President Donald Trump is downplaying the chances of reaching a bipartisan two-year agreement to escape billions of dollars in spending reductions.
The president tweeted Thursday evening: “House Democrats want to negotiate a $2 TRILLION spending increase but can’t even pass their own plan. We can’t afford it anyway, and it’s not happening!”
Politico noted House Democrats failed this week to gain support to pass a bill that would ward off $126 billion in spending cuts in the fiscal that starts on October 1 and cuts for the following fiscal year.
The Trump administration maintains it would lead to nearly $2 trillion in spending increases over 10 years, according to Politico.
Meanwhile, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned that Trump might initiate a budget sequester and allow about $125 billion in cuts for both defense and non-defense spending if Congress does not agree to his 2020 budget.
Source: NewsMax Politics
Considering her qualified apologies following repeated statements in evidence of such a viewpoint, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is likely anti-Semitic.
But I do not believe she is being judged fairly for her recent remarks on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As the video below shows, Omar told a gathering of the Council on American-Islamic Relations that CAIR was founded after the terrorist attacks “because [CAIR] recognized some people did something and all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
Ilhan Omar mentions 9/11 and does not consider it a terrorist attack on the USA by terrorists, instead she refers to it as “Some people did something”, then she goes on to justify the establishment of a terrorist organization (CAIR) on US soil. pic.twitter.com/ixP3BJfqxS
— Imam Mohamad Tawhidi (@Imamofpeace) April 9, 2019
Many observers are now criticizing Omar. They say her words diminish the 2,977 victims who died on 9/11, and the significance of that day in American history. But I suspect Omar’s intent was not malicious or derisory. Rather, I believe Omar was attempting to draw divergence between her Islamic faith and the al Qaeda fanatics who carried out the 9/11 attacks. When she says that “some people” did it, she meant “some people who are not us” or “not like us,” referring to herself and peaceful, mainstream adherents of Islam in the U.S.
Yes, Omar’s words were poorly chosen. And as my colleague Tiana Lowe aptly observes, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is utterly wrong to support Omar by challenging the patriotism of Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas. Crenshaw is a combat veteran of the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq. He has done a lot more to serve this nation than AOC, Omar, and just about every other member of Congress for that matter.
But I do not believe Omar’s words were designed to deride our fallen fellow citizens. The freshman congresswoman was drawing a positive application of “otherness” with regards to the ideological separation between American Muslims and al Qaeda. While it is true that al Qaeda are Islamic fanatics, it is also understandable why Omar would be frustrated at the damage that the 9/11 attacks did to American perceptions of her faith.
Many Muslims also died on 9/11, and that the vast majority of American Muslims are decent patriots. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that was her key point: al Qaeda are not us, and their evil should not be used to collectively punish Muslims. You don’t have to approve of CAIR or Omar to appreciate the legitimacy of this idea.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is declining to say whether he thinks his chamber would confirm Herman Cain to join the Federal Reserve board, casting doubt on the former Republican presidential candidate’s prospects should President Donald Trump advance him for the post.
Asked Thursday if a Cain nomination would face problems , McConnell, R-Ky., noted that successful nominees must pass background checks and have a likelihood of confirmation.
“And, as you know, some of my members have expressed concern about that nomination,” McConnell told reporters. “But as far as I know, it hasn’t been made yet.”
Trump’s interest in potentially nominating Cain along with another political ally, conservative commentator Stephen Moore , has sparked questions among lawmakers from both parties in Congress about the president’s influence on the central bank.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated the importance of the Fed’s independence during a talk Thursday evening with House Democrats meeting in Virginia for their annual issues retreat, according to a source in the room unauthorized to discuss the private session.
Powell told lawmakers that he saw his role as totally apolitical. He also said the Fed does not consider political pressure in its decision making, the source said. Another source in the room confirmed the remarks.
The chairman fielded questions from lawmakers during a question-and-answer session in Lansdowne, but declined to comment on the president’s potential picks.
Powell was Trump’s choice to lead the Fed, but the president has been critical of him for raising interest rates.
Earlier Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said elevating Cain and Moore to the Fed would risk politicizing the nation’s central bank and endangering the economy.
“These two appointments to the Fed are the worst, ill-suited appointment that the president could come up with,” she told reporters.
Three GOP senators — Utah’s Mitt Romney, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer — told The Associated Press they’d likely vote against Cain. With Republicans controlling the Senate 53-47, it would take opposition from just four GOP senators to sink the nomination, assuming all Democrats are also “no” votes.
As he did earlier this week, McConnell also sidestepped a question about whether he would back Cain or Moore, a Fed critic and former Trump campaign aide, for the board. Trump has said he will nominate both men.
“We’ll see who’s actually nominated,” said McConnell.
Cain has run into concerns by lawmakers from both parties that, as a Trump loyalist and deeply conservative political figure, he would threaten the Fed’s traditional political independence. Trump himself has taken a nontraditional approach to the Fed, repeatedly accusing it of mismanaging the economy by not pushing hard enough for low interest rates.
