Charles Koch blasts Trump’s steel and aluminum tariff plan

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Billionaire conservative megadonor Charles Koch slammed President Donald Trump’s announced plans to impose fresh tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in a Washington Post op-ed, arguing that such policies would do far more harm than good for the U.S., both economically and culturally.

Image: Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP Photo

“Just as the United States benefits from the ideas and skills that opportunity-seeking immigrants bring with them, free trade has been essential to our society’s prosperity and to people improving their lives,” Koch wrote in his op-ed, published online Wednesday night. “Countries with the freest trade have tended to not only be the wealthiest but also the most tolerant. Conversely, the restriction of trade — whether through tariffs, quotas or other means — has hurt the economy and pitted people against each other.

“Without a doubt, those who can least afford it will be harmed the most. Having just helped consumers keep more of their money by passing tax reform, it makes little sense to take it away via higher costs,” Koch wrote.

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CDC Denies Banning Words; Rights Group Projects Disputed Terms Onto Trump D.C. Hotel

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The Human Rights Campaign, working with artist Robin Bell, projected words like “fetus” and “transgender” onto the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night, to protest the words being included on a “forbidden” list circulating at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Washington Post report says staff were instructed not to use the words in budgetary documents.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the CDC, has denied the report, calling it a “complete mischaracterization” of conversations about the annual budget. The CDC says that the words are not banned and that the organization remains “committed to our public health mission as a science-and evidence-based institution.”

According to the Post, high-level officials at the CDC were told not to use seven words — diversity, entitlement, evidence-based, fetus, science-based, transgender and vulnerable — while writing documents connected to next year’s budget.

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GOP ‘Propaganda’ Not Working: Only 13% Believe Tax Plan Will Help Middle Class

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For months Republicans and President Donald Trump have worked to convince Americans that massive tax cuts for the top one percent and the largest corporations would somehow primarily benefit the working class, but a new Washington Post/ABC News poll published Friday finds that the public isn’t buying the GOP’s “propaganda.”

Image: ABC News/Washington Post

As NPR‘s Danielle Kurtzleben noted on Thursday, previous polling leading up to the GOP’s tax bill rollout revealed similar skepticism.

“GOP selling points aren’t sinking in,” Kurtzleben wrote. “One of Republicans’ biggest talking points is that a corporate tax cut will benefit workers (though even right-wing economists have cast doubt on White House estimates on this point). But nearly 60 percent of people believe corporations won’t ‘use that money to create jobs.'”

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Report: DOJ, FBI Admit Years of Flawed Testimony From Forensic Unit

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The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000, The Washington Post reported.

Image: Getty

Twenty-six of the 28 examiners overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, the Post reported Saturday, citing information from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project.

 The organizations are assisting the government with the post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence and provided the statistics under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions, the Post reported.
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The Big Lie The Media Tells About Indiana’s New ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

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On Friday, the Washington Post published an article titled “19 states that have ‘religious freedom’ laws like Indiana’s that no one is boycotting.” The article snarks about organizations like the NCAA that have protested Indiana’s law, noting “the NCAA didn’t say it was concerned over how athletes and employees would be affected by Kentucky’s RFRA when games were played there last week.” The piece concludes “Indiana might be treated as if it’s the only state with a bill like this, but it’s not.” The piece has been shared over 75,000 times on Facebook.


Image: CREDIT: ABC SCREENSHOT via Think Progess

The Washington Post article largely mirrors the argument advanced by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Pence claimed “Then state-Sen. Barack Obama voted for [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act]. The very same language.”

The same argument is parroted on Fox News and elsewhere.

 It’s not true.


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Bill O’Reilly Isn’t Comparing Himself To Jesus — Oh Wait, Yes He Is

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The “Killing Jesus” author spoke at length about his Catholic faith with the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn in an interview published Friday, in which he criticized those in the “secular-progressive movement,” like liberal comedian Bill Maher, for ridiculing religion because “they don’t want to be judged.” Quinn noted that O’Reilly dedicated his book to “those who love their neighbors as themselves” and said she thought the “O’Reilly haters” would be surprised to see that dedication. “They’ll never read it, though,” he responded. “The O’Reilly haters are pretty much the people that have no idea what I do. And I like that — I mean, I don’t have any problem with people disliking me, and I’ll tell you why. I’m not comparing myself, but who was the most hated person in Judea 2,000 years ago?”

“Many, many loved him, but just as many despised him,” he added. “They’re always going to do that. If you speak your mind, you’re going to have some who like you and some who hate you.”

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WaPo Fact Checker Downgrades Obamacare ‘Horror Story’ to 3 Pinocchios

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The case of Julie Boonstra, a leukemia patient who was featured in an Americans for Prosperity ad against Representative Gary Peters (D-MI) claiming she had lost her doctor and seen her premiums rise as a result of the Affordable Care Act, became controversial last month after politicians and reporters disputed the details of the ad, finding that Obamacare would actually improve her health coverage at lower cost.

Image: Politico

Glenn Kessler, Washington Post’s fact checker, originally assigned the story ‘two Pinocchios’ (on a scale of four) pending further information about Boonstra’s plan (which he said AFP declined to give him). On Tuesday morning, he downgraded AFP’s ad to ’3 Pinocchios,’ arguing that much of Boonstra’s story had proven to be false, and that the group’s new ad, which merely says that Boonstra’s plan “isn’t right for me,” is a much fuzzier and “more subjective” claim.

Kessler noted that Boonstra’s new plan allowed her to retain her old doctor, and lowered her premiums by $1,200/year. It also covered all of her prescription medications and all of her out of pocket medical expenses on a bone marrow transplant, contrary to her worries on both.

“One cannot claim that a plan is ‘unaffordable’ when over the course of the year it will provide you with substantial savings,” Kessler wrote. “Thus we are changing the rating on this ad from Two Pinocchios to Three Pinocchios.”

From The Washington Post via Mediate

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