ONTD Political


Gov. Gary Herbert resisted recent calls to veto a bill giving Utah the strictest DUI threshold in the country, lowering the blood alcohol limit to .05 percent, down from .08 percent. Last week, demonstrators on both sides of the issue visited the Utah State Capitol. Rick Bowmer/AP.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill into law that lowers the maximum blood alcohol limit for drivers to .05 percent from the current legal threshold of .08 percent — giving Utah the strictest drunken driving law in the nation.

In addition to drivers, the law applies to anyone carrying a dangerous weapon.

Lowering the limit has been controversial, pitting opponents in the tourism and hospitality industry against backers in the health and transportation fields.
As member station KUER's Julia Ritchey reports, "The governor's office has been inundated with hundreds of calls on the bill, most of them in opposition."

NPR's Allison Aubrey reports for our Newscast unit:

"The American Beverage Institute opposes the measure. The industry says a 120-pound woman can reach .05 with little more than one drink. The group argues that at that level, a driver is less impaired than a driver talking hands-free on a cell phone.

"But some public health experts have pushed for stricter limits. As recently as last year, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all states drop blood alcohol levels down to .05, to deter more people from drinking and driving."

The law also has repercussions for people who carry guns in Utah. The state allows the open carry of dangerous weapons without a permit — but it restricts that right based on the blood alcohol maximum set for drivers.

That connection prompted the Utah Shooting Sports Council to send an alert to its members, urging them to ask Herbert to veto the bill and avoid an "ugly hidden Easter egg for gun owners," as it said on its Facebook page.


"Apparently the legislature never saw the connection between this bill and gun rights, and as such, this issue was never debated," the group says, in a form letter it provided to supporters to send to the governor.

Despite being signed, there will likely be more arguments over the new law, which isn't scheduled to take effect until Dec. 30, 2018.

Even as he signed the bill Thursday, Herbert said the state needs to re-examine at how it penalizes drivers who are over the limit. From KUER:

"There are some areas of improvement I think are warranted and are necessary," the governor said. "And we can look at impaired driving and distracted driving and repeat offenders — those who in fact have been arrested for DUIs on multiple occasions — and our punishment, and what are the consequences of the punishment.

By Bill Chappell. March 24, 2017·10:00 AM ET.

Source
A Republican state senator running for governor of Pennsylvania shared some unusual views this week about what’s causing climate change.

Scott Wagner told a Harrisburg audience on Tuesday that the body heat from the planet’s growing population might be responsible for rising temperatures.

“We have more people. You know, humans have warm bodies. So is heat coming off?” Wagner said, according to State Impact Pennsylvania, an NPR project. “Things are changing, but I think we are, as a society, doing the best we can.”Read more...Collapse )

Source: HuffPost

This reminds me of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and his snowball stunt. This level of scientific illiteracy/sheer idiocy makes me want to laugh, cry, scream, and set things on fire, all at the same time.

President Donald Trump will deliver the first commencement address of his White House tenure at Liberty University in Virginia, the largest Christian university in the world.

“I look forward to speaking to this amazing group of students on such a momentous occasion,” Trump told CBN News' David Brody. “Our children truly are the future and I look forward to celebrating the success of this graduating class as well as sharing lessons as they embark on their next chapter full of hope, faith, optimism, and a passion for life.”

Liberty's 2017 commencement will be held on Saturday, May 13.

It's not the first time Trump will visit the university: He was a convocation speaker in 2012, and again as a Presidential candidate in 2016. During the 2016 convocation, he referred to a bible passage as "Two Corinthians" instead of the correct pronunciation, "Second Corinthians."

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STAY THE FUCK OUT OF MY CITY YOU MANGLED APRICOT HELLBEAST
This intrusive bill would not only mean the end to privacy with regards to your genetic profile and health issues, but would allow companies to penalize you thousands of dollars for not participating in their so-called "Workplace Wellness Programs".


North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx wants to give companies the power to compel employee genetic tests in the dubiously named "Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act."

Nothing says "freedom" like being forced to hand over your genetic code to your employer. That's exactly what a bill that the GOP is shepherding through Congress would do. Sharon Begley writes:

"A little-noticed bill moving through Congress would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars, and would let employers see that genetic and other health information.