The White House offered no fresh comment Thursday about Trump’s intentions, referring reporters to his earlier comments about Cain.
Trump initially called Cain “a very terrific man” who would “do very well there.” But he said earlier this week that he didn’t know how Cain was faring in the vetting process and that Cain “will make that determination” whether to continue.
Cain, former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, ran for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He dropped out of the race after allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity, which he denied. Last year, in September, he helped found a pro-Trump super political action committee, America Fighting Back PAC, whose website says, “We must protect Donald Trump and his agenda from impeachment.”
Cain formerly served on the board of the Fed’s Kansas City regional bank. He has also called for a return to the gold standard to control inflation, which most economists consider unworkable.
Moore is a conservative commentator and another Trump political ally.
Source: NewsMax Politics
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a multimedia artist whose work now spans the second floor of the Hirshhorn Museum in D.C., wants to resist nationalism.
He says that’s the purpose of his three-part, interactive installation, “Pulse.” The exhibit replicates the participant’s heart rate in different ways, converting it to waves in a shallow pool and flickering lights, among other things. Lozano-Hemmer says it’s not just about hearing many hearts beat as one. It’s about repurposing technology, fingerprinting, for instance, for purposes of connection rather than control.
“At a time when we are seeing ethnic nationalisms on the rise, dividing people along simplistic categorizations, it is critical to misuse these mechanisms of control to create connective, anonymous landscapes of belonging,” he says.
The message of “Pulse” is powerful, even if its connection to nationalism is more an intention than a result. On the other hand, “Pulse” is overwhelmingly pro-life.
The exhibition is the Hirshhorn’s largest interactive technology display ever, and it wows its audience in three parts. In “Pulse Index,” participants put their fingers on a screen, which snaps a photo and projects the fingerprint onto the wall.
Each panel has more fingerprints than the last, and 10,000 of them stretch before you. A father puts his finger in the slot while his young son holds the rest of his hand, presumably imagining that his own finger is projected onto the screen.
In “Pulse Tank,” your fingerprint causes a device to hit a small pool of water at your heart rate. As the waves reverberate throughout the pool, a spotlight reflects the patterns on the ceiling. As more viewers participate, more of their heartbeats intersect.
In “Pulse Room,” more than 200 light bulbs flicker on the ceiling. You enter to the sound of a low boom. Hundreds of heartbeats are resonating together. A crowd forms, and at the end of a long line a girl holds a pair of metal rods, waiting for them to pick up her heartbeat.
It’s been several seconds, and she seems ready to leave. But the woman behind her, perhaps her mother, encourages her to stay on. “She’s human, I promise,” she quips to the people waiting in line. Moments later, hundreds of light bulbs flicker with the girl’s pulse.
On Lozano-Hemmer’s description at the face of the exhibit, he says the poetry of the heartbeat begins in the womb.
“During my wife’s first pregnancy in 2003, I learned that we could listen to the pulse of the fetus,” he says. “That the heartbeat is widely used as a poetic representation of life and love is due in part to this facility for translation and the universal recognition of the rhythmic sound we first hear in the womb, our mother’s heart, which is then accompanied and superseded by our own.”
Three years later, his wife was pregnant again, this time with twins. With two ultrasound machines, the expectant parents listened to the boy and girl’s heartbeats simultaneously. The cadence reminded Lozano-Hemmer of the work of modern composers. That same year, he created “Pulse Room.”
Lozano-Hemmer may have had another intention for the exhibit, and he may not even be pro-life. But art speaks for itself. As hundreds of fingerprints flash on a wall behind you, and hundreds of heartbeats rumble in the room before you, it’s hard not to remember that we’re all connected by a beating heart, and in the same moment, to remember when that heartbeat begins.
On Monday, Facebook announced new features to deal with a growing demographic on the platform: the dead.
The company had already introduced options for users to memorialize profiles and had enabled trusted family and friends to go in and curate those pages.
But Facebook also had plenty of problems in dealing with profiles of the deceased. Some of those permanently inactive users kept showing up in disturbing ways: reminders about birthdays, suggestions for invitations, and videos that autoplayed memories even as families grieved.
Now the company has said it will use artificial intelligence to prevent the internet equivalent of ghost-sightings. Facebook will invest more in tracking down users who won’t be logging on again.
But even with those changes, the internet makes the dead remain more visible than in ages past. An obituary that would have run once in the local paper is now permanently available. Pictures that might have ended up in a dusty shoe box can be pulled up within seconds. Notes from friends, videos, and other lively remnants of life live on in digital form. Even profiles, clearly marked as memorials, seem to invite us to interact with them in the same ways we would if that person were still reading our messages and responding to comments.
Yet for all the permanence of the internet, wandering among memorialized profiles feels less intimate than visiting a grave or sharing memories among family members. Even in death, the internet remains a shadow of real life — a slim, digital profile that remains wholly inadequate to capture a person’s life.