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Trump administration may delay abortion gag rule, but no one knows what in the hell is going on

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:47

After announcing Monday that it would immediately slap an abortion gag rule on family planning clinics receiving federal funds, the Trump administration appears to be backing off slightly. The rule prevents those providers from referring patients to abortion services. The announcement came soon after a friendly federal court lifted an injunction against the policy and before a scheduled meeting between providers and the administration to discuss the policy implementation.

Following that meeting, the administration is now considering delaying enforcement, according to The Washington Post, "amid widespread confusion among clinics about the changes."

On Thursday, Department of Health and Human Services official Diane Foley told more than 200 leaders in the 90-group network of providers receiving federal funding that "she wanted to give them 60 days to comply with the rules and that federal lawyers were reviewing the idea, according to three participants in the closed meeting and others who were told afterward." That threw even more confusion and chaos into the situation, with clinics that receive federal funds not knowing what to do right now to be in compliance.

Immediately following the apparently premature message from the administration on Monday, several reproductive care providers said they would either stop accepting federal funding or withdraw from the Title X program, under which services are provided to about 4 million low-income women and girls annually. Those include Planned Parenthood, the largest grantee under Title X. One state governor, Democrat J.B. Pritzker in Illinois, announced Thursday that the state would give up the $2.4 million it receives in federal funding and provide the services from state funds. "Under my administration, Illinois will always stand with women and protect their fundamental right to choose," he said. That was before the apparent potential delay was announced by Foley. The grant recipients say they have received no formal instruction from the administration on how to comply with the new rules, one of the reasons Foley said she wanted to delay implementation.

Yet again, the administration is demonstrating that it doesn't know what in the hell it is doing or how in fact to run a government. That millions of people's lives and health care hang in the balance is of little importance to Trump or to most of the people he's brought into government.

Categories: Politics

YouTube Executive Says the Video Service Doesn't Drive Its Users Down the Rabbit Hole

Slashdot - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:45
YouTube has defended its video recommendation algorithms, amid suggestions that the technology serves up increasingly extreme videos. On Thursday, a BBC report explored how YouTube had helped the Flat Earth conspiracy theory spread. But the company's new managing director for the UK, Ben McOwen Wilson, said YouTube "does the opposite of taking you down the rabbit hole". From a report: He told the BBC that YouTube worked to dispel misinformation and conspiracies. But warned that some types of government regulation could start to look like censorship. YouTube, as well as other internet giants such as Facebook and Twitter, have some big decisions to make. All must decide where they draw the line between freedom of expression, hateful content and misinformation. And the government is watching. It has published a White Paper laying out its plans to regulate online platforms. In his first interview since starting his new role, Ben spoke about the company's algorithms, its approach to hate speech and what it expects from the UK government's "online harms" legislation. [...] YouTube has never explained exactly how its algorithms work. Critics say the platform offers up increasingly sensationalist and conspiratorial videos. Mr McOwen Wilson disagrees. "It's what's great about YouTube. It is what brings you from one small area and actually expands your horizon and does the opposite of taking you down the rabbit hole," he says.

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Categories: Geek

Hillary Clinton Wins Fight for $12 Minimum Wage

Kevin Drum - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:41

I don’t want to be a killjoy—

Oh hell, I love being a killjoy. In this case, I’d like to point out that the House bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 is a victory for . . .  Hillary Clinton. You see, the bill raises the minimum wage to $15 only in 2025. If you figure annual inflation of about 2.5 percent, this is equivalent to $12 in 2016. That’s the number Clinton was pushing for.

Congratulations, Hillary! It turns out you were pretty successful at fighting Bernie’s effort to push the party to the left. See also: healthcare, national.

Categories: Politics

ESPN Host Rips 'Cowardly' Network For Silence On Trump's Racism

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:27
ESPN Host Rips 'Cowardly' Network For Silence On Trump's Racism

ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard thwarted his boss's mandate that politics are not discussed on the network, instead lambasting Trump over his racism and ESPN's cowardice in refusing to confront it.

After Jemele Hill called Trump a white supremacist on Twitter, she was suspended. ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro issued a shameful policy in an effort to appease the networks older white conservative racist male viewers.

Le Batard opened up his segment by saying, "I've got to talk about what happened with Trump last night."

The ESPN host was referencing Trump's North Carolina fascist-like rally on Wednesday, when Trump attacked Rep. Omar so vehemently, his cultists started chanting "send her back."

Dan said what happened at he rally was "deeply offensive" and "un-American."

"Basically a chant "send her back" is not the America that my parents came to get for us for exiled for brown people like," Le Batard said.

He continued, "There is a racial division in this country that's being instigated by the president and we here at ESPN haven't had the stomach for that fight because Jemele did some things on twitter and you saw what happened after that and then here all of a sudden nobody talks politics on anything unless we can use one of these sports figures as a meat shield in the most cowardly possible way to discuss these subjects."

Go Dan, go Dan, go Dan, go!

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Categories: Politics

San Mateo Apple Store planning expansion to Hillsdale Shopping Center North Block

9to5Mac - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:19

Apple is preparing to relocate its retail store in San Mateo, California to a substantially larger outdoor space. The move is one of many changes coming to Hillsdale Shopping Center, which is in the midst of a significant redevelopment project. Apple Hillsdale will become the 10th store in the Bay Area to feature Apple’s latest retail design. more…

The post San Mateo Apple Store planning expansion to Hillsdale Shopping Center North Block appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Apple Card may launch in Canada in 2019

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:14

Apple recently filed the necessary paperwork in Canada to lay the groundwork to launch both Apple Cash and Apple Card in the region.
Categories: Geek

Russian Lawmakers Propose Making Local Software Mandatory on Smartphones

Slashdot - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:05
Russian lawmakers want to make it a legal requirement for all smartphones, computers and smart TV sets sold in Russia to come pre-installed with certain Russian software in a bid to support domestic software producers, according to a draft bill. From a report: The bill, tabled at the lower house of parliament on Thursday, would allow authorities to draw up a list of mandatory, locally-made software. If passed, it would come into force in July 2020. Russia's cell-phone market is dominated by Apple, Samsung and Huawei products. Those who do not abide by the rule, the proposed law says, would have to pay a fine.

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Categories: Geek

House Democrats rip DHS head over abhorrent detention conditions, kids 'sitting in their own feces'

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:03

Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee chastised the acting Department of Homeland Security secretary on Thursday for the physical conditions migrant children and families have been forced endure on his agency’s watch, including accusations of sexual assault, retaliation, and detention facilities unfit for an animal.

“What does that mean? What does that mean, when a child is sitting in their own feces, can’t take a shower? Come on, man! What’s that about?” committee Chair Elijah Cummings asked Kevin McAleenan. “None of us would have our children in that position.” Cummings is absolutely right, because when Sen. Mazie Hirono asked Trump officials last year if they’d put their own kids in the migrant family jails that now-acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Matthew Albence compared to a “summer camp,” they stammered and refused to answer.

According to USA Today, "This would not be allowed as a kennel for dogs," Rep. Jackie Speier said, “holding up a photo she took last weekend during a trip to migrant facilities along the border. The photo showed a shirtless man in a crowded cell holding up 4-0 on his fingers, the number of days he'd been held in the facility without a shower or being able to brush his teeth.”

But it’s not just the physical conditions that are a crisis; it’s also Border Patrol’s deep-rooted toxic, violent, and misogynist culture. Case in point: the recently exposed, not-so-secret Facebook group of former and current agents who, in just two examples of their vile posts, mocked the death of a child on their watch and shared a meme of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being sexually assaulted. She confronted McAleenan on his subordinates’ actions.

“Did you see the images of officers circulating photoshopped images of my violent rape?” she asked. "Yes I did," he responded. Ocasio-Cortez also asked if he’d seen “the posts planning physical harm to myself and Congresswoman Escobar” when they recently conducted their oversight responsibilities at two detention facilities. "Yes," he said, “and I directed an investigation within minutes of reading the article." 

Some 70 agents are reportedly under investigation for their participation in the group, and Ocasio-Cortez wanted to know if any of those agents were still on the job and overseeing children and families. McAleenan “said several agents have been put on administrative duties while the investigation continues,” USA Today reported.

But McAleenan couldn’t get out of this without making himself the victim, claiming, “We do not have a dehumanizing culture at C.B.P.,” and, “Those posts are unacceptable, they’re being investigated … I don’t think it’s fair to apply them to the entire organization.” But one of the members of that Facebook group was Border Patrol chief Carla Provost, who, as of today, is still in her job. It’s a rotten agency from the top down—and House Democrats need to stop funding it as it stands now.

Categories: Politics

Al Gore gives a thumbs-up as Gov. Cuomo signs climate law labeled New York's Green New Deal

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:57

Climate news has been mighty grim for the past few years. But Thursday there was some excellent news from the Empire State. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the aggressive Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, calling his decision “the most consequential of my administration.” Late last month, the Democrat-controlled New York legislature passed the bill, known widely as the state’s Green New Deal, which is designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the replacement of fossil fuel power plants with renewable sources. 

A 22-member Climate Action Council will be established and spend the next three years developing a "scoping plan" to recommend regulations, incentives, and other measures to meet the law’s mandates. One of the council’s objectives will be to integrate and expand the state’s existing climate and clean energy programs. 

Former Vice President Al Gore was on hand for the signing, calling it “the most ambitious, the most well-crafted legislation in the country."

Cuomo had previously labeled the bill a “political placebo” with unrealistic goals. But, after four years failing to get the bill passed through a legislature in which a gang of eight renegade Democrats in the state Senate had enabled Republicans, grassroots activism coordinated by New York Renews—a 180-member coalition of environmental and other groups—finally succeeded in seeing a bill pass as a result of tossing six of those Democrats out during the 2018 primaries. But ultimately, passage required Cuomo to present his own, weaker bill. 

While the law puts New York ahead of the other 49 states in mandating renewables, it follows in the footsteps of seven pioneers that pushed aggressive moves to curb emissions and spread renewables—CaliforniaColoradoMaineNew JerseyNew MexicoOregon, and Washington. Six of those states have called for 100% clean energy in the next few decades, but New York will get there first if the mandates in its law are attained.

The New York plan exceeds the goals of other states by calling for 70% renewables by 2030, decarbonization of the state’s electricity system by 2040, and decarbonization of the state’s whole economy—or close to it—by 2050. Last year, renewables provided 26.4% of New York’s electricity. In addition, the law mandates slashing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 85% below 1990 levels by 2050. The other 15% will be dealt with by planting trees and sequestering carbon underground.

Categories: Politics

Apple Card could launch in Canada next year as US awaits debut

9to5Mac - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:52

We learned earlier this week that Apple Card trademarks have been applied for in Europe and Hong Kong. Now a report from The Star highlights Apple has done the same in Canada which could point to a 2020 spring or summer Apple Card launch in the country.


The post Apple Card could launch in Canada next year as US awaits debut appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

Trump abandons claim that he tried to stop racist chant, praises the 'fine patriots' who chanted

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:40

Donald Trump spent Thursday evening claiming that he had “tried to stop” his followers at a North Carolina rally when they fell into a “Send her back!” chant following Trump’s extended lies about Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. But on Friday morning the press paused long enough to point out—no he didn’t. Instead, Trump stepped back from the microphone and literally waited until the chant had died out on its own, before stepping back to the microphone to … continue lying about Rep. Omar.

So on Friday afternoon, Trump decided to clear this up straight from the Oval Office, not to admit that he lied about trying to stop the chant, but to clarify that there was nothing wrong with that chant after all. According to Trump, the people making a demand that a naturalized American citizen be shipped to Somalia for the crime of being black and insufficiently grateful were not racists. They were “fine patriots.” Which is Trump’s new way of saying “very fine people.”

Trump declared that far from being upset by the chants, what really bothered him was the person being chanted at. "You know what I'm unhappy with—the fact that a congresswoman can hate our country.” After recycling the same lies that he told to generate ugly racism in the first place, Trump followed up by saying that Omar was “lucky to be where she is. Let me tell you.” So it’s not like he chanted “Send her back” behind the Resolute Desk. He only praised the “patriots” who did, called Omar a disgrace who hates the country, and declared she was lucky to be here.

