Feds to Give All Your Health Data to Researchers

The federal government has just launched a 10-year, $1.5 billion project for which researchers want your information . . .

Medical records, mental-health records, lifestyle details, personal habits, physical measurements, blood pressure, height, weight, blood and urine samples, details on health-care visits, procedures, medications, and electronic health records, among others . . .

It’s called All of Us and scientists say they want at least one million people to be under observation on an ongoing basis.

Explains one federal report, the effort by the NIH has the goal of developing “a 1,000,000 person-plus cohort of individuals across the country willing to share their biology, lifestyle, and environmental data for the purpose of research.”

A “soft launch” already has been accomplished, and partners already part of the plan include the TransAmerica Precision Medicine Consortium, Biobank, San Ysidro Health, University of Arizona, University of Pittsburgh and a long list of federal agencies. (Read more from “Feds to Give All Your Health Data to Researchers” HERE)

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Man Hit with Major Fine for ‘Crime of Opinion’

It’s common knowledge that there are “no-go zones” for Christians across Europe, those regions where there now are majority Muslim populations and while on the books the laws may have remained reflective of the continent’s Christian heritage, in practice it’s different . . .

It’s quite possible that the Islamist influence has moved well beyond what many would have expected, after a man in Sweden, one of those nations that are protective of Islam, was fined $1,265 for a “crime of opinion.”

The man, age 55, from Jönköping, was convicted, and fined, for “writing on Facebook that Sunni Muslims account for a lot of the gang-related crimes and rapes committed in Sweden.” . . .

The man’s own statement, reportedly, went, “Somalis are Sunni Muslim, they have the same orientation as Saudi Arabia, with sharia law & other s*it… They account for a lot of gang crime in Sweden and other violent stuff like rapes. Afghans are also up to 80 percent Sunni, the d— pack.”

That apparently violated Sweden’s Islamist-protective rules against being “derogatory,” which is a ‘crime of opinion.” (Read more from “Man Hit with Major Fine for ‘Crime of Opinion'” HERE)

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‘Police State’ National ID Card in Major Bill

Inserted in a sweeping House bill introduced earlier this month called Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 is the establishment of a new biometric National ID card for all Americans that has privacy activists sounding alarms.

Introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., H.R. 4760 encompasses issues such as education, Homeland Security and the military. Buried in the 400-page legislation is the new mandatory national identification system in which citizens would be required to carry a government-approved ID containing “biometric features.”

The bill states that anyone seeking employment in the country must have the card.

The purpose of the measure, part of the legislative solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is to curb illegal immigration. It specifically addresses the shortcomings of the E-Verify system, which has failed to catch an estimated 54 percent of illegal immigrant workers.

Ron Paul, the former Republican lawmaker and presidential candidate known for his libertarian views, has launched a campaign against the national ID through his non-profit Campaign for Liberty, including an online petition. (Read more from “‘Police State’ National ID Card in Major Bill” HERE)

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Look Who’s Suing to Quash U.S. Terror Screening

A group established as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. is suing the federal government’s Terrorist Screening Database, contending it stigmatizes its targets without due process.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Associated Press reported, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Dallas on behalf of five Muslim American citizens.

CAIR said the Muslims face consequences for being on the watch list, “including the inability to fly on airplanes, intrusive screenings at airports, and the denial of applications for credit cards and bank loans.”

The database, charged CAIR’s senior litigation attorney, Gadeir Abbas, is “nothing more than a list of innocent Muslim citizens who have not been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime.”

Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer – noting CAIR was named by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case – asks, with a large dose of irony: “What could its purpose possibly be in wanting to end the Terrorist Screening Database?” (Read more from “Look Who’s Suing to Quash U.S. Terror Screening” HERE)

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MLK ‘Knew’ He’d Be Gunned Down

As Americans pause to commemorate what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 89th birthday, a new book chronicles the civil rights leader’s horrific assassination 50 years ago, the harrowing pursuit of his killer and the legacy he leaves with us today.

James L. Swanson is the author of “Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassin.” Swanson, who writes of these searing moments in history in the style of a novel, has also written on the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy and the pursuit of their assassins . . .

“I think Martin Luther King is one of the bravest men in American history, in a way more so than Abraham Lincoln or John Kennedy. Unlike them, Dr. King was under constant threat of death and harassment for over 10 years,” Swanson explained.

Swanson begins the book by recounting the 1958 attack on King’s life, when a deranged black woman named Izola Ware Curry stabbed King in the heart at a book signing event in Harlem. Later, the FBI kept very close tabs on King, and one official even sent a letter urging King to take his own life before receiving the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize . . .

“He could have gone back to private life and lived quietly as a husband, father and minister at his local church,” Swanson said. “But he said for this great cause, we must all be prepared to die. In fact, when John Kennedy was assassinated, Martin Luther King turned to his wife and said, ‘Well, you know that’s what’s going to happen to me.’” (Read more from “MLK ‘Knew’ He’d Be Gunned Down” HERE)

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Obamacare Mandate ‘Irony’: It’s Tax Repealed in Tax Reform

Republicans succeeded in repealing the individual mandate in the 2010 Affordable Care Act as part of the recent tax reform package, but a leading health care expert urges President Trump and members of Congress to do even more this year to bring financial relief to Americans saddled by high premiums and deductibles.

Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner has been on the front lines of the health care debate since before the Clinton administration attempted to give government a greater role in the sector in the 1990s. A fierce critic of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, Turner is relishing how the individual mandate was sent to the scrap heap starting in 2019.

