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Backing Anti-Erdogan Protesters, Biden Admin Tells Court Turkey’s Not Immune for Assaults During Trump White House Visit

 

Signaling a shift in U.S.-Turkish relations, the State Department sent a strongly worded brief asking a federal appeals court to uphold a ruling that Turkey can be held liable for assaulting protesters on the day of strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s White House meeting with former President Donald Trump nearly four years ago.

 

“Both the Turkish agents (along with supporters of President Erdoğan) and U.S. law enforcement separated the protesters from the Ambassador’s Residence at which President Erdoğan had arrived,” counsel for the Justice Department and the State Department wrote in an 18-page legal brief on Tuesday.

 

“Yet the Turkish agents ‘crossed [the] police line’ separating them from the protesters in order ‘to attack the protesters’ ‘violently,’ and they took that aggressive action without any indication […] ‘that an attack by the protesters was imminent,’ […] and without any finding by the district court of some other reasonable basis for perceiving a threat to President Erdoğan,” the friend-of-the-court brief continues, summarizing a federal judge’s findings of fact. “There is no basis in the district court’s account of the facts to regard the ‘attack’ by Turkish agents as protective in nature.” (citations omitted)

 

In a phone interview, an attorney for the anti-Erdoğan protesters described the State Department’s support as the Biden administration reasserting U.S. advocacy for human rights.

 

“It seems to me that this administration may be signaling politically that we are reinforcing the notions of democracy in this country, after a long time of maybe democracy being beaten up a little bit,” attorney Andreas Akaras, from the firm Bregman, Berbert, Schwartz & Gilday, LLC, told Law&Crime.

 

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On 3/10/2021 at 1:51 PM, PleaseBlitz said:

 

I am all for this.  

 

I'll also note that in Rubio's summary, he felt the need to explain to his voters that this bill would not "Change the amount of hours of sunlight."  

 

Daylight Saving Time Cannot Be Stopped

 

Lots of people hate changing their clocks when daylight saving time begins in March, but the European Union seemed prepared to do more than just complain about it: In March 2019, the European Parliament voted to dispense entirely with biannual clock changes. 

 

A continent full of people — tired of being plunged into early evening darkness in the fall and then having an hour of precious life yanked from their existence in the spring — were looking forward to the last year ever for moving to the eight-month-long DST period in the EU this month. Countries opting to keep to summer time would “spring forward” for the final time in March, while those that preferred the winter schedule would carry out their last clock change in October. 

 

In the U.S., a similar move to break the much-despised clock-changing habit has been advanced by a bipartisan group of senators, whose “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” would make year-round DST the law of the land. State-level measures along those lines have passed in California, Florida and many other states. The arguments for abolishing the practice, which emerged in the early 20th century as a means of saving energy by shifting working hours to follow the sun, are many and varied: The disruptive effects of the twice-a-year time change have been linked to higher rates of car crashes, workplace injuries, street crime, heart attacks and general crankiness.  

 

But as the European experience shows, killing daylight saving time isn’t easy. This month, EU residents will turn their clocks forward across the continent (on March 28, two weeks after the U.S.) without any confirmation that the practice will be abandoned next — or any — year. So what went wrong?

 

The main culprit for the delay is arguably the pandemic, possibly with a small side order of Brexit. The issue’s tortuous passage through the complicated mechanisms of the EU also demonstrates how easily decisions in that institution can get gummed up in the gears of international bureaucracy if there’s no one pushing hard for progress.

 

The logjam could be broken pretty easily, but Europe’s governments currently have bigger fish to fry. Over the past 12 months, EU states have been too preoccupied trying to stem the transmission of coronavirus and keeping health systems and economies propped up to worry much about daylight saving.

 

Brexit has added another layer of complication to the picture. Now that the U.K. is no longer a member of the union, it has no immediate plans to give up daylight saving within its borders (though the idea also has wide support there). So if Ireland follows the rest of the EU in abandoning daylight saving, it risks creating two different times on the island for half the year — one in the Republic and one in British-governed Northern Ireland.

 

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21 hours ago, visionary said:

 

 

 

Dems should tie it to the make and model of a car. If you have a high end vehicle, you can presumably pay more in a VMT tax. Otherwise, lower wage workers that aren't driving luxury vehicles but have to travel further due to a lack of affordable housing near work, will bear the brunt a VMT. 