Trump then spent some time on his favorite topic—how big the crowds were. He bragged that it was a “record attendance” and claimed that he could have filled the stadium “ten times” over. This comes after his campaign director claimed attendance was over 20,000. The capacity of the stadium is about 8,000. There were maybe 100 more outside.

When the press pried Trump away from expressing his pride at how he magically packs racists in three to a chair, they asked him about the debt ceiling. Trump gave one of those reassuring Trump responses by saying “I understand the debt ceiling.” Then he went into an extended rant about Obama having a big one before saying “I certainly understand the highest rated credit ever in history, and debt ceiling." So no. He doesn’t understand the debt ceiling.

And now … three days of golf.

Categories: Politics

LG rumored again to join Samsung as OLED display supplier for 2019 iPhones

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:38

LG is rumored once again to start picking up orders for OLED displays in the iPhone lineup, this time as early as 2019.
Categories: Geek

In Which Donald Trump Disavows His Disavowal of That Vile Racist Chant

Little Green Footballs - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:35

Yesterday Donald Trump tried to tell America he didn't like it when the cult members at his hate rally in North Carolina chanted "SEND HER BACK" about Rep. Ilhan Omar.

A blatantly racist chant, not to belabor the point.

And of course, he lied about "not liking it," and said he started talking very quickly to stop the chant. Which he didn't. He stood there smirking and basked in it for more than 10 seconds. Everybody saw him do it, but he lied anyway.

Numerous media outlets reported this "disavowal," without mentioning that he has repeatedly done this -- he does or says something unbelievably disgusting, then issues a weak disavowal when he's pressured into it, then a day or two later, takes back the disavowal and reiterates whatever horrible thing started it, even more vehemently.

And now, a day later, he's doing it again.

Categories: Politics

The best cup holder phone mounts

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:30

There are a lot of iPhone accessories out there for your car. Here's a quick roundup of some of the best cup holder phone mounts you can buy right now.
Categories: Geek

Wingnut federal judge rules against people with pre-existing conditions, so have fun with that, GOP

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:26

Reliably wingnutty Judge Richard Leon, of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, has ruled that the Trump administration can break the law, in this case the Affordable Care Act, and expand the sale of junk, short-term health insurance policies.

The ACA allowed for the sale of bare-bones insurance plans that don't meet the essential benefits coverage standards established in the law for a duration of no longer than three months. They were intended to be used as bridge plans for people outside of the window of open enrollment periods who didn't have qualifying life events to allow them onto the exchanges. The Trump administration has issued a rule to allow the plans to last as long as 364 days and to be renewable for three years.

Challengers argued that this would undermine the ACA markets, driving healthy people out of the larger pool into these cheap, crappy plans and causing premiums to increase for people in the ACA-compliant plans. They also argued, correctly, that this undermines the protections for people with pre-existing conditions under the law. The short-term plans Trump is allowing would not have to extend those protections. Leon was not swayed by reality.

"Not only is any potential negative impact" from the rule "minimal, but its benefits are undeniable," he wrote, saying that there is no evidence that the rule "is having or will have the type of impact—substantial exodus from the individual market exchanges—that would threaten the ACA's structural core." The benefits of people having nothing but crap insurance plans for as long as three years is unclear, should any of those people need health insurance. The savings they'd see in premiums would be completely wiped out, many times over, were they to be sick or injured.

It's hard to imagine that people, including federal judges, are really so stupid that they don't understand the basic premise of how health insurance works, but the evidence from Republicans and partisans such as Leon argues otherwise. That, or they're just fundamentally dishonest and don't give a damn, and so cynically make this shit up. Which is likelier.

The D.C. Circuit is not dominated by troglodytes, so this ruling will probably be tossed out on appeal. But the fact remains that hyperpartisan judges like Leon and those on the 5th Circuit who look ready to toss the entire ACA are going to make political life very hard for Republicans in 2020. Which is just deserts.

