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Pentagon Confirms Weekend Drone Strikes Under Trump and More In Politics Today

by Countable | 3.20.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. "Pentagon confirms weekend drone strikes in Yemen under Trump"

"The Pentagon confirmed Monday that it conducted three drone strikes in Yemen against al Qaeda militants over the weekend. The strikes were the first since President Donald Trump was sworn in to office, but the Pentagon said the strikes did not require authorization from him or Defense Secretary James Mattis. “Those authorities are delegated," Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said at a briefing.”

"Davis said one strike was conducted in al Bayda, Yemen each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The strikes were conducted against al Qaeda's Yemen branch, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Experts have deemed it to be the most dangerous al Qaeda branch.

The strike on Friday killed one al Qaeda operative, while the one on Saturday killed three people and the one on Sunday one person."

Read more at The Hill.

2. "WH spox downplays historic women's marches"

"White House press secretary Sean Spicer downplayed on Monday the massive women's rights marches that took place Saturday in Washington, D.C. and across the United States, saying that protesters were actually "not against anything," let alone Donald Trump. Thousands of marchers attended protests on Saturday along the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as well as in hundreds of other cities across the United States and around the world."

"What is the President's message to the millions of people here in Washington and around the country who were protesting on Saturday?" a reporter asked at Spicer's first formal briefing.

"I think he has a healthy respect for the First Amendment and this is what makes our country so beautiful, is that on one day you can inaugurate a President, on the next day people can occupy the same space to protest something," Spicer said. "But he's also cognizant to the fact that a lot of these people were there to protest an issue of concern to them and not against anything.”

*Read more at Talking Points Memo. *

3. "Trump rejects Pacific trade deal, in blow to Obama’s legacy"

"President Trump formally abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, pulling away from Asia and scrapping his predecessor’s most significant trade deal on his first full weekday in office, administration officials said."

"Mr. Trump sharply criticized the partnership agreement during last year’s campaign, calling it a bad deal for American workers. Although the deal had not been approved by Congress, the decision to withdraw the American signature at the start of Mr. Trump’s administration is a signal that he plans to follow through on promises to take a more aggressive stance against foreign competitors."

Read more at the New York Times.

4. "GOP senators outline first Obamacare replacement plan"

"The GOP’s first Obamacare replacement proposal landed in the legislative hopper on Monday, as two Republican senators outlined their preferred alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

The move comes amid conflicting signals from Republicans about when and how they will dismantle Obamacare and enact their own health care reform plan."

"The proposal unveiled on Monday, sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, could provide a starting point for the Obamacare replacement debate. But the Cassidy-Collins bill also includes several controversial provisions — including at least temporarily keeping all the tax increases included in Obamacare to pay for their alternative — that could be nonstarters within their own party."

Read more at USA Today.

5. "Trump freezes hiring of many federal workers"

"President Trump instituted a government-wide hiring freeze Monday, signing an executive order that he said would affect all employees “except for the military." Trump had pledged to halt government hiring as part of his campaign’s “Contract with the American Voter,” which he framed as part of a larger effort to “clean up corruption and special interest in Washington D.C.” That campaign plan, however, also included exemptions for public safety and public health.”

"The last two major, across-the-board freezes were instituted by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, who imposed them after taking office. In 1982, the General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office) issued a report concluding that both freezes ended up costing more money than they saved and were “not an effective means of controlling federal employment."

Read more at the Washington Post.

— Erin Wright

(Photo Credit: gregwest98 / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(83)
  • Delia
    01/24/2017
    ···

    I, as a citizen of the United States, DO want to see Donald Trumps tax returns.

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  • Delia
    01/24/2017
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    Let's be clear, that all people protesting in all countries and across the United States on January 21, 2017, are protesting Donald Trumps cabinet choices and policy issues that clearly violate human rights and are frighteningly pro Russian. These are scary times and I don't want my representatives normalizing the actions of Donald Trump.

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  • Julie
    01/24/2017
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    Please do not defund Planned Parenthood! My body is not up for grabs!

    Like (45)
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  • Kay
    01/24/2017
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    Betsy deVos is unqualified. Make sure she does not take office.

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  • Phillip
    01/24/2017
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    Freezing government department hiring?!? "In 1982, the General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office) issued a report concluding that both freezes (Carter and Reagan)ended up costing more money than they saved and were “not an effective means of controlling federal employment." Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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  • Ray
    01/23/2017
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    So these drone strikes will be ok because a white guy is doing them, right? No. They're never ok.

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  • Mark
    01/24/2017
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    I am lying awake tonight for so many reasons, undisclosed tax returns. His cabinet choices speak volumes about the bottom line. Please keep pushing for an alternative to the ACA. Please weigh in on climate change issues. Please be transparent about the truth verses alternate facts.

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  • Cynthia
    01/24/2017
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    I applaud Senator Schumer for his remarks aimed at Republicans urging them to not accept alternative facts. Please keep the pressure on your Republican colleagues. An alternative fact delivered by the President or the WH Press Secretary is inexcusable.

    Like (25)
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  • friendlycentrist
    01/23/2017
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    Two prior across the board hiring freezes (under Carter and Reagan) ended up costing more money. Along comes Trump and institutes this expensive measure without even knowing what he is doing. Someone stop him.

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  • Carolyn
    01/23/2017
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    A direct comment from Spicer about the Women's March: "But he's also cognizant to the fact that a lot of these people were there to protest an issue of concern to them and not against anything.” Is this another form of alternative facts???

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  • Joanna
    01/24/2017
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    - DeVos is unqualified to oversee the Department of Education - It is unethical that the proposed head of the EPA not only discounts scientific evidence, but also has 7 pending lawsuits against the EPA; this can't be constitutional - The dismissal of disabilities, the environment, LGBTQ issues and civil rights from the White House via removal of content on official websites is deplorable; we demand these issues remain visible and the research & information accessible to all - Making it more costly to receive abortions will merely cause more deaths - We need to see what business interests our President has in foreign countries; this is not just unethical, but a breach of the constitution - Another unconstitutional act of this administration is the censorship of free press; free press is one of the principals on which this country was founded - We demand to see President Trump's tax returns - We support the efforts of the CIA, and do not appreciate the mishandling of information or disrespect of their work by the Leader of the Free World

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  • Jeremy
    01/23/2017
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    How is it that drone strikes under the Obama Administration were decried for years and the first action taken by the Trump Administration is to double down?

    Like (23)
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  • Barb
    01/24/2017
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    I respectfully urge you vote against the confirmation of Jeff Sessions.

    Like (21)
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  • Miles
    01/24/2017
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    Please do not repeal the affordable care act. It may not be perfect but by repealing it you take away over 40,000 jobs and take away medicine and healthcare that people will die from without. This will ultimately hurt the economy and harm the public that you want to help. So please do not repeal the affordable care act.

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  • Rainey
    01/24/2017
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    As a woman, a mother and a professional I am appalled at the authoritarian tone this new administration has taken. Media blackouts, threats to the environment in the interest of corporate leaders, outright lies regarding 'illegal' voters and the massive women's protests held across the country, destruction of women's health and reproductive rights, have all established a pattern that tracks far too closely to that of Germany at the build to WWII. This is dangerous and obscene behavior to support. You should be questioning the long term effects, because this is not good for any of us.

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  • Jane
    01/23/2017
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    I cannot believe they confirmed Tillerson for Sec of State? Are they out of their minds??

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  • Melizalielina
    01/24/2017
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    I protest against Donald Trump and all the despicable things he says and does. He is unqualified to be president. Running a country is not like running a business. His personal issues show a lack of good judgement and being in the spotlight brings out the worst in him. He owes the American public an apology and a pledge to do better, for ALL citizens.

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  • Pattimac47
    01/24/2017
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    Please stop minimizing the concerns of the marchers…

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  • Lisa
    01/24/2017
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    So when the crazy white guy does it, it's ok, but people are outraged when the black guy does it. Hypocrites!!!!!!

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  • Carol
    01/24/2017
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    Marches in Washington are "routine" - how about marches all across the country and everywhere in the world. Does he have any idea of how trump is viewed all over the world? Let me clarify - as a racist, misogynist, who is having tantrums over the size of his "very small" inaugural event and showing his egomania to all.

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