Home Daily News Clips Friday News: U.S. Strikes Syria Following Chemical Weapons Use; “The Bad, the...

Friday News: U.S. Strikes Syria Following Chemical Weapons Use; “The Bad, the Worse and the Ugly”


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, April 7.

  • Posting Sen. Tim Kaine’s statement here as well:

    “Assad is a brutal dictator who must be held accountable for his actions. But President Trump has launched a military strike against Syria without a vote of Congress. The Constitution says war must be declared by Congress. I voted for military action against Syria in 2013 when Donald Trump was advocating that America turn its back on Assad’s atrocities. Congress will work with the President, but his failure to seek Congressional approval is unlawful.”

    • True Blue

      No one else in Congress was willing to vote on a declaration of war when President Obama suggested it was constitutionally necessary. McConnell was willing to “blow up the Senate” for the Gorsuch nomination and while McCain (“Supporters Of The Nuclear Option Are ‘Stupid Idiots'”), Flake, Collins, and others spoke out vociferously against the nuclear option they still voted for the move. Will McConnell eliminate legislative filibuster in the near future to promote another war?

  • Quizzical

    Is there an AUMF covering use of military force against the Syrian government? I only ask because President Obama seemed to think that without one, he lacked authority to order a strike against Syria back in 2013. So an AUMF bill was underway in Congress back then, but it was never passed because of the deal that was reached that Syria would give up all of its chemical weapons.

    Is this a IOKIYAR thing?

      • Of course, LBJ and Richard Nixon didn’t ask Congress for approval as they bombed the @#$@ out of North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, etc in the 1960s/early 1970s. Point is, the “imperial presidency” has been around for a looooong time.

    • old_redneck

      GEN David Petreaus: “Tell me how this ends.”

      • Exactly. I mean, is this a “one-off” or the start of a sustained campaign? What are the goals here? For instance, if our goal is to topple the Assad regime, that would require a sustained effort to basically destroy his military. Or, if the goal is to punish him for using chemical weapons, is the action we saw last night sufficient/appropriate/etc? Also, does anyone Trump imbecile/conspiracy theorist/etc. Trump to do ANYTHING right, let alone war?


    The unemployment rate declined to 4.5 percent in March, and total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 98,000,
    the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services
    and in mining, while retail trade lost jobs.

    Household Survey Data

    The unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 4.5 percent in March, and the number of unemployed
    persons declined by 326,000 to 7.2 million. Both measures were down over the year. (See table A-1.)

    Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (4.0 percent), Whites (3.9 percent), and
    Hispanics (5.1 percent) declined in March. The jobless rates for adult men (4.3 percent), teenagers (13.7
    percent), Blacks (8.0 percent), and Asians (3.3 percent) showed little or no change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and

    In March, the number of persons unemployed less than 5 weeks declined by 232,000 to 2.3 million. The number of
    long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed over the month at 1.7 million and
    accounted for 23.3 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed was
    down by 526,000. (See table A-12.)

    The labor force participation rate remained at 63.0 percent in March, and the employment-population ratio, at
    60.1 percent, changed little. The employment-population ratio has edged up over the year, while the labor force
    participation rate has shown no clear trend. (See table A-1.)

    The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time
    workers), at 5.6 million, was little changed in March but was down by 567,000 over the year. These individuals,
    who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or
    because they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

    In March, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier.
    (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available
    for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
    they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

    Among the marginally attached, there were 460,000 discouraged workers in March, down by 125,000 from a year
    earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work
    because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons marginally attached to the
    labor force in March had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.
    (See table A-16.)

    Establishment Survey Data

    Total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 98,000 in March, following gains of 219,000 in February and 216,000
    in January. Over the month, employment growth occurred in professional and business services (+56,000) and in
    mining (+11,000), while retail trade lost jobs (-30,000). (See table B-1.)

    In March, employment in professional and business services rose by 56,000, about in line with the average monthly
    gain over the prior 12 months. Over the month, job gains occurred in services to buildings and dwellings
    (+17,000) and in architectural and engineering services (+7,000).

    Mining added 11,000 jobs in March, with most of the gain occurring in support activities for mining (+9,000).
    Mining employment has risen by 35,000 since reaching a recent low in October 2016.

