Limited Government – Thunder From Under http://thunderfromunder.com/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 07:46:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://thunderfromunder.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/thunder-from-under-icon.png Limited Government – Thunder From Under http://thunderfromunder.com/ 32 32 Mississippi Election: 4 Congressional Seats on Primary Ballots https://thunderfromunder.com/mississippi-election-4-congressional-seats-on-primary-ballots/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 06:34:51 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/mississippi-election-4-congressional-seats-on-primary-ballots/

U.S. Representative Michael Guest, R-Miss., pictured during a press conference at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson, May 4, 2022, faces off against two opponents in the party's 2022 third congressional district primary on June 7 .  (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

U.S. Representative Michael Guest, R-Miss., pictured during a press conference at the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson, May 4, 2022, faces off against two opponents in the party’s 2022 third congressional district primary on June 7 . (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

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Mississippi holds party primaries for its four U.S. House seats on Tuesday, with three Republicans and one Democrat seeking re-election. Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If ballots are needed, they will be on June 28.

1ST DISTRICT

Republican Representative Trent Kelly won a special election in 2015 in northern Mississippi’s 1st congressional district after serving as district attorney for several northern Mississippi counties. He is backed by former President Donald Trump.

Kelly is being challenged in the Republican primary by Mark D. Strauss, who has a picket fence near his home painted with slogans such as “Trump Won” and “COVID testing is poison.”

The 1st District Democratic primary is between two candidates for the first time. Hunter Avery says he supports Medicare for All and Dianne Black says she wants to expand access to health care and fight climate change.

2ND DISTRICT

Mississippi’s only Democrat in Washington, U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson, is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and co-chair of a committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Thompson has been in Congress since winning the 1993 special election. The 2nd District now encompasses most of western Mississippi and much of the Jackson metropolitan area.

Thompson faces a Democratic lead opponent, Jerry Kerner, who calls Thompson “a gullible follower of the House’s anti-American leadership.”

The 2nd District Republican primary candidates are Michael Carson, a diesel mechanic who cites former President Ronald Reagan as a role model; Ronald Eller, a retired army captain who campaigns on free enterprise and limited government; Brian Flowers, a military veteran who lost to Thompson in 2020 and now says Thompson is “trying to bully American patriots” into investigating January 6, 2021 activities; and Stanford Johnson, a truck driver who advocates term limits in Congress.

3RD DISTRICT

U.S. Representative Michael Guest was first elected in 2018 from central Mississippi’s 3rd congressional district, after serving as district attorney in Rankin and Madison counties. He campaigned in support of border security and gun rights.

Guest is challenged by Michael Cassidy, a former Navy pilot who blames Guest for being in the minority of Republicans who voted to create a committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol ; and Thomas B. Griffin, a business owner who says he wants to put Christian values ​​in schools.

No Democratic primary is held because Shuwaski A. Young was unopposed for the nomination. It will be on the general election ballot.

4TH DISTRICT

Republican U.S. Representative Steven Palazzo is a military veteran who ousted a longtime Democratic congressman in 2010 in southern Mississippi’s 4th district. Now he faces his biggest field of challengers, along with six other GOP primary candidates.

A 2021 report from the Congressional Ethics Office found “substantial reason to believe” that Palazzo abused his office by spending campaign funds, doing favors for his brother and enlisting staff for errands. political and personal. Palazzo declined to fully participate in the investigation, but her spokeswoman at the time, Colleen Kennedy, said it was based on “false allegations” made by an opponent in a previous primary.

Palazzo’s opponents for the Republican nomination are Carl Boyanton, a former farm products company owner who lost to Palazzo in the 2020 GOP primary and filed the complaint that sparked the ethics investigation into the member of the Congress; Raymond N. Brooks, who served as a Gulfport police officer and says he wants to strengthen border security; Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell, who also campaigns on border security; Kidron Peterson, a machinist who says he wants to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States; Clay Wagner, a retired banker who says he wants to limit taxation and regulation; and State Senator Brice Wiggins, who campaigns on border security and has worked to expand access to early childhood education programs.

Two candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination. Johnny L. DuPree is a former mayor of Hattiesburg and was the Democratic candidate for governor in 2011. David Sellers is a cabinet minister who says he wants to raise the minimum wage and end mass incarceration.

A Libertarian candidate, Alden Patrick Young, will be on the ballot for the 4th District in November.

]]> Trump loses to DeSantis in 2024 Straw poll at top conservative — again https://thunderfromunder.com/trump-loses-to-desantis-in-2024-straw-poll-at-top-conservative-again/ Sun, 05 Jun 2022 11:58:18 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/trump-loses-to-desantis-in-2024-straw-poll-at-top-conservative-again/

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was chosen for a second year over former President Donald Trump to be the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nominee at an annual Conservative conference.

The Western Conservative Summit has been held in Colorado since 2010. The event is hosted by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, located in Lakewood, just west of Denver. Summit organizers are conducting a poll at the event to gauge attendees’ preferences on who should be the next presidential candidate.

