Page 143 of 154 FirstFirst ... 4393133135136137138139140141142143144145146147148149150151153 ... LastLast
Results 3,551 to 3,575 of 3845
  1. #3551
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510


    President Joe Biden addressed the nation in a prime-time speech Friday after Congress averted an economically disastrous default with just days to spare by passing legislation to raise the nation's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling.

    The president, speaking from behind the Resolute Desk in his first Oval Office address, stressed that "unity" had made it possible.

    "When I ran for president, I was told the days of bipartisanship were over," he said. "That Democrats, Republicans could no longer work together. I refused to believe that because America can never give into that way of thinking."

    Biden touted the deal he made with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as a win for American families and proof of his ability to compromise to keep the nation on track -- themes he's using in his 2024 reelection campaign.

    "Essential to all the progress we've made in the last few years is keeping the full, faith, and credit of the United States and passing a budget that continues to grow our economy and reflects our values as a nation," he said. "That's why I'm speaking to you tonight. To report on a crisis averted and what we are doing to protect America's future. Passing this budget agreement was critical. The stakes could not have been higher."

    Transcript – Remarks by President Biden on Averting Default and the Bipartisan Budget Agreement

    ____________


    • The White House - Our economy gained 339,000 jobs in May.


    That’s a total of 13 million jobs created under President Biden.

    And more jobs in 28 months than any President has created in a four-year term. https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/statu...53392461832198


    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  2. #3552
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510


    With just two days to spare, President Joe Biden signed legislation on Saturday that lifts the nation’s debt ceiling, averting an unprecedented default on the federal government’s debt.

    The White House announced the signing, done in private at the White House, in an emailed statement in which Biden thanked congressional leaders for their partnership.

    The Treasury Department had warned that the country would start running short of cash to pay all of its bills on Monday, which would have sent shockwaves through the U.S. and global economies.

    __________





    • President Biden - I just signed into law a bipartisan budget agreement that prevents a first-ever default while reducing the deficit, safeguarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and fulfilling our scared obligation to our veterans.


    Now, we continue the work of building the strongest economy in the world. https://twitter.com/POTUS/status/1665060615000322050
    Last edited by S Landreth; 04-06-2023 at 04:12 AM.

  3. #3553
    Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Last Online
    04-06-2023 @ 10:48 AM
    Location
    Farangland
    Posts
    225
    Quote Originally Posted by david44 View Post
    Ona positive note the President stumbled and recovered ...
    Biden's team and the US Secret Service failed really badly here. They need to be looking after him way better. He could have fallen more awkwardly and been badly injured or even died. The sandbag was an accident waiting to happen.

  4. #3554
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    30-08-2023 @ 11:48 AM
    Location
    Germany/Satthahip
    Posts
    6,621
    Quote Originally Posted by beachbound View Post
    Ignoring your half-assed attempt at humor, please explain how he is “paralyzing“ the US.
    How do explain something to someone who doesn't know the difference between humor and reality.
    Let me tell you a little secret, I can see the future....


    The United States of paralysis

    The longer the corporate state erodes our social bonds the more inevitable an authoritarian state becomes

    April 27, 2023

    Political paralysis is snuffing out what is left of our anemic democracy.
    It is the paralysis of doing nothing while the ruling oligarchs, who have increased their wealth by nearly a third since the pandemic began and by close to 90 percent over the past decade, orchestrate virtual tax boycotts as millions of Americans go into bankruptcy to pay medical bills, mortgages, credit card debt, student debt, car loans and soaring utility bills demanded by a system that has privatized nearly every aspect of our lives.

    It is the paralysis of doing nothing about raising the minimum wage, despite the ravages of inflation, around 600,000 homeless Americans and 33.8 million people living in food insecure homes, including 9.3 million children.

    It is the paralysis of ignoring the climate crisis, the greatest existential threat we face, to expand fossil fuel extraction.

    It is the paralysis of pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the permanent war economy rather than repairing the nation’s collapsing roads, rails, bridges, schools, electrical grid and water supply.

