Trump Just Quietly Replaced Our Nation’s Top Military Advisors With Steve Bannon

“A radical departure from any National Security Council in history”

Donald Trump’s executive order targeting refugees and immigrants may have only been the second most disastrous decision he made this weekend.

On Saturday, Trump quietly demoted the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of National Intelligence from his National Security Council and replaced them with his controversial personal advisor, Steve Bannon. The JCS and DNI are the two leading adivsory positions on the council, making their demotion much, much more than symbolic.

The decision means the nation’s most vital national security decisions will now be filtered through a political appointee with ties to the Alt Right movement and who just a few months ago was running a highly partisan news web site. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, who have always sat in on NSC briefings, will now only attend meetings that directly involve, "issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed," according to Trump’s order.

The move sent shockwaves through the intelligence community and was blasted by prominent figures including Sen. John McCain and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, both Republicans.

“I am worried about the National Security Council. Who are the members of it and who are the permanent members?” McCain said in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “The appointment of Mr. Bannon is something which is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history."

“I think pushing them out of the National Security Council meetings, except when their specific issues are at stake, is a big mistake," Gates added in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. "I think that they both bring a perspective and judgment and experience to bear that every president, whether they like it or not, finds useful."

The shocking decision further aggravates public and private tensions between Trump and the intelligence community. As Gates noted, it’s not unusual for members to be added to the NSC, but taking away two central voices, particularly the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is truly unprecedented and will limit the input of experienced voices advising Trump as he charts the nation’s course on international affairs.

Even more disturbing is that while much of the world rightfully focuses on Trump’s attempts to bar refugees and legal immigrants from entering the U.S., very little attention is being paid to the NSC move. It’s understandable on the surface, as the very human individual faces of refugees makes for a more emotionally compelling narrative than the complex rigors of federal bureaucracy. But however inflammatory, the refugee issue is likely to quickly sort itself out through court injunctions and a massive, growing public outcry. Meanwhile, there is almost nothing anyone can do about Trump’s decision to limit, and heavily skew, the level of expertise he allows to filter through the NSC.

And because those are the decisions that so often create refugees, rather than simply deciding where they can and can’t go, it should be all the more upsetting to people paying attention to how this new administration’s policies are already having an impact around the globe.

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading