SPLASH! News for March 17, 2017

Dive Into the News of the Day

Photo Credit: Kiran Opal


Everyone Loves Sanders. Except Democrats

The Guardian – If you look at the numbers, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America – and it’s not even close. Yet bizarrely, the Democratic party – out of power across the country and increasingly irrelevant – still refuses to embrace him and his message. It’s increasingly clear they do so at their own peril.

A new Fox News poll out this week shows Sanders has a +28 net favorability rating among the US population, dwarfing all other elected politicians on both ends of the political spectrum. And he’s even more popular among the vaunted “independents,” where he is at a mind boggling +41.

This poll is not just an aberration. Look at this Huffington Post chart that has tracked Sanders’s favorability rating over time, ever since he gained national prominence in 2015 when he started running for the Democratic nomination. The more people got to know him, they more they liked him – the exact opposite of what his critics said would happen when he was running against Clinton.

GOP Health Care Plan Struggles to Gain Traction Within Party

TIME – Pulling in different directions, Republicans are striving to get traction for a health care overhaul in danger of being dragged down by intra-party differences.

Some GOP governors weighed in Thursday evening in a letter to congressional leaders saying the House bill gives them almost no new flexibility and lacks sufficient resources to protect the vulnerable. It landed as Republican moderates and conservatives in the House remained split, and senators expressed reservations. Democrats are united in fierce opposition.

President Donald Trump, whose administration initially embraced the House health care bill, has lately called it “very preliminary,” adding that “we will take care of our people or I’m not signing it.”

On Friday morning, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is scheduled to meet with the restive House Republican caucus.

Tillerson: Military Action Against North Korea ‘an option’

BBC News – The US has said its policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea is over, and suggested it may decide to take pre-emptive military action.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the option was “on the table” if the threat from the North’s weapons programme reached a level requiring it.
During a visit to South Korea, he also said the US was exploring a range of new diplomatic and economic measures.

He also defended the deployment of a US missile system in South Korea.
The move has angered China, but South Korea and the US say the system is needed to defend against North Korea. Mr Tillerson spoke shortly after visiting the demilitarised zone which divides the two Koreas.

Mnuchin May Soften Brazen US Trade Talk in His G-20 Debut

Bloomberg – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may offer the Group of 20 something the world hasn’t heard yet from the new U.S. administration on currency and trade policy: reassurance.

Mnuchin arrives Friday in Baden-Baden, Germany, for a meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bankers, during his first official trip abroad. There he’ll run into international peers with sway over the world’s biggest developed and emerging economies who are grappling with the uncertainty of the Trump administration’s “America First” message.

In his first press conference since becoming Treasury chief last month, Mnuchin sat next to his German counterpart Thursday in Berlin and described his talks with Wolfgang Schaeuble as “extremely productive.” Schaeuble was also complimentary, calling the discussion “a good start.”

Wrongfully Convicted Man Free After 32 Years

CNN – “I’ve been inside for 32 years, three months and 14 days. It’s been that long,” Wilson told CNN.

Wilson has been in prison all those years. He went in at age 30 convicted of murder and now at 62 he is a free man because evidence had come to light that the prosecution withheld in the case all those years ago. Superior Court Judge Laura Priver ruled Wilson had been deprived of his constitutional rights to a fair trial, vacating his conviction and ordering his immediate release. One day later Wilson was free.

“I say it all the time, don’t stop fighting. Don’t give up. It seems like that’s what the justice system wants you to do and I never gave up,” Wilson said adding, “By the grace of God I was put in contact with Loyola Law School.”

His attorneys and students from the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent worked to bring the new information to light. The information they found showed the prosecution had withheld information during the murder trial.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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SPLASH! News for March 17, 2017