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Blog Description:

Broken Laughter is an occasional blog by a middle aged Midwesterner. It will include posts and articles about politics, current events, arts, and anything else that the Broken Laughter editor chooses to post.
Blog Added: December 18, 2016 02:45:26 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-States   United-States
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Total Visits: 752
Blog Rating: 2.67
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Sarah Huckabee Sanders Asked To Leave The Red Hen Lexington

The owner of a Virginia restaurant, The Red Hen, asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave the establishment on June 22, 2018. How might this incident connect with a recent Supreme Court decision? According to the United States Supreme Court, it’s perfectly legal for a bakery owner to choose not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The bakery in… Read more The post Sarah Huckabee Sanders Asked To Leave The Red Hen Lexington appeared first on Broken...

The owner of a Virginia restaurant, The Red Hen, asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave the establishment on June 22, 2018. How might this incident connect with a recent Supreme Court decision?

According to the United States Supreme Court, it’s perfectly legal for a bakery owner to choose not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. The bakery in the case was the Masterpiece Cakeshop.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, speaking for the White House, supported the SCOTUS decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

“We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision. The First Amendment prohibits government from discriminating against the basis of religious beliefs, and the Supreme Court rightly concluded that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission failed to show tolerance and respect for his religious beliefs. In this case and others the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously defend the free speech and religious freedom First Amendment rights,” Sanders said during a press briefing.

Given that, it was equally legal for the owner of The Red Hen restaurant, in Lexington, Virginia, to choose not to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, asked Sanders to leave not long after Sanders joined the rest of her companions. Sanders, her husband, and six others were dining in the rural restaurant. They had just started dinner and had only gotten as far as the cheese course.

According to the Washington Post, “It was important to Wilkinson, she said, that Sanders had already been served — that her staff had not simply refused her on sight. And it was important to her that Sanders was a public official, not just a customer with whom she disagreed, many of whom were included in her regular clientele.”

Sanders’ party offered to pay, but their food and beverages were on the House.

Unfortunately, on Saturday, June 23, Mike Huckabee, father of Sanders, tweeted, “Bigotry. On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington VA. Or you can ask for the “Hate Plate”. And appetizers are “small plates for small minds.”

Clearly, Huckabee doesn’t understand that a restaurant’s reserving the right to ask a customer to leave is perfectly acceptable.

 

The post Sarah Huckabee Sanders Asked To Leave The Red Hen Lexington appeared first on Broken Laughter.



Trump Administration Committing Extortion Through New Immigration Policy

Discussing its immigration policy at a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders explained yesterday that the Trump administration will continue to separate children and parents at the border unless it gets legislation that funds a border wall. Simply put, the Trump administration is holding people in concentration camps — something that the Obama Democratic administration did not do… Read more The post Trump Administration Committing Extortion Through New Immigration...

Discussing its immigration policy at a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders explained yesterday that the Trump administration will continue to separate children and parents at the border unless it gets legislation that funds a border wall.

Simply put, the Trump administration is holding people in concentration camps — something that the Obama Democratic administration did not do — and will do so unless it gets what it wants from Congress.

Put even more simply, the Trump administration is committing extortion.

“California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she had the backing of the Democratic caucus for a bill would that prohibit the separation of migrant children from their parents, with exceptions for findings of child abuse or trafficking.

“But the White House signaled it would oppose any narrow fix aimed solely at addressing the plight of children separated from their parents under the immigration crackdown. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump’s priorities, like funding a border wall and tightening immigration laws, must also be fulfilled as part of any legislation.”

Also on Monday, at the same press briefing, before Sanders took the podium, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tried to defend the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that results in separating children from their parents who enter the U.S. illegally.

Nielsen falsely blamed Democrats for the situation and insisted that Congress could easily pass a law that would close legal loopholes and end the separation of parents and children at the border.

“What has changed is that we no longer exempt entire classes of people who break the law,” Nielsen said at one point, even while making a contradictory claim that the administration has not changed its policy and is simply enforcing the current law.

However, as many fact-checkers have found, there is no such law requiring children to be separated from their parents if they illegally cross the border. And Republicans control Congress, not Democrats.

Obviously, the Trump administration will not consider alternatives to holding children in concentration camps. Why? Because those concentration camps are the linchpins of its extortion strategy to get border wall funding from Congress.