This year, DeSantis was the frontrunner, with support from 71.01% of respondents. Trump came in just behind in second place with 67.68% support. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas was in third place (28.73%) and Ben Carson, who served as Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, came in fourth (24.15%).

Since voters were allowed to make more than one choice, through the approval voting method, the poll percentages added up to more than 100%. Returning officer Frank Attwood told Colorado Politics last year that the decision to use the approval voting method “minimizes spoilers and sabotage and gives underage candidates viability and visibility.”

Straw poll results from the 2022 summit were similar to 2021, although support for Trump and DeSantis fell slightly. Last year, DeSantis narrowly won the straw poll at the Conservative conference, beating Trump for the top spot. The Florida governor led the poll with 74% of voters saying they approved of him as a presidential candidate, just ahead of the former president’s 71% support.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis beat former President Donald Trump in a 2024 presidential poll at the Conservative West Summit this weekend. Top left, Trump speaks at a May 28 rally in Casper, Wyoming. Top right, DeSantis speaks during a press conference at the University of Miami on May 17 in Miami, Florida.
Strange Chet/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Centennial Institute states on its website that it aims to “impact our culture in favor of traditional family values, sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, biblical view of nature human rights, limited government, personal liberty, free markets, natural law, the intent of the Constitution, and Western civilization.” Additionally, the institute says its goal is “to be truth seekers and debunk ‘spent ideas’ and those who traffic in them.”

A mock Wisconsin poll of GOP activists in May also put DeSantis ahead of Trump. Of those 325 Republicans in the Midwestern state, the Florida governor garnered 38% support, compared to just 32% who backed Trump. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, came third, with 7%.

Recent national Republican polls have generally shown Trump to be the clear frontrunner for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination if he chooses to run. DeSantis is often in second place.

A February poll by Rasmussen Reports found nearly half (47%) of likely GOP voters would support Trump for the party’s nomination in the upcoming presidential election. DeSantis came in second, although he trailed Trump with just 20%. Notably, prominent Trump critic, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, came in third with 7%.

However, a May survey by the Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll found significantly lower enthusiasm for Trump. In that poll, just 30% of those polled said they would support Trump in a hypothetical GOP primary race in 2024. Meanwhile, DeSantis still trailed Trump by double digits at 8%. Former Vice President Mike Pence came in third with 7%.

Update 6/5/22, 8:48 AM ET: This article has been updated with information on a recent Wisconsin straw poll of Republicans.

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California offshore fracking suspended for further environmental study https://thunderfromunder.com/california-offshore-fracking-suspended-for-further-environmental-study/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 18:56:36 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/california-offshore-fracking-suspended-for-further-environmental-study/

Federal agencies cannot approve permits for offshore well stimulation treatments near California until they complete a more thorough environmental review, the Ninth Circuit said Friday in a setback for Exxon Mobile Corp. and DCOR LLC.

According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, offshore well stimulation treatments can harm endangered or threatened species and affect “unique geographic areas” of the Pacific outer continental shelf. The effects of the treatments are also “highly uncertain and involve unknown risks”, the court said.

An environmental impact statement was warranted under the National Environmental Policy Act, according to the ruling, not a limited environmental assessment the agencies completed that did not fully investigate the effects of fracking on the environment. .

The decision was a victory for environmental groups who have learned through Freedom of Information Act requests that US Department of the Interior agencies approved permits for offshore fracking without preparing EIS. A judge previously ruled partly in favor of the government, saying the agencies’ review had been approved under NEPA.

The government assumed in its environmental assessment that well stimulation treatments would be so infrequent that the environmental damage would be “insignificant”. But evidence shows the agencies don’t know the actual number of treatments that have taken place in the past because data collection was incomplete, the appeals court said.

This “overreliance on the asserted low use of well stimulation treatments has skewed agencies’ consideration of the significance and severity of potential impacts,” the court said.

The federal government also found that compliance with a permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act would render the effects of the treatment insignificant.

But the EPA-issued permit that the agencies cited here did not specifically address the impact of the treatments at issue, nor was it intended to be used for them, according to the ruling.

The agencies did not consider a full range of alternatives, including California’s suggestions to ban treatments in certain areas or at certain times of the year, the court said. It also did not consider limiting the number of treatments each year, according to the decision.

Exxon Mobile and DCOR challenged the lower court’s decision to block the agencies from approving permits until they have consulted with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and completed a consistency review with California. Instead of siding with the companies, the appeals court found the injunction to be too narrow.

Judge Ronald M. Gould wrote the opinion. He was joined by Justices J. Clifford Wallace and Carlos T. Bea.

Kristen Monsell, legal director of the oceans program at the Center for Biological Diversity, said Friday the court’s decision was an “incredible victory for California’s coast and marine life.”

