Thomas Black: [US]American Jobs Are Headed to Mexico Once Again (Bloomberg)
Illinois Tool Works Inc. will close an auto-parts plant in Mazon, Illinois, this month and head to Ciudad Juarez. Triumph Group Inc. is reducing the Spokane, Washington, workforce that makes fiber-composite parts for Boeing Co. aircraft and moving production to Zacatecas and Baja California. TE Connectivity Ltd. is shuttering a pressure-sensor plant in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in favor of a facility in Hermosillo.
Josh Marshall: "Annals of the CBP (Good Times Edition)" (TPM)
That was fascinating. As a coda to our family vacation, when we came through customs at JFK last night we learned that (actually it took some time to learn what was going on) Daniel, our eight year old son, had been flagged as a person of interest for additional questioning and possible detention.
Paul Krugman: Coal Country is a State of Mind (NY Times Column)
Will nostalgia for a much-shrunken industry destroy the planet?
Esme Cribb: "WSJ: Flynn Says He's Willing To Testify In Exchange For Immunity Deal" (TPM)
Flynn made the offer to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the FBI via his lawyer but has not succeeded in striking a bargain, according to the Wall Street Journal report, which cited unnamed officials with knowledge of the matter.
Harry Stein and Alex Rowell: New Data Deliver Good News for Health Care and Bad News for Speaker Ryan's Tax Reform Plan (Center for American Progress)
The projected costs of federal health care programs have fallen dramatically since the passage of the ACA. Despite false claims to the contrary, federal health programs are not facing a "death spiral" of exploding costs. The United States has more than enough economic capacity to continue to sustain these programs in the future; repealing the ACA would have instead used American economic capacity to cut taxes for the wealthy.
Andrew Tobias: Agree? Disagree? Discuss.
2. The thrice-stayed 90-day travel ban is now moot. It was designed to keep the bad hombres from flooding in while we did an emergency assessment of the current 18-to-24-month vetting system to see whether it was sufficiently extreme. […] Given the urgency, Trump surely waited not a day to begin his 90-day review. So it must be complete by now, and the element of surprise is gone, so the legal wrangling should cease.
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Michelle in AZ
The Von Trump Singers
Janet in Texas shared this cartoon. Parts for all of them! The Children of the Corn, Flynn, Manafort, Nunes, Spicey, the Hag, even current wifey!
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Thanks, Linda (& Janet)!
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
"AND THE SECRET WINNER IS…"
THE UNIVERSITY OF TERROR.
HAPPY EXTINCTION DAY!
KILLING THEM SOFTLY WITH OUR POISON.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
DON'T TAKE THIS JERK OUT IN PUBLIC
THE STATE OF THINGS TO COME!
WHO WILL BE THE COURT JESTER?
GET DOWN, GET FUNKY!
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER.
I PUT MY MONEY ON A PIG.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and not windy.
'Star Trek: Discovery'
"Star Trek: Discovery" has cast "The Office" alum Rainn Wilson in the role of Harry Mudd, Variety has learned. It is unknown how many episodes Wilson will appear in at this time.
Mudd was a charismatic interstellar con man who had repeated run-ins with the crew of the Enterprise in the original "Star Trek." The character, who was first played by Roger C. Carmel, also appeared in an episode of "Star Trek: The Animated Series."
Wilson, in addition to his Emmy-nominated role on "The Office," starred in the Fox series "Backstrom" and HBO's "Six Feet Under." On the film side, he has starred in the indie film "Super," "The Rocker," and he will also provide the voice of Gargamel in the upcoming movie "Smurfs: The Lost Village." He is repped by UTA, Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.
He joins "The Walking Dead" actress Sonequa Martin-Green, who will star as the lead lieutenant commander, plus James Frain as Spock's father Sarek, Anthony Rapp as a space fungus expert, and Michelle Yeoh as the captain in charge of the Starship Shenzhou. Other cast members include: Jason Isaacs as the captain of the Discovery; Terry Serpico as Admiral Anderson, a high-ranking official of Starfleet; Maulik Pancholy as Dr. Nambue, the chief medical officer of the Starship Shenzhou; and Sam Vartholomeos as Ensign Connor, a junior officer in Starfleet Academy assigned to the Starship Shenzhou.