 

The post Trump Administration Committing Extortion Through New Immigration Policy appeared first on Broken Laughter.



Trump Administration Launches New Immigration Policy

The Trump administration recently enacted a new immigration policy. This policy may have several purposes — some obvious and others less visible. The Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and the White House put this new immigration policy into place. It is not a law. The new policy may be intended to deter people from other countries from entering the… Read more The post Trump Administration Launches New Immigration Policy appeared first on Broken...

The Trump administration recently enacted a new immigration policy. This policy may have several purposes — some obvious and others less visible.

The Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and the White House put this new immigration policy into place. It is not a law. The new policy may be intended to deter people from other countries from entering the United States illegally. It is also very likely intended to deter people being persecuted from seeking asylum in the United States.

On May 7, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a speech, announcing the new policy in Scottsdale, Arizona, “If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally. It’s not our fault that somebody does that.”

Please note that he said, “…that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law.” He did not say, “as required by law,” but “probably, as required by law.” He inserted that qualifier because he knows there is no law requiring separation of children and parents at the border.

The new policy has had some dramatic impact. According to Vox reporting, “Between October 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018, at least 2,700 children have been split from their parents. 1,995 of them were separated over the last six weeks of that window — April 18 to May 31 — indicating that at present, an average of 45 children are being taken from their parents each day.

Under U.S. law, entering the country illegally is a crime. This is true. The Trump administration determined that as part of its new “zero tolerance policy,” it will prosecute all illegal entry attempts. The Trump administration has also decided that implementing this new policy will include detention of adults and separation of adults from children accompanying them.

Unfortunately, Trump has tried to blame Democrats for this new policy enacted by his administration. This is yet another of Trump’s lies. According to reporting by NPRformer President Barack Obama domestic policy director Cecilia Muñoz said that separating children from their parents was not a policy the Obama administration followed.

“The Obama administration did not do that, no. We did not separate children from their parents,” Muñoz said. “This is a new decision, a policy decision put in place by the attorney general.” Muñoz said the policy “puts us in league with the most brutal regimes in the world’s history.

One may also wonder if there is another fully intentional purpose of this new policy. The policy’s purpose may be to distract media attention from the ongoing Trump Campaign-Russian conspiracy investigation. Perhaps the policy’s true purpose is to provide that distraction.

Legislators proposed a couple of pieces of immigration legislation this week. We will see if either legislation receives a floor vote. Don’t hold your breath on that — it’s very unlikely.

 

 

 

The post Trump Administration Launches New Immigration Policy appeared first on Broken Laughter.



Trump Wants Russia Readmitted To G7

On Friday, before he arrived late and left early at the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, US President Donald Trump rankled the other G7 leaders by suggesting that Russia be readmitted to the G7. He claimed, “Russia should be in this meeting. Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting? And I would recommend, and it’s… Read more The post Trump Wants Russia Readmitted To G7 appeared first on Broken...

On Friday, before he arrived late and left early at the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, US President Donald Trump rankled the other G7 leaders by suggesting that Russia be readmitted to the G7. He claimed, “Russia should be in this meeting. Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting? And I would recommend, and it’s up to them, but Russia should be in the meeting, it should be a part of it.” He added, “they should let Russia come back in.” Trump appeared to be carrying water for Putin.

In March of 2014, the other leaders of the G7 voted to throw Russia out of what was then the G8 after it invaded and annexed Crimea. At the time of Russia’s G8 ouster, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that being kicked out of the G8 would not present a significant hardship. “G8 is an informal organization that does not give out any membership cards and, by its definition, cannot remove anyone,” he said during a news conference. “All the economic and financial questions are decided in G20, and G8 has the purpose of existence as the forum of dialogue between the leading Western countries and Russia.” Lavrov clearly preferred Russia’s membership in the G20 to its presence in the G8.

Trump’s comments were somewhat odd, considering that the United States has been a leading member of the G7 and before that, G8. By saying, “they should let Russia back in” — the key word being “they” and not “we,” — Trump distanced the United States from the other nations of the G7. Those nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.K. However, Trump’s language reflects his position that the United States doesn’t have much need for its allies, and that it is content to be a lonely isolationist nation. Many American citizens would take offense at, or at least express a different opinion, than that point of view.