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18 minutes ago, China said:

Brexit has added another layer of complication to the picture. Now that the U.K. is no longer a member of the union, it has no immediate plans to give up daylight saving within its borders (though the idea also has wide support there). So if Ireland follows the rest of the EU in abandoning daylight saving, it risks creating two different times on the island for half the year — one in the Republic and one in British-governed Northern Ireland.

 

Idaho is like, what's the big deal, country that can't even grow potatoes.

 

Time Zones Map in Idaho, USA -- Timebie

2 minutes ago, Hersh said:

 

Dems should tie it to the make and model of a car. If you have a high end vehicle, you can presumably pay more in a VMT tax. Otherwise, lower wage workers that aren't driving luxury vehicles but have to travel further due to a lack of affordable housing near work, will bear the brunt a VMT. 

 

VMT (and the gas tax) ties it to the usage of said infrastructure, so it makes logical sense.  

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5 hours ago, Hersh said:

 

Dems should tie it to the make and model of a car. If you have a high end vehicle, you can presumably pay more in a VMT tax. Otherwise, lower wage workers that aren't driving luxury vehicles but have to travel further due to a lack of affordable housing near work, will bear the brunt a VMT. 

 

Pretty sure the intent is to get tax revenue from EVs.  

2 hours ago, TryTheBeal! said:

INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK IS BACK!

 

 

 

Proposal:  The original bill should mandate that all spending will take place in the districts of the people who vote for it.  

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A $15 minimum wage would lift millions out of poverty with 'limited negative effects' on aggregate income, Morgan Stanley says

 

A $15 minimum wage increase failed to make it into the historic $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law yesterday. Some prominent Democrats — including moderate Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — and conservatives had voiced opposition to the hike, citing concerns that it could cause more economic harm than good.

 

As the federal minimum hasn't been increased since 2009, calls to raise it persist. But what does the math say?

 

A new report from Morgan Stanley Research looks at the potential impacts of a wage hike, evaluating both an $11 and a $15 hourly minimum wage. Broadly, the report find "limited negative implications for aggregate income" if the federal minimum  reaches $15 per hour, phased in over five years, and "no impact to income in an $11/hr scenario."

 

The report found that restaurants, food retailers, and department stores would likely see the greatest cost increases. Overall, the restaurant industry "is set to be the most impacted by a significant increase in the federal minimum wage." 

 

But the hike could also benefit millions of Americans — potentially 32 million — and lift many out of poverty while addressing racial wage gaps, something Morgan Stanley said outweighed potential negative impacts, even as minimal as those might be.

 

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On 3/5/2021 at 4:43 PM, Dan T. said:

 

Norman Ornstein proposed rather than killing the filibuster, going back to the old fashioned version of it.  It is perverted the way it works now.  It's automatic for the GOP employing it... they don't even have to be present.  He suggests putting the onus back on whatever Party is using the filibuster - make them work for it.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/03/02/manchin-filibuster-never-sinema/

 

'A tremendous sea change': Democrats see a path to remaking the Senate filibuster

 

When Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia opened the door this week to making it more "painful" to block legislation, some Democrats saw a game-changing opportunity to remake the Senate and lift a key obstacle to a progressive agenda.

 

It was a telling shift for Manchin, the most outspoken Democratic supporter of the filibuster — an apparent sign of party consensus that the rule can be softened, if not abolished. Some progressives say his idea would open the door to passing ambitious bills to bolster voting rights and gun control, which cleared the House and are headed for a fatal crash with the Senate's 60-vote threshold.

 

"It’s very significant," Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., the chief antagonist of the filibuster, said in an interview. "There’s been a tremendous sea change in the Democratic caucus, saying, 'We were elected to solve problems, not to apologize because [Senate Republican leader Mitch] McConnell stopped us.' That excuse will not fly, nor should it."

 

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On 3/11/2021 at 4:19 PM, visionary said:

 

 

 

On 3/12/2021 at 2:00 PM, Hersh said:

 

Dems should tie it to the make and model of a car. If you have a high end vehicle, you can presumably pay more in a VMT tax. Otherwise, lower wage workers that aren't driving luxury vehicles but have to travel further due to a lack of affordable housing near work, will bear the brunt a VMT. 

 

On 3/12/2021 at 2:01 PM, PleaseBlitz said:

 

VMT (and the gas tax) ties it to the usage of said infrastructure, so it makes logical sense.  

 

Two states tax some drivers by the mile. Many more want to give it a try.

 

Bruce Starr spotted the problem right away: The hydrogen-powered cars General Motors was showing off on the Oregon Capitol grounds wouldn’t need gas. And if they didn’t need gas, drivers wouldn’t be paying gas taxes that fund the state’s roads.