"Discovery" was originally set to launch CBS All Access in January 2017, but the hotly anticipated series has been repeatedly delayed and now is pushed to debut late this summer or in early fall. The CBS streaming service was instead kicked off with the help of "The Good Wife" spinoff, "The Good Fight."
Family Recognized Stolen Painting
A family who lost a Norman Rockwell painting in a burglary at their home over 40 years ago got it back Friday and knew for sure it was theirs because of a scrape and hole the exact size of the butt-end of a pool cue.
The 1919 painting, valued at $1 million and known as "Taking a Break" and "Lazybones," was returned to members of the Grant family by FBI art-crimes agents in Philadelphia. The piece was one of a number of items stolen from the family's home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, during the June 30, 1976, break-in.
After the FBI recently went to the media with a story of the missing painting in hopes of generating tips, an antiques dealer who had the painting hanging in his home for nearly four decades came forward.
The dealer, whose name has not been released, had thought the painting was just a copy and couldn't manage to sell it, U.S. Attorney Louis Lappen said.
"So he put it up in his kitchen," he said. "And there this painting was, hanging in his kitchen for close to 40 years."
Environmental Groups Challenge Approval
Keystone XL Pipeline
A coalition of environmental groups challenged the federal permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline in court on Thursday because they say additional environmental scrutiny is needed.
The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups say the initial environmental review completed in 2014 is inadequate and outdated, and that it underestimated how much the pipeline would encourage tar sands oil production in Canada.
The proposed pipeline that TransCanada wants to build would carry crude oil from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it would connect with an existing Keystone pipeline network that would take the oil to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.
The U.S. State Department issued a permit for the project earlier this month, though Nebraska regulators still must review and decide whether to approve the proposed route through their state.
President Donald Trump (R-Greedy) has said he believes the pipeline will create American jobs and bolster the country's energy independence. He overturned former President Barack Obama's rejection of the project in 2015.
Keystone XL Pipeline
Mistakenly Tells The Truth
On Thursday morning, the Environmental Protection Agency sent out a press release containing praise for President Donald Trump's (R-Fabulist) executive order that rolls back Obama-era climate change rules.
But the agency's press office made an obvious mistake in the first paragraph, which included harshly critical comments attributed to West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican coal booster and prominent Trump supporter.
The quote, falsely attributed to Capito, actually belonged to Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat.
Yet Carper's statement was far closer to the truth of what the Trump administration did when it ordered the EPA to begin the process of dismantling key greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs and other policies aimed at reducing harmful pollution.
The release quoted Capito as saying: "President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand. Walking away from the Clean Power Plan and other climate initiatives... is not just irresponsible - it is irrational."
Kills 333 Whales
A Japanese whaling fleet returned to port Friday after an annual Antarctic hunt that killed more than 300 of the mammals as Tokyo pursues the programme in defiance of global criticism.
The fleet set sail for the Southern Ocean in November, with plans to slaughter 333 minke whales, flouting a worldwide moratorium and opposition led by Australia and New Zealand.
The fleet consisted of five ships, three of which arrived in the morning at Shimonoseki port in western Japan, the country's Fisheries Agency said.
More than 200 people, including crew members and their families, gathered in the rain for a 30-minute ceremony in front of the Nisshin Maru, the fleet's main ship, according to an official of the Shimonoseki City government.
Chump Change Trump University Deal Approved
A judge on Friday approved an agreement for President Donald Trump (R-Crooked) to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits over his now-defunct Trump University, ending nearly seven years of legal battles with customers who claimed they were misled by failed promises to teach success in real estate.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel said the agreement represents an "extraordinary amount" of money for customers to recover. Plaintiff attorneys say about 3,730 people will get at least 90 percent of their money back.