“This decision will prevent more toxic chemicals from poisoning fish, sea otters and other marine life,” Monsell said. “And that brings us closer to ending offshore drilling once and for all.”

Environmental Defense Center represented itself and the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. The Center for Biological Diversity represented itself and the Wishtoyo Foundation. The California attorney general’s office represented the state, which also joined as a plaintiff.

The Department of Justice represented the federal government.

The case is Envtl. Def. CT. vs. Bureau of Ocean Energy Mgmt., 9th Cir., No. 19-55526, 6/3/22.

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Canadian Pacific Announces Multi-Year Agreement with CMA CGM https://thunderfromunder.com/canadian-pacific-announces-multi-year-agreement-with-cma-cgm/ Tue, 31 May 2022 15:30:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/canadian-pacific-announces-multi-year-agreement-with-cma-cgm/

CALGARY, Alta., May 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – Canadian Pacific (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) today announced a new multi-year agreement with the CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics. CP will become CMA CGM’s primary rail supplier by Canadaserving the ports of Vancouver, Montreal and Saint John, NB

“CP is proud to provide CMA CGM with a safe and reliable service that includes the shortest route miles to key markets,” said John Brooks, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of CP. “CP’s commitment to best-in-class service is enabling the supply chain recovery that will drive future growth opportunities for the North American economy.

CP’s strategic alignment with CMA CGM creates natural synergies supporting sustainability and innovation, which will add density to core lanes and enhance operational efficiency.

CP’s world-class port access to Vancouver and port of Montrealcombined with CP’s strategic connection to Port Saint John via New Brunswick Southern Railway, will enable CP to move the majority of CMA CGM’s freight from Canadian ports to major inland markets in Canada and the US Midwest.

This agreement also recognizes future growth opportunities related to CP’s proposed combination with Kansas City Southern, which remains subject to Surface Transportation Board approval, expanding market reach and creating new savings.

Note on forward-looking information

This press release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, “forward-looking information”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions, and statements regarding possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. . Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or titles such as “financial expectations”, “key assumptions”, “will”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “plan”, “should ‘, ‘commit’ or similar words suggesting future results.

This press release contains forward-looking information regarding, but not limited to, the delivery of CMA CGM goods by CP, future business growth with CMA CGM and related matters associated with the multi-year agreement between CP and CMA-CGM.

The forward-looking information contained in this press release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions, given CP’s experience and its perception of historical trends, and includes, but is not limited to, expectations , estimates, projections and assumptions regarding: energy efficiency of CP’s railways and operations; the impacts of existing and planned capital investments; North American and global economic growth; growth in demand for raw materials; agricultural production; commodity prices and interest rates; the performance of our assets and equipment; applicable laws, regulations and government policies; the availability and cost of labor on schedule and with the required capacities, as well as the availability and cost of services and infrastructure; the fulfillment by third parties of their obligations to CP; the anticipated impacts of the new strain of coronavirus (and the disease known as COVID-19) and its variants; and capital investments by third parties. Although CP believes that the expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions reflected in the forward-looking information presented herein are reasonable as of the date hereof, there can be no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Current economic and other conditions render assumptions, while reasonable when made, subject to greater uncertainty.

Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information, as actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. By its nature, CP’s forward-looking information involves inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including, but not limited to, the following factors: changes in strategies commercial; general economic, credit and business conditions in North America and around the world; risks associated with agricultural production, such as weather conditions and insect populations; the availability and price of energy products; the effects of competition and pricing pressures, including competition from other rail carriers; industry capacity; changes in market demand; changes in commodity prices; uncertainty surrounding the timing and volumes of products shipped; inflation; geopolitical stability; changes in laws, regulations and governmental policies, including rate regulation; changes in taxes and tax rates; potential increases in maintenance and operating costs; changes in fuel prices; interruption of fuel supply; uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation; labor disputes; changes in labor costs and labor difficulties; risks and liabilities arising from derailments; transport of dangerous goods; schedule for completion of capital and maintenance projects; currency and interest rate fluctuations; exchange rate; the effects of changes in market conditions and discount rates on the financial condition of pension plans and investments; trade restrictions or other changes in international trade agreements; the effects of current and future multinational trade agreements on the level of trade between Canada and the United States; climate change and market and regulatory responses to climate change; planned commissioning dates; the success of hedging activities; operational performance and reliability; regulatory and legislative decisions and actions; public opinion; various events that could disrupt operations, including severe weather events, such as droughts, floods, avalanches and earthquakes, and cybersecurity attacks, as well as security threats and government response to those these, and technological changes; acts of terrorism, war or other acts of violence or crime or risk of such activities; the limits of insurance cover; material adverse changes in economic and industry conditions, including the availability of short- and long-term financing; the pandemic created by the outbreak of COVID-19 and its variants and the resulting effects on economic conditions, the demand environment for logistics needs and energy prices, restrictions imposed by the authorities of public health or governments, fiscal and monetary policy responses of governments and financial institutions, and disruptions to global supply chains. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. These and other factors are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CP with the securities regulators of Canada and United States. See “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Forward-Looking Statements” in CP’s annual and interim reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q.