 

It was 2001, and the problem seemed urgent. GM predicted the cars would be on the market in a few years. Starr, then a Republican state representative, created a task force to figure out the future of transportation funding.

 

“There’s no asphalt fairy out there that sprinkles asphalt in the night on our roadways,” he said recently.

 

Widespread production of hydrogen-powered cars has not come to pass, but GM is eyeing an all-electric fleet by 2035 with the backing of the Biden administration. That has lawmakers in state capitals across the country and in Washington increasingly confronting the question that troubled Starr two decades ago.

 

Many have settled on an answer: charging drivers a penny or two for each mile behind the wheel. But while such a system would bring in tax dollars for roads, it also would present a new set of obstacles.

 

How much would you pay under a VMT tax?

 

Last year, the House passed a bill that would have created a federal pilot program to test a vehicle miles-traveled (VMT) tax. Under the legislation, the Treasury Department would impose a fee equal to the total amount collected in gas taxes, divided by the miles driven by passenger vehicles. The figure works out to about nine-tenths of a cent per mile, using data from 2019, the most recent available.

 

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Dems pass on repealing Trump regulations — for now

 

After taking full control of the government, Republicans and former President Donald Trump wielded a little-used law to roll back more than a dozen Obama-era regulations. But Democrats are taking a different approach.

 

Democrats have yet to use the Congressional Review Act to claw back any Trump-era regulations as of mid-March. The 25-year-old law allows the congressional majority party to essentially veto out regulations established during the waning days of an administration without facing a Senate filibuster.

 

In the wake of their Senate takeover in early January, several Democrats spoke of plans to roll back Trump regulations they believed were hurting consumers and the environment. Then the party started rebuilding after an insurrection, impeaching Trump a second time and passing a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus law.

 

“We’ve been pretty busy,” said Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). “We passed arguably the most significant piece of legislation in decades and now we’re pushing hard on the next steps — for example, infrastructure, and looking at tax reform. These are big issues and there’s only so many hours in the day.”

 

Still, nearly two months into the new administration, time is running out to use the maneuver given the constraints of using the so-called CRA within 60 legislative days of a new regulation. The Senate is currently working through a series of Cabinet confirmations and set for a two-week recess at the end of the month. Most committee leaders said Monday they have made no final decisions.

 

Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown said his committee is still mulling whether to tear down some Trump regulations and that lack of action so far doesn’t mean Democrats won’t act.

“The fact that nothing’s happened yet is because everything was happening earlier,” Brown said of Trump’s regulatory pace. The Ohioan added that he has until the end of next month to try to roll back some elements of the former president’s agenda.

 

Democrats’ deliberative approach differs greatly from that of former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who by early February 2017 had already begun rolling back an EPA stream protection regulation and a resource extraction regulation issued as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

 

In all, the GOP’s blitz amounted to gutting 14 Obama regulations by mid-May of 2017. 

 

Yet some Democrats are wary of proceeding against Trump’s regulations now due to a legally untested provision that could limit the Biden’s administration ability to rewrite those rules. The law bars the rewriting of new regulations that are disapproved by Congress if they are “substantially the same form” as the previous, vetoed regulations.

 

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Some info about the reinstatement of line items in budgets - formerly called "earmarks" or "pork". 

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-congress-is-bringing-back-pork-184519151.html

 

After a 10-year ban, Congress is reinstating “earmarks,” or funding for pet projects on senators’ and representatives’ home turf. Instead of objecting, governing experts say it’s about time. Earmarks generated outrage in the early 2000s, amid a stream of lobbying scandals, kickback schemes and fishy projects. Barack Obama called for reforms as both senator and president. After Republicans took control of the House in 2010, they eliminated earmarks as a statement of fiscal discipline.

 

The ban doesn’t seem to have accomplished much, however, and Democrats who now control both the House and the Senate are reviving pork-barrel politics. That might allow Congress to function better. “There are a lot of reasons to bring back earmarks,” says John Hudak of the Brookings Institution. “Earmarks can foster bipartisanship. Earmarking happens no matter what, and right now we have a lot of executive branch earmarks happening instead of Congressional ones. Congress should take that power back from the executive branch.”

 

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This Professor Galloway guy who was a guest on Bill Maher is the kind of person the Democrats need in their party, in prominent and visibly public positions going forward.  The way he explains things, I feel like would be the way Bernie would if he was 20-30 years younger and AOC, if she was a little more seasoned in how she explains things.

 

 

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