Giving employers such power is now prohibited by legislation including the 2008 genetic privacy and nondiscrimination law known as GINA. The new bill gets around that landmark law by stating explicitly that GINA and other protections do not apply when genetic tests are part of a “workplace wellness” program.

The bill, HR 1313, was approved by a House committee on Wednesday, with all 22 Republicans supporting it and all 17 Democrats opposed."


The legislation would completely undermine privacy protections already in place at the federal level through GINA and the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. As if that's not bad enough, Republicans are expected to stealthily roll it into the second phase of the GOP's health care repeal effort.

Both [privacy] measures, according to congressional testimony last week by the American Benefits Council, “put at risk the availability and effectiveness of workplace wellness programs,” depriving employees of benefits like “improved health and productivity.” The council represents Fortune 500 companies and other large employers that provide employee benefits. It did not immediately respond to questions about how lack of access to genetic information hampers wellness programs.


So Republicans, whose chief slam against Obamacare was that it's government mandated health care, now want to put corporations in charge of American's health care choices—in the interest of "wellness," of course. Too bad wellness programs have largely been proven totally ineffective. But under the ACA, if employees refuse to participate in the programs, employers can charge them anywhere from 30-50 percent more for their health care coverage.

Employers continue to embrace [wellness programs], partly as a way to shift more health care costs to workers, including by penalizing them financially.


Now Republicans want to give those same employers the power to compel you to take a genetic test, because trying to force their employees into wellness programs that don’t work in the interest of their own bottom line wasn’t intrusive enough.

By Kerry Eleveld. Mar 10, 2017. 1:55 PM MST.

Source

To some, they might seem an unlikely twosome: a former president and former first lady from two different administrations, different political parties, different generations and different upbringings.

But George W. Bush tells PEOPLE that he feels a real fondness for Michelle Obama.

“She kind of likes my sense of humor. Anybody who likes my sense of humor, I immediately like,” says Bush, in an interview to launch his first art book and new exhibit, Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, a collection of his paintings of post-9/11 war veterans.

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source

Next in the weirdest news of 2017...
Where’d the animals go? GOP targets landmark Endangered Species Act for big changes

BILLINGS, Mont. — In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government’s most powerful conservation tools, after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities.

Over the past eight years, GOP lawmakers sponsored dozens of measures aimed at curtailing the landmark law or putting species such as gray wolves and sage grouse out of its reach. Almost all were blocked by Democrats and the White House or lawsuits from environmentalists.

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Republicans explore curbing the Endangered Species Act

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing Wednesday with Republicans focused on curbing the Endangered Species Act, the latest front in the conservative push to rein in regulations they see as harmful to business.

The law is a flashpoint: The agriculture industry says it imposes far-reaching regulatory burdens. James Holte of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation told the committee, "farmers and ranchers consider it their personal responsibility to be stewards of the land. However, the ESA creates many challenges for them to balance agriculture production with wildlife habitat."

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OP: These are two on the same subject so I thought I'd put them together. Mods, I can separate them if you wish.

South Korea has confirmed the killing of the brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, saying it could be a sign of the brutality of Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-nam was killed in an apparent poison attack in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Monday.

No motive has been confirmed and the attackers have not been identified.

South Korea's acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn said if North Korea was found to be responsible, it would show its "brutality and inhumane nature".

If confirmed, it would be the most high-profile death at the hands of the North Korean leadership since Kim Jong-un's uncle, Chang Song-thaek, was executed in 2013.

Mr Kim appears to have been attacked with a chemical while preparing to board a flight home to Macau from in Kuala Lumpur's airport on Monday.

His death was made public only on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, his body was released from hospital. A post-mortem examination was expected to be conducted.

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Source

This has been all over the news in South Korea since last night when the news broke :/ Our acting president has put the country on high alert, since this is on top of the recent missile launches. Also, kind of dreading how Mr. 45 will handle all of this, considering he's already pissed off South Korea by not mentioning us at all in his initial comments about the recent missile launches, as well as the fact that he is acting so buddy buddy with Abe.



President Donald Trump is reshuffling the US National Security Council (NSC), downgrading the military chiefs of staff and giving a regular seat to his chief strategist Steve Bannon.


