to run unopposed in the general election.
— That was the plan, at least, until primary day on Tuesday, when more than 30,000 Democratic voters cast write-in ballots in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District. That’s nearly eight times as many votes as Morgan needed to be resurrected and placed on the November ballot.
Turkey lira crashes as US turns the screws
— “The Turkish Lira is in a state of crisis, as a result of investor confidence in Turkish assets remaining at alarmingly low levels.”
— Trump said he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, noting that relations between the NATO allies were “not very good.”
>>> Russia: New US sanctions a “declaration of economic war.”
In UK, homeless people wearing barcodes so they can accept cashless payments
— Homeless people are wearing barcodes around their necks in an attempt to increase donations in a cashless society, under an Oxford University backed initiative.
— A new social innovation project, called Greater Change, hands homeless people a QR code, similar to the kind issued for online tickets.
–Passersby who wish to give money – but who may not have any change in their pocket – can scan the code using their smart phone, and make an online payment to the person.
Tiny companies winning in race for “edited” food crops.
— In a suburban Minneapolis laboratory, a tiny company that has never turned a profit is poised to beat the world’s biggest agriculture firms to market with the next potential breakthrough in genetic engineering – a crop with “edited” DNA.
— Calyxt Inc, an eight-year-old firm co-founded by a genetics professor, altered the genes of a soybean plant to produce healthier oil using the cutting-edge editing technique rather than conventional genetic modification.
— Seventy-eight farmers planted those soybeans this spring across 17,000 acres in South Dakota and Minnesota, a crop expected to be the first gene-edited crop to sell commercially, beating out Fortune 500 companies.
>>> Move over, plows. Here come the drones
Voice of America
>>> The arid West moves east, with big consequences for farmers