The forward-looking information contained in this press release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CP undertakes no obligation to publicly update or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Canadian Pacific

Canadian Pacific is a transcontinental railway in Canada and United States with direct connections to major ports on the west and east coasts. CP offers its North American customers competitive rail service with access to key markets around the world. CP grows with its customers, offering a range of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit cpr.ca to see CP rail benefits. CP-IR

SOURCE Canadian Pacific

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Will the world achieve the UN development goals by 2030 through digital public technology? https://thunderfromunder.com/will-the-world-achieve-the-un-development-goals-by-2030-through-digital-public-technology/ Fri, 27 May 2022 15:39:36 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/will-the-world-achieve-the-un-development-goals-by-2030-through-digital-public-technology/

No, but it could put him in a much better position than not, according to a Brookings Institute work report.

‘How can digital public technologies accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals?’ is a highly accessible overview of the impact – current and potential – of digital technologies to achieve greater progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Or in some cases, such as undernourishment, reducing movement in the opposite direction.

“None of the relevant SDG indicators are fully on track for success by 2030, although some – such as child mortality, access to electricity, access to sanitation and access to drinking water – are on track to deliver gains for more than half of the people in need”, is perhaps not a particularly encouraging position, but digital technologies around identity, payments and data exchange can have a gateway effect for many purposes.

The paper discusses “digital public technology” (DPT) which they define as “digital assets that create a level playing field for widespread access or use, by virtue of being owned by the state, they are either state regulated or open source”. There is an ongoing discourse on digital public goods and digital public infrastructure (see the recent Rockefeller Foundation report on DPI in Togo and elsewhere), although Brookings is more concerned with digital and the public, it coined its own term.

It covers the OECD typology of three digital ecosystem layers described as “physical infrastructure, platform infrastructure and application-level products. The physical and platform layers of digital infrastructure provide the rules, standards, and security assurances so local market innovators and governments can develop new ideas faster to respond to ever-changing circumstances.

The report begins with “there is no single relationship between access to digital technologies and SDG outcomes. Country and issue-specific assessments are key,” but identifies five areas where digital technologies are having an impact, and all five are relevant to digital identity:

  • Personal identification and registration infrastructure enables citizens and organizations to have equal access to basic rights and services;
  • The payment infrastructure enables efficient transfer of resources with low transaction costs;
  • The knowledge infrastructure connects educational resources and datasets in an open or authoritative manner;
  • The data exchange infrastructure allows the interoperability of independent databases; and
  • Mapping infrastructure intersects with data exchange platforms to enable geospatial diagnostics and service delivery opportunities.

The first of these areas is fully met by SDG 16.9 – legal identity for all, including birth registration. Digital technologies that contribute to this goal and those that enable registration for government services with this identity then enable progress towards a range of other SDGs, the report notes: “a land title (SDG 1.4), a bank account ( SDG 8.10), a driver’s license or government-sponsored social protection (SDG 1.3) It can also guarantee access to publicly available basic services, such as access to public schools (SDG 4.1) and clinics (SDG 3.8) Small businesses can enjoy similar benefits when registration systems are available.

MOSIP and X-Road in Estonia are cited as good examples of DPT, as are aspects of Aadhaar.

Issues and Warranties for DPTs

DPT design and deployment can raise challenges such as a lack of financial sustainability, limited government capacity to oversee the system, or supply issues. The report does not specifically mention corruption.

More serious are the risks that these technologies can be used to exclude: “PDTs can risk deepening ‘digital and data deficits’ that exacerbate existing inequalities between communities that digitize and those that do not. Connectivity-limited communities with low digital literacy risk becoming a new “digital underclass” that lags behind connected communities. Additionally, digital technology can also deepen existing discrimination through data and tools that enable more accurate consumer segmentation. »

These platforms can also lead to a concentration of power in government as they attempt to avoid a monopoly in the commercial sector.

The report calls on stakeholders such as civil society to help promote TPDs. On governments, it asks them to create participatory design and implementation, establish citizen-centric data governance regimes, improve the public sector, and ensure accountability and redress.

The authors also describe that there are relatively few development funds specifically dedicated to DPTs, but the amount is growing as philanthropies recognize the potential, such as the Wellcome Trust, Mastercard Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

As life becomes increasingly digital, “international actors and funders would be well served to focus more on DPTs as key tools to advance policy strategies and outcomes.” Progress could accelerate if more governments and organizations pull out their (digital) wallets.

The report concludes: “A holistic approach to expanding digital access while building strong institutions, data governance regimes and participatory processes could help accelerate progress on many SDG targets as we approach the deadline of 2030.