Mr Bannon, formerly the head of the populist right-wing, Breitbart News website, will join high-level discussions about national security.


The order was signed on Saturday.


The director of national intelligence and the joint chiefs will attend when discussions pertain to their areas.


Under previous administrations, the director and joint chiefs attended all meetings of the NSC's inner circle, the principals' committee.


The National Security Council (NSC) is the main group advising the president on national security and foreign affairs.


It is led by retired lieutenant-general Mike Flynn, who was one of Mr Trump's closest advisers and most ardent supporters during the campaign.


"The security threats facing the United States in the 21st century transcend international boundaries," Mr Trump's executive order said.

"Accordingly, the United States Government's decision-making structures and processes to address these challenges must remain equally adaptive and transformative."


Last week, Mr Bannon described the US mainstream media as "the opposition party", saying it should "keep its mouth shut".


The site he once managed, Breitbart News, serves up an anti-establishment agenda that critics accuse of xenophobia and misogyny. Under Mr Bannon, it became one of the most-read conservative news and opinion sites in the US.


Mr Trump also ordered a restructuring of the Homeland Security Council. In two separate measures, the president ordered:


  • A ban on administration officials from ever lobbying the US on behalf of a foreign government, and a separate five-year ban on other lobbying.


  • A preliminary plan by the secretary of defence to defeat so-called Islamic State (IS) to be presented within 30 days.


Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38787241
WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that bans Syrians from taking refuge in the United States, halts the U.S. refugee resettlement program for four months and temporarily blocks people from a handful of unnamed countries from entering the U.S. at all.

“I am establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. We don’t want them here,” he said at a swearing-in ceremony at the Pentagon for Secretary of Defense James Mattis. “We don’t want to admit into our country the very threats we are fighting overseas.”Read more...Collapse )

Source: HuffPost

Read The Full Text Of Donald Trump’s Executive Order Limiting Muslim Entry To The U.S.

Holocaust Remembrance Day? REALLY? He picked Holocaust fucking Remembrance Day to do this? Wow, isn't that just ducky. I actually think Trump out-Trumped himself with that one.

There are no words colorful enough and no tags powerful enough to convey how I feel about this.
President Trump spoke to employees in the lobby of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It was his first event on his first full day as president.

Video does not embed and can be viewed at the source. Full transcripts are included below.

Mike Pence being introduced by Meroe Park, Acting Director of CIACollapse )

Mike Pence introducing Donald TrumpCollapse )

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY, VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE. IT IS TRUE, THIS IS MY FIRST STOP OFFICIALLY. WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE SPEECHES. ALTHOUGH THEY DID TREAT ME NICELY ON THAT SPEECH YESTERDAY. [LAUGHTER] I ALWAYS CALL THEM THE DISHONEST MEDIA, BUT THEY TREATED ME NICELY. [LAUGHTER] BUT I WANTED TO SAY THERE IS NOBODY THAT FEEL STRONGER ABOUT THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND THE CIA THAN DONALD TRUMP. THERE IS NOBODY. [APPLAUSE] THE WALL BEHIND ME IS VERY SPECIAL. WE HAVE BEEN TOURING FOR QUITE A WHILE. AND 29? 28, WE HAVE TO REDUCE IT. WE APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE IN TERMS OF SHOWING US SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL. AND YOUR WHOLE GROUP, THESE ARE SPECIAL AMAZING PEOPLE. VERY FEW PEOPLE COULD DO THE JOB YOU DO. I AM SO BEHIND YOU. I KNOW SOMETIMES YOU HAVEN'T GOTTEN THE BACKEND YOU HAVE WANTED, -- THE BACKING YOU HAVE WANTED. YOU ARE GOING TO GET SO MUCH BACKING, YOU ARE GOING TO SAY, "PLEASE DON'T GIVE US SO MUCH BACKING. MR. PRESIDENT, WE DON'T NEED THAT MUCH BACKING." YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE IT. THE MILITARY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT GENERALLY SPEAKING, BUT ALL OF IT.

The rest of the truly bizarre transcript under the cut...Collapse )

source: https://www.c-span.org/video/?422418-1/president-trump-tells-cia-get-rid-isis

There are no words...
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