“The lovely irony is that the least popular provision of Obamacare was repealed in the tax bill. It’s a bit of a touché to the Supreme Court,” said Turner, noting that the court upheld the individual mandate as constitutional only if it was considered a tax.

Beyond the political and legal drama, Turner says the mandate improved nothing and was a major burden on people.

“It was ineffective. It was not doing what it needed to do. Health insurance was so expensive that it was driving people away from policies. Even with the tax penalties, people still found it was cheaper to pay the penalties than to buy this expensive coverage,” said Turner. (Read more from “Obamacare Mandate ‘Irony’: It’s Tax Repealed in Tax Reform” HERE)

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Is Trump-Bannon Feud Based on Fake Quotes?

A friend and adviser of Donald Trump quoted in a controversial upcoming exposé of the White House calling the president “stupid” says the author put words in his mouth, casting doubt on other sensational claims that rocked the administration Wednesday, including that Trump didn’t want to win the election.

Thomas J. Barrack told the New York Times the quote attributed to him by Michael Wolff in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” is “totally false.”

Wolff quoted Barrack telling a friend that the president is “not only crazy, he’s stupid.”

But Barrack commented Wednesday: “It’s clear to anyone who knows me that those aren’t my words and inconsistent with anything I’ve ever said.”

Barrack told the Times that Wolff never vetted the quotation with him for accuracy. (Read more from “Is Trump-Bannon Feud Based on Fake Quotes?” HERE)

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As Flu Spreads, Hospitals Are Restricting Patients

The flu is now considered “widespread” across Minnesota.

In other words, the flu virus has been reported at hospitals all over the state.

Many hospitals are placing restrictions on visitors to stop the spread.

“We’re seeing people with body aches, headaches, high fevers, sore throat, cough, wheezing,” said Dr. Bjorn Peterson.

Emergency rooms across the state are dealing with an increase in the number of people seeking relief from flu-like symptoms. (Read more from “As Flu Spreads, Hospitals Are Restricting Patients” HERE)

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Senate Admits to Paying $1.5 Million for Harassment

The Senate quietly released a bare-bones report late Thursday on what a statement called “harassment settlement” data, showing that nearly $1.5 million in taxpayers’ money has been spent over the past two decades to cover claims against lawmakers and other Senate offices.

The two-page release contained no names of senators or victims. It said $599,000 was for 13 settlements involving “member-led” Senate offices, while the remaining $853,000 was for 10 settlements involving “other” Senate offices.

The Senate’s Rules and Appropriations committees released the information on the evening of Congress’ final work day this year. It came during a period that has seen several lawmakers resign or announce their retirements following sexual harassment accusations, and growing condemnation for the secrecy with which Congress has guarded information about such cases.

While the release called the information “harassment settlement data,” none of the terse descriptions of each case used those words. Four of the cases involved sex discrimination, including two that also involved “reprisal,” while most of the rest were for race, age or disability discrimination. (Read more from “Senate Admits to Paying $1.5 Million for Harassment” HERE)

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The House Just Gave Trump a Big Win on Tax Reform

The GOP has inched one step closer to enacting monumental tax reform.

By a vote of 227 to 203, House Republicans passed an updated version of their comprehensive tax legislation, also known as the the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Bucking their party, 12 Republicans voted against the bill. These GOP members mostly hailed from high-tax states and are concerned with rollbacks of state and local tax deductions.

As predicted, no Democrat voted in favor of the legislation.

Tuesday’s vote marks the second time in a month House Republicans passed tax reform — the lower chamber approved a tax bill in November, but their version was markedly different than the Senate’s version that was passed in early December.

Because a uniform bill was needed, Republican House and Senate leaders met in conference committee and reached a compromise on identical measures to be passed in both chambers of Congress.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a sweeping reform of the U.S. tax code, calling for slashes in rates for the majority of Americans and a simplification of the system.

The bill will deliver $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over a span of ten years, cut the corporate rate to from 35 percent to 21 percent and lower individual tax rates.

Multinational companies would also see a completely revamped tax system — including a one-time tax on foreign profits that have been earned, but kept overseas to avoid U.S. taxes, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Notably, the bill repeals the individual mandate to purchase health care, an unpopular provision in Obamacare that requires every American to purchase health insurance or else pay a fine.

With the House vote out of the way, the Senate is expected to act on the bill later in the evening, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

While most are certain Senate Republicans have the numbers to send the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk, the vote is expected to be razor thin.

Currently, the Senate Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate. During the last tax vote, the GOP only endured one defector, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who joined Democrats in voting against the bill.

While Corker has now announced support for the updated bill, Senate Republicans are still in a somewhat precarious situation. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, who is battling brain cancer, revealed he will be in his home state to seek medical care and be with his family during the tax vote, leaving Republicans with one less body.

The other Republican senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, has yet to say if he will vote for the bill or not.

Nevertheless, Senate Republicans appeared to be good position after Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a very moderate member of the GOP, announced her support. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — who had previously said he was against the bill, citing a desire to see child tax credits expanded — switched to a “yes” after negotiators met him halfway.

Vice President Mike Pence postponed a scheduled trip to the Middle East in case he is needed in the Senate to cast a tie-breaking vote.

President Donald Trump has asked that the bill be passed in both chambers and sent to his desk for signature by Christmas — a goal that looks very likely to come to fruition. (For more from the author of “The House Just Gave Trump a Big Win on Tax Reform the House Just Gave Trump a Big Win on Tax Reform” please click HERE)

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