Article topics

biometrics | birth certificates | digital identity | government services | identification for development (ID4D) | identity management | SDG 16.9 | The United Nations

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Senator Murphy attempts to start talks on limited gun action after Texas shooting | WUWM 89.7 FM https://thunderfromunder.com/senator-murphy-attempts-to-start-talks-on-limited-gun-action-after-texas-shooting-wuwm-89-7-fm/ Wed, 25 May 2022 22:03:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/senator-murphy-attempts-to-start-talks-on-limited-gun-action-after-texas-shooting-wuwm-89-7-fm/

Congress has spent decades trying, and failing, to agree on major gun reforms, but some lawmakers say now is a time to try again.

The chances of success are extremely slim, despite the horrific murder Tuesday of at least 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. There is little agreement between Democrats and Republicans on fundamental changes to background check laws, let alone broader measures to limit access to guns in the country.

Still, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told NPR’s All Things Considered that he was working with both sides to try to find common ground.

“Maybe I’m a fool to be the eternal optimist, but I’m going to stick with it for the next few days, next week,” Murphy said.

The senses. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., are among the Republicans who say they are talking to Murphy about taking action. Murphy says it’s a start, but he’s far from convinced he can find enough Republicans to join Democrats in securing the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

“As we speak, we’re trying to find a process by which over the next week Republicans and Democrats — a group of us — can sit down and try to find a compromise,” Murphy said. at NPR. “The odds are, well, less than 50-50 that we’ll find that compromise because there’s probably four or five Republicans who would quite easily support some common sense measures. It’s harder to find the next five.”

Murphy said one option could be a federal law allowing police or family members to request the temporary removal of firearms from a gun owner who may pose a threat. Some states have enacted different versions of these so-called “red flag” laws, but there is no nationwide option.

Limited changes to background check laws are another possible target for bipartisan talks.

“Maybe a small expansion of a background check system that would generate more sales, but not all sales, would check people’s criminal and mental health backgrounds,” Murphy said. “You know, those are the places where we might be able to get some compromise and I understand that’s not enough.”

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Ct., speaks during a morning television interview, Wednesday, May 25, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Murphy spoke in the Senate on Tuesday and demanded that lawmakers do what they failed to do after the fatal shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary 10 years ago.

A story of failure, despite repeated tragedies

Murphy has worked for a decade, since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, to advance gun control measures in Congress. He was elected to the Senate a month before 26 people, including 20 children under the age of seven, were shot and killed at the school in the district he had represented in the House.

Murphy said he had “no idea what to say to these parents.”

“Unfortunately, there is a community of victims from Sandy Hook to Parkland to Charleston who can help you understand how they are dealing with this grief,” Murphy said. “But I also want them to know that there are people here in Washington who are not going to give up, who are going to try to honor the memory of these children through action.”

Erica Lafferty, whose mother Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, points out some of the names of friends and family on the playground in honor of her mother in Watertown, Connecticut, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

Erica Lafferty, whose mother Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting, points out some of the names of friends and family on the playground in honor of her mother in Watertown, Connecticut, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

Sandy Hook Promise, a group founded and led by families of victims of that shooting, estimates that about 12 children die every day from gun violence in the United States. Nearly 950 school shootings have occurred since the Sandy Hook shooting.

Gun laws in the country have remained virtually unchanged since that time.

Frustrated senators struggle to find common ground on guns

Many senators, Democrats in particular, were furious that gun control still had virtually no chance of success.

Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Arizona, fumed to reporters on Capitol Hill on Wednesday at the prospect of further congressional inaction.

“How many parents must have found out yesterday that their child was murdered in their classroom and to think that the feds wouldn’t do anything about it is just crazy,” Kelly said. “It’s ****** crazy not to do anything about it.”

Kelly has a deeply personal connection to gun violence and gun control advocacy. His wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot in the head during a “Congress on Your Corner” event in her home state of Arizona.

Giffords survived but is permanently weakened. Six other people died in the shooting. Giffords and Kelly started the gun advocacy group Americans for Responsible Solutions in 2013, seven years before Kelly ran for the Senate.

Democrats often blame Republicans, saying they need GOP votes to overcome a filibuster. The only other option for legislative action is for the 50 senators who vote with Democrats to unite to end or change the filibuster.

Senator Mark Kelly, D-Arizona, questions Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan as he testifies before a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to consider the budget proposal of the President for the 2023 fiscal year for the EPA on Capitol Hill on April 6, 2022.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

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Senator Mark Kelly, D-Arizona, questions Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan as he testifies before a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to consider the budget proposal of the President for the 2023 fiscal year for the EPA on Capitol Hill on April 6, 2022.

But gun control is another issue — like abortion rights, climate change, police reform and voting reform — where Democrats lack unanimity.

Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., remains opposed to voting to end the filibuster, for whatever reason. He told reporters on Wednesday that he wanted to pass consensual firearms measures. Manchin said eliminating the filibuster for controversial legislation incentivizes Republicans to use that same lower vote requirement to overturn the policy if and when they take control of the Senate in the future.

