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White House says full fiscal 2018 budget to be released on May 23

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The White House is set to unveil President Donald Trump’s first full budget for the 2018 fiscal year on Tuesday – a plan that will include details about his proposed cuts to foreign aid and domestic spending, and his desired hikes for the military.

Trump will not be in town for the occasion. He embarks on his first foreign trip on Friday to the Middle East and Europe.

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White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney revealed the date in a speech to the Federalist Society on Thursday.

The White House had released what is known as a “skinny budget” in March, Trump’s first crack at a summary of his spending wishes for discretionary programs for the year that begins Sept. 30.

The plan drew criticism even from members of his own Republican Party for being too severe. Republicans control both the Senate and House of Representatives. Congress holds the federal purse strings and seldom approves presidents’ budget plans.

A $1.2 trillion federal spending deal for the 2017 fiscal year, passed last month, included about half of the extra military funding that Trump wanted. It included some funds for border security, but no money for Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Tuesday’s full budget request will include projections for mandatory spending on programs like Social Security and Medicare, and will include a decade’s worth of projections for spending and tax revenues, as well as economic forecasts.

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(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


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Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure

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Former diplomat and Reagan adviser Alan Keyes is a well-known gadfly who has run multiple times for president and for Senate, most famously against future President Barack Obama in 2004.

But lately, according to The Daily Beast, he has been involved in a different pursuit: the promotion of a dangerous pseudoscience scam known as the "Miracle Mineral Solution," or MMS.

The substance, which is actually just the powerful bleach chlorine dioxide, is supposedly a cure for everything from viral infections to infertility, and there was even a cultlike church known as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, that promoted it as a gift from God. MMS has particularly taken root in developing countries like Uganda, but it also has a following in the United States, and many autistic children have been forced to drink it. Versions of this scam have even been promoted on Amazon.

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American exceptionalism is killing the planet

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Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

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Joni Ernst accused of involvement in ‘dark money’ re-election scheme: report

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According to a report from the Associated Press, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has been accused of illegally working with an outside group to help her re-election prospects in a tough 2020 fight with Donald Trump on the ballot.

According to AP: "An outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law."

"Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign," the report continued. "And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her."

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