    In March, employment continued to trend up in health care (+14,000), with job gains in hospitals (+9,000) and
    outpatient care centers (+6,000). In the first 3 months of this year, health care added an average of 20,000 jobs
    per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 32,000 in 2016.

    Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in March (+9,000) and has increased by 178,000 over the
    past 12 months.

    Construction employment changed little in March (+6,000), following a gain of 59,000 in February. Employment in
    construction has been trending up since late last summer, largely among specialty trade contractors and in
    residential building.

    Retail trade lost 30,000 jobs in March. Employment in general merchandise stores declined by 35,000 in March and
    has declined by 89,000 since a recent high in October 2016.

    Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing,
    information, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change over the month.

    The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3 hours in March. In
    manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours, and overtime edged down by 0.1 hour to 3.2
    hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged down by
    0.1 hour to 33.5 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

    In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 5 cents to $26.14,
    following a 7-cent increase in February. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 68 cents, or 2.7
    percent. In March, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by
    4 cents to $21.90. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised down from +238,000 to +216,000, and the
    change for February was revised down from +235,000 to +219,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January
    and February combined were 38,000 less than previously reported. Monthly revisions result from additional reports
    received from businesses since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. Over
    the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 178,000 per month.

  • Rational Lefty

    Right-wingers have been commenting all morning that Hillary said she would have done the same thing yesterday. The difference is she would have had a policy which included a long-term plan for a solution to the situation. The strikes would have been fully supported by a competent administration, not an impulsive bunch of lunatics who had a different policy the day prior to the strikes and will have yet a different policy tomorrow.

    Also, she wouldn’t be banning refugees.

    • Right. Also, she’s brilliant and sane. Trump is an imbecile and insane. Minor differences there…


    ~ As Defunding Efforts Proliferate Around the Country, Coalition of 16 AGs Opposes Ohio Law that Would Defund Planned Parenthood and Other Health Service Providers in Violation of the First Amendment and Due Process Clause ~

    RICHMOND (April 7, 2017)-Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a coalition of 16 Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, challenging an Ohio state law that would defund Planned Parenthood and any other health service providers that perform or offer information on abortions, even making them ineligible for public health grants that are unrelated to abortion, such as grants for health education, cancer screenings, and infant mortality prevention.

    The Attorneys General argue that the Ohio law violates the First Amendment and Due Process Clause because the law imposes an unconstitutional condition on state grants that infringes on plaintiffs’ right to free speech, as well as plaintiffs’ right to provide comprehensive healthcare services including abortion services, and their clients’ right to receive such services.

    “It is a woman’s fundamental right to make her own reproductive health choices, yet this law and other restrictive measures like it around the country only limit healthcare options and deny vital services to women and families,” said Attorney General Herring. “In Virginia, we have avoided these kinds of misguided attacks on women primarily because of Gov. McAuliffe’s veto. Throughout my career I have always stood up against these kinds of attacks, and I am proud to join with my fellow Attorneys General in defending a woman’s ability to access the safe, affordable medical treatment she chooses.”

    Joining Herring in signing the brief, which was led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, are Attorneys General from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

    Click here to read the amicus brief.

    The brief highlights the fact that, since 2009 alone, at least 15 states have passed laws or taken executive actions to prohibit family-planning and other public-health funds from being awarded to Planned Parenthood affiliates and other providers of abortion services, even when those funds are specifically directed to support services that have nothing to do with abortion. Similarly, congressional Republicans have sought to defund abortion service providers as part of their unsuccessful bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act. While this measure is on hold for now, Congress has also passed a resolution that encourages states to pass defunding measures, repealing a Department of Health and Human Services rule that prohibits states from denying federally funded family-planning grants for reasons unrelated to the entity’s ability to provide family-planning services.

    Ohio’s law, which was blocked before it could take effect, would have prohibited the State from awarding public-health grants to providers who perform or provide information on safe and legal abortions, even though the grants have nothing to do with abortion services. Those grants instead provide funds for other health services, such as education to prevent violence against women, screening for breast and cervical cancer, HIV and AIDS prevention, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and infant mortality prevention.

    With defunding efforts of this kind proliferating around the country, the Attorneys General seek to ensure the availability of safe abortion services and other important public health services from accessible providers in each of their states, and to protect the right of providers to engage in constitutionally-protected activity.