ICE agents outnumbered 5 to 11,000 illegals, cheer new Trump hires

Washington Examiner, by Paul Bedard Posted By: JoniTx- Thu, 23 41 2017 06:41:47 GMT U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement unions are cheering President Trump´s plan to hire 15,000 new agents, claiming that he has boosted sagging morale by promising to finally help the outnumbered immigration officers — and let them do their jobs. “During my career at ICE I have never had the opportunity to commend a sitting U.S. president, or DHS secretary, but I´m doing so today. Amidst all the hammering from the media, and protests from special interest groups, President Trump and Secretary (John) Kelly haven´t wavered, but instead continued steadfast in their support of the rule of law

God Bless the Right’Wing Social Justice Warriors

Taki’s Magazine, by Gavin McInnes Posted By: earlybird- Thu, 23 44 2017 06:44:24 GMT “Invent a weapon,” Jordan Peterson said on Tuesday, “and your enemies will have it within one generation.” He was talking about Gamergate feminist Brianna Wu, who was learning the hard way that YouTube’s Restricted Mode was hurting the gays it was supposed to protect. You may be thinking, “Wu who?” right now, but you should be saying, “Woo’hoo!” because Peterson’s observation is profound. Not only are the bots turning on their creators, we are too. We’ve taken Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and turned it into our guidebook. We are the Social Justice Warriors now, and we’re way better at

Will Russiagate Backfire on the Left?

Taki’s Magazine, by Patrick J. Buchanan Posted By: earlybird- Thu, 23 48 2017 06:48:55 GMT The big losers of the Russian hacking scandal may yet be those who invested all their capital in a script that turned out to based on a fairy tale. In Monday’s Intelligence Committee hearings, James Comey did confirm that his FBI has found nothing to support President Trump’s tweet that President Obama ordered him wiretapped. Not unexpected, but undeniably an embarrassment for the tweeter’in’chief. Yet longer’term damage may have been done to the left. For Monday’s hearing showed that its rendering of the campaign of 2016 may be a product of fiction and a fevered imagination. After eight months investigating the hacking and

Loony Liberal Actress Claims London Terror ´May Be´ a ´Set Up´ by Trump

NewsBusters, by Kristine Marsh Posted By: JoniTx- Thu, 23 07 2017 07:07:01 GMT Put this one in the loony lefty bin. Hollywood actress Patricia Arquette, known for winning the best supporting actress Oscar two years ago, revealed she’s a conspiracy theorist last night on Twitter. After an Islamic terrorist killed 4 people and wounded at least 40 others in London Wednesday, the actress claimed it was all a ruse by President Trump to distract us from the FBI investigation into his ties with Russia: (Tweet) So far her tweet hasn’t received that much attention, but Arquette is certainly a media darling. In 2015 the actress made headlines when she gave a politically charged

Panicked Democrats Threaten House Intelligence Chair For Supporting President Trump

DC Whispers, by Staff Posted By: earlybird- Thu, 23 17 2017 07:17:51 GMT The behavior of Congressional Democrats (and some Establishment Republicans) has become downright bizarre even by their normally bizarre standards. Yesterday, House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes, a Republican, spoke publicly about information he had obtained which indicated members of the Trump campaign had been surveilled and their conversations recorded. this claim appeared to substantiate, at least in part, President Trump’s earlier statements that he had been “wiretapped” by the previous Obama administration. That declaration by Congressman Nunes has since sent D.C. into an all out scramble mode, a situation that includes Congressman Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, now calling for an investigation to

Graham: I’ll Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ to Get Gorsuch Confirmed, If Dems Filibuster, ‘We Would Have to Change the Rules’

On Thursday’s “Mike Gallagher Show,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) vowed that he would do “Whatever it takes” to get Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and that if the Democrats filibuster Gorsuch, “we would have to change the rules to have the Supreme Court like everybody else.” Graham said [relevant remarks begin around 2:00] that if there was a filibuster on Gorsuch, it would be “because politics has taken over reason, and that would be a shame.” When asked if he would have to use the nuclear option if there was a filibuster, Graham answered, “Whatever it takes to get him on the court, I will do.” He further stated, “[I]f my Democratic colleagues choose to filibuster this guy, then they will be telling me that they don’t accept the election results, 306 electoral votes, that they’re trying to delegitimize President Trump, and that’s not right, and we would have to change the rules to have the Supreme Court like everybody else.” Graham further said that he thinks there are Democrats who will vote for Gorsuch, and “I hope we can get 60 votes and not change 200-plus years of history.” He continued, “I will do whatever’s necessary, and I’ve

Starbucks Gives Corporate Employees 3 Times More Maternity Leave Than Baristas

Starbucks grabbed headlines and accolades earlier this year for giving its hourly workers parental leave, but few people paid attention to the inequality baked into the fine print: The coffee giant is providing vastly better benefits to its already well-paid, white-collar corporate employees.