    It is the paralysis of refusing to institute universal health care and regulate the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical industries to fix the worst health care system of any highly industrialized nation, one in which life expectancy is falling and more Americans die from avoidable causes than in peer nations. More than 80 percent of maternal deaths in the US alone are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    It is the paralysis of being unwilling to curb police violence, dismantle the world’s largest prison system, end wholesale government surveillance of the public and reform a dysfunctional court system where nearly everyone, unless they can afford high-priced lawyers, is coerced into accepting onerous plea deals.

    It is the paralysis of standing passively by as the public, armed with arsenals of assault weapons, slaughter each other for crossing into their yard, pulling into their driveway, ringing their doorbell, angering them at work or school, or are so alienated and bitter at being left behind, they gun down groups of innocent people in acts of murderous self-immolation.

    Democracies are not slain by reactionary buffoons like Donald Trump, who was routinely sued for failing to pay workers and contractors and whose fictional television persona was sold to a gullible electorate, or shallow politicians like Joe Biden, whose political career has been devoted to serving corporate donors. These politicians provide a false comfort of individualizing our crises, as if removing this public figure or censoring that group will save us.

    Democracies are in the billions of dollars?

    Democracies are slain with false promises and hollow platitudes. Biden told us as a candidate he would raise the minimum wage to $15 and hand out $2,000 stimulus checks. He told us his American Jobs Plan would create “millions of good jobs.” He told us he would strengthen collective bargaining and ensure universal pre-kindergarten, universal paid family and medical leave, and free community college. He promised a publicly funded option for health care. He promised not to drill on federal lands and to promote a “green energy revolution and environmental justice.” None of that happened.

    But, by now, most people have figured out the game. Why not vote for Trump and his grandiose, fantasy-driven promises? Are they any less real than those peddled by Biden and the Democrats? Why pay homage to a political system that is about betrayal? Why not sever yourself from the rational world that has only brought misery? Why pay fealty to old truths that have become hypocritical banalities? Why not blow the whole thing up?

    As research by professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page underscores, our political system has turned the consent of the governed into a cruel joke. “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” they write.

    The French sociologist Emile Durkheim in his book On Suicide called our state of hopelessness and despair, anomie, which he defined as “rulelessness.” Rulelessness means the rules that govern a society and create a sense of organic solidarity no longer function. It means that the rules we are taught—hard work and honesty will assure us a place in society; we live in a meritocracy; we are free; our opinions and votes matter; our government protects our interests—are a lie. Of course, if you are poor, or a person of color, these rules were always a myth, but a majority of the American public was once able to find a secure place in society, which is the bulwark of any democracy, as numerous political theorists going back to Aristotle point out.

    Tens of millions of Americans, cast adrift by deindustrialization, understand that their lives will not improve, nor will the lives of their children. Society, as Durkheim writes, is no longer “sufficiently present” for them. Those cast aside can participate in society, he writes, only through sadness.

    The sole route left to affirm yourself, when every other avenue is closed off, is to destroy. Destruction, fueled by a grotesque hypermasculinity, imparts a rush and pleasure, along with feelings of omnipotence, which is sexualized and sadistic. It has a morbid attraction. This lust to destroy, what Sigmund Freud called the death instinct, targets all forms of life, including our own.

    These , is an exploration of the demons that grip the American psyche.

    A web of social and political bonds—friendships and family ties, civic and religious rituals, meaningful work that imparts a sense of place, dignity and hope in the future—allow us to be engaged in a project larger than the self. These bonds provide psychological protection from impending mortality and the trauma of rejection, isolation and loneliness. We are social animals. We need each other. Strip away these bonds and societies descend into fratricide.

    Capitalism is antithetical to creating and sustaining social bonds. Its core attributes—relationships that are transactional and temporary, prioritizing self-advancement through manipulating and exploiting others and the insatiable lust for profit—eliminates democratic space. The obliteration of all restraints on capitalism, from organized labor to government oversight and regulation, has left us at the mercy of predatory forces that, by nature, exploit human beings and the natural world until exhaustion or collapse.

    Trump, devoid of empathy and incapable of remorse, is the personification of our diseased society. He is what those who have been cast adrift are taught by corporate culture they should strive to become. He expresses, often with vulgarity, the inchoate rage of those left behind and is a walking advertisement for the cult of the self. Trump is not a product of the theft of the Podesta emails, the DNC leaks or James Comey. He is not a product of Vladimir Putin or Russian bots. He is a product, like aspiring doppelgängers such as Ron DeSantis, Tom Cotton and Margorie Taylor Greene, of anomie and social decay.