“Everyone wants to do ‘filibuster, filibuster, filibuster, get rid of it, that’s the easy way out,'” Manchin said. “What makes you say they won’t back down immediately if they don’t like what we’re doing?”

Manchin isn’t the only Democrat who has been reluctant to support more aggressive changes to gun laws, such as banning assault weapons or limiting the capacity of high-volume cartridges.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said lawmakers need to start with small changes, like background checks, because those are the bills that have a chance of passing.

“We’re talking about background checks,” Tester told a group of reporters. “We’re talking about something more than that, I think we’re just being dumb, because it won’t pass if you can’t get a background check.”

When asked why it would be foolish to try more aggressive legislation, Tester became visibly frustrated.

“Children were killed yesterday, for God’s sake,” Tester shouted. “Let’s talk about what can be done. Let’s talk about what can be done.”

People walk with flowers to honor the victims of Tuesday's shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

People walk with flowers to honor the victims of Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

A distant hope of consensus

Some Republicans agree with Murphy that red flag laws and background checks are the most likely targets for compromise.

But not all Republicans agree on which elements of these bills should be dealt with at the federal level. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told reporters that states should consider limits like red flag laws and leave other matters to Congress.

“The federal government should take responsibility for improving our ability to do background checks,” Romney said. “Gun laws and the processes to enforce them should be managed at the state level.”

For Collins, red flag laws and other interventions to get guns out of the hands of people with mental illness would help reduce the number of shootings.

“That’s the kind of law that could have made a difference in this case,” Collins said. “I really think we should focus on what some states have done regarding red flag laws or yellow flag laws.”

Others, like Sen. Mike Rounds, RS.D., were unable to identify which federal interventions they thought would help.

“Congress has tried for years to do different things, but in each particular case, if somebody wants to break a law, they’re going to break a law,” Rounds said. “So if you make a law and they break the law, you’re saying Congress did nothing.”

This lack of agreement has led to a desperation familiar to some. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., was blunt.

“It’s a bad day for anything even remotely resembling hope or optimism around the legislative process or progress,” he told reporters on Capitol Hill. “Usually I want to be more optimistic. But I don’t think that will change.”

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Republican US House candidates debate mental health, schools and government excesses https://thunderfromunder.com/republican-us-house-candidates-debate-mental-health-schools-and-government-excesses/ Tue, 24 May 2022 00:24:00 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/republican-us-house-candidates-debate-mental-health-schools-and-government-excesses/

Four of the five Republican primary candidates for the U.S. House seat from western Montana met in a debate Friday hosted by the Montana Farmers Union. The candidates discussed their plans to help rural Montanese.

Candidates generally agreed they wanted to limit big government, but differed on how to address specific issues such as attracting teachers to rural areas and access to mental health care.

The debate held at Whitefish brought together Al Olszewski, Mary Todd, Matt Jette and Mitch Heuer. Candidate Ryan Zinke, who vastly outclassed his opponents, did not participate. He was also absent at a previous GOP debate in Kalispell.

Olzewski, an orthopedic surgeon, called out Zinke for not participating in the forum. Olzewski said if elected, he would draw on his experience as a former state senator.

“I’m the only candidate who has actually worked and served you and has an extensive voting record when it comes to agriculture.”

Todd, a Kalispell pastor and small business owner, says she will bring to Congress a hard look at governments around the world.

“I’m here to run to end government corruption, to expose the actors in it for themselves, and to be fresh new leadership.”

Jette, a teacher from Missoula, says he understands the challenges ordinary people face after facing serious health issues, learning disabilities and higher education.

“Whatever your fate in life, I understand where you come from. It’s time we put in someone who actually understands the issues and understands where you are in your life.

Heuer, a Flathead entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses, says he brings a different experience than his opponents.

“I’m a guy who thinks outside the box and I have solutions to tough problems, including the housing crisis, the mass shooting crisis and a new transportation solution.”

On how to attract and retain teachers in rural Montana, Olzsewski suggested eliminating the federal Department of Education and siphoning off the dollars used for that agency to the states.

“And let’s turn it into block grants and send it to all the states, let the states decide how to use that money, and one of the ways can be to improve rural and frontier education.”

Todd said parents should be in the driver’s seat.

“If the federal government is another overreach telling us how to put teachers in our rural schools, what to do with them, what to teach these kids, I think that’s a problem.”

Heuer said he disagreed with the sentiment that the federal government has no role to play and said education should be nationally consistent, to promote a unified country.

“We need a national education program that works and has national standards, so that America will become united and united in our education and cross-training.”

Jette talked about her teaching experience and the bureaucracy that comes with it.

“There are teacher unions at stake, there are education programs at stake and there are [are] rules and regulations in play that really hinder and prevent good quality people from coming to this state to teach.

Candidates were also asked how they would approach mental health care in rural Montana. The state has long had one of the highest suicide rates in the country.