Under the new policy, which takes effect in October, Starbucks white-collar employees who give birth to a baby are eligible for up to 18 weeks paid time off. That’s three times as much as the six weeks a woman working in a Starbucks store would get if she has a baby.

All other corporate employees can take 12 weeks paid time off after the arrival of a child, including fathers, adoptive and foster parents. Hourly workers? They get 12 weeks, too. Unpaid.

Known for giving generous benefits to the hourly workers that comprise the vast majority of its 180,000 employees in the U.S., Starbucks called this new policy “exceptional” in a press release in January.

Now some Starbucks workers are protesting the policy, decrying the unfairness of giving one class of workers more time to spend with their children than another and shining light on a problem that plagues Americans across the country.

This week a few Starbucks employees traveled to the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Seattle to deliver three petitions, with more than 80,000 signatures from employees and others, demanding equal parental leave benefits.   

“I think my baby is just as important as the babies of the parents in the corporate office,” said Kristin Picciolo, who works part-time at a Starbucks in Medina, Ohio, and traveled to Seattle this week to deliver the petition.  “We should have equal benefits and time to spend with them.”

This is not about Starbucks, this is about people who have more actually noticing and placing value on the people that have less.
Jess Svabinek, Starbucks employee

Just four months ago, while she was in labor at the hospital, Picciolo got the surprising news that she fell slightly short of Starbucks’ hourly work requirements to qualify for paid maternity leave. (The current policy allows for six weeks paid leave at 67 percent pay for those that work 20 hours a week or more.)

Since then, her partner’s picked up double-shifts for his job as a server in a restaurant. She went back to work last month ― sooner than she would’ve liked. “We’re stressed out,” the 22-year-old new mom says of her current situation, laughing when this reporter asked about their savings. If she worked in corporate, she’d still be home with her son, she said. And that would be better for everyone.

Few would argue that big companies like Starbucks should practice equality when it comes to pay. Employees get paid different salaries and that’s how it works. A cashier probably shouldn’t make the same salary as the CEO.

But parental leave is a different ballgame. And, as Starbucks is finding out, it’s hard to justify why some types of workers “deserve” more time with their children than others.

Netflix ran into a similar issue a few years ago, after the Huffington Post reported that its hourly workers weren’t eligible for the same amount of parental leave benefits as its salaried workers.

When asked to explain the discrepancy, a Starbucks spokesperson reiterated phrasing from its January press release, saying the expanded benefits for corporate employees were intended to “seek and retain non-store talent.” In other words, the company is competing more fiercely for these workers and needs to do more to attract them. 

When Picciolo asked Starbucks president Kevin Johnson if there were any plans to equalize the benefit at the shareholder meeting on Wednesday, he skirted the question, noting that the company also raised hourly pay last year and expanded health benefits. He said that the benefits conversation is ongoing. (You can watch the video below.)

Johnson, who is slated to take the reins as CEO in April, said the parental leave policy was what they were able to offer at this time.

The more generous non-store worker policy actually applies to very few Starbucks employees. Of its 170,000 U.S. workers, all but 8,000 work in its stores, according to company data.

And that handful of workers makes lots more money. While store workers at the company make around $10 or so an hour; pay at corporate headquarters ― for roles like systems analyst, human resource manager or IT manager ―  can run into the six-figures, according to data on Glassdoor.

Starbucks is hardly the only retailer to give better benefits to its white-collar workers. Walmart gives women in its corporate office 12 weeks of paid maternity leave and its hourly workers get none, according to data compiled by Paid Leave U.S., a nonprofit advocacy group. Yum Brands only gives paid leave to corporate full-timers; not to workers in its fast-food restaurants, according to PLUS’s data. The group is planning on releasing its analysis later this year.  

A handful of big companies have decided to buck the trend and offer all of its workers ― hourly or salaried ― equal benefits, including Ikea, Nordstrom and Levi’s. But they’re unusual.