    Individuals are “too closely involved in the life of society for it to be sick without their being affected,” Durkheim writes. “Its suffering inevitably becomes theirs.”

    These charlatans and demagogues, who reject the customary restraints of political and civic decorum, ridicule the “polite” elites who sold us out. They offer no workable solution to the crises besetting the country. They dynamite the old social order, which is already rotten, and cry for vengeance against real and phantom enemies as if these acts will magically resurrect a mythical golden age. The more that lost age remains elusive, the more vicious they become.

    “Since the bourgeoisie claimed to be the guardian of Western traditions and confounded all moral issues by parading publicly virtues which it not only did not possess in private and business life, but actually held in contempt, it seemed revolutionary to admit cruelty, disregard of human values, and general amorality, because this at least destroyed the duplicity upon which the existing society seemed to rest,” Hannah Arendt writes in The Origins of Totalitarianism of those who embraced the hate-filled rhetoric of fascism in the Weimar Republic. “What a temptation to flaunt extreme attitudes in the hypocritical twilight of double moral standards, to wear publicly the mask of cruelty if everybody was patently inconsiderate and pretended to be gentle, to parade wickedness in a world, not of wickedness, but meanness!”

    Our society is deeply diseased. We must heal these social illnesses. We must mitigate this anomie. We must restore the severed social bonds and integrate the dispossessed back into society. If these social bonds remain ruptured it will guarantee a frightening neofascism. There are very dark forces circling around us. Sooner than we expect, they may have us in their grip.

    Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 12 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. His other books include “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” (2015) “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His latest book is “America: The Farewell Tour” (2018). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and has sold over 400,000 copies. He writes a weekly column for the website ScheerPost.

    This article originally appeared on ScheerPost.com.

    https://canadiandimension.com/articl...s-of-paralysis


    ...you are going to blame the Rebiblelicans for everything.

  5. #3555
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden taps Mandy Cohen to lead CDC

    Mandy Cohen, the former head of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, is expected to become the next director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two sources familiar with the move confirmed to Axios.




    Why it matters: Cohen, a three-time Ivy League graduate, was the face of Gov. Roy Cooper's administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading more than 100 press conferences to guide the state through weekly updates on the virus.


    • That response, she said in a speech last month, increased public confidence in the state's health information and services.
    • "Trust was not built at the national level, but I know trust was built in North Carolina," Cohen said.


    The big picture: The next CDC director, the Post writes, will face the enormous task of reforming the department so it can more adequately respond to the next pandemic.


    • They'll also be responsible for communicating the latest science to Americans at a moment when trust in government is declining.


    Details: Before taking the reins of NCDHHS in 2017, Cohen worked as chief operating officer and chief of staff at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Obama administration.




    • The News & Observer named her the 2020 Tar Heel of the Year.
    • She left NCDHHS in late 2021, and — before NC Attorney General Josh Stein launched his 2024 campaign — her name was frequently mentioned in North Carolina political circles as a possible Democratic candidate for governor.


    What's next: Cohen would replace current CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who will step down June 30.

  6. #3556
    Thailand Expat helge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    9,917





  7. #3557
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510


    Americans are not happy with the economy. Which is weird, given that it is doing just fine.




    Why it matters: It's hard to see what could turn sentiment around. That's largely because of Fed chair Jerome Powell, who doesn't want and won't allow some kind of economic boom — he thinks the economy is running too hot already.

    The big picture: The U.S. economy continues to defy the odds. The May employment report, released on Friday morning, marked the 14th straight month that more jobs were created than economists expected.


    • It's all a far cry from the misery in other countries like the U.K. — with sky-high inflation — or Germany, which is now officially in a recession.


    By the numbers: The U.S. economy has created more than 4 million new jobs in the past 12 months.


    • GDP continues to grow, and is up more than 5% from its pre-pandemic peak, even after accounting for inflation.
    • The average U.S. employee now makes $33.44 per hour, a raise of more than 17.5% since pre-pandemic.
    • The stock market is up 10% so far this year, and we're not even halfway done.


    Between the lines: Americans, however, don't buy it. They're broadly happy with their own personal finances, but a majority consistently thinks (erroneously) that we're in a recession, and just 18% think the national economy is in good shape, per the Fed's most recent Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking.