Todd said federal mask mandates and isolation requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to poor mental health.

“I really believe it’s because of the government’s excess of power and that people have to go back to managing their own lives, managing their own problems and not depending on the government.”

Jette said there are a lot of emotional elements to the issue and that Congress should address the root causes of anxiety and depression.

“You look at the economy, they are facing an economy that we have never faced before. There is something called structural unemployment, which means that if they go to school and have a job for 10 years, that job may not even exist.

Heuer said health care needs to be more affordable and college debt needs to be reduced.

“I don’t have a good answer to that at the moment, I have few ideas with a few small clinics. And back to education, with higher education, I think we can move away from expensive colleges if we went to a program where we offered higher education for a trade.

Olszewski said the federal government needs to better reimburse mental health care through Medicaid and Medicare.

“I believe in limited government. I also believe that if the federal government promises a product, it should pay for it fairly. »

On other topics, the candidates agreed that the federal government should restore country-of-origin labeling for meat products and require manufacturers to give farmers and ranchers the ability to repair their own equipment.

Absentee ballots must be mailed by May 31 to be counted on time, or dropped off at a polling station or election office. The primary election is June 7.

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What to do while waiting for a possible upcoming student loan forgiveness https://thunderfromunder.com/what-to-do-while-waiting-for-a-possible-upcoming-student-loan-forgiveness/ Sun, 22 May 2022 13:00:01 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/what-to-do-while-waiting-for-a-possible-upcoming-student-loan-forgiveness/

Kool99 | Istock | Getty Images

Contact your lender

Due to the pandemic-era payment pause on student loan bills, most borrowers haven’t made a payment in more than two years. Now the bills are expected to hit mailboxes again in September.

Even if some student debt is forgiven, you might still have a balance and you’ll want to check your loan account. There will be a lot to find out: Did you get the relief you deserve? If you have a bottom tab, what is it?

Also, make sure your loan manager has all of your current contact information, so you can stay up-to-date with any of these changes. You can update your information with your loan officer at StudentAid.gov.

The fact that millions of borrowers will have new loan service when payments resume due to industry changes adds a bit of a mess here.

Affected borrowers should receive multiple notices, said Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance, a trade group for federal student loan servicers.

In September, if you mistakenly send a payment to your old repairer, the money must be transferred to your new one, Buchanan said.

Save

Again, don’t count on canceling your student loan to wipe out your entire balance.

“In all likelihood, student loan forgiveness will be limited in terms of eligibility and amount, so you can’t rely on it to wipe out all of your student loan debt,” Kantrowitz said.

Student loan forgiveness, if it occurs, will likely be limited to federal loans only

Marc Kantrowitz

higher education specialist

For example, a write-off of $10,000 would only fully erase debt for one-third of borrowers.

As a result, Kantrowitz recommends starting to save money now to lessen the pain of picking up bills.

Delay refinancing

Even though interest rates are low right now, Kantrowitz said borrowers should think twice about refinancing their debt with a private lender.

“Student loan forgiveness, if it occurs, will likely be limited to only federal loans,” he said.

You don’t want to miss out on debt cancellation while pursuing a lower interest rate.

Try to make sure you will qualify for the relief

Millions of people who took out student loans before 2010 under the federal Family Education Loans program have been excluded from the government’s offer to suspend their interest-free payments during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is feared that these borrowers could also be excluded from any student loan forgiveness.

As a result, FFEL loan holders may want to contact their manager and consolidate them into the main direct loan program, which will be eligible for the discount, Kantrowitz said.

The main downside of doing this is that your repayment schedule will be reset and so if you’re close to the end, it might not make sense.

Don’t worry about taxes

Student loan forgiveness is now tax-free, thanks to a provision included in the $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus stimulus package that became law in March 2021.

Previously, any student loan debt canceled by the government was considered taxable and levied at the borrower’s normal tax rate.

According to a rough estimate by Kantrowitz, a $10,000 cancellation would have triggered an additional $2,000 in taxes for the average borrower. If $50,000 per borrower were forgiven, the average person would have to write a check to the IRS for $10,000.

Borrowers would now be rid of these bills.

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Mayor Ballard: Republicans, let Holcomb veto transgender athlete bill – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather forecast https://thunderfromunder.com/mayor-ballard-republicans-let-holcomb-veto-transgender-athlete-bill-wish-tv-indianapolis-news-indiana-weather-forecast/ Fri, 20 May 2022 23:17:12 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/mayor-ballard-republicans-let-holcomb-veto-transgender-athlete-bill-wish-tv-indianapolis-news-indiana-weather-forecast/

INDIANPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s GOP-dominated legislature will return to the Statehouse on Tuesday with plans to override Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto on a transgender athlete bill.

A fellow Republican and former Indianapolis mayor says allowing the law to go into effect is a bad idea.