Paid leave inequality is something that labor groups are starting to pay more attention to, said Brianna Cayo Cotter, chief of staff at Paid Leave U.S.

“The people that most need paid leave benefits are the ones being left out of these policies,” said Cotter. Her nonprofit is working alongside Working Washington, a local labor group, to push Starbucks to further improve its policy.

The rub is that a typical low-wage worker is in far greater need of paid time off than her higher-paid counterpart.

Nearly half of low-income workers who take unpaid or partially paid leave turn to government benefits to get by, according to a Pew study released Thursday afternoon. An even larger percentage take on debt.

One in four women are back to work less than two weeks after they give birth, that’s not enough time to even physically recover from labor.

Most Americans say workers should receive paid family and medical leave

The United States is one of only a handful of countries that doesn’t offer new mothers paid maternity leave. It’s the only advanced economy with no mandated sick time.

That means that it’s left to the private sector to dole out what is essentially a public benefit. And of course that leads to inequality. The most competitive, highest paying jobs are the ones that offer paid leave.  

And Americans apparently want to leave this policy in the private sector’s hands, the Pew study found. While the majority of survey respondents said they support paid parental leave, respondents also said that companies should be the ones to offer it. Americans were split on whether the government should require employers to offer the benefit. Most Democrats said yes; while Republican respondents disagreed.

Jess Svabinek is a 37-year-old barista at a Starbucks about 40 miles outside of Seattle. She makes $11 an hour and is expecting baby this summer ― her fourth. She’ll have her baby before the benefits go into effect and she’s not sure if she is up to 20 hours a week, so she’s been tucking away her tips to save up for diapers. Her husband earns $21.50 an hour at Trader Joe’s. “We’re lucky,” Svabinek says, noting that last year they made slightly more than $50,000.

He works days; she works nights; handing off the kids, an 11-year-old and six-year-old twins, in a tag team parenting style that carries a lot of hourly workers through their days.

She was at the shareholder meeting Wednesday and had time to visit the Starbucks store at corporate headquarters. She said she watched the store workers smiling and serving their corporate employee counterparts coffees.

“This is not about Starbucks, this is about people who have more actually noticing and placing value on the people that have less,” she told HuffPost in an email. “There is not a difference between [a corporate worker’s] baby and the barista’s baby. The only difference is that she sits upstairs in a building and the barista works down below in an apron. The time for this kind of class discrimination is over.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Devin Nunes Can’t Resist Answering One More Question

The Washington press corps works itself into a jabbering frenzy whenever a prominent official says the dreaded words “Last question.” But when it comes to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), members of the press have nothing to worry about.

Seeing as he’s made bombshell revelations in recent days, Nunes can’t bring himself to walk away from reporters’ questions just now.

On Wednesday, Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, paid an unusual visit to the White House to inform President Donald Trump that members of his team had been mentioned in U.S. intelligence reports during the last days of the Obama administration. Nunes then held a stunning press conference on the matter, which gave Trump political cover for his unproven claim that former President Barack Obama had “wiretapped” him.

After making statements that all but upended a congressional inquiry into the Trump team’s potential ties to Russia, Nunes said he would take a few questions from members of the press. As the video above makes clear, the California Republican just couldn’t pull himself away from the microphones. “One more” quickly became five more.

At one point Nunes even swore, apologetically, that he had get over to Capitol Hill. Then he answered a bunch more questions.

Earlier that day, in a separate encounter with the press, the congressman was just as accommodating. Buttonholed by a gaggle of reporters at the Capitol, Nunes announced that he really had to get going ― “I’ve gotta run to a vote,” he pleaded ― just before answering another three questions.

And he wasn’t done there.

“All right, guys, I gotta get ―” he stammered, cut off by another question that he dutifully answered.

Still, at a moment when some Washington officials are rarely giving pressers at all ― or only granting access to handpicked, ideologically friendly media ― there’s something refreshing about Nunes’ willingness to let the press conference stretch on indefinitely, whatever his motivations.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

WATCH: Ted Cruz RIPS Democrats for attacks and smears on Federal Judge Gorsuch

There was a lot going on yesterday that pushed the Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination hearing to the back burner, so we missed Ted Cruz ripping Democrats for their hypocritical smears and attacks . . .

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Is Leaving TV’s Biggest Gay Network — Now What?