    • Part of the problem is higher consumer prices. Inflation might be coming down rapidly, but even if it goes all the way to zero prices will still be much higher than Americans became accustomed to.
    • The highly visible congressional dysfunction surrounding the debt ceiling, and all the associated rhetoric about the unsustainability of the national debt, can only have had negative effects in terms of Americans' attitude to their national economy.




    Where it stands: The Federal Reserve has been hiking interest rates aggressively to try to cool down the economy and get inflation under control. Any hint of further exuberance will be met by even more rate hikes.


    • The Fed has no mandate to deliver a booming economy; its job is to just reduce inflation while keeping employment high. So far it seems to be succeeding, albeit more slowly than many would have preferred.


    The bottom line: Money can't buy happiness.

    ___________


    Quote Originally Posted by HermantheGerman View Post
    ...you are going to blame the Rebiblelicans for everything.
    if he doesn't, I will

  8. #3558
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    843
    Biden goes flying at US air force base.


  9. #3559
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden says he got 'sandbagged' after he tripped and fell onstage at Air Force graduation

    “I got sandbagged,” the president told reporters with a smile when he arrived back at the White House on Thursday evening before pretending to jog into the residence. Two small black sandbags had been onstage supporting the teleprompter used by Biden and other speakers at the graduation.


  10. #3560
    In Uranus
    bsnub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    29,864
    Quote Originally Posted by Stretchy View Post
    Biden goes flying at US air force base.
    Have you ever tripped over something?

  11. #3561
    Thailand Expat helge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    9,917
    He keeps falling over.

    He is old and should be more careful.

    Those hips are treacherous when you are 80

  12. #3562
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    30-08-2023 @ 11:48 AM
    Location
    Germany/Satthahip
    Posts
    6,621
    Quote Originally Posted by helge View Post


    It really hurts to listen to him.

    ahhhh.....anyway

  13. #3563
    Thailand Expat HermantheGerman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    30-08-2023 @ 11:48 AM
    Location
    Germany/Satthahip
    Posts
    6,621
    Imagine you are a student at a University and Opa Joe is your teacher.
    What would you do?

    1. fall asleep
    2. run out and demand your money back
    3. stay seated because you have no clue anyway

  14. #3564
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    President Biden welcomes the Kansas City Chiefs to the White House to celebrate their championship season and victory in Super Bowl LVII.



  15. #3565
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden administration announces $161 million toward public lands restoration

    The Biden administration on Wednesday announced it will put $161 million toward restoring ecosystems on federal lands in 11 Western states.

    The restoration efforts will be focused on 21 so-called restoration landscapes, identified by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) based on ecological need, BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning said on a press call Wednesday.

    “We worked hard to identify areas where restoration investments would be supported by states, tribes, and local communities and be leveraged by investments and partners,” Stone-Manning said on the call. “The point here is to tackle threats to public lands at scale.”

    “The pressures on our public lands — from invasive species, unprecedented wildfires, drought and increasing use — are being exacerbated by the climate crisis, degrading landscapes and impacting public uses. If we are going to ensure America’s public lands are available to everyone, we must invest in their health,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement Wednesday. “Through the President’s Investing in America agenda, we will increase the ability of public lands to provide clean water, habitat for fish and wildlife, opportunities for recreation, and other important benefits.”

    The funding, secured through the Inflation Reduction Act, will come in addition to $40 million already provided for public lands restoration through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

    Sites identified for restoration by the bureau include wetlands in Colorado’s San Luis Valley; Arizona’s Yanawant landscape, which includes the lands directly north of the Grand Canyon; the Snake River plain in southern Idaho, a major habitat for species like the greater sage-grouse; and the Hi-Line Sagebrush Anchor in northern Montana, which the bureau described as some of the continent’s biggest remaining intact grasslands.

    The announcement comes the week after the BLM announced it has advanced two proposed renewable energy transmission projects on federal lands, where the administration has set a goal of 25 gigawatts of renewable capacity.

  16. #3566
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    93,824
    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Have you ever tripped over something?
    Yes, but he keeps doing it.

    Fell going up a plane staircase.

    Fell off his bike.

    Fell over a sandbag.

    Nearly went face first down a staircase in Japan.

    He's not going to get elected if he looks like a bumbling old fool, and it's only going to get worse in the next 18 months.

    The Dems need to find someone else.
    Warning: Be cautious if you are a fragile pink

  17. #3567
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden could fall down every day and still defeat trump

  18. #3568
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden administration announces $115M to upgrade Jackson, Miss., water infrastructure

    The White House announced Tuesday that the Biden administration will award $115 million to Jackson, Miss., to upgrade the decaying water infrastructure that has led to multiple water crises in recent years.

    In the statement, President Biden credited bipartisan legislation he signed in December for the funds, singling out the work of Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who represents most of the Jackson area.

    Jackson, once a majority-white city, saw much of its wealthier white tax base leave the city in the mid-20th century following court rulings ending segregation. In recent years, Jackson has seen multiple water crises, including in last August when a rainstorm knocked out a treatment plant and left nearly 200,000 people without potable water. The city was under a state-imposed boil-water notice through Jan. 9 of this year.

    This was Jackson’s second water crisis in as many years, after a winter 2021 weather event froze the city’s pipes.

    In November, a federal court appointed Ted Henifin to manage the city’s water system. Earlier this week, Henifin announced the city only collects about 56 percent of water fees it issues, which comes to about $50 million of lost revenue, according to The Associated Press.

    In his statement, Biden also pointed to funds in the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that would replace all lead pipes throughout the nation.

    “While we have made a lot of progress, there is much more work to do to ensure that all Americans have access to clean water. Thanks to my Investing in America agenda, we’re already deploying record resources to communities all across America to replace lead pipes, improve water quality, and rebuild the Nation’s drinking water infrastructure, ensuring it can withstand the impacts of the climate crisis,” he said.

    “Until all our children can safely drink water from the tap, our fight for clean water must, and will, continue,” he added.

  19. #3569
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden vetoes measure overturning student loan forgiveness plan

    President Biden has vetoed a measure that would have overturned his student debt relief plan, leaving the fate of the program in the hands of the Supreme Court.

    “Congressional Republicans led an effort to pass a bill blocking my Administration’s plan to provide up to $20,000 in student debt relief to working and middle class Americans,” Biden said in a tweet Wednesday. “I won’t back down on helping hardworking folks.”

    “Let me make something really clear, I’m never going to apologize for helping working- and middle-class Americans as they recover from this pandemic, never,” Biden said.

    The president’s proposal, which has been a target of Republicans since he first unveiled it, would impact 40 million borrowers, providing $10,000 in loan forgiveness to those making less than $125,000 annually and $20,000 in forgiveness for Pell Grants recipients.

    A two-thirds majority vote in both the House and the Senate would be required to override Biden’s veto, a threshold opponents of Biden’s effort cannot reach.

    In a statement Wednesday, Biden said he vetoed the solution because he is “committed to continuing to make college affordable and providing this critical relief to borrowers as they work to recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic.”

    The measure to block the plan passed the Senate this month in a 52-46 vote and cleared the GOP-majority House in a party-line vote, with two Democrats joining Republicans.

    In the Senate, Democratic Sens. Jon Tester (Mont.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) joined Republicans in voting to nix Biden’s proposal.

    The measure was brought up as a joint resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress to nullify newly-placed rules and regulations. Such measures are not subject to the filibuster, so Democrats in the Senate could not block the measure, and a supermajority of 60 votes was not required to advance it.

    The Supreme Court is still considering the plan, but the conservative majority is expected to strike it down. Justices displayed skepticism during February oral arguments that the Biden administration has the power to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans.

    Biden officially announced the plan in August, after making forgiving student debt a campaign promise and feeling pressure from progressives to act.

    While progressives hailed the plan as a good first step toward forgiveness, moderate Democrats and Republicans voiced concerns over the cost to taxpayers, which is expected to be about $400 billion.

    When the president announced his plan, he also announced the upcoming end to the pandemic-era student loan payment pause that was put in place in March 2020 under former President Trump and has since been extended several times.

    The resumption of payments was locked in with the passage of the bipartisan debt ceiling agreement, which included a hard cutoff date of 60 days after June 30.

