One Republican blocked disaster aid for states and territories like Puerto Rico

❝ A vote to pass a $19 billion disaster aid package stalled in the House, after Republican Congressman Chip Roy of Texas objected Friday morning. House leadership was trying to pass the bill by unanimous consent. The Senate passed the same measure Thursday with a vote of 85 to 8.

The bill, which would include much-needed assistance to states struck by floods, storms and fire, and aid for Puerto Rico, which suffered substantial damage in 2017 from Hurricane Maria, the most powerful storm to hit Puerto Rico in almost 90 year, will now be held up until early June, when lawmakers return to Washington…

He offered a few reasons why he shut down the vote. IMHO, the only one that counts in the dim political world he inhabits is “insufficient funding” to be used against migrants crossing the border into America.

❝ The failure to pass the bill comes as most members have already left Washington for Memorial Day weekend and the president was about to depart for his overseas trip to Japan.

Our fake president even said he’d sign the bill if it didn’t contain the extra dollar$ requested by Republicans to halt undocumentados from entering the United States.

Austrian government falls as rightwing party boss caught trying to sell contracts

❝ The far-right Freedom Party’s Heinz-Christian Strache resigned as vice chancellor and party leader after the video was released by two German news organizations. He acknowledged that the video was “catastrophic” but denied breaking the law.

Chancellor Kurz, a conservative who formed a coalition with the Freedom Party a year and a half ago, said the apparent video sting, in which Strache discusses contracts in return for financial or political favors, was the last straw in the relationship…

❝ “These are shameful images and no one should be ashamed for Austria,” he said of the video. “We need in this sense to rebuild confidence anew. This rebuilding can in this case only happen with a snap election.”

Last we heard, Trump was asking the DOJ if he can pardon crooks in Austria.

Not only in the Panhandle…

❝ President Donald Trump was tickled last Wednesday when an audience member at a Florida rally suggested shooting migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexican border.

Trump was bemoaning the legal protections afforded migrants and espousing the need for a border wall when he asked rhetorically, “How do you stop these people?”

❝ “Shoot them!” someone shouted from the Panama City Beach crowd, according to multiple news media reports.

The remark drew a chuckle from the president, who shook his head, pointed in the audience member’s direction and said, “Only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.”

“Only in the Panhandle,” he repeated to laughs and cheers from the crowd.

The one-liner that immediately comes to mind is…”When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Doesn’t really matter who said it. It’s hard to dispute. And – more or less – it’s already here.

AT&T promises new jobs, gets tax break — cuts thousands of jobs!


AT&T Liar-in-ChiefBloomberg/Getty

❝ AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that “every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year.”

❝ The corporate tax cut was subsequently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017. The tax cut reportedly gave AT&T an extra $3 billion in cash in 2018.

But AT&T cut capital spending and kept laying people off after the tax cut. A union analysis of AT&T’s publicly available financial statements “shows the telecom company eliminated 23,328 jobs since the Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed in late 2017, including nearly 6,000 in the first quarter of 2019,” the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said…

AT&T’s only expansion in total workforce came from acquisition of Time-Warner and two smaller companies. The existing workforce was cut.

The world is ready to regulate the export of plastic waste


Click to enlargeReuters/Mukoya

Countries are nearing agreement to tighten controls on trade in plastic waste, which would make it harder for leading exporter the United States to ship unsorted plastic to emerging Asian economies for disposal…Global public outrage has grown at marine pollution, sparking demands for more recycling and better waste management…

❝ There is an estimated 100 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s seas, with 8 million tonnes added annually, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) says.

Officials from 187 countries taking part in UNEP negotiations are considering legally-binding amendments to the Basel Convention on waste that would regulate trade in discarded plastic.

❝ The United States has not ratified the 30-year-old pact.

“Overdue” is way too polite!