Trump, on Twitter Rampage, Threatens Republican Group

President Donald Trump took a swipe at the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday, threatening on Twitter to "fight" the hard-line conservative Republican group if its members fail to get in line with his agenda. The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017

The unusual move to target lawmakers in his own party comes less than a week after the failure of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Freedom Caucus members had petitioned the president to make deeper cuts to Obamacare.

CityViews: Workers Comp Hearings Shouldn’t Be English-Only

MCPA Photos
In our current political climate, workers face increasingly serious threats from the federal government. The Trump administration has demonstrated that they are willing to turn a blind eye to workers' rights, and have already actively undermined legal protections for workers. To their credit, many leaders in New York State have, thus far, stood with working New Yorkers in the face of these threats. Unfortunately, these same leaders have neglected to address a systemic issue impacting the rights and economic security of workers. In 2016, after hearing reports from workers and colleagues that the Workers' Compensation Board was neglecting the needs of workers' compensation claimants with limited English proficiency, the Workers' Protection Coalition, led by the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, embarked on a monitoring project to ascertain the extent of the problem in New York City.

New species of wild ginger discovered in DR Congo

In a remote mountainous rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), scientists have discovered a new species of wild ginger. The newly described plant -- discovered on the Misotshi-Kabogo Massif located in the Albertine rift -- is currently known only from forests at elevations of 1,500-2,000 meters, where it occurs in large patches. It is locally abundant, and can be seen flowering at the peak of the rainy season from October to November, researchers report in a new study published in the journal Phytotaxa. Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) first chanced upon the ginger plant during a field survey in the Misotshi-Kabogo Massif (formerly called Kabobo) in 2007. The rugged massif comprises of a chain of largely-unexplored mountains lying along the western shore of Lake Tanganyika, the world's longest freshwater lake bordering the DRC, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Breaking-up bad: Plan to dissolve key Twin Cities transit funding board is now, officially, dead

Peter Callaghan

The death of the Counties Transit Improvement Board appears to be dead.While the deadline to dissolve the regional transit funding body, known as CTIB, doesn't technically come until the end of the day Friday, both Hennepin County and Dakota County have failed to take actions that would have completed a proposal to break up the board once and for all. Dakota County voted against the dissolution earlier in the month. Its seven commissioners don't think the county and its taxpayers are getting a good enough deal, and their unanimous vote blocked the move: CTIB bylaws require all five counties who are members — Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington — to agree on a break-up plan. Earlier this week, Hennepin County tabled its own resolution that would have agreed to the divorce. While Hennepin supported the dissolution plan, it decided not to go through the motions given that the deal was already dead.

Watch the Top Democrat on the Senate Intel Committee Explain the Trump-Russia Scandal

The US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday convened its first hearing in its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. In stark contrast House intelligence committee's investigation—which has been brought to a halt by the partisan brinksmanship of the panel's chair, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)—the leaders of the Senate investigation say they are trying to keep things as bipartisan and transparent as possible. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the committee's vice chairman, used his opening statement to sum up Russia's election interference—and the ways that Trump associates may have been connected to this Kremlin operation. "We are seeking to determine if there is an actual fire, but there's clearly a lot of smoke," Warner said. Read his full statement below:

Today's hearing is important to help understand the role Russia played in the 2016 presidential elections.

In Face of Corn Boycott, Trump Decides NAFTA Not So Bad After All

Mexico is threatening to use the power of corn to fight Donald Trump's tough talk on trade:

As President Trump threatens Mexico with drastic changes on trade, its leaders are wielding corn as a weapon. Mexico's Senate is considering legislation calling for a boycott of U.S. corn, and the government has begun negotiating with Argentina and Brazil to import corn from those nations tax-free. The threat of a boycott is Mexico's latest and perhaps cleverest attempt to fight back against Trump, whose threats to pull out of free trade agreements and slap a 20% import tax on Mexican products have shaken confidence in Mexico's economy. And apparently it's working:

The Trump administration is signaling to Congress it would seek mostly modest changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement in upcoming negotiations with Mexico and Canada, a deal President Donald Trump called a “disaster” during the campaign. ....The draft, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, talks of seeking “to improve procedures to resolve disputes,” rather than eliminating the panels.

“Irrational,” “Reckless,” “Irresponsible”: The EPA Just Accidentally Told the Truth About Trump’s Climate Plan

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump visited the Environmental Protection Agency, where he signed an executive order dismantling key Obama-era policies aimed at fight climate change. On Thursday morning, the EPA sent out a press release highlighting some wonderful praise that Trump's order has received from groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and—of course—Republican politicians. But the top quote in the EPA's email, attributed to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), had an unexpected message:


Senator Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va)

With this Executive Order, President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand. Walking away from the Clean Power Plan and other climate initiatives, including critical resiliency projects is not just irresponsible— it's irrational. Today's executive order calls into question America's credibility and our commitment to tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime.

House committee to vote on extending tug escorts to oil barges

Every week, an oil tanker laden with a crude oil called dilbit makes the journey from Vancouver, B.C., to Tacoma, winding its way through the passages of the San Juan Islands to southern Puget Sound. If the dilbit aboard spills into water, it will sink to the bottom, attaching to sediment. This makes it much harder to clean up than other oil spills. That weekly trip of dilbit – bitumen diluted with natural-gas condensates containing naphtha – through Washington's ecologically sensitive Salish Sea soon will happen much more frequently, as often as every day. With the expected expansion in capacity of Canada's Kinder-Morgan pipeline from Alberta, oil vessel traffic through the Salish Sea is expected to increase nine-fold, according to a vessel traffic study by two university researchers.

Somebody Built a Robot that Automatically Burns Donald Trump’s Tweets in Real-Time

As President Donald Trump continues to ignore bipartisan pleas to quit his Twitter habit, a newly-built robot is being tasked to confront each of the president's social media missives in a way many Americans would likely find cathartic: by printing all of Trump's tweets in real-time, only to immediately set them on fire. The accompanying Twitter account, "Burned Your Tweets," records each ignited tweet and sends them to @RealDonaldTrump account. .@realDonaldTrump I burned your tweet.
— Burned Your Tweet (@burnedyourtweet) March 30, 2017

.@realDonaldTrump I burned your tweet.
— Burned Your Tweet (@burnedyourtweet) March 30, 2017

.@fatfingerjoe I burned your tweet.