  20. #3570
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden speaks with Trudeau about Canadian wildfires as air quality issues persist in US

    President Biden on Wednesday spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and offered federal support to respond to wildfires burning in Canada, which have caused widespread air quality issues across the eastern United States.

    Biden directed his administration to deploy “all available Federal firefighting assets that can rapidly assist in suppressing fires impacting Canadian and American communities,” the White House said in a readout of the call.

    The U.S. has deployed more than 600 firefighters and support personnel to date, the White House said, and other equipment to respond to the fires. Biden and Trudeau discussed how to have continued coordination to prevent wildfires and address the resulting health impacts.

    Canada is experiencing what NASA has described as an “unusually intense” start to its wildfire season that included fires in the province of Quebec that were caused by lightning.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aerosol Watch said that the fires “grew uncontrollably” over the weekend and brought “code red” and “code orange” air quality to the U.S. states of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

    As the fires have burned, smoke has blown into the U.S., affecting more than a dozen states. NBC News reported that parts of 18 states were under air quality alerts as of Wednesday.

    An EPA spokesperson told The Hill in an email that the agency estimates that more than 100 million people are being impacted by air quality alerts on Wednesday, including as far west as Chicago and as far South as Atlanta.

  21. #3571
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden unveils LGBTQ+ proposals, but postpones White House Pride Month event due to poor air quality

    President Joe Biden unveiled new initiatives Thursday to protect LGBTQ+ communities but hastily postponed a big Pride Month celebration on the White House lawn with thousands of guests from around the country because of poor air quality from the Canadian wildfires.

    The event, which will now be held on Saturday, was intended to be a high-profile show of support at a time when members of the LGBTQ+ community feel under attack like never before and the White House has little recourse to beat back a flood of state-level legislation against them.

    The Biden administration announced initiatives designed to protect LGBTQ+ communities from attack, help young people with mental health issues and homelessness, and counter book bans, though the effects may be limited. Biden was to discuss them at the event, which the White House had said would be the largest Pride Month celebration ever held there.

    Thousands of guests had been invited from around the country for an evening filled with food, games and other activities on the South Lawn. Queen HD the DJ was handling the music, and singer Betty Who was on tap to perform.

    But the nation’s capital by late morning Thursday was under a “code purple” air quality alert, the fifth-highest level on the six-level U.S. air quality index, with authorities recommending that everyone limit their exposure to the hazardous smoke wafting south from Canada. District of Columbia schools canceled all outdoor activities for a second day Thursday, and the National Zoo also closed.

    The White House initially resisted altering its plans for the celebration, saying there were no changes, even as the air quality steadily worsened along the East Coast on Wednesday and into Thursday.

    Karine Jean-Pierre, the first openly gay White House press secretary, said Wednesday that Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are strong supporters of the LGBTQ+ community and think a celebration is an important way to “lift up” their accomplishments and contributions. She said LGBTQ+ people need to know Biden “has their back” and “will continue to fight for them. And that’s the message that we want to make sure that gets out there.”

    The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer individuals, earlier this week declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States and released a guidebook outlining laws it deems discriminatory in each state.

    Just a few days into June’s Pride Month, the campaign said it acted in response to an “unprecedented and dangerous” spike in discriminatory laws sweeping statehouses this year, with more than 525 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced and more than 70 signed into law so far — more than double last year’s number.

    Kelley Robinson, the campaign’s president, called for a “swift and powerful” response by people in power, including in government, business and education.

    “This is a full-out crisis for our communities that demands a concerted response,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think this is kind of a national call to action and a call to arms to stand up and fight back.”

    Biden, a Democrat, announced that the Department of Homeland Security, working with the Justice and Health and Human Services departments, will partner with LGBTQ+ community organizations to provide safety resources and training to help thwart violent attacks.

    Separately, HHS and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide resources to help LGBTQ+ young people with mental health needs, support in foster care and homelessness.

    To confront a spike in book bans, the Department of Education’s civil rights office will appoint a new coordinator to work with schools to address that threat. The White House said banning books erodes democracy, deprives students of material needed for learning and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that LGBTQ+ youth feel because books about them are often the ones that are prohibited.

    The White House points to Biden’s support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. He has appointed many to prominent positions in the White House, such as Jean-Pierre, and throughout the federal government. He signed legislation to protect marriage equality and continues to urge Congress to send him the Equality Act, which would add civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ individuals to federal law.