Eight years ago, RuPaul Charles brought nine relatively unknown drag queens from across America into one workroom for a reality-based competition series best described as a hybrid of “America’s Next Top Model” and “Project Runway.”

No one expected it to become one of the most successful LGBTQ television shows of all time. 

On March 24, the ninth season of the Emmy-winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise debuts ― but this time on a new network, in a new time slot with a new audience. For the first time ever, viewers will watch “Drag Race” on VH1 during primetime on Friday nights instead of Mondays on Logo, the largest exclusively gay network on TV. An encore of the show will still play on Logo every Monday.

When Logo announced the decision, the reaction was both polarizing and revealing of how intimately intertwined “Drag Race” has become with LGBTQ culture. The move not only affects the network and the show’s audience, but also local queer communities that have championed and sustained “Drag Race” from its humble beginnings. 

“Drag Race” leaving Logo is monumentally significant for the network, whose relevancy has largely been predicated on the show’s success. But the hub of gay TV is much more than “Drag Race,” with programming encompassing documentaries, feature films, web series and other reality-based content. And now Logo and LGBTQ people everywhere must decide what the future of queer storytelling looks like as “Drag Race” finds itself on a more mainstream network.

The shift from Logo to VH1 speaks to a conversation in the LGBTQ community about visibility in a post-marriage equality world and the importance of safeguarding the queerness of spaces and culture. While there’s apprehension that something will be lost in this transition, both Logo and Ru are encouraged by the opportunity to expand the reach of the show.

While younger generations of viewers might be taken aback by the shifting tides, VH1, Logo and RuPaul share a history and all operate within the same corporate parent company: Viacom. In fact, the Supermodel of The World once hosted his own talk show on VH1 from 1996 to 1998, which helped solidify him as a household name.

“We’ve had a great time at Logo. Logo has been so good for us and allowed us to be ourselves, so in my heart Logo will always be a part of ‘Drag Race,’” RuPaul told The Huffington Post, adding, “I think the move to VH1 really reflects the broadening of our audience.”

Pamela Post, Senior Vice President of Programming and Original Development at Logo, echoes these thoughts from RuPaul and assures viewers that the nature of “Drag Race” won’t be compromised.

“I think as a fan you’ll watch it and you’ll see the context of the show has not changed, the jokes haven’t changed, the point of view has not changed,” Post told The Huffington Post. “I think all of that is very much intact. And that’s what we love about it – it’s point of view and humor and take on the world. And especially RuPaul’s point of view. So I think at the end of the day it’s just about exposing it to a larger group of people and hoping its fan base increases.”

The prospect of “Drag Race” on primetime Friday night TV is certainly exciting for the franchise, but it also presents challenges for queer spaces, like bars and nightclubs, who have built business models around the program.

For Steven McEnrue, the manager of two popular gay bars in Brooklyn, New York, the making over of “Drag Race” into a primetime VH1 show on Friday nights presents a set of challenges to his business. When “Drag Race” aired on Mondays, bars like McEnrue’s organized screenings on a night where foot traffic was typically low and nightlife industry workers, including local drag queens, were usually off. On Friday nights, bars tend to be busy with regular programming already slated.

“[Mondays] felt like a community experience with everybody watching this show and having a really good time,” McEnrue said. “I think it’s a little early to tell but I do think a bit of the magic of coming together on a Monday night might be lost. It’s definitely going to be a completely different dynamic this year in terms of the crowd and how the show is.”

This concern isn’t exclusive to local queer business owners, as former “Drag Race” contestants are already contending with the tension between the show’s ballooning popularity and the desire to preserve what feels precious to the LGBTQ community.

“It’s one of those confusing things that we see online and in our gay bars around the world that as the gay community becomes more mainstream, the need for exclusively gay spaces, be they television networks or brick and mortar gay bars, becomes seemingly less necessary,” season six finalist Courtney Act told HuffPost. “Obviously that’s a great thing because we’re becoming more accepted and more visible, but also at the same time it’s really sad because there is something so important about preserving and celebrating queer spaces and culture.”

Still, Act sees the power in having “Drag Race” become more accessible to a mainstream demographic in a television landscape largely devoid of multidimensional LGBTQ representation. “Drag Race” has always embodied a commitment to celebrating individuality and difference in a world that tells queer kids to conform.