The ruling settles two class-action lawsuits and a civil lawsuit by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that had dogged the Republican businessman throughout the presidential campaign.
Trump fueled the controversy by repeatedly assailing Curiel, insinuating that the Indiana-born judge's Mexican heritage exposed a bias.
Trump had vowed never to settle. But he said after the election that he didn't have time for a trial, even though he believed he would have prevailed.
Claims New PAC Is 'Fraudulent'
James O'Keefe III, a conservative activist known for using false identities to produce undercover videos targeting liberals, says someone is fraudulently using his name to create a political action committee.
On Thursday, a person filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to create "Project Veritas PAC."
The PAC name echoes that of O'Keefe's nonprofit organization: Project Veritas. The website and Mamaroneck, New York, mailing addresses listed in the Project Veritas PAC filing are those of O'Keefe's nonprofit Project Veritas. And the PAC treasurer listed on the FEC document is "James O'Keefe," who also purportedly signed it.
But O'Keefe said in an interview with the Center for Public Integrity that the FEC filing is a fraud: He denied setting up the PAC and he wants to know who did. O'Keefe said he first learned about the PAC filing when reporters contacted him to ask about it.
The email address listed on the form, purportedly for O'Keefe, uses the domain Yandex
Justice Dept. Watchdog Criticizes
A government watchdog on Wednesday identified what it called weaknesses in the Justice Department's asset forfeiture program, including poor data collection and analysis, and inadequate training of local and state officers.
The program, long criticized by advocacy groups and members of Congress concerned about oversight, permits law enforcement to take possession of cash and property seized during investigations. More than $6 billion in forfeited funds has been shared with state and local law enforcement since fiscal year 2000, and over $4 billion has been returned to crime victims during that same period, according to the report from the department's inspector general.
The report said the department does not collect adequate data to determine whether law enforcement seizures of funds truly benefit criminal investigations or the extent to which they infringe on civil liberties.
The inspector general's office reviewed 100 cash seizure investigations involving the Drug Enforcement Administration but said the DEA could verify that only 44 had advanced or been related to ongoing investigations, resulted in the development of new investigations or led to arrests or prosecutions.
"When seizure and administrative forfeitures do not ultimately advance an investigation or prosecution, law enforcement creates the appearance, and risks the reality, that it is more interested in seizing and forfeiting cash than advancing an investigation or prosecution," the inspector general's office wrote.
President Donald Trump (R-Grifter) had an apparent glitch Friday afternoon at an Oval Office signing for pair of executive orders: After touting the measures, he neglected to sign them.
Trump declared that the two orders would start a "great revival" for U.S. manufacturing, repeating his campaign message that trade pacts have caused factory jobs to flow overseas.
"Nobody's ever made bad trade deals like our country's made," the president said. "Thousands of factories have been stolen from our country."
The president then allowed for remarks by other administration officials. Among those in attendance were Vice President Mike Pence, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council, and Steve Bannon, the president's chief strategist.
But after the remarks, Trump walked out of the Oval Office without signing either of the orders.
Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco-based activist and artist best known for creating the rainbow flag representing gay rights, has died at the age of 65, his longtime friend announced on social media on Friday.
"My dearest friend in the world is gone. Clive Baker gave the world the rainbow flag, he gave me forty years of love and friendship," Cleve Jones said on Twitter.
No details were immediately available on the cause of Baker's death or where he died. According to the biography posted on his official website, he had been living in New York City.
Jones also tweeted a photo of Baker with former President Barack Obama, inviting mourners to meet him under a rainbow flag in the Castro district of San Francisco on Friday evening to remember his friend.
Baker, who was born in Kansas in 1951, was stationed in San Francisco in the early 1970s while serving in the U.S. Army, at the start of the gay rights movement.
According to the website biography Baker began making banners for gay rights and anti-war protests, often at the request of Harvey Milk, who would become the first openly gay man elected to public office in California when he won the 1977 race for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Milk rode under the first rainbow flags made by Baker at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978, just months before the politician was murdered by a former city supervisor, the biography says.