    Polls show public support for the rights of people who are gay and lesbian has expanded dramatically over the last two decades, with about 7 in 10 U.S. adults in polling by Gallup saying that marriages between same-sex adults should be legally valid and that gay and lesbian relationships are morally acceptable.

    But attitudes toward transgender people are complex: In polls conducted in 2022 by KFF and the Washington Post and by the Pew Research Center, majorities said they support laws prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in areas such as housing, jobs and schools.

    At the same time, both polls found that a majority of Americans think that whether someone is a man or a woman is determined by sex assigned at birth, and many also support restrictive policies aimed at people who are transgender, for example preventing transgender women and girls from participating in sports teams matching their gender identity, along with restrictions on access to medical treatment like puberty blockers and hormone treatment for transgender teens and children.

  22. #3572
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510

    Sunak and Biden reach for critical minerals deal in show of unity

    Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden have committed to a cooperation deal on defense and critical minerals as the U.K. prime minister moves away from a post-Brexit vision of unfettered free trade in favor of mutual protection.

    The Atlantic Declaration, announced as the two men met in the White House, includes pledges to ease certain trade barriers, strengthen defense industry ties and strike a data protection deal in the face of China’s growing influence.

    The two nations have vowed to immediately start negotiating an agreement to mitigate the impact of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which prevents nations without a U.S. trade deal from accessing the law’s tax credits and subsidies.

    Sunak hailed “a new standard for economic cooperation” after abandoning the full-fat free trade agreement promised in the wake of Brexit, with U.K. officials lauding the new approach as a better response to the challenges posed by Beijing and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Biden has pledged to allow the U.K. access to critical minerals in a similar agreement to that struck by the U.S. with Japan, easing barriers which affected electric vehicle batteries.

    The U.S. president signed the IRA into law last August in a bid to reduce the reliance of electric vehicle supply chains on China. The move sparked fears of a withdrawal of investment from car manufacturers in nations without a free trade agreement with the U.S.

    But under the terms of the deal, which is yet to be finalized, U.K. electric car makers will be able to get half the $7,500 tax credits available to U.S. companies under the IRA.

    Earlier when Sunak and Biden sat down in the Oval Office, the president gave reporters a thumbs-up and said the special relationship was “in real good shape.”

    Biden has committed to ask Congress to approve the U.K. as a “domestic source” under U.S. defense procurement laws, allowing for greater American investment in British firms.

    Work will be carried out to improve the resilience of supply chains and efforts will be stepped up to shut Vladimir Putin’s Russia out of the global civil nuclear market.

    The agreement will also include a push for mutual recognition of qualifications for engineers, although this could require state-by-state approval in the U.S.

    A deal on data protection will ease burdens for small firms doing transatlantic trade, potentially saving £92 million.

    The two nations will also collaborate on key industries — artificial intelligence, 5G and 6G telecoms, quantum computing, semiconductors and engineering biology.

    The U.S. confirmed its support for British ambitions to act as a broker on international efforts to ensure the safe development of AI, starting with a summit to be hosted in the U.K. later this year.



  23. #3573
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Olivia - Crowd on the Whitehouse lawn erupts with chant “four more years” as President Biden addresses the largest Pride event in -U.S. Presidential history.: https://twitter.com/0liviajulianna/s...87511793664001




    _________



    Biden marks LGBTQ+ Pride Month with celebration on White House South Lawn

    President Joe Biden welcomed hundreds to the White House for a delayed Pride Month celebration aimed at showing LGBTQ+ people that his administration has their back at a time when advocates are warning of a spike in discriminatory legislation, particularly aimed at the transgender community, sweeping through statehouses.

    The event, which the administration described as the largest Pride event hosted at the White House, was initially scheduled for Thursday, but was postponed because of poor air quality from hazardous air flowing in from Canadian wildfires. But the haze that blanketed a huge swath of the East Coast this past week had lifted over the nation's capital, allowing the president and first lady Jill Biden to hold their South Lawn party.

    “So today, I want to send a message to the entire community — especially to transgender children: You are loved. You are heard. You belong,” Biden said.

    Josh Helfgott, an LGBTQ+ activist and social media influencer from New York City, said marking Pride Month at the White House felt like one of the most important moments of his life. But he said the tide of legislation added another layer to this year’s celebrations.

