Friday, August 7, 2020

FEMA grants Texas request for disaster loans after Harvey

FEMA grants Texas request for disaster loans after Harvey. Federal officials have granted Texas' request for loans aimed at helping local municipalities maintain normal operations and budgets as communities continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced approval for the loans from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) late Monday, describing the federal funding as "critical" for cities in Texas still grappling with intense flooding and damage. "These loans are critical to providing cities with the resources and flexibility to recover while still providing important services to the Texans in their communities," Abbott said in a statement. Abbott had sent a letter to FEMA earlier Monday requesting that the loan program be activated for eligible communities in his state. The Texas governor on Monday also added seven counties including Austin to a federal disaster declaration granted by FEMA. In total, 43 counties in the state are receiving federal assistance. Meanwhile, the House is expected to vote Wednesday on a larger disaster relief package for those impacted by the storm.

Hanabusa to primary Hawaii governor

Hanabusa to primary Hawaii governor. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) on Friday announced her plans to run for Hawaii governor. She will challenge Democratic incumbent Gov. David Ige (D). Her entrance to the race had been widely speculated, in part due to her sampled up fundraising efforts this year. “I am fourth generation from Waianae. I have had the honor and privilege of serving a community who was forgotten and ignored by many," Hanabusa said in a statement. "I know what it means to be focused and steadfast of the challenges and I know the difficulties in bringing about major changes," she said. She said she has gained the skill set and experience through her career to tackle the issues facing the state. "I believe we need experienced leadership to continue the Hawaii that I care so deeply about and love,” she said.

‘The S-word’: how young Americans fell in love with socialism

She joined the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a rapidly growing big-tent movement that has drawn in former communists and fired up millennials. With that has come debate not only about pay, housing and proposals for universal basic income, but a reappraisal of the role of the government in people’s lives in favor of greater state intervention. Ask what socialism is, and Katbi looks to the campaign by the Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in this year’s British election. “The people I’m friends with who don’t identify as socialist are definitely supportive of certain socialist policies, like single-payer healthcare,” said Katbi. “With the Bernie phenomenon, suddenly you’re able to utter the S-word in public,” said Nick Caleb, 35, a long time leftwing activist who joined the DSA shortly after the election, as membership of its Portland branch surged. It would be a fatal mistake not to recognise there's a whole mass of white working-class people who can be won over To an older generation of leftwing activists, that sounds a lot like the New Deal – President Franklin Roosevelt’s bold attempt to remake the American economic system and rein in the forces of capitalism in response to the Great Depression of the 1930s. There are few socialists elected to public office in the US today. But if we stay just with identity politics then we can’t grapple with the class forces that are producing the system of stratification and oppression in the United States.” That means winning over the large numbers of low-income working people who voted for Trump, a task complicated by the sense that the left is dominated by identity politics. “We won’t be able to build a mass movement for any of the social democratic reforms, let alone for a fundamental shift toward socialism, if we don’t create an opening for those many people who voted for Trump,” said Sawant. “Who are these people?

Sen. Flake Denounced Trump’s Pardon of Sheriff Arpaio—But Applauds Obama’s Pardon of Cuban Terrorist/Spies

“Regarding the Arpaio pardon, I would have preferred that the President honor the judicial process and let it take its course,” Jeff Flake on Twitter. Well, this very judicial process also convicted a Cuban terrorist/spy named Gerardo Hernandez for –among other crimes--conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens. In fact, these convictions were upheld all the way to the Supreme Court. Yet Sen. Jeff Flake was a gleeful accessory to Obama’s pardon (by any other name) of this communist spy/murderer/terrorist and his release back to Cuba as a conquering hero. You see, amigos: among Castro’s demands for the privilege of being allowed to inflict brain damage, permanent hearing loss, and lord knows what else on U.S. diplomats while sheltering the FBI’s most-wanted cop-killers and while being deluged with $BILLIONS upon $BILLIONS of U.S. dollars by Obama--among the snickering Castro’s demands for enjoying this financial and propaganda windfall from Obama was Obama’s immediate release of his KGB-trained spy/terrorist/murderer Gerardo Hernandez—“and plenty pronto!” Needless to add, Obama granted every one of Castro’s demands with a smile, bow, and curtsy-- but frantically tried to keep his pathetic capitulations to Castro from the American people. And needless to add, the FAKE NEWS media did everything in their power to conceal his miserable grovelings to Castro from the American people. In February 1996, Castro agent Gerardo Hernandez fulfilled his spy-mission by passing the flight plan to Castro for one of the Brothers’ humanitarian flights. MiGs against Cessnas, cannons and rockets against flowers. An especially repulsive aspect of Obama’s appeasement of Castro is that for months prior to the release of the Castroite murderer, the families of the Americans he murdered were repeatedly assured by Obama’s State Dept. with their bald-faced lies and relentless treachery against U.S. citizens.

TGIF: 24 Things To Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media

TGIF: 24 Things To Know About Rhode Island Politics & Media. Robert A. Walsh Jr.'s casting call for primary challengers to Gov. Well, it wouldn't be the first time. Will Lincoln Chafee run for governor next year? General Assembly leaders are keeping close to the vest details on whether the special session on September 19 will include an override vote of Gov. Raimondo's veto of the continuing contract bill. The NEARI's Robert Walsh on how he would finance a solution to Rhode Island's imposing school-building needs: "That's an easy one for a good old-fashioned Democrat. We have a few schools that did not start on time already this year because they're having problems, Central Falls High School being one of them. Spend the money, get everything up to speed and fix it -- and create good jobs in the process." Under Governor Raimondo’s leadership, Rhode Island got back to work.

What a Difference a Leader Makes in Crisis

What a Difference a Leader Makes in Crisis. What a difference a mayor makes -- for better or worse. Houston, Texas, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Charlottesville, Virginia, residents have learned that fact real good. Like a general fighting the last war, he sought to avoid deaths amid huge traffic jams, which happened in Hurricane Rita 12 years ago. That's not the clear leadership we need now, as global warming comes home to haunt us. It seems clear now that those living in Houston's 100-year floodplain should have been strongly encouraged to flee their homes, ahead of time, in an orderly process. What did the mayor say? Charlottesville leadership choked in an hour of crisis. Houston's mayor is not finding meaning in the flood, a takeaway lesson learned for the future. Mayor Landrieu showed us what's all about, words and music.

Four U.S. Companies Have Been Contracted to Build Prototype Border Walls

Four U.S. Companies Have Been Contracted to Build Prototype Border Walls. Caddell Construction, Fisher Industries, Texas Sterling Construction, and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction, have each been charged with building a concrete wall that's 30-feet long and up to 30-feet high, NBC News reports. The DHS is also expected to commission four non-concrete wall prototypes. On completion, the government will evaluate the designs to determine which is the most suitable to implement on a massive scale along the U.S.-Mexico border. The four contacts are each worth between $400,000 and $500,000. Read more: This Graphic Shows Why President Trump’s Border Wall Won’t Stop Immigrants From Crossing "This is the first new initiative that adds to our bigger plans," Ronald Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection told NBC News. “Testing will look at things like the aesthetics of it, how penetrable they are, how resistant they are to tampering and then scaling or anti-climbing,” he added. According to Vitiello, construction will begin in the coming weeks with the review process expected to take between one and two months. [NBC News]

When Colleagues Won’t Stop Talking Politics

I am constantly subjected to political conversations and remarks — and most of my co-workers have political views very different from mine. I always felt and was taught that political conversations do not belong in the work place, and that one should definitely not bring those topics up with colleagues (or people in general) you don’t know well. Meanwhile, a separate survey by Peakon, an employee analytics firm, found that more than a third of American workers avoid talking politics with colleagues altogether, to avoid disputes or discomfort. So if human resources or management is simply blowing this off, they’re making a mistake. If even one of your colleagues gets it and agrees, try to make that person your ally in minimizing these discussions in your presence. It might also help your cause if you can put up with some political commentary from time to time, so you don’t come across as trying to stifle others — you would just really appreciate more conversational variety. If that just doesn’t work, you should bring the issue to the attention of H.R. or a manager, and explain the problem: You don’t begrudge anybody their opinions, but this situation has gotten stressful enough that it’s having a negative impact. This doesn’t mean that your employer can, or should even attempt to, simply silence your partisan colleagues altogether. It makes no difference how weak or ineffective the person’s direct manager is.

Harvey aid: White House to ask Congress for initial $5.9bn

Harvey aid: White House to ask Congress for initial $5.9bn. The White House has prepared a request to Congress for an emergency $5.9bn (£4.6bn) package in Harvey recovery aid, as flood waters receded in Houston to reveal swaths of devastation wrought by the former hurricane. Rescuers continued plucking people from flood waters across Texas as the death toll rose to 44 almost a week after the storm slammed into the Gulf of Mexico coast. Emergency crews and volunteers in boats, trucks and aircraft scoured inundated suburbs around Houston and cities to the east for people still in need of evacuation. “Crisis ebbing but far from over.” In dryer areas recovery crews started to assess damage and remove debris. Play Video 2:44 “We’ll go up to Congress and give them a sound supplemental request number. “And when we can get a better handle on the damage we can come back with a responsible last, so to speak, supplemental request.” Donald Trump has also pledged to donate $1m in personal funds to the relief effort. The Texas department of public safety said 48,700 homes had sustained flood damage, including 17,000 with heavy damage and 1,000 that were destroyed. Bossert claimed “coordination is happening better than any storm we’ve seen before” and noted that 28 search and rescue teams and taskforces from 16 states had been sent to Texas. “If they were there, it would be dangerous and they have to keep an eye on it and take it seriously, but for right now the people don’t seem to be there, so a tree falling in the woods, if you will.” But further deaths in Texas were likely in the coming days, Bossert warned.

Those Who Were Barred From U.S. During Trump’s First Travel Ban Can Reapply for...

Those Who Were Barred From U.S. During Trump's First Travel Ban Can Reapply for Visas. Under the terms of the settlement, the government agreed to notify an unspecified number of people overseas who were banned that they can reapply for visas with the help of a Department of Justice liaison for a three-month period. In return, the plaintiffs said they would drop all their claims. Gerlent said it's unclear how many people will benefit from the settlement because the government has refused to disclose the total. A DOJ statement read, "Although this case has been moot since March, when the president rescinded the original executive order and issued a new one that does not restrict the entry of Iraqi nationals, the U.S. government has elected to settle this case on favorable terms." The ACLU, along with the National Immigration Law Center and the International Refugee Assistance Project, sued on behalf of two Iraqui nationals after the Trump administration implemented a policy Jan. 27 that barred entry of visa-holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. One of the plaintiffs was Hameed Khalid Darweesh, a translator who has done work for the U.S. military, who was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport. A federal judge blocked the ban eight days later in a ruling upheld by a circuit court. Rather than pursue an appeal, the administration said it would revise the policy. In June, the Supreme Court found that the narrower order could be enforced if those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."