Former Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is in town for the Indianapolis 500. Ballard told I-Team on Friday he was raising a red flag for Republican lawmakers in the state, telling them to leave the veto from Holcomb on the transgender athlete bill. The bill would ban transgender girls from participating in school-sponsored sports. Holcomb vetoed it in March, but lawmakers will meet next week to try to override it.

Ballard says the transgender bill does nothing for Indiana except create what he calls another unnecessary law.

  • Watch the full interview with former Mayor Greg Ballard at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on “All INdiana Politics” on WISH-TV

Ballard said: “Well unfortunately I think they’re probably going to override the veto. I hope they don’t, because it was an unnecessary bill. The IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Association) has been on top for years. There are no participating incidents. It seems like a made up law and as Republicans they should be looking at limited government, what is the right thing to do, why is the oppressive branch of government solving this problem, solving the problem why there is no no problem. ”

Ballard served as mayor of Indianapolis from 2008 until January 1, 2016.

In 2015, Ballard pushed back against state lawmakers over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as did thousands of other Hoosiers. Opponents said the bill targeted LGBT people. Proponents have claimed that the RFRA law protects the exercise of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

The widespread protests, led by major employers in Indiana, provoked the government of the day. Mike Pence and lawmakers to amend RFRA 10 days after it was passed.

Ballard said Friday that the transgender bill, like RFRA, will divide the state and could make it difficult for new businesses to recruit in Indiana.

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Q&A: Bernalillo County Commission District 5 Republican Candidate Judy Young https://thunderfromunder.com/qa-bernalillo-county-commission-district-5-republican-candidate-judy-young/ Tue, 17 May 2022 03:16:26 +0000 https://thunderfromunder.com/qa-bernalillo-county-commission-district-5-republican-candidate-judy-young/

NAME: Judy Young

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: Retired from writing a $92 million grant from the University of New Mexico Cancer Research and Treatment Center, educator, promoter, advisor, etc. Currently Agent for Advancing Quality of Life in Bernalillo County

TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Grants Writer for UNM; partnered with Deputy Chief of Police Phil Chacon to launch the first publicly funded domestic violence program, which was later adopted by every state in the United States; worked with Frank Crosby to launch the first Home Show and Sports Show in New Mexico, representing and promoting thousands of small businesses; worked at the South Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility and the MDC; worked as a counselor and educator for high-risk teens in Houston

EDUCATION: West Texas A&M undergraduate; Master’s degree from Columbia University; post-masters University of New Mexico

AGE: 73

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: youngbernco.com

1. What is the top priority in your district and how would you address it as County Commissioner?

Firmly push back against crime by: 1. Fully supporting all law enforcement agencies. 2. Engage all law enforcement agencies to work cooperatively. 3. End the sanctuary status of drugs and crime by implementing a strict Metropolitan Detention Center policy. 4. Implement a policy to protect the lawful and impose consequences for the illegal.

2. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support a tax increase? And what types, if any, would you support?

I will only support lowering taxes by cutting fat to increase efficiency and limit government spending.

3. What do you think should be the top three priorities for capital projects in the county?

For all of Bernalillo County: 1. Youth Detention Center Renovation. 2. New Sheriff’s Substation across from the current Call Center on Paseo del Norte. For Bernalillo County District 5: a gymnasium in the Cedar Crest/Tijeras area.

4. What, if any, do you think the county should do differently in how it manages and uses the behavioral health tax?

Behavioral health issues and homelessness go hand in hand. Campus model of efficient triage and processing of each category. Refer to #8.

5. What role, if any, should the county commission play in advising the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office on matters related to public safety.

I believe the commission can and should have a good cohesive relationship to effectively resolve issues for the public good. Any motivation must be centered on the public good and not on self-interest.

6. What are your ideas for improving the conditions of employees and inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center?

Inmates: Programming for inmates with strict supervision and a follow-up release plan is the most important step in reducing recidivism in my direct experience with the penal system. Employees: Strict supervision to prevent the entry of drugs and/or contraband into the establishment. Employees are treated with the utmost respect through implemented incentive programs. Relaxation advice and exercise programs available.

7. How would you work to improve Bernalillo County’s economy?

I will never close businesses. I will do the exact opposite by: 1. Lowering taxes; 2. Get rid of bureaucracy (eliminate big government!) and make government business friendly. 3. Create more jobs (pay people to work, not stay home!!) 4. Limit government spending

8. What specific strategies do you have to reduce homelessness?

Caring for the homeless while protecting the integrity of the neighborhood. Sort the homeless and treat each category accordingly: 1. Criminals who hide in plain sight. 2. Mentally ill; 3. Drug addict; 4. Criminal mental patient; 5. Situational (the only category that is truly homeless by definition); 6. Dual diagnosis (mental illness and substance abuse self-medication).

Personal history

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been subject to any state or federal tax liens?

No.

2. Have you ever been involved in personal or commercial bankruptcy proceedings?

No.

3. Have you ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony in New Mexico or any other state? If yes, explain.

No.

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