The G7 began as the G6 in 1975, when the world’s leading industrialized nations met after the oil crisis took hold. Canada joined in 1976, making it the G7. Russia joined in 1998 as a response to political and economic reforms enacted during the Boris Yeltsin years, making the group the G8.

Reaction

Several prominent people reacted to Trump’s suggestion.

Rep. Eliot Engel, Democratic ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, implied Trump’s suggestion fits into his pattern of being very close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The United States helped establish and lead the G7 in pursuit of a peaceful and prosperous world,” Engel, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “While the other G7 democracies continue to uphold those values, President Trump has isolated the United States, weakened American influence, and alienated our closest allies. So it’s hardly a surprise he’s now looking to the leader he seems to admire most: Vladimir Putin.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., issued a harsh written statement opposing Trump’s Russia comments. McCain said Putin has only continued “assaulting democratic institutions all over the world” since the invasion of Crimea.

“The President has inexplicably shown our adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for our closest allies,” McCain said in a written statement. “Those nations that share our values and have sacrificed alongside us for decades are being treated with contempt. This is the antithesis of so-called ‘principled realism’ and a sure path to diminishing America’s leadership in the world.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer joined in the criticism saying, “readmitting Russia to the G7 would reward Vladimir Putin for actions the U.S. and his allies have condemned, and would clearly be contrary to America’s interests.”

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake tweeted, “No, Russia should not be added to the G-7.”

 

 

 

The post Trump Wants Russia Readmitted To G7 appeared first on Broken Laughter.



EPA Rolls Back Examination Of Potentially Harmful Chemicals

Deeply troubling but not surprising New York Times story about the EPA, the Trump Administration, and potentially harmful chemicals we may be exposed to every day. “The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from… Read more The post EPA Rolls Back Examination Of Potentially Harmful Chemicals appeared first...

Deeply troubling but not surprising New York Times story about the EPA, the Trump Administration, and potentially harmful chemicals we may be exposed to every day.

“The Trump administration, after heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, is scaling back the way the federal government determines health and safety risks associated with the most dangerous chemicals on the market, documents from the Environmental Protection Agency show.

“Under a law passed by Congress during the final year of the Obama administration, the E.P.A. was required for the first time to evaluate hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals and determine if they should face new restrictions, or even be removed from the market. The chemicals include many in everyday use, such as dry-cleaning solvents, paint strippers and substances used in health and beauty products like shampoos and cosmetics.

“But as it moves forward reviewing the first batch of 10 chemicals, the E.P.A. has in most cases decided to exclude from its calculations any potential exposure caused by the substances’ presence in the air, the ground or water, according to more than 1,500 pages of documents released last week by the agency.

“Instead, the agency will focus on possible harm caused by direct contact with a chemical in the workplace or elsewhere. The approach means that the improper disposal of chemicals — leading to the contamination of drinking water, for instance — will often not be a factor in deciding whether to restrict or ban them.

“The approach is a big victory for the chemical industry, which has repeatedly pressed the E.P.A. to narrow the scope of its risk evaluations. Nancy B. Beck, the Trump administration’s appointee to help oversee the E.P.A.’s toxic chemical unit, previously worked as an executive at the American Chemistry Council, one of the industry’s main lobbying groups.

“A spokesman for the E.P.A. said that the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other laws already provided the agency with the authority to regulate chemicals found in the air, rivers and drinking water, so there was no need to revisit them under the 2016 law, which updated the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.”

 

The post EPA Rolls Back Examination Of Potentially Harmful Chemicals appeared first on Broken Laughter.



Dahlia Lithwick — Excellent Analysis Of The Age Of Trump

Recently, Dahlia Lithwick received the 2018 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis. This is the substance of her acceptance speech. It reflects her insightful perspective on the struggles of this particular time. Consequently, it is outstanding. Read more The post Dahlia Lithwick — Excellent Analysis Of The Age Of Trump appeared first on Broken...

Recently, Dahlia Lithwick received the 2018 Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis. This is the substance of her acceptance speech. It reflects her insightful perspective on the struggles of this particular time. Consequently, it is outstanding.

The post Dahlia Lithwick — Excellent Analysis Of The Age Of Trump appeared first on Broken Laughter.



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