In the words of RuPaul himself…

“Drag challenges the status quo,” RuPaul told HuffPost. “It’s always challenged the matrix – the matrix being ‘choose an identity and stick with it the rest of your life because that’s how we want to sell products to you, so we’ll know who you are and can put you in a box and then sell you beer and shampoo. Well, drag says ‘I’m a shapeshifter, I do whatever the hell I want at any given time.’ And that is very, very political.”

This message has never been more relevant at a time when minorities in America are under attack and the need for diverse representation ― and a commitment to looking out for one another ― is critically important.

Pamela Post also considers the migration of “Drag Race” to VH1 as an example of the allyship that this political moment demands.

“This is a time for allies,” she told HuffPost. “I think that whether you are somebody who is worried about your immigration status, or you’re a person of color who is finding that your life may be treated slightly differently than others, I believe that us as an LGBTQ community … should bond together and try to find some strength at a time that’s very difficult. I don’t tend to get political mixing it with television conversation, but I think inherently Logo has always been part cause and part entertainment.”

Despite the popularized notion that Logo puts its full resources behind reality-based programming like “Drag Race,” “Finding Prince Charming” and the upcoming “Fire Island,” this concept of allyship and commitment to diverse storytelling through a variety of platforms is very much at the heart of the network.

Just last year, Logo launched the Global Ally campaign, which strives to connect people along the spectrum of queer and trans identity around the world through storytelling. “Out of Iraq,” an Emmy-nominated documentary about two men who fall in love in Iraq only to be forced apart, was borne from this campaign alongside short-form videos highlighting queer experiences in places like Uganda and Jamaica.

Logo also centralizes their efforts to uplift stories of the LGBTQ community’s most vulnerable. The web series “Beautiful As I Want To Be,” which aired in 2015, partnered four young trans people with prominent trans leaders in an effort to help them fully express what it means to them to be beautiful and authentic. The network’s upcoming documentary “Strike a Pose” will follow the seven backup dancers from Madonna’s iconic Blonde Ambition tour and examine how their lives have been forever changed. Not to mention, Logo was also home to a seminal series about the lives of black gay men, “Noah’s Arc,” which premiered in 2005, a time when diverse queer stories were rarely told.

So why, despite all of this programming, does the LGBTQ community in 2017 tend to primarily associate Logo with whiteness, abs, debauchery and drag when all of these other stories are within reach?

”We as the queer community have fought so long and struggled to be seen as equal and to be respected in community,” said Courtney Act. “But now when we choose to show ourselves in a light that is bordering on the worst of humanity rather than celebrating our high points, it’s like, ‘Are we there already? Are we ready to show the world that were just as trashy and unhinged as the Housewives are?’”

While reality-based programming on Logo is not without merit ― whom among us wasn’t curious about a gay version of “The Bachelor”? ― these types of shows are not necessarily representative of the network’s big picture.

Are we there already? Are we ready to show the world that were just as trashy and unhinged as the Housewives are?

“I think all of us should be supporting stories that are enlightening, entertaining and showing the diversity of our community now more than ever,” Rich Ferraro, a former Logo employee and current chief communications officer at GLAAD, told HuffPost. “All too often so many of the diverse queer stories that Logo and other LGBTQ media outlets put out there fly under the radar because it’s not something that white, cis gay men often share over social [media]. But now more than ever we should be standing together … to find the creative ways to showcase those stories that will also hopefully drive positive change.”

Perhaps the cultural fascination and success of these shows over other programming says as much about us as a community as it does Logo as a network.

As Logo moves on to redefine itself outside of a “Drag Race” framework, now is an important time for queer people to ask themselves: what do we actually want to watch on TV? Whose stories do we want elevated? How do we want them to be told? What do we want the world to know about us?

“I don’t ever envision a post-’Drag Race’ world,” Post added. “’Drag Race’ is always going to be a huge part of the Logo line-up and people will still view it on Logo and we will still air it on Logo. At the end of the day I think we are always going to find new boundaries and areas we want to push into… I think that we are always going to find new, interesting and diverse stories and different ways to tell them.”

The desires of LGBTQ people to see themselves on screen have evolved. We are multidimensional people, living complex lives and navigating a multitude of different identities. It’s time that we as a community commit to sharing, engaging with and prioritizing the elevation of diverse, compelling stories that are representative of more than just a white, cis gay ideal. This has to begin not only within Logo but also the community at large through conversations we have with each other ― and what we choose to watch on a Friday night.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” airs Friday nights at 8:00 PM ET/PT on VH1 with an encore on Logo every Monday.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.