Categories: Politics

Huawei Says Hongmeng OS Isn't Designed as an Android Replacement

Slashdot - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:25
Huawei reportedly wants to keep using Google's Android operating system in its phones instead of jumping to its self-developed Hongmeng system. From a report: Company senior vice president Catherine Chen told reporters in Brussels this week that the Hongmeng OS isn't even designed for phones, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua. Chen apparently said Hongmeng is for industrial use, noting that it contains far fewer lines of code than a phone OS, and has much lower latency than a phone, meaning it can process a very high volume of data messages with little delay. Latest episode in a confusing narrative about what Huawei even intends to do. The company's executives have previously said on record that its homegrown operating system is designed to replace Android on its handsets. One executive said the operating system would be released by last month -- a target that Huawei has missed.

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Categories: Geek

LA Sheriff Really Hates It When Bad Folks Get Fired

Kevin Drum - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:11

Last year Alex Villanueva was a surprise winner against the incumbent in the race to become the new sheriff of Los Angeles County. I don’t live in LA so I’ve followed this only from afar, but as near as I can tell Villanueva’s main goal in office is to rehire deputies who have been fired for a variety of offenses, including unreasonable force, domestic violence, lying, and so forth. He started off with a couple of rehires, then announced six more, and apparently the total is now up to a couple of dozen or so.

Today, however, another bomb hit:

A top official in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said she left the agency after 34 years rather than carry out what she said was a “highly unethical” and “unheard of” directive from Sheriff Alex Villanueva to reinstate a fired deputy and alter his disciplinary record, court papers reviewed by The Times show.

Alicia Ault, who served as chief of the department’s professional standards and training division before her resignation last year, said she was told by the incoming sheriff’s chief of staff that it was Villanueva’s “No. 1 priority” to reinstate Caren Carl Mandoyan before Villanueva took office so it would appear to have been done by the administration of former Sheriff Jim McDonnell, according to a deposition she gave in the county’s lawsuit over the reinstatement, which was filed in court Wednesday.

….The legal filings Wednesday also include a deposition from Villanueva’s former second-in-command, Ray Leyva, who was abruptly fired in March. Leyva said under oath that he reviewed video evidence in Mandoyan’s case that showed the deputy tried to pry open a woman’s door and had indeed lied about it, as investigators initially found.

Villanueva seems to have won the election primarily by promising to toss ICE agents out of county jails, which earned him a lot of support from the Hispanic community. So far he’s kind of done that and kind of hasn’t, but in any case his top priority by far has been a so-called “truth and reconciliation” committee whose job is to reinstate fired deputies and make it clear that everyone knows the good old days are back. There will be no more harrassment of deputies for picayune offenses like beating people up or filing false reports. I guess the good times are really rolling up in LA these days.

Categories: Politics

Ilhan Omar Calls A Fascist, A Fascist

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:08

Ilhan Omar is right. Business Insider:

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar said President Donald Trump was a "racist" and "fascist" a day after he falsely accused her of supporting Al Qaeda and looked on as the crowd at a rally in North Carolina chanted "send her back."

"I believe he is fascist," Omar told reporters on Thursday.

The Minnesota lawmaker, who is a naturalized US citizen, said America is "supposed to be a country where we allow democratic debate and dissent to take place."

Since Brit Hume insists we only use the "dictionary definition" of "racist," let's check out Merriam-Webster's when it comes to "fascism," shall we?

Fascism (N) - often capitalized: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

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Categories: Politics

Using Peloton bikes and treadmills with Apple Watch, Music, and Health

9to5Mac - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 13:04

I’ve been exploring the world of Peloton since the exercise bike showed up in my home office last week. While Peloton does not work with GymKit, there are two Apple features that work with the workout system.

Peloton bikes and treadmills offer limited Apple Music integration for streaming music subscribers with linked accounts. Workouts tracked with the Peloton system can be saved to Apple’s Health app, too, although logging sessions with Apple Watch requires some configuration.


The post Using Peloton bikes and treadmills with Apple Watch, Music, and Health appeared first on 9to5Mac.

Categories: Geek

9to5Mac Daily: July 19, 2019 – iCloud surveillance tool, 2020 iPhone processors

9to5Mac - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 12:58

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac Daily is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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Categories: Geek