    “Pride this year is so important because we cannot be silent when faced with hate and bigotry,” Helfgott said “The other side is so loud, incredibly loud. ”

    Anjali Rimi of San Francisco attended the White House event with her mother, who recently immigrated from India.

    Rimi came to the United States more than 20 years ago because, she said, she was shunned by family and society as a transgender person.

    Times were tough in the United States, too, she said. She was pushed out of a job after she came out, was homeless for a time, and took asylum in Canada for about a decade before returning to the United States.

    “It’s a moment that we are going to cherish for a lifetime,” said Rimi, an activist in San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ community. "This is a joyful moment, but it’s also one that reminds us that we have so much work to do.”

  24. #3574
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    Biden names two Louisiana judicial nominee picks

    President Biden on Wednesday named two nominees to fill federal judge vacancies from Louisiana, a reliably red state.

    Jerry Edwards Jr. was nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana and Brandon Long was nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

    Edwards is the first assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana, and before that, he was chief of the civil division in the district. He previously was a law clerk for judges Jeanette G. Garrett and Scott J. Crichton of the First Judicial District Court of Louisiana.

    Long is an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans. He was previously deputy chief of staff under FBI Director Christopher Wray from February 2020 to July 2021 and before that was assistant U.S. attorney to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

    The White House in a release on Wednesday called them both “extraordinarily qualified, experienced, and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.”

    “These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country—both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” according to the release.

  25. #3575
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    left of center
    Posts
    16,510
    U.S. tells UNESCO it has decided to rejoin agency Trump quit

    The U.S. last week privately notified the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that it has decided to rejoin the agency nearly six years after the Trump administration announced it was withdrawing U.S. membership, a State Department spokesperson told Axios.

    Why it matters: Rejoining UNESCO is one of the Biden administration's foreign policy goals — mainly in an effort to counter what it sees as the growing influence of the Chinese government on the UN agency's agenda.

    Catch up quick: After Palestine became a full member of UNESCO in 2011, the Obama administration stopped providing funding to the organization because it was barred to do so by U.S. law.


    • In October 2017, the Trump administration announced it was leaving UNESCO over what it described as anti-Israel bias. Israel announced that it would leave the organization not long after.
    • In February 2022, the Israeli government notified the State Department that it wouldn’t oppose a U.S. return to UNESCO. The Israeli position paved the way for some Democrats and Republicans in Congress to support the move.


    Last December, Congress approved a bill that allocated more than $500 million needed to pay the U.S. debt to UNESCO and allows it to return as a full member.


    • The legislation includes a snap-back clause that states that if the Palestinians obtain a member-state status in a UN agency, the U.S. will stop its funding again.
    • The bill will sunset on Sept. 30, 2025, when the current director general of UNESCO leaves office but could be extended further by Congress.


    Driving the news: Richard Verma, the deputy secretary of state for management and resources, delivered a letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on June 8, proposing a plan for the U.S. to rejoin the organization, a State Department spokesperson said.


    • The plan, which is a result of long negotiations between the State Department and UNESCO, lays out a timetable for paying the U.S. debt and for being readmitted to the agency’s executive board, a source briefed on the plan said.


    Behind the scenes: The office of UNESCO’s director general last Friday called the ambassadors of all member states to an extraordinary meeting scheduled for Monday, during which Azoulay “will provide urgent strategic information," according to an email obtained by Axios.


    • A source briefed on the issue said Azoulay called the meeting to brief member states on the U.S. plan to rejoin UNESCO and to ask for their agreement to hold a special general conference meeting in July to welcome the U.S. decision and approve the rejoining plan.
    • “Any such action (rejoining UNESCO) would require concurrence by UNESCO’s current membership," the State Department spokesperson said.
    • UNESCO did not respond to a request for comment.


    What to watch: The U.S. wants to rejoin UNESCO and begin paying its debts now so that it could run for a seat on UNESCO’s executive board in the upcoming elections in November, a source briefed on the issues said.


    • A source briefed on the issue said the group of Western countries in UNESCO already agreed to hold a seat for the U.S. in case it decides to rejoin.

Page 143 of 154 FirstFirst ... 4393133135136137138139140141142143144145146147148149150151153 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •