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What Michelle Obama leaves out about 'white flight'

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CNN - Michelle Obama recently complained about "white flight" in her old Chicago neighborhood. By "white flight " she means that whites left her neighborhood as it became increasingly black. "Upstanding families like ours, who were doing everything we were supposed to do and better ? as we moved in, white folks moved out, because they were?
          

It's International Stress Awareness Week ? here's how Michelle Obama, Bill Gates, and other leaders handle stressful situations

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Business Insider - Tim Cook, Kristen Bell, and Michelle Obama all agree that exercise is key. Jeff Bezos recommends taking control of the stressful situation.
          

A terrible Tuesday for Donald Trump

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—It was Donald Trump who publicly tied Kentucky’s state election to himself. At an election-eve rally in Lexington on Monday, he appeared beside Matt Bevin, the Republican incumbent governor. “You’re sending a message to the rest of the country,” he said. A moment later, gesturing to the media, he said, “If you lose they’re going to say Trump suffered the greatest defeat in the history of the world. This was the greatest. You can’t let that happen to me.

They let that happen to him.

Not that it was even the worst thing that happened to him on Tuesday. There was arguably tougher news for Trump from another election state, and much worse out of his impeachment battle, but his plea to Kentucky made what happened there stand out.

When the results came in, it appeared — pending a likely recount — that Democratic candidate Andy Beshear had won the governor’s office by a few thousand votes in the heart of Trump country, a southern state the president won by 30 points in 2016.

Bevin — who would not concede the razor-thin race even though the Democrats declared victory — had tried to tie his campaign to the mutual support between himself and Trump, and campaigned against the federal impeachment efforts. It appears that wasn’t enough.

It’s debatable how much national significance can be read into the result. Bevin’s health care policies, fights with teachers and personal prickliness had made him deeply unpopular in some quarters, and Republicans won all the other major offices in the state. Trump is expected to win Kentucky in the 2020 election, but Tuesday’s results may say something about the size of his coattails, and the limits of what he can or cannot deliver for his allies.

The same day, also in the south, Virginia completed its gradual transformation into a southern Democratic stronghold. A state that was once reliably Republican red — and slowly became “purple” through the Obama years as its suburban demographics changed — is now definitely Democratic blue. Democrats won both houses of the state legislature and every major state office. They now control the Virginia government, and will be in charge when the state’s electoral boundaries are redrawn in 2021. Gun control and passing the Equal Rights Amendment may be on the order paper.

While Virginia’s race might have been more about demographics than Trump himself, his team cannot consider it good news.

But both of those electoral blows may have seemed minor compared to the hole Trump’s hand-picked ambassador to the European Union tore open in the president’s defence in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Earlier Tuesday, it was revealed that Gordon Sondland had filed an amendment to his earlier testimony to a Congressional committee. In it, Sondland now acknowledges that he believed a quid pro quo was being sought in negotiations with Ukraine — that military aid would only flow from the U.S. if Ukraine announced investigations that could benefit Trump politically. Not only did he believe that was the case, his updated testimony said, but he had directly expressed that belief to an aide to the Ukrainian president.

It was quite a reversal by Sondland, who had previously testified that he had no knowledge of a quid pro quo in the matter. It also makes Trump’s argument that there were no conditions attached to the military aid, and that the Ukrainians didn’t even know it was being held up — just that much harder to sustain.

No doubt he will continue to make it. In a statement Tuesday, Trump’s spokesperson maintained that there was no source cited for Sondland’s understanding of the arrangement, and that “The President has done nothing wrong.”

It was just one day in an evolving political landscape, but from Virginia to Kentucky to the hearing rooms of Washington, it was a pretty terrible Tuesday for the president.

Not the “worst defeat in the history of the world,” maybe, but an unusually bad day for a presidency that’s becoming increasingly accustomed to bad days.

Edward Keenan is the Star's Washington Bureau chief. He covers U.S. politics and current affairs. Reach him via email: ekeenan@thestar.ca


          

Usa Thread

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Kentucky may just have elected a Democrat governor. Virginia won the state legislature. Mississippi had its first competitive governor's race in years. The Republican won but the fact there was competition is telling. This voting season may portend the immediate future. Seems more and more people have had enough. Also, the economy is not as good as the administration claims. The economy never recovered as good as the stats were saying under Obama and now with Trump.
          

Usa Thread

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Trump threatening to withhold federal money to help fight the fires in California purely because he and the governor don't get along politically is not even shocking anymore. I recall Obama offered any help then Republican governor, presidential candidate and Trump supporter Christie wanted. That's class. Obama always had class even if you disagreed with him politically. Bush was always kind even in the face of name calling from Dems. Class. But this? Withholding money may cost lives. It speaks to who Trump is.
          

The Insider’s Guide to Dreamforce 2019

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Dreamforce 2019 commences in 18 days. This event brings leaders and pioneers from across all industries together in one place for four days of dynamic engagement. 2,700+ sessions, inspiring keynotes, and unparalleled opportunities for innovation are just a few of the many highlights of this event. Did I mention former President Barack Obama will be making an appearance?  With an event this big on the...

The post The Insider’s Guide to Dreamforce 2019 appeared first on Coveo Blog.


          

White House not happy with school lunch ads starring Obama girls

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There were 14 ad banners at Washington D.C.’s Union Station on August 4 that the White House wanted to disappear. A young girl is featured asking, “President Obama’s daughters get healthy school lunches. Why don’t I?” The White House may want the ads gone but they are within the right of free speech. While the […]
          

World News (Nov 6, 2019 EDN): UK’s National Health Service To Deny Treatment To “Racists” And “Sexists” – Watch: Chinese Social Credit Score Publicly Shames ‘Bad Citizen’ For Jaywalking – “The Greatest Fool”: China May Invest Up To $10 Billion In Aramco IPO – US Constructing Two New Bases In Syria’s Oil-Rich Region – Trump OKs Wider Syria Oil Mission, Raising Legal Questions – US ‘pullout’ from Syria looking more like permanent occupation with 800 troops reporte

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AND NOW… UK's National Health Service To Deny Treatment To "Racists" And "Sexists" https://t.co/VzWyvJgRLV — zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 6, 2019 A National Health Service trust in the UK has announced that it will deny treatment to patients it deems are ‘racists’ or ‘sexists’. First it was social media, then it was bank accounts & mortgages. ... Read more
          

„Laboratorija pokreta“ za blagovremeno otklanjanje deformiteta kičme

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Savremen način života i razvoj tehnologije, pored niza pogodnosti koje pruža čoveku, nosi sobom i neželjene pojave. Zato stručnjaci ukazuju da je fizička aktivnost neophodna svim ljudima, a naročito osobama u razvoju, deci i mladima. Lekari ukazuju da je sve više gojazne dece i dece za deformitetima kičmenog stuba, ravnim stopalima, vratnog dela. „Laboratorija pokreta“, [&hellip
          

Somali Wins Municipal Election in Maine After Obama, Bush Flooded US with More Than 100,000 Somali ‘Refugees’

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by Cristina Laila TheGatewayPundit.com November 6, 2019 Lewiston, the second largest city in Maine which is home to thousands of African migrants after 8 years of Barack Obama’s reckless refugee policy, elected a Somali to its city council. 23-year-old hijab-clad (Sharia compliant), Somali-born Safiya Khalid defeated another Democrat Tuesday night and won a seat on […]
          

Trump Has TEMPORARILY Saved America From Total Destruction

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by Dave Hodges TheCommonSenseShow.com Wednesday, November 6, 2019 President Trump has lived to his reputation as the master of the art of the deal. He has lessened the threat posed on our southern borders by a so-called Red Dawn force. Domestically, the President continues to negate the communist agenda set forth by Obama and the […]
          

Morning Prayers: Deesha Dyer

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Speaker: Deesha Dyer, Speaker, Community Leader, & Organizer; Co-Founder of beGirl.world; Former Obama Administration Social Secretary

          

EXPOSED: THERE ARE STILL HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OBAMA HOLDOVERS IN OUR GOVERNMENT!!!

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Obama on political "woke"-ness: "You should get over that"

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NBC's Carrie Dann takes a look at President Obama's latest comments on the 2020 presidential race — a subject he's been surprisingly quiet on. According to the former president, ideological purity tests just aren't fair when it comes to politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
          

What Democrats Need To Learn From Obama About Aid To Israel

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Democratic candidates should take a page from Obama’s playbook on aid to Israel.
          

Commenti su La macelleria dei ribelli libici, e noi siamo complici. di La macelleria dei ribelli libici, e noi siamo complici. – SURIYA HABIBATI

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[…] Noi italiani ci siamo sporcati le mani con il sangue di persone innocenti, con i vari Pagliara che da Israele e dai luoghi sicuri ci arringa le imprese eroiche di quattro farabutti da ghigliottina, con i vari Frattini, primo tra i ministri della EU a riconoscere una banda di beduini predoni della vita del popolo libico Noi italiani, per la seconda volta, sbarchiamo sulla terra che i nostri padri ed i nostri nonni hanno depredato e saccheggiato in nome della libertà di una masnada di avanzi di galera. Il Popolo libico ci guarda e ci giudica per ciò che facciamo e la dimostrazione della nostra umanità, della nostra civiltà è l’appoggio a crimini inauditi che sfogano la loro brutalità seviziando anche bambini. L’indegno Napolitano, il vero guerrafondaio massone cripto-sionista, e tutta la sua congrega di incappucciati finanziano i ribelli libici con i soldi rubati al popolo libico per permettere stragi inaudite e mai dichiarate dai vari media e dai quotidiani. Il vero volto dei criminali libici di Bengazi sostenti dal criminale di Obama, dal cripto-sionista di Sarkozy, dal massone guerrafondaio sionista di Napolitano, dal sionista di Cameron è espresso chiaramente da alcuni video che per le loro immagini raccapriccianti non ho voluto esporre in questa pagina, ma dei quali vi da il link diretto qui. Fonte:https://4realinf.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/la-macelleria-dei-ribelli-libici-e-noi-siamo-complici/ […]
          

OK President Boomer

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Barack Obama seems more concerned with cancel culture than reversing America’s right-wing slide.
          

Comment on Worth Our Weight Founder Evelyn Cheatham Dies by Chef Joe Durio

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I am truly heart broken as I write this. I talked to my Friend a little over a month ago, when She told me , She was looking forward to coming meet me in New Orleans since She finally had time to travel after the closing of W.O.W.! She definitely inspired me to be a better person after being in Her presence. The world is better because She was in it. Now Heaven is a better place because She is now there. I will truly miss you. Thank you for all that you done for the less fortunate, you were definitely a "True Act of Godliness"! Chef Joe Durio La Chef of the Year, from New Orleans! The Unsung Hero Award Recipient, from President Obama! Founder of the Kajun Kreol Cafe' Franchise Most importantly, Chef Evelyn's Friend!♥
          

The Man Who Popularized The 'Deep State' Doesn't Like The Way It's Used

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Mike Lofgren is the very definition of a civil servant. He was a congressional staffer for 28 years, with most of that time spent crunching numbers on the Senate and House budget committees.

He's moderate and mild-mannered, saying, "I was on the Republican side my whole career. I wasn't a culture wars Republican, basically a fiscal conservative in the manner of say, [President Dwight] Eisenhower."

Lofgren was turned off by the Tea Party Republicans who came into Congress in 2011, and decided it was time to quit. Three years later, Lofgren wrote an essay called, "Anatomy of the Deep State."

The essay is not partisan. Lofgren criticizes both parties, along with the national security community, Wall Street and Silicon Valley. And he takes pains to point out that he's not a conspiracy theorist.

His basic point is that big institutions, inside and outside of government, are so entrenched it's hard to bring any real change. Political options are limited.

"This is not to say it's the worst of all worlds," Lofgren said. "You sort of get a choice between Coke and New Coke."

His idea first gained traction among progressives who felt Republicans were pursuing a scorched-earth policy to thwart President Barack Obama.

In fact, Lofgren wrote his essay for the website of liberal commentator Bill Moyers, and also appeared on the PBS program he hosted.

The state of 'deep state'

Lofgren expanded his essay into a 2016 book called: The Deep State: The Fall Of The Constitution And The Rise Of A Shadow Government. The book got some favorable reviews, but didn't set the publishing world on fire.

Then President Trump took office.

"Unelected, deep state operatives who defy the voters, to push their own secret agendas, are truly a threat to democracy itself," Trump said at a rally last year, one of the many times he's invoked the term.

For the president and his supporters, deep state is shorthand for Democratic-leaning bureaucrats who want to undermine Trump.

Breitbart began extensive coverage to "deep state" stories around the time Trump entered office, and others have followed. In a search of TV transcripts, the term "deep state" appeared only 64 times in 2016, the year Lofgren published his book.

In 2017, it shot up to nearly 2,300 mentions, and surged to nearly 5,000 hits last year, many of them on Fox News.

And it's rarely, if ever, used the way Mike Lofgren intended.

"It's like I released this species into the wild and what it did, or maybe it's a Frankenstein, and what it does is not within my control," he said.

The idea of a conspiratorial deep state goes back centuries. Some trace it to ancient Rome. In recent decades, it has been used to describe countries such as Turkey and Pakistan, where the security forces were seen as dictating orders to elected governments.

Le Carre novel

Lofgren says he first encountered the term in a spy novel A Delicate Truth by John le Carre, who describes the hidden power brokers at work in Great Britain.

Now it pops up everywhere.

"Thank God for the deep state," said John McLaughlin, the former deputy director of the CIA. He spoke ironically, drawing laughs when he made the remark at a recent panel discussion at George Mason University.

But he was making a serious point as he spoke about government officials testifying before congressional committees at the impeachment inquiry.

"Everyone here has seen this progression of diplomats, and intelligence officers and White House people trooping up to Capitol Hill right now, and saying, 'These are people who are doing their duty,'" McLaughlin said.

When we caught up with McLaughlin a few days later, he said he had received some blowback for those comments. Then he went on to say:

"I think it's a silly idea. There is no 'deep state.' What people think of as the 'deep state' is just the American civil service, social security, the people who fix the roads, health and human services, Medicare."

Mike Lofgren, now retired at age 66, used to be one of those people when he was a Republican congressional staffer. Today, he says he's turned his back on the Republican Party.

"I am an independent who will not vote Republican until they demonstrate to me that they've purged Trumpism and that they're a sane party," he said.

Rachel Treisman is an intern on NPR's National Desk.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

          

'We're All Struggling': Writer Saeed Jones Reflects On Identity And Acceptance

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As a black gay kid growing up in Texas in the 1990s, poet Saeed Jones remembers getting negative messages about his identity from every aspect of his life. It was around the time of Matthew Shepard's murder in Wyoming, and Jones felt alone and unsafe.

"I was seeing these cautionary tales connected to identity," he says. "It was so clear that it was perilous to be a black gay boy in America."

And yet he couldn't be any other way: "Being gay isn't a choice, just like being black isn't a choice," Jones says. "I don't stop. I do not give up. I do not take America's 'no' to my identity for an answer."

In his new coming-of-age memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives, Jones reflects on his struggle to embrace his identity. The "we" in the title is intentional; he hopes the book will spark a conversation among a cross section of readers.

"We're all struggling," he says. "I want you to experience what's going on in my book and think about it in relation to your own life, whether that's because you're like, 'Oh this is totally different!' Or because you're like, 'Hmm. This is really familiar.' I think that's a useful way of thinking about memoir."


Interview Highlights

On his first sexual encounter with a man, hooking up in a library bathroom and trying to kiss and being refused

He was like, "Oh, absolutely not." And so I felt embarrassed and I think the only thing more painful than not getting what you want is almost getting it and then being shamed right at the last minute. ...

I was deeply ashamed. I thought I had messed up. But I think really he admitted he couldn't go there. He was working through some things, and so he was ashamed of what he was feeling or not feeling. I think that's something that, whether people are in the closet or not, they continue to struggle with, being vulnerable and true intimacy. I think it's possible to have sex with someone and not be intimate with them, and that's kind of what it looks like sometimes.

On equating sex with death because of AIDS

I think this is true for my generation. I'm 33 years old. I was born in 1985 and I would say until, frankly, the last two or three years — with the introduction of PrEP/Truvada — for most gay men, a defining aspect of our sexual experiences has been an awareness of not just STIs (STDs that we all need to be aware of and thoughtful about), but, "Am I going to get HIV/AIDS?" Which is no longer a death sentence, as I understood it at the time. But certainly, that is a lifelong condition that's going to require treatment and support. There is a heaviness to that. There is a deep sense of foreboding that I think often turns into shame with time, because it feels like you're risking punishment.

On coming out to his mom by making a joke

I'd gotten a little memento from my speech team to celebrate the year or whatever, and everyone had a little motto, and my motto was like, "Not even his clothes are in the closet anymore," which I thought was very funny. And so I was talking to her about it and she was like, "What does that mean?" And I was like, "My clothes aren't in the closet anymore. Like I'm not in the closet anymore." She didn't find it funny. She was confused and she had a lot of follow-up questions. And that's how I ended up coming out to her. ...

I'm such a Sagittarius. I am a practical joker, like, I love to laugh, but I felt like I had messed up. This was actually really significant to her. And that I'd been cracking jokes on a moment that I had been waiting for years, right? And so I felt really bad, but then she called me back and was like, "Hey, I forgot to say, I love you, and you seem happy and that's all that matters, you know?" And that meant the world to me. It was really important for me to see that.

On how he "erased" himself in order to have a good relationship with his mother

We laughed a lot. We could talk about literally anything except my being gay, which began to feel more and more like a void. But you know, we talked about the news, and we would laugh, and she was so proud of how I was doing in school and as a student and in speech. ... It's this weird dynamic where you're struggling and you end up prioritizing the other person's feelings over your own, and I did it because I loved her. I did it because I felt like I was causing her pain by trying to talk about this, but she was still my mom. I needed to have her wisdom in terms of love and relationships, and I didn't get it, and really struggled as a result.

On knowing he was a writer from an early age

It was the thing that I could always count on to get praised [for] in school. ... Middle school was when I started really going for it, like asking for extra credit, and like taking risks and doing more. Then also in literature discussions about short stories and fiction or whatever, it all made so much sense to me. I remember learning the narrative arc in maybe the eighth grade — resolution and climax — and it just made sense. I was like, "Oh, duh! Duh." And I literally never heard it before ... but kind of like with queerness, it felt like I was being given language to explain something I already understood. I just get it. It's just in me.

On why he moved to Columbus, Ohio after Trump became president

Honestly, America's depressing, right? If you're paying attention in any substantive capacity, America is really stressful and anxiety-inducing and depressing. And I now understand that as an adult, and it's not [my] fault. And then Trump became president, and truth is, on Inauguration Day, January 2017, I had a total breakdown. I had an absolute breakdown. I knew it was coming because I took a personal day, so I was home so I already knew on some level. But I remember watching Barack Obama and Michelle Obama walking to the helicopter, and I absolutely fell apart. I could not stop crying, and I opened the knife drawer in my kitchen. I was looking at those knives and I started saying, "I can't go back. I can't go back. Please don't make me go back." And the "back" was the months after my mom passed away. It was the worst, the most raw I had ever felt, and I'm glad that I talked to a friend and I started therapy and that helped tremendously.

But, you know, the last few years working in media [at BuzzFeed], it's required so much of all of us, really, and certainly people [for whom] this is our job to talk about these issues: We can't just turn off our phones and stop reading the news, unfortunately. That's a high demand. And I was starting to feel really threadbare on an ongoing basis. And so I knew I wanted to change. And so I wanted to leave New York and I wanted to leave media in the way I was working in it, to go back to the basics.

Roberta Shorrock and Seth Kelley produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper adapted it for the Web.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

          

How the Netherlands Built One of the World’s Worst Tax Havens

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And How to Shut It Down By Johan Langerock and Maarten Hietland Tourists pose for photos outside the Rijksmuseum in central Amsterdam, Netherlands, December 2017* Dutch officials really don’t like it when someone calls their country a tax haven. In 2009, the Obama administration did just that, naming the Netherlands as one of a number of countries where ...

The post How the Netherlands Built One of the World’s Worst Tax Havens appeared first on The State Online.


          

Los republicanos vencen a Obama

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Enabled by $$ & gerrymandering, Bucky's little dictators get bolder

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3:40 p.n. update: GOP State Sen. fires Ag secretary, because it can.

A year ago Thursday I called Wisconsin's GOP legislative leaders "little dictators" as they put their secretly-crafted power-grabbing bills on a fast-track to the defeated Walker's veto-free signature.

Their Machiavellian, rule-changing mission? 


Stripping traditional authority from the duly-elected Democratic Gov, Tony Evers and AG Josh Kaul - - and keeping Wisconsin a one-party safe haven for:


Big business and the corporate donor class;


Special interests;


Fecal pollution;


Self-serving and unsustainable Foxconning;


* GOP 'principles' like voter suppression, rock-bottom minimum wages, dangerous, road-builder-friendly highway expansion instead of transit ;


* And, above all, Donald Trump's re-election.

Scott Walker says he will chair Trump's Wisconsin re-election campaign
And 
Fitzgerald aligns with Trump when announcing Congressional bid
The Journal Sentinel today updates this out-in-this-open putrid partisanship: 
Wisconsin Senate to reject Gov. Tony Evers' ag secretary and try to limit his vetoes
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Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg
WI GOP Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald can ride his hostility towards Democratic office-holders to a Congressional win and closer proximity to a) key funders, and b) Congressional and lobbying power-brokers like Mitch McConnell who spent years boxing-in Barack Obama with a repetitive strategy of "no" and related partisan hackery.



          

Historic preservation in DC prioritizes loud neighbors, not fine buildings

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DC has many more historically protected buildings than cities several times our size. This surfeit of historic structures results from several factors, notably the broad application of rather vague criteria for designation. As Roger Lewis has written, “the HPRB decision is inevitably a judgment call because much of the evidence for historic designation is inherently subjective.”

Once acquired, historic designation requires even simple renovation plans to clear numerous additional hurdles, incurring additional reviews, hearings, and redesigns that can cost many thousands of dollars, and possibly resulting in outright denial. The delays, uncertainty, and subjective judgments intrinsic to this process makes it the perfect legal cover for busybodies attempting to keep the status quo permanently so.

The biggest weapon in the arsenal

These squeaky wheels turn to historic preservation because it’s the most powerful regulatory tool in a municipality's land-use arsenal. Zoning is strictly limited to regulating broad aspects of a building like its size, shape, and use. As the Supreme Court described in Nectow vs. Cambridge, “zoning… cannot be imposed if it does not bear a substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare.” No one can reasonably say that public morals are jeopardized when the neighbors paint their window shutters hot pink.

That often leaves preservation laws as the only legal remedy a city has to shape a building's appearance. Preservation is only meant to apply in limited circumstances, to buildings of “a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value” (as the Penn Central case, which established the constitutional validity of local preservation designations, says). Once it’s in force, preservation concerns get the final say over just about everything else that might be on a community’s wish list, whether it’s sustainability, affordability, or occupant comfort.

A rush to judgment

Since every resident “squeaky wheel” is invited to request historic designation for just about any site in the District, many do — and overwhelmingly, they succeed. A map of DC's historic designations (many of which are historic districts) shows how they're concentrated in DC's most economically privileged areas. While few buildings in Wards 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 predate the 20th century, Ward 3 has considerably more historically designated structures than its counterparts.

Base map generated from AtlasPlus. Image by the author.

Historic designation applications closely follow development pressures, as Joe Cortright points out: “if other neighborhoods in the city are designated as ‘historic’ and yours isn’t, then you’re more likely to bear the brunt of development pressures. What makes sense from the standpoint of an individual neighborhood quickly leads to a situation that’s bad for a city.”

This rush by loud neighbors to stave off development through historic protections have resulted in numerous unremarkable buildings finding their way onto DC’s historic inventory. One infamous case involves a strip mall parking lot in Spring Valley — not the only local historic strip-mall parking lot, even though that very idea is considered laughable elsewhere. Its structures were deemed worthy of preservation because, as the nomination form points out, they “are unique in the District of Columbia. Developed by one firm and designed or inspired by one architectural vision, the buildings comprise a cluster that reflects national trends in architecture, merchandising, planning, and retail expansion.” In short, it deserves preservation because it's a strip mall, and strip malls are rare within the boundaries of DC — never mind that they're hardly endangered in Maryland, just three blocks away.

Buildings with blue backgrounds have been designated as historic. Buildings in red were designed by I.M. Pei's firm. The one circled in yellow is a condominium. Base map generated from AtlasPlus. Image by the author.

Across town, I.M. Pei's architecture firm designed seven Brutalist high-rises for developer William Zeckendorf in Southwest Washington: three at L'Enfant Plaza and four at Waterside Mall. Two of them are on the National Register — not the best, not the largest, not the least-altered, not the one Pei most directly shaped, not the one most indicative of his style. Instead, the “historic” ones include one building that happened to be gut-rehabbed and converted to condos, and its condo board was upset by a proposal to build on an adjacent parking lot.

Still not special enough? A district often has lower standards

The arbitrary nature of historic designations was made abundantly clear by DC’s historic preservation staff in a rare 2015 recommendation to deny a historic landmark application for a house in Petworth. In it, they said that the house itself wasn’t that special. Yet, if pulled together with its equally unremarkable neighbors, they cumulatively would clear the bar for architectural significance: “[T]he Board has denied applications to designate [eight addresses] on the grounds that, as architecture, they were not important enough examples or of special distinction in their neighborhoods. An architectural landmark must be a particularly noteworthy example and must be significant to the District of Columbia… The house at 16 Grant Circle does not alone stand out in this way… while not eligible for listing as an Historic Landmark, the house at 16 Grant Circle would undeniably contribute to a Grant Circle Historic District.” Sure enough, just months later the HPRB created the Grant Circle Historic District, evidently at the behest of some residents who wanted to stop construction of legal pop-ups.

Anywhere a penny-pinching developer stamps out identikit designs, the resulting buildings will all look unremarkable, all together — but as long as that togetherness was a while ago, it's apparently sufficient to warrant historic protection. Never mind that the individual buildings might be middling, that their architectural unity is compromised by “non-contributing” buildings in the middle, or that there might be better examples somewhere else.

Other cities take a proactive approach to preservation planning

Many other places, including Arlington, Chicago, and Los Angeles, have proactively done comprehensive “historic resources surveys,” a process that a National Park Service handbook calls the “basis for preservation planning.” The National Historic Preservation Act even lists the first responsibility of a State Historic Preservation Officer, a role that the Office of Planning plays in DC, as “direct and conduct a comprehensive statewide survey of historic property and maintain inventories of the property.”

In these surveys, planners go out into the field to visit and inventory every single building, and evaluate whether it could potentially meet the predetermined criteria for historic designation because of its age, architectural merit, or context. A comprehensive survey is the first step in a proactive approach to preservation that identifies and saves those buildings of greatest historic value — whether the oldest structures, the most noteworthy and influential designs, the best-kept examples of various types and styles, or places that shaped important individuals, events, or movements.

A survey could identify the best examples of particular building types, like those from a certain era, style, architect, or use, and make preservation of the most notable structures a high priority. By doing so, it would guarantee that the stories that those types tell are being preserved, rather than rescuing everything for all time.

The Jost-Kuhn House on Madison St. NW was built as a farmstead before the Civil War, and is decades older than many houses now being considered for historic designation. It did not become a landmark until after an OP survey of farmhouses. Image by Google Street View.

However, OP doesn't seem very interested in a comprehensive survey. It has completed many smaller surveys covering neighborhoods and themes, but even its current preservation plan still sees completing a comprehensive citywide survey as a distant goal for some far-off future year. Instead, it advances still more smaller thematic surveys, e.g., of Georgetown alleys, downtown Modernism, and old farmhouses. The most recent attempt at a District-wide inventory was done by the Joint Committee on Landmarks in the 1960s.

Relying instead on a reactive approach to preservation does an injustice to legitimately interesting buildings whose histories have yet to be uncovered, while also bloating the historic inventory with many other buildings of middling merit. A survey-based approach could not only save more hidden treasures — it probably would have resulted in fewer but higher-quality designations. Chicago's historic resources survey found only 17,371 properties citywide that were even potentially eligible for designation as historic, or just two percent of its structures.

Are we collecting, or hoarding?

Randy Frost, a psychologist who studies hoarding, makes this distinction: “When a collector expands acquisitions beyond well-defined collections… it becomes a hoarding problem.”

Institutions that take their collections seriously have well-defined rules for what enters their collections, because of what philosopher G. K. Chesterton called “the eternal revolution”: “If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution.”

The Corcoran had a magnificent collection of art, but not all of it was deemed appropriate for the NGA's collection. Image licensed under Creative Commons.

The National Gallery of Art was recently offered the contents of the Corcoran museum, but only took half the pieces. As Peggy Loar, the Corcoran's interim president, told the Post: “If they [NGA] take it in, they have it forever — so they have a big fiduciary responsibility to the United States taxpayer.”

Historic building designation also creates a big fiduciary responsibility: it burdens all future generations of residents with the job of maintaining a building forever, even after its original use and structure have become obsolete.

Preservation costs nothing today, but a lot tomorrow

Maintaining past generations' memories also carries another price: by making urban land more scarce and more expensive, it can hurt future generations' ability to build their own places and create their own memories.

The Obama White House's “Housing Development Toolkit” specifically called out “arbitrary or antiquated preservation regulations” among local policies that discourage new housing development — an “accumulation of even well-intentioned land-use policies [that] can restrict housing availability; create uncertainty for developers and limit private investment; exacerbate the imbalance between jobs and housing; and induce urban sprawl.” (At the time, DC’s planning director dismissed the report, saying they’ve implemented most of its suggestions.)

In New York, preservation and development groups recently issued conflicting reports about whether historic preservation stifles economic growth and housing affordability. The debate has led to some changes in how long landmark designation can take.

If DC wants historic preservation to remain a useful tool for broader planning, rather than one that takes over the entire planning system, it should become more discerning about what it adds to its collection of historic buildings.

Top image: Rowhouses within a proposed Kingman Park historic district. Thousands of 1920s and 1930s rowhouses in DC already have historic protection, and the proposed district would add hundreds more. Image by Google Street View used with permission.

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Breakfast links: Abodes well?

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Historic house flipping

In Anacostia, a nonprofit is buying up blighted properties, and restoring and flipping them at a loss in an effort to preserve the neighborhood’s historic character. (Post)

Data for desegregation

New federal rules will force cities to do more to end segregation. Building on the Fair Housing Act, the new rules require cities to track, report, and set goals based on a variety of data that reflect integration. (Post)

Here comes surge #4

Through next Monday, buses replace trains between Pentagon City and National Airport. Many of the transportation alternatives from SafeTrack surge 3 will continue. (ArlNow)

Mic on Metro

In the latest episode of the Metropocalypse podcast, Martin Di Caro talks to GGWash founder David Alpert about our MetroGreater contest and other Metro matters. (WAMU)

Ride hail by the numbers

Over the past year, 117,000 drivers have registered to carry Uber and Lyft passengers in Virginia. More than 12,000 are Fairfax County residents, while over 60,000 come from out-of-state. (Post)

Rosslyn’s newest high rises

A huge mixed-use project will likely bring a new fire station, park, office building, and two high-rise residential buildings to Rosslyn. Arlington’s overall plans for Rosslyn call for building a more walkable community with 5,000 new residential units. (WBJ)

Catch ‘em all on the Mall

As Pokemon GO sweeps the nation, the National Park Service says its Park Rangers will lead Pokemon hunts on the Mall, but continues to urge visitors to be respectful of memorials. (DCist)

A new symbol for the FBI site

The massive Brutalist FBI building reflected American power when it was built. What would be an appropriate symbol today for a replacement one? How about a skyscraper, suggests Dan Reed? (Washingtonian)

And…

Is it bad to start a sentence with And? (Washingtonian) … Frederick Kunkle makes some sense on highways (Post) … An app reminds people to look at the city around them instead of being engrossed in phones. (Citylab)

Top image: Photo by GarberDC on Flickr.

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Macron warns of 'profound shift' in Iran deal as new report finds Tehran is dominant power in Middle East

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Macron warns of 'profound shift' in Iran deal as new report finds Tehran is dominant power in Middle EastIran’s breach of the 2015 nuclear agreement by enriching uranium at an underground facility “marks a profound shift” which could signal the ultimate collapse of the deal, Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.  The French president, who has worked vigorously to save the nuclear deal since Donald Trump withdrew the US last year, said he was deeply alarmed Iran’s decision to resume enrichment at Fordow, a nuclear facility carved into a mountain. “I think that for the first time, Iran has decided in an explicit and blunt manner to leave the JCPOA agreement, which marks a profound shift,” Mr Macron said during a visit to China.  His comments mark the gloomiest public assessment yet by a European leader about the chances of salvaging the agreement after the US withdrawal and as Iran continues to escalate its breaches of the deal.  Meanwhile, a new report claims Iran has become the dominant power when it comes to fighting wars in the Middle East as a result of the “networks of influence” it has built throughout the region. Mr Macron spoke shortly after Iran began injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges at Fordow, a facility that Iran hid from the world until 2009 and which Western and Israeli officials have long feared could be used for developing a nuclear weapon.  Iran tensions | Read more The 2015 nuclear agreement forbids any uranium enrichment at Fordow and Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president acknowledged the sensitivity of the site when he announced the move earlier this week.  Mr Rouhani insisted that the move was reversible and said Iran would return to full compliance with the agreement if European countries found a way around US sanctions to deliver the economic benefits Iran was promised in 2015.    The reopening of Fordow comes days after Iran announced it was deploying advanced new centrifuges that can enrich uranium faster. But neither move brings Iran significantly closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon. A weapon would require uranium enriched at 90 per cent, whereas Iran is currently enriching at around 5 per cent.  Iran insists it has no intention of developing a nuclear weapon. The latest breaches have nonetheless alarmed European states and Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, repeated his warning this week it would take military action to stop Iran getting a bomb.  “This is not only for our security and our future; it’s for the future of the Middle East and the world,” he said.  Amid the growing tensions, it emerged that Iran briefly detained an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspector last week and seized her travel documents, the first such encounter since the nuclear deal.  Q&A; | The 2015 Iran nuclear deal Iran confirmed it had stopped the inspector from entering its Natanz nuclear site out of suspicion she was carrying “suspicious material”.   Iran is believed to have begun secretly constructing the Fordow facility in the early 2000s but it was only known to the world when Barack Obama exposed it in 2009 and accused Iran of covertly working on a weapons programme.  The base is around 80 metres underground, making it difficult to destroy with an airstrike, and is protected by anti-aircraft batteries. Israel came close to bombing the site in 2011 but ultimately decided not to move ahead.  The network of alliances Iran has built with terror groups such as Hizbollah in Lebanon, as well a pro-Iranian Shia militias in Iraq, mean the balance of power in the Middle East is now in Iran’s favour, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think tank. At a glance | Key players in Tehran Iran’s ability, moreover, to fight and win wars in the Middle East without resorting to conventional military forces has been allowed to develop because there has been no effective international response to Iran’s activities in the region. According to the IISS’s latest report, “Iran’s Networks of Influence in the Middle East” which is published on Thursday, while the US and its allies still retain military superiority over Iran in terms of conventional forces, Tehran has proved to be more effective in waging war in what it calls the “Grey Zone” of conflict. This means Iran is able to avoid risking a traditional “state-on-state” confrontations, which it would be likely to lose. Instead, by building what the report calls “networks of influence” with proxies throughout the region, Tehran has succeeded in gaining a distinct advantage over rivals in the region, such as Saudi Arabia. “Iran is fighting and winning wars ‘fought amongst the people’, not wars between states,” the report concludes.



          

Donald Trump – Al-Baghdadi govor VS Barack Obama – Bin Laden govor

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Donald Trump Al Baghdadi govor VS Barack Obama Bin Laden govorJimmy Kimmel je naredil enega izmed boljših “mash-upov”, ko je v isti posnetek združil govor Trumpa ob odstranitvi Al-Baghdadija in govor Obame, ko so odstranili Bin Ladna. Barack Obama je imel takrat govor dolg devet minut in pol, Donald Trump pa je klobasal 48 minut. Trije strelski pohodi v ZDA (El Paso, Daytona, Chicago) v …
          

Bounce to air inspirational story of Michelle Obama’s journey to the White House

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It follows her journey from a working class family on the south side of Chicago to the first family in the White House and beyond.
          

China encamina la mayor alianza económica de libre comercio del mundo sin EE.UU.

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Los lideres del ASEAN en la primera sesión de la cumbre en Bangkok, REUTERSCumbre de ASEAN en Bankgok, REUTERS

La cumbre de la Asociación de Naciones del Sudeste Asiático se lleva a cabo en Bangkok y se produce sin la presencia de Donald Trump que había sido especialmente invitado y con el régimen chino ocupando todo el espacio y camino a coronar en este foro la alianza económica de libre comercio más grande del mundo.

 

La ASEAN, un bloque defensor del liberalismo económico y que ha sido crítico de las políticas proteccionistas aplicadas por Estados Unidos, abrió el encuentro con la celebración de la sesión plenaria de los países miembros, a la que las sesiones con China y una delegación de bajo perfil despachada por EE.UU. Beijing, en cambio, envió a su primer ministro Li Keqiang a una cita en la que apuesta cuotas de enorme influencia.

 

El largo enfrentamiento comercial entre estas dos potencias mundiales y sus efectos sobre la economía global es uno los temas centrales de la cumbre. El ciclo de crecimiento planetario se ralentizó debido a ese enfrentamiento según dictaminó el Fondo Monetario Internacional y el Banco Mundial. El ministro filipino de Comercio, Ramón López, reconoció a la prensa que las medidas aplicadas por Washington y Beijing "afectan de manera negativa al crecimiento económico" de su país y el resto de las naciones.

 

El plato fuerte del foro de Bangkok y al que hay que prestar especial atención es la tercera ronda de negociaciones de líderes de la Asociación Económica Integral Regional (RCEP) donde se marcha a concretar la firma de un megatratado de libre comercio que aunaría a más de un tercio de la economía mundial. La República Popular ha venido ocupando foros alrededor del mundo reclamando la liberación del intercambio comercial y repudiando el proteccionismo de Washington.

 

China es el integrante más poderoso y principal impulsor del RCEP, que también incluye a Australia, Corea del Sur, Japón, India, Nueva Zelanda. A ellos se unan los diez miembros de la ASEAN, formada por Birmania, Brunéi, Camboya, Filipinas, Indonesia, Laos, Malasia, Singapur, Tailandia y Vietnam. El ministro filipino precisó que 15 de las naciones han mostrado su completa conformidad al pacto negociado, pero que todavía "esperan a un país". No lo dijo pero se refería a la India que ha tenido suspicacias respecto a la influencia creciente de China.

 

La importancia de ese convenio lo dan los números. El RCEP, cuyas negociaciones se iniciaron de manera formal en la ASEAN de 2012 celebrada en Camboya, engloba una población de 3.400 millones de personas -el 47 % de la población mundial- y un Producto Interior Bruto de 22,6 billones de dólares, superior a EE.UU. y el 32,2 % del PIB mundial. También aglutina el 29 % del comercio mundial y el 32,5 % de la inversión mundial.

 

A pesar de los grandes datos que presenta el megatratado, las negociaciones han sido lentas y complicadas y desde hace ya cinco años las dirigentes políticos de las naciones implicadas aseguran reiteradamente estar cerca de alcanzar un acuerdo, para al final postergarlo al año siguiente.

 

Entre los obstáculos que han impedido el avance, se encuentran precisamente los temores de Nueva Delhi a que el RCEP acabe dañando la manufactura local e India se vea inundada por productos fabricados en China. Beijing sugirió a fin de avanzar con el acuerdo dejar que India se asocie en una etapa posterior del RCEP.

 

La ausencia de Trump en una cumbre de este significado, no sorprendió a los analistas. El presidente norteamericano, en una de sus primeras gestiones tras llegar a la Casa Blanca, anuló la participación de EE.UU. en un acuerdo tras-pacífico que impulsó el ex presidente Barack Obama. Esa iniciativa pretendía aislar comercialmente a China. Un dato del desdén de la Casa Blanca, es que en la delegación que envió a Bangkok figura el ministro de Comercio Wilbur Ross pero también su asesor de seguridad nacional Robert O´Brien. La decisión de Trump de bajar el perfil de esta cumbre, liberó al gigante asiático para aumentar su influencia en la región e insistir en asumirse como el adalid del libre comercio arrebatando esa bandera a Washington.

 

Además de los asuntos económicos, la agenda de la cumbre también incluye asuntos de seguridad, sanidad, desarrollo de la región o medidas destinadas a combatir la contaminación y la lucha contra cambio climático, entre otros temas.

 


          

Consensus

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There are, of course, reasons for consensus and compromise. That legislation will endure and both people and politicians are broadly invested in its success are reasons. This was part of the not-crazy-for-a-time reason for the bipartisan ACA process. I don't want to debate what law Barack Obama really and truly wanted, or what fantasy bill could have been achieved some other way, but there was a process designed to get both parties on board. Lots of Republican amendments. And at the end of the process, Dems still had to ram it through, and Republicans still want to destroy it (or at least pretend to, some of both).

In the age of Trump, and in some imagined age of post-Trump, the only way to imagine that some other president can achieve consensus on the types of things that Barack Obama couldn't is that you, or Mayor Pete, or Barack Obama's best friend, think that that there was something special about Barack Obama that prevented him from doing it.

Might be true, but spell it out.
          

The Numbers Are In – The Trump Economy Still Soars

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Democrats sure do enjoy raining on the parade that is the Trump economy. Joe Biden, who somehow remains the Democratic frontrunner, recently accused President Trump of “squandering” the Obama economy in recent years. Squandering what, exactly? Under the Obama administration, America’s unemployment rate peaked at 10 percent — the highest figure since the early 1980s. Employers struggled to…

The post The Numbers Are In – The Trump Economy Still Soars appeared first on The Western Journal.


          

'We're All Struggling': Writer Saeed Jones Reflects On Identity And Acceptance

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Saeed Jones has served as BuzzFeed's LGBT editor and culture editor, and is the author of Prelude to Bruise.
Saeed Jones has served as BuzzFeed's LGBT editor and culture editor, and is the author of Prelude to Bruise.
Courtesy of Saeed Jones

As a black gay kid growing up in Texas in the 1990s, poet Saeed Jones remembers getting negative messages about his identity from every aspect of his life. It was around the time of Matthew Shepard's murder in Wyoming, and Jones felt alone and unsafe.

"I was seeing these cautionary tales connected to identity," he says. "It was so clear that it was perilous to be a black gay boy in America."

And yet he couldn't be any other way: "Being gay isn't a choice, just like being black isn't a choice," Jones says. "I don't stop. I do not give up. I do not take America's 'no' to my identity for an answer."

In his new coming-of-age memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives, Jones reflects on his struggle to embrace his identity. The "we" in the title is intentional; he hopes the book will spark a conversation among a cross section of readers.

"We're all struggling," he says. "I want you to experience what's going on in my book and think about it in relation to your own life, whether that's because you're like, 'Oh this is totally different!' Or because you're like, 'Hmm. This is really familiar.' I think that's a useful way of thinking about memoir."


Interview Highlights

On his first sexual encounter with a man, hooking up in a library bathroom and trying to kiss and being refused

He was like, "Oh, absolutely not." And so I felt embarrassed and I think the only thing more painful than not getting what you want is almost getting it and then being shamed right at the last minute. ...

I was deeply ashamed. I thought I had messed up. But I think really he admitted he couldn't go there. He was working through some things, and so he was ashamed of what he was feeling or not feeling. I think that's something that, whether people are in the closet or not, they continue to struggle with, being vulnerable and true intimacy. I think it's possible to have sex with someone and not be intimate with them, and that's kind of what it looks like sometimes.

On equating sex with death because of AIDS

I think this is true for my generation. I'm 33 years old. I was born in 1985 and I would say until, frankly, the last two or three years — with the introduction of PrEP/Truvada — for most gay men, a defining aspect of our sexual experiences has been an awareness of not just STIs (STDs that we all need to be aware of and thoughtful about), but, "Am I going to get HIV/AIDS?" Which is no longer a death sentence, as I understood it at the time. But certainly, that is a lifelong condition that's going to require treatment and support. There is a heaviness to that. There is a deep sense of foreboding that I think often turns into shame with time, because it feels like you're risking punishment.

On coming out to his mom by making a joke

I'd gotten a little memento from my speech team to celebrate the year or whatever, and everyone had a little motto, and my motto was like, "Not even his clothes are in the closet anymore," which I thought was very funny. And so I was talking to her about it and she was like, "What does that mean?" And I was like, "My clothes aren't in the closet anymore. Like I'm not in the closet anymore." She didn't find it funny. She was confused and she had a lot of follow-up questions. And that's how I ended up coming out to her. ...

I'm such a Sagittarius. I am a practical joker, like, I love to laugh, but I felt like I had messed up. This was actually really significant to her. And that I'd been cracking jokes on a moment that I had been waiting for years, right? And so I felt really bad, but then she called me back and was like, "Hey, I forgot to say, I love you, and you seem happy and that's all that matters, you know?" And that meant the world to me. It was really important for me to see that.

On how he "erased" himself in order to have a good relationship with his mother

We laughed a lot. We could talk about literally anything except my being gay, which began to feel more and more like a void. But you know, we talked about the news, and we would laugh, and she was so proud of how I was doing in school and as a student and in speech. ... It's this weird dynamic where you're struggling and you end up prioritizing the other person's feelings over your own, and I did it because I loved her. I did it because I felt like I was causing her pain by trying to talk about this, but she was still my mom. I needed to have her wisdom in terms of love and relationships, and I didn't get it, and really struggled as a result.

On knowing he was a writer from an early age

It was the thing that I could always count on to get praised [for] in school. ... Middle school was when I started really going for it, like asking for extra credit, and like taking risks and doing more. Then also in literature discussions about short stories and fiction or whatever, it all made so much sense to me. I remember learning the narrative arc in maybe the eighth grade — resolution and climax — and it just made sense. I was like, "Oh, duh! Duh." And I literally never heard it before ... but kind of like with queerness, it felt like I was being given language to explain something I already understood. I just get it. It's just in me.

On why he moved to Columbus, Ohio after Trump became president

Honestly, America's depressing, right? If you're paying attention in any substantive capacity, America is really stressful and anxiety-inducing and depressing. And I now understand that as an adult, and it's not [my] fault. And then Trump became president, and truth is, on Inauguration Day, January 2017, I had a total breakdown. I had an absolute breakdown. I knew it was coming because I took a personal day, so I was home so I already knew on some level. But I remember watching Barack Obama and Michelle Obama walking to the helicopter, and I absolutely fell apart. I could not stop crying, and I opened the knife drawer in my kitchen. I was looking at those knives and I started saying, "I can't go back. I can't go back. Please don't make me go back." And the "back" was the months after my mom passed away. It was the worst, the most raw I had ever felt, and I'm glad that I talked to a friend and I started therapy and that helped tremendously.

But, you know, the last few years working in media [at BuzzFeed], it's required so much of all of us, really, and certainly people [for whom] this is our job to talk about these issues: We can't just turn off our phones and stop reading the news, unfortunately. That's a high demand. And I was starting to feel really threadbare on an ongoing basis. And so I knew I wanted to change. And so I wanted to leave New York and I wanted to leave media in the way I was working in it, to go back to the basics.

Roberta Shorrock and Seth Kelley produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper adapted it for the Web.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.
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Eesti disain jõuab esmakordselt Washingtoni moenädalale

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21.-25. septembrini toimuval Washingtoni moenädalal osaleb 22 Eesti disainibrändist koosnev esinduslik delegatsioon. Eesti moe ja disaini Washingtoni viimise eesmärk on tutvustada USA turul Eesti tugevaid brände, luua alus pikaajalistele müügi- ja koostöövõimalustele potentsiaali omavatele loomemajandussektori ettevõtetele ning arendada sektori e-kaubandust. Kutse Eesti disainibrändidele osalemaks Washingtoni moenädalal esitas Barack Obama kabineti liige Maria Contreras-Sweet kohtumisel ettevõtlusminister Liisa Oviiri ja Eesti Disainerite Liiduga Eesti Disaini Majas. 24. ja 25. septembril ka ise Washingtonis viibiva Oviiri sõnul on Eesti disaini potentsiaal kõrge. “Siiani on Eesti disaineritest vaid väga üksikud Ameerika Ühendriikidesse jõudnud ja kahtlemata on sealne turg nõudlik ja küllastunud, kuid samas väga võimalusterohke. Nii nagu seda teevad teisedki riigid, tasub ka Eestil oma disaini tutvustada ja selle eksporti toetada. Moelavale jõudes kõnetavad meie brändid sisseostjaid juba ise ja ma väga loodan, et sellel esinduslikul moeüritusel sõlmitakse nii mõnigi Eesti disaini jaoks kasulik kokkulepe,” ütles minister Liisa Oviir. Washingtoni moe- ja disainipäevade raames toimub Eesti rõiva- ja aksessuaaridisainerite moeetendus Washingtoni moenädala ametliku programmi osana, korraldatakse meedia- ja müügikohtumisi ning Eesti saatkonnas avatakse moe- ja tootedisaini ühine pop-up väljapanek. 25. septembril Washingtoni moenädala (DCFW) International Couture Collections Show raames Carnegie Librarys lavale jõudev moeetendus “EFBA presents: The Best of Estonian Fashion Design” toob lavale üle 100 komplekti Eesti moedisaini ühtse stiliseeritud tervikuna. “Oleme etendust kokku pannes lähtunud Washingtoni eduka moetarbija elustiilist, hõlmates võimalikult mitmekülgse valiku disainbrände, alates taaskasutuse sõnumiga efektsest teksastiilist kuni äri- ja poliitikaringkondade esindusliku igapäevariietuse ning õhtusteks vastuvõttudeks ja galadeks sobiva disainini,” rääkisid etenduse kokkupanijad Oksana Tandit ja Evelin Ojamets Estonian Fashion Brands Associationist. Osalevate ettevõtjate soov, alates väikestest tugevatest disainbrändidest Eesti moesektori ühe suurima tootmisettevõtteni, on saada reaalseid müügikontakte kohapeal, saavutada meediakajastust ning seeläbi tõsta brändi tuntust, suurendada e-kaubandusest saadavat müügitulu ning panna alus jätkusuutlikule kontaktvõrgustikule USA turul. “Eesti Disainerite Liit on aastaid otsinud Eesti disaineritele väljundeid välisturul. Eesti disaini tugevale konkurentsivõimele on kinnitus saadud erinevatelt messidelt ja disaininädalatelt, paljudel disaineritel on juba oma välisesindajad. See annab julgust katsetada uutel turgudel. Loodame, et Washingtoni Eesti moe- ja disainipäevad, mis saavad teoks mitme võimeka osapoole koostöös, on Tallinnas toimuva Disainiöö väärtuslikuks pikenduseks, avades ukse maailma ühele suurimale turule, “ rääkis Ilona Gurjanova, Eesti Disainerite Liidu esinaine. „Eestis loodud mood on väärt maailmalavadel kõndima ja rahvusvahelist moepublikut kõnetama. Oleme end juba tõestanud Euroopas, kus näiteks Montonit müüakse edukalt mainekates kaubamajades. USA turg on küll keeruline ja rõivabrändidest küllastunud, ent usume siiski, et meil on sealsetele moehuvilisele pakkuda midagi ainulaadset – vaid meile omast disainikäekirja ja väga head kvaliteeti. Müügikanalina näeme ka e-poodi Andmorefashion.com, mis tarnib juba täna moe-esemeid 44 riigi klientidele,“ ütles Baltika jaekontseptsioonide ja brändingu direktor Maire Milder. Eesti moe- ja disainipäevade projektis on esindatud: Ülle Pohjanheimo, Riina Põldroos, Reet Aus, Tiina Talumees, Kristina Viirpalu, Oksana Tandit, Monton, Baltman, Ivo Nikkolo, Gvido, Birgit Skolimowski, Tanel Veenre, Kadri Kruus, Uncle Paul, Elmet Treier, Stella Soomlais, Andres Labi, Karl Annus, Piret Loog, Mare Kelpmann, New Vintage by Kriss, Estonian Design House. Visiit saab teoks tänu Majandus- ja Kommunikatsiooniministeeriumi, Kultuuriministeeriumi, Ettevõtluse Arendamise Sihtasutuse, Estonian Fashion Brands Associationi (EFBA) ning Eesti Disainerite Liidu (EDL) koostööle. Projekti kaasrahastatakse Euroopa Regionaalarengu Fondist loomemajanduse arendamise meetmest, osalevad disainerid kannavad moenädalal osalemise kulud ise. Washingtoni moenädala kava ja osalejad: http://www.dcfashionweek.org/ Pressiteatele on lisatud Eesti moe- ja disainipäevade ametlik visuaal. Lisainformatsioon: Evelin Ojamets Estonian Fashion Brands Association evelin.ojamets@metaadvisory.ee tel. 521 2890 Ilona Gurjanova Eesti Disainerite Liit leart@estpak.ee tel. 5557 3687 Anu-Maaja Pallok Kultuuriministeeriumi loomemajandusnõunik anu-maaja.pallok@kul.ee tel. 628 2234 /15.09.2016/
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Obama kabineti liige kutsus Eesti disainereid Washingtoni

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USA väike- ja keskmise suurusega ettevõtete administratsiooni juht ja presidendi Barack Obama kabineti liige Maria Contreras-Sweet tunnustas Eesti naisdisainereid naisettevõtluse edendamise eest ning tegi ettepaneku korraldada suve lõpus USA-s Eesti disaini nädal. Ettevõtlusminister Liisa Oviir korraldas eile Eesti Disaini Majas USA administratsiooni esindajatega arutelu, kuidas arendada mõlemas riigis naisettevõtlust. Sealhulgas tutvustasid Eesti tippdisainerid USA külalistele Eesti disaini ja arutati Eesti disainerite võimalusi siseneda USA turule. Maria Contreras-Sweet oli demonstreeritud toodetest vaimustuses. „Ma näen, et nende autoriteks on tõelised staarid ning see kvaliteet ja disain on kindlasti väärt tutvustamist laiemale maailmale,“ märkis Contreras-Sweet. Minister Liisa Oviir ütles, et kohtumisel vahetati mõtteid nii naisettevõtluse kui väike- ja keskmise suurusega ettevõtete arendamise teemadel. „Tõdesime, et suhtumine naisettevõtjatesse on sarnane nii Eestis kui Ameerikas, kus samuti peab naine sageli oluliselt rohkem pingutama, et meeste kõrval ennast võrdsena tõestada,“ lausus Oviir. Eesti Disaini Maja valis Oviir kohtumiseks eelkõige seetõttu, et Eestis on palju häid naisdisainereid, kes esindavad nii naisettevõtjaid kui samal ajal ka väikeettevõtjaid. Eesti disainerid on maailmas silma paistnud jätkusuutlike lahendustega, mis samaaegselt ei tee allahindlust toodete kvaliteedis ega teostuses.   Minister Oviir ütles, et Eesti disainerite loomingu tutvustamisele saab igaüks kaasa aidata. „Kannan ka ise hea meelega alati välisvisiitidel võimalikult palju Eesti disainerite loomingut,“ sõnas Oviir. Eesti disaini tutvustasid ameeriklastele Eesti Disainerite Liidu juht Ilona Gurjanova, disainer Stella Soomlais ja Hele Soomets Reet Aus Design OÜ-st. Ameeriklased on Eestis eile ja täna seitsmenda Atlandi-ülese majandusnõukogu (Transatlantic Economic Council) Euroopa Liidu ja USA väikeste ja keskmiste ettevõtete parimate praktikate kogemuste jagamise ürituse raames. Vaata pildigaleriid ka Postimehes. /03.06.2016/
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Activity at Iran’s once-secret uranium-enrichment site raises risks, rattles Israel

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Ten years ago while flanked by the leaders of Britain and France, then-President Barack Obama revealed to the world that Iran had built a “covert ...
          

The Bourne Legacy, 2012 - ★★★★

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"We are morally indefensible, and absolutely necessary."

meet the new boss, same as the old boss - the Obama admin using the Bush admin's inhumane fuckups as an excuse to justify their own increasingly inhumane fuckups - "Amped mission fidelity, minimized empathy." the narrative redundancy is a feature, not a bug: U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century as a sort of governmental Groundhog Day, an endless cycle of kleptocratic executive power, overreaching interventionism, and counterintelligence blowback. Bourne believed he could right the ship through whistleblowing reform, Cross understands the corruption runs so deep he has no choice but to cash in & check out.

strong character drama anchored by two excellent performances from Renner & Weisz, plus three stellar action/suspense setpieces, including a snowbound sequence where Renner cuts a tracking device out of his own gut and crams it down a wolf's mouth, causing it to be targeted & blown up by a predator drone. what more could anyone want out of this?


          

Sanders criticizes Warren's health care plan

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized his 2020 presidential rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren's funding plan for "Medicare For All," calling his plan "more progressive" and squaring up the two most progressive candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination to do what neither of them have wanted to do: draw distinctions between each other.

Sanders, who has centered his candidacy around the fight for his single-payer Medicare for All legislation, told ABC News in an interview published Sunday that although he and Warren believe everyone should have health care, they differ on how to fund it. Her plan, he also said, would "have a very negative impact on creating jobs."

"We do disagree on how you fund it," Sanders told ABC News. "I think the approach that (I) have, in fact, will be much more progressive in terms of protecting the financial well being of middle income families."

Sanders specifically criticized the Massachusetts senator's nearly $9 trillion tax on employers.

"I think that that would probably have a very negative impact on creating those jobs," Sanders said of the tax Warren's plan calls an "employer Medicare contribution." "Or providing wages, increased wages and benefits for those workers."

"I think we have a better way, which is a 7.5% payroll tax, which is far more I think progressive, because it'll not impact employers of low wage workers but hit significantly employers of upper income people," Sanders said in the interview.

Up until the release of her plan, Warren had consistently said she is "with Bernie" on Medicare for All, and the pair have consistently refused to go after each other, but Sanders' comments demonstrate that there is now clear disagreement over the best way to pay for it.

While Sanders' plan would raise taxes on the middle class and is estimated to cost upward of $30 trillion over 10 years, Warren's plan promises no raise on middle class taxes and would cost approximately $20.5 trillion over 10 years.

Sanders comments on Warren's health care plan is the starkest contrast either candidate has drawn since Sanders told ABC in one of his first interviews after his heart attack at his home in Burlington, Vermont, that "there are differences between Elizabeth and myself."

"Elizabeth I think, as you know, has said that she is a capitalist through her bones. I'm not," Sanders said in early October.

Leading up to the release of Warren's proposal, Sanders pushed back on the notion that he had to give details on how he was going to pay for Medicare for All. Sanders previously only outlined possible funding options for the legislation -- one of his flagship policy proposals. One includes a 4% tax on employees, which he calls an "income-based premium."

"You're asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American -- how much you're going to pay more in taxes, how much I'm going to pay. I don't think I have to do that right now," Sanders told CNBC in an interview published Tuesday.

But since Warren's plan has been released, Sanders has started to get more specific.

"I'm not going to say that it is free, nothing is free, health care is expensive," Sanders said at a town hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday.

"The average American will pay substantially less for health care than he or she is paying right now. Yes you will pay more, depending on your income, we exempt the first 29,000 dollars from taxation," he said, wading into specific details on his taxation plan he usually doesn't mention.

When asked by reporters Saturday night about Sanders comments to ABC News, which had not yet published, Warren said she hadn't heard his comments and reiterated her stance that the funding plan will have employers pay the same as they are currently paying insurers for job-based coverage.

"All I can say is that employers will pay the same as they're paying currently under Obamacare, in fact they'll pay a little less," she said following a town hall in Dubuque, Iowa. "We stabilize it at 98% of what they're playing right now, and they won't have HR departments that are wrestling with companies. The cost of having employers pay for insurance has been in the law since Obamacare was enacted. It's in the law."

Warren also plans to release her own transition plan for Medicare For All, that will likely differ from Sanders. When asked by CNN at the Saturday town hall when she would unveil it, Warren said, "soon."

Warren told reporters that she spoke with Sanders about her funding plan, and the Sanders campaign confirmed the call to CNN. Neither camp elaborated on details of the call.

CNN's Tami Luhby contributed to this story.

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Doctors held by ICE shocked by conditions at facility

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The two men haven't met, but their stories are strikingly similar.

They grew up in Cuba, studied to become doctors and swore an oath to do no harm.

Then, years later, they ended up somewhere they never expected: a privately-run US immigrant detention center in rural Louisiana.

Held behind bars as they pleaded for asylum, these men say they watched people around them receiving poor medical care, but -- despite their years of training -- felt powerless to help.

It's a rare perspective that hasn't been heard in the US immigration debate.

These men aren't auditors paid by prison companies. They aren't government experts dropping by for occasional inspections. They aren't activists protesting conditions they haven't had a chance to see with their own eyes.

They're doctors who became immigration detainees themselves -- held for more than a year inside a system that they warn is putting people's health at risk daily. One remains detained; the other was just deported after more than 15 months behind bars.

Among their allegations, made in court filings and detailed in interviews with CNN: mold on the walls, incorrect diagnoses and improper use of quarantines.

In a statement released to CNN, the private prison company that runs the facility said it "strongly disputes" any allegations of inadequate medical care. ICE said it couldn't comment on the specific allegations due to pending litigation, but said the agency provides "comprehensive medical care" and is committed to the welfare of everyone in its custody.

The doctors' observations come amid growing concerns about illnesses and diseases spreading behind bars as ICE detains more people.

"Their perspective and their insight is extremely eye-opening," says Laura Rivera, director of the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is representing the doctors in a class-action federal lawsuit over ICE detention and parole practices. "Here you have people who understand what it means to take an oath to do no harm. ... They're trained to evaluate and diagnose and treat, and they're seeing the failures of the system at every step of the way."

He said guards painted over mold on the walls rather than fixing the problem

It was July 2018 when a Cuban doctor arrived at the Laredo, Texas, port of entry, and told authorities he was fleeing persecution in his home country and seeking protection in the United States. Like thousands of others who arrive at the border seeking asylum, he was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

The moment he settled into his bunk at the Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center in Pine Prairie, Louisiana, the 31-year-old Cuban doctor says he noticed something was off. Mold grew on the wall and water dripped down onto his bed, he wrote in a sworn declaration filed in court in June. He covered part of the wall with garbage bags to keep it away from his pillow.

Still, he said, water would run down the wall and pool onto the floor.

He and fellow detainees pointed the mold out to guards, he said, and warned that the pooling water was a safety hazard. Their response: repaint the wall.

"They did nothing for two months," he wrote in his declaration. "Then they simply painted over the mold."

The doctor was recently transferred to a detention center in Alabama and deported after being held for more than a year at the Pine Prairie facility. His attorney asked CNN not to name him out of fear for his safety.

While he waited for months to learn his fate, the doctor told CNN he felt he had no choice but to speak out about what he'd witnessed in the United States -- just as he says he spoke out about unjust medical care he saw in Cuba.

"It's what I know," he said, "and it's the only way I can help."

In his June court filing, he described the conditions he observed at Pine Prairie as "unsafe, unsanitary and discriminatory."

One day, a detainee slipped and fell in a puddle made by the pooling water and broke both his arms, the doctor said in the court filing.

That's not the only injury that could result from the conditions, the doctor said. He worried that mold on the walls and poor ventilation were causing deeper medical problems that could emerge years later.

"It has become quite clear to me that our safety is not a priority of the staff here, which is deeply upsetting," he alleged in his June court filing.

ICE says it spends $260 million every year on health care for detainees

The Pine Prairie ICE Processing Center, where both doctors who spoke with CNN were detained for the majority of their time in US custody, is about 45 miles south of Alexandria, Louisiana, and about 200 miles from New Orleans.

Owned and operated by one of the nation's largest private prison companies, The GEO Group, it can house nearly 1,100 adult male detainees, and it's currently one of nearly a dozen detention facilities ICE uses in Louisiana, a growing hub for the agency in the past year.

ICE declined to respond to the specific claims the doctors made, citing the agency's policy not to comment on pending litigation. "Lack of comment should not be construed as agreement with or stipulation to any of the allegations," spokesman Bryan Cox said in an email.

ICE detainees across the US have access to physicians, nurses, mental health care providers, dental care and 24-hour emergency care, Cox said. And nationwide, he said, the agency spends more than $260 million annually on health care services for detainees.

A GEO Group spokesperson said the company disputes any allegations of inadequate medical care at its facilities.

"We recognize the majority of residents would prefer to be outside these Centers," the statement said, "but while the immigration and legal processes run their course which our company plays no role in, we are committed to protecting those entering our facilities and ensuring they are provided high-quality, culturally responsive services in safe, secure and humane environments, and are treated with compassion, dignity and respect."

GEO says detainees undergo medical, mental health and dental screenings when they arrive at Pine Prairie and are provided with 24/7 medical services. The medical program there is accredited by national organizations and "strictly complies" with ICE detention standards established under the Obama administration, according to GEO.

Pine Prairie's last annual inspection, which included experts in medical care, took place in April, Cox said. The facility was "found to be fully compliant with all 40 categories reviewed by the inspection team," he said.

Such inspections have been criticized by immigrant rights advocates and the DHS inspector general, which has noted they do little to ensure compliance with ICE's standards.

Unable to see patients, he offered to mop the infirmary floors

While playing baseball was his first love, the doctor said practicing medicine was a calling that inspired and defined him. He loved connecting with his patients and helping to heal them. Even in his spare time, he'd watch medical dramas like "ER," "Grey's Anatomy" and "House," then eagerly research the rare illnesses he'd learned about in each episode.

Even though he left his career in Cuba behind when he fled to the United States, the doctor said he mentioned his profession during his initial medical checkup when he arrived at Pine Prairie last year. He hoped he'd be able to assist them somehow -- to be a bridge between his fellow detainees and the facility's medical staff. Later, once he realized that wasn't a possibility, he asked if he could take on a different task.

"I wanted to clean the infirmary," he said. "At least I'd be more or less in my world, even though I'd be cleaning."

Instead, he said, he was given a job working in the kitchen.

It's not clear how many of the more than 50,000 people detained in ICE facilities are doctors. Those who spoke with CNN said they'd heard of other doctors being detained, but never met them.

Instead of the white coat he once wore making hospital rounds, on most days at Pine Prairie, the doctor sat in his bunk wearing a white T-shirt and orange pants. But he said fellow detainees started coming to him for help as word of his past life spread.

"Here, I am not a doctor. I cannot prescribe anything," he told CNN in a phone interview from the detention facility over the summer. "But I give them advice. I tell them, 'Go to the doctor and tell them this is what you have, and when you were sick with it another time, this is what you took.'"

He's concerned medical problems are minimized

In his court-filed declaration, the doctor detailed how he and others who've sought treatment while detained felt their concerns weren't taken seriously.

"They don't see you as a patient," he told CNN. "They see you as a prisoner."

He said this led to incorrect diagnoses, improper treatment and delays in care -- problems he believed he saw play out time and again in the more than a year he was held in ICE detention.

"If an urgent medical request is filed, it can take four or five days for officers to take the sick individual to the medical unit," the doctor said in his court declaration. "I have met individuals with many medical conditions who are not receiving the treatment they urgently need."

In the filing, the doctor described what he said was a particularly troubling example.

At one point, he wrote, a bunkmate with night sweats, skin lesions and swollen lymph nodes was only treated with Tylenol even though he was likely suffering from a serious illness.

The doctor acknowledged he didn't know what his bunkmate's final diagnosis was, but feared the man missed "months of necessary treatment."

Budgets and bottom lines seem to matter more in decisions, the doctor believes, than symptoms and sickness. He fears healing patients isn't the only priority for staff at Pine Prairie and other ICE detention facilities.

"It's to save money," he said.

Another Cuban doctor who was transferred into ICE custody after asking for asylum at the border told CNN he's had a similar experience while he's been detained, advising fellow detainees as medical problems come up. That doctor, who said he fears persecution in Cuba and asked to be identified only by his initials, P.S.P., described what he said in a June court filing were "foul conditions" at Pine Prairie. He spent months there and was transferred to a different facility in Mississippi over the summer.

"It's been very, very difficult and draining to be here, seeing people keep getting deported," he says.

P.S.P. hopes to study medicine again in the United States and embark on a new career here. But he's worried he won't get the chance.

"I have lost myself since being in detention," he said in a court filing this year. "I may never be able to practice medicine again."

They question whether quarantines were handled properly

Inspectors noted in April that a mumps outbreak at Pine Prairie had required quarantining more than 500 detainees there.

The first doctor who spoke with CNN said he was one of them. A quarantine forced him to miss a court date and made it harder to meet with his lawyer, he says in his court declaration. But, he said at the time, no one around him showed any sign of the illness.

"As a doctor, I know how to recognize the symptoms of mumps, and I never saw a single person in my bunk with mumps while we were quarantined," he wrote in his court declaration.

Another time when he and several others did have symptoms of the disease, he said, they weren't diagnosed with it or placed in quarantine.

"I think it is highly unjust for doctors to review patients and fail to provide them with an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment," he said in his court declaration. "It seems to me like the jail only uses quarantines when it is convenient for them."

P.S.P. also says he saw multiple mumps quarantines during his time in detention.

"Often, the prison officials use illness as a weapon to punish all the inmates, by placing us under quarantine, which is very similar to isolation," he said in his court declaration.

ICE said thousands of detainees across the country were quarantined for exposure to mumps or chicken pox over the summer. And in August, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its first report on mumps outbreaks in detention facilities, noting that nearly 900 adults held in immigrant detention facilities had contracted the contagious disease in the past year.

In June, an ICE official told CNN that the agency had successfully prevented communicable diseases from spreading in the past, but added that the recent wave of quarantines would likely lead to increased time in detention and delays in deportations.

They sued over ICE's parole practices

Both doctors are plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against ICE earlier this year.

But medical care in custody wasn't the focus of that class-action case, which was filed by the SPLC and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and has nearly a dozen plaintiffs.

The federal suit alleges that ICE officials in the agency's New Orleans district -- which covers Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee -- have been violating their own policies and issuing blanket denials of parole to asylum seekers who could qualify for release.

Government attorneys denied that accusation and asked a judge to dismiss the case.

A judge ruled in the plaintiffs' favor last month, issuing a preliminary injunction ordering ICE to follow its policies and weigh each parole request individually.

The case is still pending, and attorneys are sorting out the next steps.

Meanwhile, the doctors' descriptions of mold, quarantines and medical care are just a few paragraphs in a growing stack of legal filings.

Why mention such matters in this lawsuit at all?

The doctor who was recently deported said the oath he swore to uphold was still guiding him.

"It's what I know -- medicine. And it's the only way I can help, by denouncing the bad treatment of people and the bad medical attention. I denounced it in my own country. And I came here and denounced it, too," he told CNN in a phone interview from Pine Prairie, weeks before his deportation.

"We are talking about human lives. It is more important than parole. It's more important than all of this, that lives are not lost."

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Trump revokes Obama-era EO on contractors’ right-of-refusal rules

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President and CEO of the Professional Services Council David Berteau joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin for what services contractors are thinking.
          

Made In America: How the U.S. Government Paid For Turkey's War in Syria

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Made In America: How the U.S. Government Paid For Turkey's War in SyriaCritics say the Obama administration did not do enough to fight Bashar al-Assad. But the forces attacking Syrian Kurds are the fruit of an anti-Assad effort.



          

AP Analysis: Activity at Iran's nuclear site raises risks

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Ten years ago while flanked by the leaders of Britain and France, then-President Barack Obama revealed to the world that Iran had built a "covert uranium enrichment facility" amid tensions with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.

A decade later, Iran's Fordo facility ...

          

This Too Shall Pass: One Last “Boo!”

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by Elinor Jones

Hello! Raise your hand if you’re ready to read the news while you can because print media is a dying industry! ...Um, hello? You ready? Okay, I don’t actually know what you’re doing, because this is a newspaper and I’m not watching you read it (OR AM I?), so I’m going to assume you’re all enthusiastically flailing your arms around like that one Kermit gif and that you desperately want to read about current-ish events that has been spiced up with my peppery commentary. Please, by all means, do allow me to throw down:


I Like Baseball Now!

I know everybody already knows about Trump getting booed at game five of the World Series last week, but I want to talk about it more because it was beautiful. Motherfucker got BOOED! Because everybody HATES! HIM! LOL. The DC home team, the Nationals, went on the win the World Series. I know baseball fans are notoriously superstitious so I can only assume that Nationals fans will now ceremoniously boo Trump ahead of every game from here on out. Forget your stupid popcorn and peanuts, this might be the tradition that gets me into baseball.


The Internet: Bad, Really Bad, and the Worst

Twitter and Facebook have been locked in a terrible game to see which can do the most harm to our mental health and national conscience, but last week Twitter moved into the least-bad position. First, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress about the harm Facebook unleashes on democracy and got his ass 100 percent handed all the way back to him by many members of Congress, including millennial socialist superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who pretty much got Zuck to admit that he’s gonna keep cashing all the checks—misinformation and malice be damned. Meanwhile, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced (in a tweet! Predictable.) that Twitter would not be running any political ads whatsoever anymore because they recognized it was too hard for users to differentiate between content they want and paid content that’s getting forcibly mashed into their brains. Twitter’s CFO went on to say “This decision was based on principle, not money.” Principles over money? On the internet? Sounds very fake news, but okay.

In another corner of the internet, principles lost handily to money: Gawker descendent sports-adjacent blog Deadspin was bought out by some tech bros a few months ago, who promptly missed the whole point of the site by demanding that writers “stick to sports” and then wantonly demolished staff morale to the point that every single writer and editor resigned en masse last week. Some of the best and smartest and silliest writers came from the Gawker universe; Deadspin was a holdout from a 2009-era internet that meant so much to so many of us, and it was destroyed because the jocks can’t stand that the nerds got cool. I really pity any writer who’s about to be looking for a job when so many of those extremely talented writers are pounding the same pavement! (This will be funny when you get to the end; keep going.)


In Local News

Oregon’s only GOP congressman, Greg Walden, announced that he will not seek reelection next year. He said he will be “seeking new challenges,” which is politician-speak for “becoming a lobbyist and getting richer than God [evil laugh].” I’m from Hood River, where Walden lives, and hereby call upon my former classmates who still live there to mercilessly bully him at Rosauers or the Ranch or wherever else he shows his face because he was one of the chief hacks of trying to overturn Obamacare and stood grinning like a cartoon villain behind Paul Ryan and Donald Trump, and the NRA loves him so we don’t like him. Bye, Greg! Enjoy being retired! (I.e. being harassed! [EVIL LAUGH.])

Locally, but also in big cities like New York, city leaders have a real bee in their bonnets about folks not paying their fare to use mass transit, and instead of just making it free, they’re spending buttloads of money to put up cameras, hire fare inspectors, and turn trains and buses into mobile police states. All this for God’s green TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS! So what? Who cares?! Here in Portland, TriMet announced that it’s hiring nine new fare inspectors. Allow me to flex some elementary school-level math: Let’s say each of those inspectors is making a low-ish starting wage for a government-adjacent employee of $45,000. Multiply that by nine and it’s $405,000 for one year. TriMet could have bought full, unlimited passes for 12 whole months for 1,205 low-income residents instead of paying nine narcs to harass people of color and anyone who looks poor. Now I will make this about me: I live on one end of one bus route from my office, but it’s somehow cheaper for me to gas, insure, and drive my Honda to and from work than it would be to take the bus, which I’d rather do. And if the city would prefer that I play my Sudoku while operating a motor vehicle rather than sitting on a bus, rubbing shoulders with friends I haven’t met yet, that’s on them.


Celebrity Skin

Did you know I’ve written this column for over one year and I’ve never once mentioned a Kardashian or Kanye? It’s true! I wanted to see if I could do it, and I can. A person can only yell about so many things with their time on earth, and plenty of people are already yelling about them, so I opted to focus my energy elsewhere. Not to suggest they’re not newsworthy, or that I don’t know what’s on their social media feeds most hours of most days, but some people are only firmly lodged in our national interest because we keep letting them stay there, and I wanted to make one little space that didn’t add to that. Just wanted to be sure you noticed. Which brings us to....


The LAST Last Word

I’m always sad when a column comes to an end, but I’m especially sad this time because this is my last column. :( I’ve had such a wonderful time sharing my 100 percent correct opinions with all of you and challenging myself to explain things with real words where in normal life I’d just use a series of chirps and emojis. Thank you, all of you (even the jerk who said I was about as funny as Gallagher, who is a SUCCESSFUL AND TIMELESS COMEDIAN so THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT, JERK) for reading, and if you want to stay in touch, I’m still grinding on Twitter @elinorjoneser and on the ’gram @elinorjo. Okay, smell ya later! <3 Joneser: OUT.

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When Is a Whistleblower, Not a Whistleblower? From Russiagate to Ukrainegate

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For those readers who care more about Donald Trump, Obama’s legacy or the Republican/Democrat parties rather than the Rule of Law and what remains of the US Constitution, the following scenario should be a Giant Wake up Call.

As the …

The post When Is a Whistleblower, Not a Whistleblower? From Russiagate to Ukrainegate appeared first on Global Research.


          

ObamaCare enrollment reaches 177,000 in first two days of enrollment period

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More than 177,000 people signed up for ObamaCare plans during the first two days of open enrollment, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Trump administration. Nov. 1 marked the first day of ...
          

EXCUSE ME! WHAT DID OBAMA SAY?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBoqEE0JooY
Website is up and Running $2.99/month NEW VIDEOS, PODCASTS AND LIVE STREAMS Exclusively at www.acallforanuprising.com Merchandise: https://teespring.com/stores/a-call-for-an-uprising-2 www.patreon.com/acallforanuprising or by letting the ads in the videos run. My Main Channels, SUBSCRIBE TO THEM ALL! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv_-yc055n1fxFfTYpdaKBg?spfreload=5 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp5x5kxCgg_A220jNIsLyfA
          

Former Obama officials rally behind Biden as he trails top rivals in money race

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In a flex of establishment muscle, a slew of former Obama administration officials came out on Wednesday to support Joe Biden’s Democratic U.S. presidential bid at a time when he is fighting to maintain his front-runner status.

          

Donald Trump – Al-Baghdadi govor VS Barack Obama – Bin Laden govor

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Donald Trump Al Baghdadi govor VS Barack Obama Bin Laden govorJimmy Kimmel je naredil enega izmed boljših “mash-upov”, ko je v isti posnetek združil govor Trumpa ob odstranitvi Al-Baghdadija in govor Obame, ko so odstranili Bin Ladna. Barack Obama je imel takrat govor dolg devet minut in pol, Donald Trump pa je klobasal 48 minut. Trije strelski pohodi v ZDA (El Paso, Daytona, Chicago) v …
          

The View from Riyhadh

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Surely, the story is monumentally important. It’s so important that our news media have largely ignored it. 

Happily, Karen Elliott House has traveled to Saudi Arabia to witness the cultural transformation taking place in the kingdom. We recall the bright eyed New York Times columnists who camped out in Tahrir Square to welcome democracy to Egypt—how did that one work out?—so we ought at least to give passing mention to the one place where Islam is being modernized, rapidly.

Considering how many of the world’s problems derive from the fact that one of its major religions has failed to modernize, we ought to pay some attention to what is happening in Saudi Arabia. Surely, we prefer the course taken by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to that proposed by the reactionary forces running the Islamic Republic of Iran.

And yes, I know, Jamal Khashoggi was most likely murdered by people who are very close to the crown prince. Unfortunately, we do not choose our allies on the basis of a moral purity test. How does it happen that everyone is up in arms about Khashoggi and no one cares about the thousands of people who have been executed in Iran for crimes like…homosexual behavior.

As for life on the ground, House offers this sense of the public mood:

During a three-week visit, the public delight is visible everywhere from the capital city to remote rural provinces like Jizan in the south and Tabuk in the north. Teenage Saudi girls scream hysterically at a performance here by the Korean boy band BTS. Young Saudi women with bared faces run a 5K through city streets clad only in short-sleeved T-shirts and tight leggings. Groups of young men and women relax together in Starbucks. Hotels are no longer permitted to ask Saudi couples for proof of marriage at check-in. All this change and more in a society where until very recently women, uniformly clad in floor-length abayas, couldn’t exercise, drive or appear in public with men other than close relatives.

House believes that the nation is anticipating the day when it will no longer be able to rely on oil revenue. She suggests that it is modernizing in order to attract tourism and investments, but I suspect that there is a larger and more profound reason. The crown prince, whatever his faults, has correctly decided that Islam needs to be part of the modern world. It cannot stand apart and watch other cultures surpass it.

House continues:

This most puritanical of Islamic societies is increasingly mirroring Western mores as the government seeks to attract foreign tourists and investors whose money is needed to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy.

The regime no longer worries about the erosion of the kingdom’s distinctive culture. Its view is that in a world of ubiquitous social media all cultures are destined to blend and it is no longer feasible, let alone desirable, for Saudi Arabia to shut itself off from inexorable global trends.

As it happens, the kingdom does not allow dissenting opinions. It does not have first amendment rights to free speech and free expression. Naturally, this offends us to the marrow. And yet, do you believe that change would have been possible if the religious police had been allowed to constitute a countervailing faction:

There is no doubt that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 34, effective ruler of the kingdom, has decided to press ahead full speed with economic and social change (the former much tougher than the latter). Nothing will deter him. The crown prince, those close to him say, is absolutely convinced his reforms are essential and urgent. So in his view, debate is pointless. There is no possibility of reversing course—and no apparent concern about a conservative backlash. The once-powerful religious authorities have been reduced to mouthpieces for the regime and are widely ignored by the public. Even immediate foreign threats are more distraction than deterrent to Crown Prince Mohammed’s domestic agenda.

To be clear, such rapid change is difficult to impose, even when one can exercise authoritarian control over the culture. Attitudes and social habits change more slowly:

The government is spending billions on bringing entertainment—wrestling, tennis, car racing, expensive restaurants, musical performers—to the kingdom to jump-start tourism. Joining a Saudi family for dinner, I am driven by golf cart through a park to the restaurant by a young Saudi woman with a bare face, cropped hair and no abaya. Such dress or employment for a Saudi woman was unthinkable even a few months ago. “I feel out of place in my own country,” says one Saudi woman in shock at seeing a Lebanese singer entering a Riyadh hotel in a sleeveless midthigh dress. Such “indecency,” unlike dissent, runs no risk these days.

Given its neighborhood the Saudi government requires American assistance. It needs a reliable ally in Washington, especially since Western European nations want to align themselves with Iran. Some say that we should completely withdraw from the region, but we are also part of the world oil market. It’s nice to be self-sufficient energy wise, but what happens if our vendors, suppliers and customers run out of fuel.

Meantime, the Saudi government is putting maximum pressure on the U.S. to provide additional military support to the regime. Failure to stand visibly with Saudi Arabia, say officials here, could encourage Iran to strike again and lead to higher oil prices for the U.S. and world-wide. Or the Saudis could opt to price oil in a currency other than the dollar, with severe ramifications for the U.S. and the global economy.

Crown Prince Mohammed is said to have been livid about the slow U.S. reaction but mollified by the Trump administration’s recent decision to dispatch 2,000 additional American troops to Saudi Arabia along with two Patriot missile batteries and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or Thaad. The American buildup looks intended to deter future Iranian aggression, but whether the Trump administration would engage or duck is anyone’s guess given the lack of a formal U.S.-Saudi mutual-security treaty. The Saudis are understandably nervous after President Obama failed to enforce his “red line” in Syria and President Trump made no response to Iran’s downing of an American drone in June or its attack on Aramco six weeks ago.

The Trump administration seems to have come to this understanding. If it does not support the Saudi reform effort, the chances for backsliding will increase exponentially.


          

Decriminalizing Crime

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Crime statistics are an embarrassment. Minority groups commit more crimes per capita than others. Members of these groups are rightly embarrassed by the statistics, but their solution seems most often to be to blame someone else, like white police officers.

Even the ascendancy of Barack Obama did not seem to make a dent in the crime statistics. Obama’s home town, run by a mayor who had been Obama’s chief of staff, kept racking up unacceptably large murder rates. Again, it was an embarrassment. The nation has been told to look away and to blame white people, especially white racists and white supremacists.

By what is acceptable reason, we are not permitted to suggest that the people who commit the crimes ought not to be committing the crimes and that their communities ought not to be defending them or exonerating them… because the fault lies with white police officers.

One alternative might be to decriminalize crime. By the logic of the radical left crime must be a social construction. If we decriminalize certain criminal behaviors there will be less crime. Problem solved, sort of.

Victor Davis Hanson explained how it’s working in California:

Stores are occasionally hit by swarming looters. Such Wild West criminals know how to keep their thefts under $950, ensuring that such “misdemeanors” do not warrant police attention. California’s permissive laws have decriminalized thefts and break-ins. The result is that San Francisco now has the highest property crime rate per capita in the nation.

Mission accomplished.

If that does not suit your intellectual predilections, the Washington Post has just run a series of articles about how bad prison is. The ostensible purpose of these articles, written by people who have suffered incarceration, is to empty the prisons. The reasoning behind them: people who are in prison have mental health issues. And that prison is not very good therapy. If not, prisoner are the victims of capitalist patriarchy and are simply revolting against their oppressors.

Notable scofflaw Piper Kerman, the mind behind the television show, Orange is the New Black, explains it all in her lead article. Paul Mirengoff reports on it for Powerline blog (via Maggie’s Farm):

Kerman complains that “the American criminal justice system does not solve the problems — violence, mental illness, addiction — that it claims to address.”

And also:

Kerman’s article is a smorgasbord of leftist cliches. She claims, for example, that “mass incarceration is a result of policies that have grown out of a history of slavery, colonialism, and punishment of the poor.”

To which Mirengoff responds:

If slavery, colonialism, and punishment of the poor were to blame for incarceration, we should see less, not more, incarceration as time takes us further and further away from this history. But that’s not what we see.

Thus is blame shifted from the criminals to the society at large. The fault, by leftist ideology, lies with a criminal Western culture that has exploited and oppressed peoples for ages now. Those who hold these views are saying that criminal behavior is the natural and normal response of oppressed peoples toward their oppressors. If not, it is a function of mental health problems that the nation is refusing to treat.

Meringoff remarks that Kerman and the Washington Post have misunderstood the purpose of prison:

The primary purposes of the system are to punish criminals and prevent them from committing crimes. It achieves these objectives, at least while the criminal is incarcerated. Longer sentences would prevent criminals from committing crimes for longer periods. But this, of course, is not what Kerman has in mind.

By incapacitating criminals, the justice system reduces violence. Violent crime plummeted following the harsher federal sentencing regime adopted towards the end of the last century. This isn’t the same thing as “solving” violence, but that’s not a realistic goal of a criminal justice system.

In effect, the solution offered by Kerman and the Post is the problem. When communities do not hold criminals accountable, when they do not shun those who cause the communities to fall into disrepute, you get more crime. Effectively, the article decriminalizes crime. It will naturally produce more crime. We should shut up and suffer it because we all deserve it.

Meringoff explains:

If anything here is being “normalized” here it’s crime, not incarceration. Advocates like Kerman (and those like the Washington Post who give them a platform) treat criminal behavior as a normal and natural response to slavery, colonialism, imbalances in power, etc.

Accepting this notion will lead to rampant crime in excess even of the crime wave of the 1970s that led to the stiff sentencing regime in place until recently. It will eat away at the fabric of our society — a fate that radicals like Kerman may consider the just dessert of a “racist” and “colonialist” nation like America.

          

The Impeachment Follies

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For your edification, a few thoughts about the impeachment process from emeritus Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz. As you know, Dershowitz is one of the few liberals and progressives who have not lost their minds over Trump. He has consistently demonstrated integrity, in calling them as he see them… and as the law requires.

In a recent essay he remarks that the founders of the American republic did not want impeachment to become a partisan political event, a way for one party to punish or to hobble a president from another party. 

Hamilton warned of the “greatest danger” that the decision to move forward with impeachment will “be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties than the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.” He worried that the tools of impeachment would be wielded by the “most cunning or most numerous factions” and lack the “requisite neutrality toward those whose conduct would be the subject of scrutiny.”

He continues:

Impeachment is an extraordinary tool to be used only when the constitutional criteria are met. These criteria are limited and include only “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Hamilton described these as being “of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

Hamilton distinctly distinguished between the nature of the constitutional crimes, denoting them as political, while insisting that the process for impeachment and removal must remain scrupulously neutral and nonpartisan among members of Congress.

And yet, Congressional Democrats do not care about anything but their fanatical will to destroy Trump. They are conducting a dishonest secretive probe, one that will lead to a partisan vote to impeach. They must know that the senate will never vote to remove... so they are engaging in a grand theatrical performance, largely because the idiots in their caucus do not know how to do anything but to create drama:

It is far more likely that, no matter how extensive the investigation is and regardless of what it uncovers, nearly all House Democrats will vote for impeachment and nearly all House Republicans will vote against it. Such a partisan vote would deny constitutional legitimacy to impeachment. 

Strangely, the Democratic Party wants to remove the duly elected president in the name of democracy. The House of Representatives is the only body that truly reflects the will of the majority. And yet, James Madison did not want the nation to be a democracy. He specifically argued that the nation should be a republic, where the will of the majority of the people should be checked and balanced by other branches of government. 

After all, the Framers explicitly rejected maladministration as a ground for impeachment and removal. James Madison, the father of our Constitution, argued that such open criteria would give Congress far too much power to remove a duly elected president. It would, he feared, turn our republic into a democracy in which the chief executive served at the pleasure of the parliament and could be removed by a simple vote of no confidence.

Of course, if Democrats say that no one is above the law, they should, Dershowitz argued, apply the same rule to themselves.

How many times have we heard from Democrats that “no one is above the law” in reference to President Trump? That is true, but neither is Congress above the law. It cannot substitute its own criteria for those mandated by the Constitution. The House vote may have been necessary to establish procedures. But the partisanship strongly suggests that what Hamilton regarded as the greatest danger may be on the horizon, namely a vote to impeach a duly elected president based not on “real demonstrations of innocence or guilt” but rather on “comparative strength of parties.”

And yet, it’s about more than the comparative strength of parties. When you start hearing Democrats talk about patriotism and their love for the constitution, you have to ask yourself when they started caring about patriotism and the constitution.

In truth, the impeachment follies continues an effort begun at the FBI and the Justice Department, continued by National Security Council holdovers, first, to ensure that Trump not be elected, and second to overthrow the president. In the past it would have been called sedition. They are not just motivated by their hatred of Trump. They are pushing their case because they love Obama more than they care about the constitution or the rule of law. 

Their idolatrous worship of the last president, their horror at seeing his legacy discarded, has caused them to lose all perspective. They and their satraps in the media declared Obama to be the Messiah. Anyone who refuses to accept him as the Messiah belongs to what medieval inquisitors called the unconverted.

They refused to believe that Obama had done anything wrong, that his policies might not have been very good. So deep is their love for Obama that they will do anything, defy any precedent, ignore any tradition, in order to get Trump. And to restore the Obama legacy, what with its dismissal of patriotism and its disregard for of America’s political tradition.

          

The Absurd Idea of World Citizenship

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In a wonderful Commentary article Bruce Bawer takes down the concept of citizen of the world. John Hinderaker reports on it for Powerline (via Maggie’s Farm.) For our purposes we will look at Bawer’s article.

Bawer dates the advent of the concept to Diogenes, who lived in the fourth century A.D., but the more modern source lies in Immanuel Kant. In his essay on the idea of a universal history Kant claimed that we should all become citizens of the world. Barack Obama echoed the thought in a 2008 address he delivered in Germany at the Brandenburg Gate.

So, the concept embodies Enlightenment idealism. I assume that we all know that the Enlightenment in Germany had nothing to do with the British and Scottish versions. Since the time of early Greek philosophy idealism and empiricism have been warring against each other. Arthur Herman has written an excellent book about the history of the conflict, entitled The Cave and the Light

Anyway, citizenship of the world is an idealistic concept, one that disregards nations, borders, boundaries and true citizenship in exchange for the promise of a world of milk and honey, peace and prosperity where we would fight no more wars because we will all belong to one hulking planetary whole.

Bawer approvingly quotes the hapless Theresa May, in one of her rare moments of lucidity:

…if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere.

Ironically, of perhaps paradoxically, the thrust toward global citizenship began after Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were defeated by the armies of the Anglosphere in World War II. It intensified after the same Anglosphere defeated Communism in the Cold War. Thus it feels like a victor's lament... for having hurt the feelings of the losers. 

Obviously enough, Woodrow Wilson's ill-fated league of nations-- another Kantian concept-- showed that global citizenship was a bad idea.

Bawer explains:

Ironically enough, the contemporary enthusiasm for global citizenship has its roots in the historical moment that marked the triumph of modern national identity and pride—namely, the World War II victory of free countries (plus the Soviet Union) over their unfree enemies. Citizens of small, conquered nations resisted oppression and, in many cases, gave their lives out of sheer patriotism and love of liberty. As Allied tanks rolled into one liberated town after another, people waved flags that had been hidden away during the occupation. Germany and Japan had sought to create empires that erased national borders and turned free citizens into subjects of tyranny; brave patriots destroyed that dream and restored their homelands’ sovereignty and freedom. And yet a major consequence of this victory was the establishment of an organization, the United Nations. Its founding rhetoric, like that of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, was all about the erasure of borders, even as it hoisted its own baby-blue flag alongside those of its members.

It seems to be a reaction against the martial values that won the wars. Under the guise of preventing wars the reactionaries tried to revalue more feminine maternal values, ones that cared more for caring and less for competition:

The chief force behind the Declaration was Eleanor Roosevelt, the chair of the UN’s Human Rights Commission. In a 1945 newspaper column, she had had some interesting things to say about patriotism and what we would now call globalism. “Willy-nilly,” she wrote, “everyone [sic] of us cares more for his own country than for any other. That is human nature. We love the bit of land where we have grown to maturity and known the joys and sorrows of life. The time has come however when we must recognize that our mutual [sic] devotion to our own land must never blind us to the good of all lands and of all peoples.”

The illusion is sustained by the United Nations, another political and cultural fraud:

Behind the Iron Curtain, captive peoples weren’t citizens, global or otherwise, but prisoners. Yet in the West, the UN’s language of what we now call global citizenship started to take hold, and the UN began to be an object of widespread, although hardly universal, veneration. In reality, the UN may be a massive and inert bureaucratic kleptocracy yoked to a debating society, most of whose member states are unfree or partly free; but people in the free world who grow starry-eyed at the thought of global citizenship view it as somehow magically exceeding, in moral terms, the sum of its parts.

Bawer taxes the movement with moral dereliction. If you do not belong to a country you need not concern yourself with defending the country. And you have no responsibilities to your fellow citizens, because everyone the world over is a citizen of the world. If we believe that we must care for everyone who is alive we are going to find ourselves in the position of not caring for anyone.

          

America's Empty Headed Philosopher Kings

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If the nation were not riveted to President Trump, and if President Trump did not have to spend half his time dodging and deflecting incoming verbal attack missiles, we might have been paying attention to our philosopher kings, our intellectual and political elites, people who have been running the country... into the ground. By their lights Trump can do no right. By logical extension, they can do no wrong.

Victor Davis Hanson calls them our nomenklatura. (via Maggie’s Farm) They are a guardian class of philosopher kings who have taken control of the government and who will brook no dissent. You might think that they are running on fumes, but it would be more accurate, Hanson suggests, that they are running on credentials.

In that he is echoing a thought often expressed by David Foster of the Chicago Boyz blog, namely that America’s ruling class is defined by credentials, not by achievement or merit. Besides, in a world where diversity has overtaken merit, these credentials are no longer signs of real worth.

Hanson trots out the usual suspects and exposes a gang that cannot think straight. For all of the vitriol routinely tossed at Donald Trump, Americans intellectual leaders has failed to notice that their heroes have feet of clay.

You recall, Hanson reminds us, that serious psychiatrists have accused Trump of being mentally ill. And yet, how often does Joe Biden resemble a man who is suffering some level of dementia. One might even say the same about the hapless and helpless Robert Mueller, a man whose Congressional testimony showed that he was not in charge of much of anything.

As for Biden, Hanson remarks what we all know:

At times, former Vice President Joe Biden is unaware of which town, indeed which state, he is in. He slurs his words often. Biden strings together unconnected thoughts that result in utter incoherence—not alleviated by his near shouting emphatics or fits of pique at reporters.

Sometimes, Biden forgets names, and referents, and appears befuddled generally. His biography is mythical. He cannot address Ukraine and the role of his son, Hunter Biden, because, after all, what would a truthful person say? That the vice president of the United States allowed his wastrel son to become a multimillionaire by leveraging his father’s office with foreign corrupt governments? 

And yet, media enablers continue to claim that Biden merely makes gaffes. If Trump had done as much, they would have been crying out for involuntary commitment... even though they oppose involuntary commitment.

As for Hillary Clinton, she refuses to accept that she lost an election and has descended to trafficking conspiracy theories… the kind that would normally label you paranoid. Of course, she and her minions have been accusing Trump of having done what she and her minions were actually doing. When it comes to corruption, to emoluments, no one beats the Clintons:

And all this from Hillary Clinton, who inaugurated the 2009 disastrous Russian appeasement scheme known as “reset” by pushing a red plastic Jacuzzi button in Geneva, and who was instrumental in green-lighting North American uranium sales to Russian interests, which interests through third parties had donated to her foundation and indirectly paid Russians to interfere in the 2016 election to destroy her opponent?

And the sainted Mitt Romney, a man whose good moral character does not include loyalty, refused to take the gloves off when running against Barack Obama. Now he has made himself a Republican scold, a party of one.

But after the implosion of the once impressive 2016 Republican primary field, Romney assumed the mantle of senior establishment Trump foe. If he played by the Marquess of Queensberry Rules with Barack Obama, he certainly did not with Donald Trump, blasting him frequently as a fraud, con, dishonest, a bully, and greedy—clueless that instead Trump served as some sort of sharp planer that ripped off the thin, shiny mahogany veneer pasted over our particle-board establishment.

And, let’s not forget:

Romney seems to have entered Hillary/Biden fantasyland by admitting to being a “lurker” on social media—one who adopts an anonymous and secret Twitter account (in Romney’s case under the nom de guerre “Pierre Delecto”), to channel and encourage nice stories about himself, and to attack vicariously those who do not share his views or self-admiration.

And, we can examine the records of former Obama administration officials James Clapper and John Brennan. Somehow or other the great minds of the media have not figured out that these holier-than-thou warriors are really trying to stay out of jail.

As it happens, no one much cares about holding them to account:

Before Trump, both John Brennan and James Clapper, respectively CIA director and director of national intelligence, lied under oath to Congress—and paid nothing for doing so. Or rather their past prevarications became good CV items for the new fake news industry. From them, we respectively once learned that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was largely secular and that jihad was a mostly a non-violent expression of personal growth and discovery. In their world, drones never hit bystanders, the intelligence agencies never spy on Americans, and the two of them never lied under oath. Both leveraged their past service and security clearances into lucrative cable TV analyst contracts—and often editorialized about ongoing investigations in which they were either knee-deep or of which they later became targets.

How did we go wrong? Hanson offers this explanation:

We have confused credentials with merit—as we learned when Hollywood stars and rich people tried to bribe and buy their mostly lackadaisical children into named schools, eager for the cattle brand BAs and without a care whether their offspring would be well educated. 

Graduating from today’s Yale or Harvard law school is not necessarily a sign of achievement, much less legal expertise. Mostly, entrance into heralded schools is a reminder of past good prep school grades and test scores winning admittance—or using some sort of old-boy, networking, athletic, or affirmative action pull.

Being a “senior” official at some alphabet government agency also means little any more outside of the nomenklatura. Academia, the media, and entertainment industries are likewise supposedly meritocratic without being based on demonstrable worth. Otherwise, why would college graduates know so little, the media so often report fantasies as truth, and Hollywood focus on poor remakes? Take all the signature brand names that the Baby Boomers inherited from prior generations—Harvard, Yale, the New York Times, NPR, CNN, the Oscars, the NFL, the NBA, the FBI, the CIA, the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, and a host of others. And then ask whether they enhanced or diminished such inheritances?

A country over $22 trillion in debt, with an open border, an existential conflict with China, and a West in cultural and demographic decline, for two years was told falsely that Donald Trump supposedly knew of a meeting in advance at Trump Tower, that James Comey would supposedly testify that he never told Trump he was not under investigation, and that Trump would soon be indicted, resign, or impeached. The amount of elite energy spent replaying the embarrassing progressive 2016 loss and trying to abort the Trump presidency before the 2020 election, remember, was the product of our best and brightest, the top echelon of our law enforcement and intelligence communities, and our most esteemed political and media elite.

They are defending their turf, their territories, their reputations and their livelihood. The one thing that they can never accept is that the curtain will be drawn back, revealing them to be impostors. They will never forgive Donald Trump for refusing to pay them proper obeisance.

          

Obama and Trump Fighting Terrorism

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Piers Morgan is not the only commentator who compared the different reactions to the assassination of Osama bin Laden with the suicide of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Yet, his comments were succinct, and to the point.

When bin Laden died the world rejoiced. All Americans rejoiced. When Baghdadi died Democrats and their media enablers fell over themselves to denounce Donald Trump. America’s divisions have rarely been as stark.

You might say that Trump is the more divisive figure, but Republicans afforded President Obama a degree of respect that Obama’s supporters have never offered to President Trump.

Morgan begins:

I was in New York on the night President Barack Obama announced Navy SEALs had killed Osama bin Laden.

Obama was intensely disliked by Republicans at the time, but partisan rivalry was set aside for a moment of true, unified joy at the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist.

People of all political leanings took to the streets to chant ‘USA! USA!’ as they celebrated the wicked Al Qaeda leader’s grisly demise in a Pakistan shoot-out.

It didn’t matter how you voted, what mattered was that the man who masterminded 9/11 had finally been made to pay for his despicable crimes.

It was a great day for America, and for the world.

As though we need the reminder— though we probably do— Morgan offers a list of the horrors committed by Baghdadi.

For five years, after declaring Islamic State as a worldwide caliphate, Baghdadi presided over one of the most brutal, evil periods of unconscionable terrorist activity in modern history.

His followers burned victims alive in cages or slowly drowned them. They threw gay people off rooftops, and beheaded others on videos they then broadcast online.

They executed 13 teenage boys in Iraq with machine guns because they were watching a football match on TV.

They shot, suicide-bombed and massacred any rival Shia Muslims they could find in a relentless frenzied attempt to ethnically cleanse them off the face of the planet.

They murdered anyone who tried to leave their caliphate, or those they deemed ‘ineffective in battle’.

They kidnapped thousands of women, especially Kurds or Yazidis, and either sold them as sex slaves or forced them to marry ISIS fighters and be their sex slaves. Many were tortured, or killed themselves to escape the torment.

They trafficked human organs they ripped from living captives and hostages, including children.

They used brainwashed kids as young as six to be front line shields.

It was not limited to the Middle East:

As Baghdadi’s terrible tentacles spread ever further around the world, fueled by constant ISIS propaganda on the internet, the scale and ferocity of attacks against civilians worsened.

In January 2015, ISIS terrorists armed with assault rifles stormed the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people.

A few months later, ISIS carried out coordinated attacks in the same city at a football stadium, cafes and the Bataclan concert hall – killing 130 people and wounding 350.

In 2016, ISIS claimed responsibility when a man in a large truck drove through a crowd in Nice, France on Bastille Day, murdering 84 and injuring 330.

A year later, an ISIS-inspired suicide bomber attacked an Ariana Grande pop concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 predominantly young girls and wounding another 59.

All of this was conducted on Baghdadi’s watch.

He was the boss, the driving force, the brains behind the barbarism.

So yesterday was a truly great day for America and the world.

As it happened, much of it was conducted on Barack Obama's watch. About that people have very little to say.

And yet, the American left seems incapable of anything but the most partisan warfare:

Last night was a time for America to put aside its insanely vicious partisan feuding and just celebrate the demise of the worst person on Planet Earth.

That’s not, as some of his enemies would have you believe, Donald Trump.

It was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

His death is a massive boost for American in its war on terror.

It cuts the head off ISIS at the precise moment its entire existence is teetering on the brink of collapse.

It’s no exaggeration to say this might hasten the end of ISIS altogether, though we can certainly expect some form of reprisal attacks in the wake of Baghdadi’s death as the few remaining ISIS fighters desperately try to rally support.

So regardless of your view of Trump, and I’ve been as critical of him in recent weeks as anyone, this was a moment to praise him for taking the bold, courageous decision to order a dangerous mission that successfully took out the leader of ISIS.

And then there were the fans at the World Series game in Washington. These fans stood up to boo the president of the United States. Most likely they were government employees and lobbyists, people who live off the government. One assumes that they were Democrats and fervid Obama supporters.

As noted here yesterday Morgan calls them out for their manifestly unpatriotic gesture:

Yes, I know Trump’s encourages his own supporters to do this to Hillary Clinton at all his base rallies.

But just because he’s wrong to do that, which he is, it doesn’t make it right to do it to him on such an important day.

In fact, it makes it unpatriotic and shameful.

When bin Laden was killed, the images of Americans coming together in joy went round the world and were a powerful symbol of unity.

Today, the only images people will see are of Americans booing their president for helping to kill the leader of ISIS.

Yes, it was a bad look for Trump.

But it’s a far worse look for America.

Trump has also been denounced for not showing sufficient respect to the dead terrorist. Compare his remarks with the Obama presidency’s dealing with Osama bin Laden’s remains. That administration gave to bin Laden the full dignity of an Islamic burial:

Traditional procedures for Islamic burial was followed... The deceased's body was washed (ablution) then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks, which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, whereupon the deceased's body slid into the sea.

Whereas Trump declared that al-Baghdadi had died whimpering and cowering like a dog, Obama showed respect toward the world’s leading terrorist. For those who believe that Islamist terrorism is an aberration, not a true part of the religion of peace, the Obama administration was saying otherwise. Don't you think that the gesture of respect showed the world that terrorists deserve our respect?

As was his wont Obama was also showing a cowardly and submissive reverence for Islam, even for Islamist terrorists. Apparently, Obama was terrified that if he said or did anything to offend Muslim sensibilities he would be inciting terrorism. Islamists considered him weak and cowardly… and invitation to act with impunity. On his watch ISIS metastasized, largely unimpeded. 

          

Turning Trump's Victory into Defeat

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In a better world the news would have emphasized the fact that the United States had murdered the leader of the Islamic State, the world’s most important terrorist, a mass murderer and torturer. And yet, to do so would have required the media and the Obamaphile left to praise President Trump. And we can’t have that.

It has been a thoroughly astonishing spectacle. From Saturday Night Live running a skit showing how Trump was coddling ISIS at the precise moment that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was blowing himself and three of his children up to the Washington Post being incapable of writing a correct headline.

The Post, the paper of record in Washington D. C. first headlined the story by calling al-Baghdadi a “terrorist in chief.” Then, someone decided that that would give Trump too much credit, so it changed the description to “an austere religious scholar.” Considering that the man was responsible for mass murder, mayhem, gang rape and sex trafficking, it seemed a bit too weak, even for the Post. It immediately provoked an outcry from Post readers. The paper changed the headline to “extremist leader.”

At the least, it does not inspire confidence in their journalism.

And then, at the World Series game last night in Washington, President Trump was roundly booed by Nationals fans. Obviously, these fans live in a deep blue city. Even the Washington suburbs are deeply blue… meaning that they are inhabited by government employees, thus, the kind of people that Trump has been attacking and that have, truth be told, been attacking Trump.

It is a pathetic spectacle, not a sign of patriotism. When you boo the president you boo the presidency. And it does not spell patriotism.

So, leftist politicians and media mavens started spinning as fast as they could. They said it was no big deal. ISIS is not defeated. Trump’s press conference was largely inferior to that of Obama when Osama bin Laden was killed. Trump lied about al Baghdadi’s whimpering. And besides, the credit all belongs to Barack Obama, who began the fight against the Islamic State.

You need to wonder how people are stupid enough to believe any of this, but apparently they are. Otherwise why would anyone overlook the obvious fact that the Islamic State was part of the Obama legacy?

Before Obama there was no caliphate. During the Obama years a caliphate grew and became more powerful. Its ability to show itself powerful in the face of the weak Obama policy attracted adherents from around the world. When Obama left office there was still a functioning caliphate. President Trump defeated the caliphate, captured large numbers of ISIS fighters, and ultimately, as of yesterday, eliminated the organization’s chief.

If you put that together and decide that Obama deserves credit for the death of al-Baghdadi you should go back on your meds.

And yet, James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence said this on CNN:

What is going to be interesting is to the extent to which this negatively affects ISIS or does it galvanize ISIS, the remnants of ISIS, which still survives as an ideology and has franchises in other places besides Syria.

Since Trump might be credited with launching the raid, we are now told that ISIS is really an idea, that it exists elsewhere and that the death of its leader will embolden it. Was this what they said when the Obama administration killed bin Laden?

Or else, read Matt Stieb, in New York Magazine. He first needs to attack Trump, with mockery and ridicule:

The president, who appears to relish violet rhetoric, personal boasting, the defeat of his enemies, and the simplicity of a good vs. evil narrative, announced on Sunday morning that U.S. special forces had killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a raid in northwestern Syria on Saturday. With such a natural lining up of his interests, Trump turned the event into a spectacle, even promoting the press conference on Twitter the night before.

Anytime President Trump speaks for 48 minutes straight, you can expect some pretty unhinged remarks; on Sunday, things started to get weird just 90 seconds in, when Trump described the ISIS leader “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way” to the back of a tunnel in his compound, where he detonated a suicide vest as he was surrounded by three of his children. The president, who did little to hide his enjoyment in the moment, said that “it was just like a movie.”

For those who have no faith in CNN, I will add that a commentator on that network, someone whose name escapes me, explained that Trump had done a great job detailing the raid to the public. The unnamed commentator thanked Trump for describing what happened so well that he and journalists would not need to spend weeks figuring itout for themselves.

Anyway, Stieb seems vaguely offended that Trump was dehumanizing al-Baghdadi:

Trump aim seemed to be dehumanizing al-Baghdadi, the terrorist responsible for the Yazidi genocide, systemized sex slavery within ISIS-controlled territory, and the deaths of thousands in the region. “He was a gutless animal,” Trump said, later adding that “he died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying.” He employed one of his frequent, if incoherent, jabs at al-Baghdadi, claiming that he “died like a dog.” In a bizarre piece of symmetry, as Trump degraded the terrorist, he elevated a military canine involved in the raid: “Our K-9, as they call it — I call it a dog, a beautiful dog, a talented dog — was injured and brought back, but we had no soldier injured … We had nobody even hurt. That’s why the dog was so great.”

Tell me that that is not one of the most bizarre paragraphs you have ever had the misfortune to read. Stieb seems to suggest that there is something wrong with dehumanizing a mass murderer, a genocidal maniac, an inveterate homophobe and promoter of gang rapes and sex trafficking. Does he not understand that the propaganda war against ISIS is best advanced by showing its leader to be a sniveling coward? Apparently not.

The raid was named in honor of one Kayla Mueller, a young American woman who was captured by ISIS and who was raped repeatedly by al-Baghdadi himself for months on end… before being killed by an American missile. (via Maggie's Farm) Mueller’s parents did not have as many reservations as the American leftist media.

And then Thomas Friedman, in a column praising Trump, tries to argue that Obama got it right, that ISIS was produced by the Bush administration—you know, after Obama abandoned Iraq and Syria. And then, he dives into the moral equivalence trap and compares al-Baghdadi to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi:

Trump has never met a dictator he did not like. He is blind to the fact that the next al-Baghdadi is being incubated today in some prison in Egypt, where President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, whom Trump once actually called “my favorite dictator,’’ is not only rounding up violent Jihadists but liberal nonviolent journalists, activists and politicians. Their only crime is that they want to have a say in their country’s future and help to create an environment where they can realize their full potential — so they will not have to look for dignity, power, a job or a girl’s hand from extremist groups like ISIS.

True enough, el Sissi has been cracking down on dissent. You will recall that Egyptian dissidents are most often members of the Muslim Brotherhood or other terrorist organizations.  These have done their best to produce mayhem in the country. The Brotherhood is the godfather of Islamist terrorist organizations. If you know the difference between the Brothers and supposedly liberal journalists I will agree that we should distinguish the one from the other.

We might add that when a Brotherhood leader named Mohamed Morsi won the presidency of Egypt—before being overthrown by a coup lead by el-Sissi— the first  foreign leader to bless his victory with her presence was no less than America’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. 

No one likes to mention it, but Brotherhood voter outreach contained active support for female genital mutilation. Before the election it was sending mobile infirmary vans into the poor neighborhoods of Cairo, the better to allow families to have their daughters mutilated without needing to undergo the indignity of having to go to a clinic or hospital.

Friedman neglects this point. He argues that pro-Iran militias and Syria conspired to help Trump to eliminate al-Baghdadi because they wanted to rid their nation of Sunni influence. He might have added that Sunni Turkey contributed too.

Friedman is sorely offended by the Trump administration’s wish to protect the oil wells, instead of protecting what he called “islands of decency.” A noble thought, offered by a man of surpassing virtue. And yet, where was he when Obama was selling out to Iran and to Islamist terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas? Was the Iran nuclear deal a way to foster decency? And where was Friedman and where was the Obama administration when the Iranian regime was shooting protesters in the streets during the Green revolution of 2009?

          

The Democrats' Clown Posse of Candidates

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If you have not had your quota of Andrew Sullivan today—see previous post— I bring you his views of the field of Democratic presidential candidates. Naturally, Sullivan loathes Donald Trump, with every fiber of his being. How could he not. Yet, he still provides some compelling portraits of the rogues’ gallery or clown posse of today’s Democrats.

Without further ado and without commentary, we begin with Joe Biden:

Joe Biden’s strength in the polls remains impressive, but his candidacy is crippled. In the last debate, he was easily the worst performer: confused, addled, over-briefed, and clearly past his expiration date as a pol. Close your eyes and he sounds exactly like Abraham Simpson. His crowds are anemic, his speeches lame, his self-defense as Trump lunged biliously at him and his family a case study in ineffectiveness.

And Bernie Sanders:

Sanders has had a heart attack. He came back swinging in the debate and looks fine. But come on — he’s had a heart attack at the age of 78. What happens if he has another one at any point before the election? Why should a party risk that? He’s also an actual socialist, and he hasn’t entertained — let alone engaged with — a new idea in decades. That’s appealing to millennial Marxists who have no memory of the 1970s, but Jeremy Corbyn was also a superstar with the youngsters a while back.

Elizabeth Warren:

Warren is surging, but she is, I fear — yes, I’ll say it — unelectable. I may be wrong, but by pledging to rip everyone off their current private health insurance, it certainly seems like she has thrown away the core advantage of her side — health security. By floating the notion in the CNN forum that her future Secretary of Education would have to be approved by a transgender 9-year-old boy, she’s placing herself firmly inside a cultural revolution most Americans are deeply uncomfortable with.

 She’s a supercilious, smug, know-it-all Massachusetts liberal who reveals contempt for the deplorables the way Clinton did last time. The “first woman of color” to get hired as a professor at Harvard Law School is the stuff that GOP dreams are made on. That any suspicion of the viability of her candidacy will be ascribed entirely to misogyny will only help Trump, the way it did in 2016.

Cory Booker:

Booker lacks a connection with anyone, and still seems to be campaigning for a Rhodes Scholarship. On paper, he’s perfect. In reality, he comes off as an earnest cyborg from outer space.

Kamala Harris:

Harris has revealed herself as a feckless, authoritarian, lying opportunist who treats the Constitution as cavalierly as Trump, but without his excuse of total ignorance. Tulsi is despised by too many Dems to have a hope (I can’t quite figure out the reason for their hatred, but it’s a fact).

Amy Klobuchar:

Klobuchar is a ball of nerves and insecurity who seems to shrink upon exposure.

Pete Buttigieg:

Buttigieg is easily the best debater, and most appealing to independents and a few wavering Republicans, but the big question still hangs over his candidacy: Will more culturally conservative minority voters — not to mention white working-class ones — show up for a gay man in the numbers that Democrats need? The cause for concern is real.

Beto O’Rourke:

O’Rourke is a woke, moronic bigot, who believes we live in a white-supremacist country, and would happily remove tax exemptions from most traditional churches, synagogues, and mosques, because they still believe in the literal teachings of the Bible or the Koran. Of all the candidates, he’s the only one I actively loathe.

Julian Castro:

Castro is an open-borders globalist panderer dedicated to the vital cause of free abortions for transgender male illegal immigrants. All of them have staked out “left Twitter” positions on immigration, race, and “social justice” that make Obama seem like Steve Bannon in comparison.

And, Sullivan’s favorite, Andrew Yang:

The only true bright spot is Andrew Yang — fresh, real, future-oriented, sane, offering actual analyses of automation, trade, and technology that distinguish him from the crowd.… He’s a fascinating character to me. When he’s asked a question, his nearly expressionless, wrinkle-free face, which seems to spring directly from his chest, seems about to offer some canned pabulum, and then almost always responds with a flawless, thoughtful, and entirely relevant, even insightful answer. I’m rooting for him (and Pete), but I’m not delusional.

Now that he has found nearly all of them seriously lacking, Sullivan says that he finds all of them better than the orange man currently occupying the White House. As for his prediction for the outcome. Elizabeth Warren will win the nomination and be beaten badly in the general election:

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll vote for anyone, including Warren or Sanders or even the vacuous “Beto” to defeat Trump. We proud human scum will not be distracted from the central task at hand. But let’s be honest: This is a field that has largely wilted upon inspection. For what it’s worth, I suspect Warren will win the nomination and dutifully lose the election just like Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, and the second Clinton. She has that quintessential perfume of smug, well-meaning, mediocre doom that Democrats simply cannot resist.

 On that I confess that I agree with him.

          

On farming, Trump doesn't think Obama was socialistic enough

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As far as Trump is concerned, Obama wouldn't have been eager enough to embrace a socialistic solution to farmers' troubles.
          

GOP Runs Mississippi Gamut, But Signs of Hope for Dems, Medicaid Expansion

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Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves delivers his victory speech after winning the Mississippi governor's seat.

JACKSON—With his Southern Baptist pastor standing beside him at the King Edward Hotel in Jackson, Democrat Jim Hood conceded defeat in the race for Mississippi governor, reiterating his religiously inspired campaign theme of fighting for “the least of these” in policy areas like health care and education.

Nearby at the Westin, though, Republican Gov.-elect Tate Reeves seemed to soften his position on expanding Medicaid—which he has long opposed—as he celebrated his win on Tuesday night alongside a slate of fellow GOP victors.

“We’re going to work with the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House on every issue that’s out there. We have every intention of working with them to ensure that we get good things done for the people of Mississippi,” said the the governor-elect, when Jackson Free Press reporter Seyma Bayram asked him if he would work with Lt. Gov.-elect Delbert Hosemann on expansion.

Expansion would open the program up to around 300,000 more Mississippians in working households that make too much for traditional Medicaid but not enough for federal subsidies or to pay for private insurance. On the campaign trail and during his time as lieutenant governor, Reeves outright rejected the idea, saying he was “against Obamacare expansion,” as he called it, referring to the fact that it is part of the former president’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act.

Lt. Gov.-elect Hosemann Supports Medicaid Expansion

In January, Hosemann, a more moderate Republican, will replace Reeves as lieutenant governor, a position that includes executive powers and whose holder also serves as president of the Mississippi Senate. In that role, Hosemann will have the power to appoint committee chairs and to decide which legislation is prioritized—and which legislation dies.

Hosemann, who is currently the secretary of state, cruised to victory on Tuesday night with 60% of the vote against Democratic opponent Jay Hughes, an Oxford-area state representative. In his race, Reeves beat Hood by a narrower 52-to-47 percent margin.

On the campaign trail, Hosemann called for Medicaid expansion, saying the State should accept over $1 billion from the federal government each year that would pay for it. Declaring victory Tuesday night, Hosemann vowed to go to work on an agenda that includes not only addressing the state’s rural health-care crisis, but public education, roads and bridges.

“I am proud of the positive, issue-driven campaign we ran, and I am so grateful to voters for instilling their confidence in me. We have real challenges in Mississippi, and our team has concrete plans to address them,” Hosemann said.

“We will not let our foot off the gas and we will not let you down. Now, the real work to make Mississippi an even better place for our children and grandchildren begins.”

Watson Wins, Wants Citizenship Checks for Voting

Mississippi Sen. Michael Watson, R-Pascagoula, will take over for Hosemann as secretary of state when the men assume their new roles in January. Among other things, the secretary of state oversees the state’s campaign-finance system, election processes, and trains local-level poll workers.

Watson, who rose in Mississippi politics as a Tea Party conservative, has vowed to implement a system to check Mississippians’ citizenship status when they register to vote, though he has not provided evidence that non-citizen voting or voter registration is a problem in the State.

Watson also told the Jackson Free Press in August that he wants to make it easier for residents to search campaign-finance filings. He also said he would like to see more frequent filings during the legislative session so that Mississippians can see if donors might be influencing lawmakers’ votes.

Reeves Sent Email to Mississippi Teachers, Promising Raise

In a press release Tuesday night, the Republican Governors Association congratulated Reeves, praising him as an “innovative, vibrant leader with an unparalleled understanding of the issues that are important to Mississippians and a bold agenda to move the state forward.”

But during the 10-month course of his campaign, Reeves only unveiled two policy proposals: A plan to spend $100 million on technical and career programs in high schools and community colleges and a plan for a $4,300 teacher-pay raise.

Reeves hastily announced the teacher-pay raise plan in October, as his campaign feared he was losing public-education supporters to Democrat Jim Hood, whom the Mississippi Association of Educators had endorsed. During the legislative session in the spring, Reeves killed a $4,000 teacher-pay raise, arguing that the State could afford no more than $1,500.

On Monday, teachers around the State received an email from Reeves, though, promising to support them.

“Over the past several years, Mississippi has made incredible strides in education. … During my tenure as Lieutenant Governor, we were able to increase pay for teachers several times, but never as often or as much as I would have liked,” he wrote in an email sent to teachers’ public email addresses.

“In fact, I believe no teacher in Mississippi makes what he or she is worth. We had to make tough decisions, but those decisions have put Mississippi in a financial position to pay our teachers significantly more than what they are receiving today.”

Hosemann has already committed to raising teacher pay as a candidate. At the Neshoba County Fair, he also called for universal pre-K to ensure that all children across the state start off on the same foot.

Fitch is First Woman to be Attorney General

Tuesday night was the first time since 1876 that Republicans swept all eight statewide offices in Mississippi.

Republican State Treasurer Lynn Fitch will become the new attorney general, taking over from Democrat Hood, who had held the office since 2003 until he decided to run for governor this year. Fitch is the first woman to hold the position.

She will have to decide whether or not to further investigate and possibly bring charges against Reeves, who prompted an investigation after his office pressured the Mississippi Department of Transportation to pursue a frontage-road project that would connect his private community to a nearby shopping mall. Because he was Reeves' opponent, Hood left charging decisions up to the next attorney general.

Fitch beat former ACLU Executive Director Jennifer Riley Collins, an African American woman who, despite running on a progressive slate of issues contrary to the conventional wisdom in Mississippi, managed the second best showing of the night among statewide Democrats, drawing more votes than any Democratic candidate not named Jim Hood.

African Americans make up 38% of the population in Mississippi, the highest percentage in any state in the U.S., but all eight of those new leaders are white. Mississippi has not elected a black statewide official since Reconstruction. Democrats nominated black candidates in the races for attorney general, secretary of state, insurance commissioner, and treasurer.

Conceding to Reeves, Hood said he was grateful for the time he had been able to serve the State.

“The Lord has allowed me to serve people in the state of Mississippi for 24 years, and it’s been a good run. I guess it was not his will that we continue on as governor,” said Hood, the last Democrat still holding statewide office.

Hood blamed the loss on “partisanship,” WCBI reported.

“The people in my area up there that I’ve known for years, they decided that partisanship was more important than friendship,” Hood said. “I don’t know what the results of it are, I just know we had an opportunity to really do some things with the kids, our young people, and hopefully Governor Reeves will do some of those things.”

Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn retained his seat, beating Democrat Vicki Slater 2-to-1 in the House District 56 race.

Pockets of Hope for Democrats

There were pockets of hope for Democrats, though.

In House District 68, which is part of Hinds, Democrat Zakiya Summers will be the new representative after winning 75% of the vote. Her party already controls that seat.

Democrats also flipped the Republican-held Mississippi Senate District 22, which had to be redrawn after a federal judge ruled earlier this year that it amounted to a racial gerrymander that disenfranchised black voters. Joseph, who is African American, previously held the seat before redistricting. He defeated Republican Hayes Dent 52-to-48.

With 100% of precincts reporting, millennial Democrat Shanda Yates beat Republican incumbent Bill Denny in the Mississippi House 64 election, which includes parts of Hinds County.

The Trump Factor, More or Less

On Tuesday night, the head of the national Republican Party, Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, attempted to give President Donald Trump credit for Reeves’ victory.

“Reeves was down double-digit, but @realDonaldTrump came in big with his endorsement and rally, putting him over the top. A huge win for the President and our Party,” McDaniel tweeted.

True enough, Reeves spent much of the campaign focused, not on issues, but on getting out the message that he is a supporter of the Republican president, and that his opponents—Republican Bill Waller in the Republican runoff and Hood in the general—were not. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence did pay last-minute visits to the State to help pull Reeves over the finish line.

But no public or known private polls ever showed Reeves down by more than single digits. Throughout the year, polls showed a tight race. During his rally with Reeves in Tupelo, Trump said it was “embarrassing” that the race was so close.

Last year, Trump also paid visits to Mississippi to help Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith win a tough race against Democrat Mike Espy. Like Reeves, Hyde-Smith narrowly won, but Espy outperformed Democrats in other recent U.S. Senate races, netting 46% of the vote—about what Hood won on Tuesday night.

Espy, who was at Hood's watch party on Tuesday night, is preparing for a rematch against Hyde-Smith when her seat is up again in 2020.

Follow State Reporter Ashton Pittman on Twitter @ashtonpittman. Send tips to ashton@jacksonfreepress.com. City Reporter Seyma Bayram and Investigative Fellow Nick Judin contributed to this report. Read more election coverage at jacksonfreepress.com/2019elections.


          

Republican Lt. Gov. Reeves wins Mississippi governor's race

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Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves delivers his victory speech after winning the Mississippi governor's seat at the Westin Hotel in downtown Jackson, Miss., on Nov. 5, 2019. Reeves defeated his Democratic opponent Jim Hood, winning 52.32% of the vote.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Republicans are keeping their hold on the governorship in Mississippi, despite facing the best-funded Democrat to run for the position in more than a decade.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves on Tuesday defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and two candidates who ran low-budget campaigns.

Reeves will succeed Gov. Phil Bryant, who is limited by state law to two terms.

"I want to be the governor for all Mississippians and I'm going to work hard every day to do that," Reeves told The Associated Press after his victory.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both traveled to Mississippi in recent days to campaign for Reeves, who is completing his second term as lieutenant governor after serving two terms as the elected state treasurer.

"President Trump's rally and endorsement in Mississippi undoubtedly had an impact and helped Governor-elect Tate Reeves nail down his victory," Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. "Governor Reeves will be a tremendous conservative leader for Mississippians in fighting for freedom and keeping taxes low."

Trump also congratulated Reeves, tweeting: "Great going Tate!"

Reeves, 45, campaigned on keeping taxes low and limiting government regulation of businesses. He also said that a vote for Hood is akin to a vote for "liberal" national Democrats, including U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Hood, 57, is finishing his fourth term as attorney general. For three of those terms, he has been the only Democrat holding statewide office in Mississippi.

Hood was district attorney before winning statewide office, and he told supporters at a party late Tuesday that "the good Lord" has allowed him to serve the people of Mississippi. "I guess it was not his will that we continue on as governor," Hood said.

Hood's high-profile gubernatorial race came four years after the party's nominee was Robert Gray, a long-haul truck driver who didn't vote for himself in the primary, raised little money and lost the general election by a wide margin.

Hood this year campaigned on improving schools and highways and on expanding Medicaid to the working poor. Expansion is an option under the federal health overhaul signed into law in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama. Mississippi is among the 14 states that have not expanded Medicaid, a decision that Hood said has cost the state $1 billion a year in federal money.

Hood did not invite national Democratic figures to the state to campaign for him in person, but Obama recorded a call that went to some Mississippi residents Monday, urging people to vote for Hood.

Republicans have been governor in Mississippi for 24 of the last 28 years. The last Democratic governor, Ronnie Musgrove, lost in 2003 as he sought a second term.


          

Election Day Hijinks, Obama Robocalls, Who's on Ballot, Election Watch Parties

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Jim Hood is the Democratic candidate for Mississippi governor; Delbert Hosemann is the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor; Jennifer Riley Collins is the Democratic nominee for attorney general; Lynn Fitch is the Republican nominee for attorney general. Photos by Ashton Pittman and Imani Khayyam

Mississippi voters headed to the polls starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday to vote for top State and regional offices, including the election for governor. Polls will remain open until 7 p.m., when election workers will begin tallying up the vote. Mississippians must bring a State-approved form of photo ID to vote, such as a driver's license or student ID.

More information on voter ID is available on the secretary of state's website. A sample ballot for Hinds County voters is available here.

The secretary of state's office spent much of the morning correcting misinformation. Some voters received letters from an organization called the Center for Voter Information, which gave "neighborhoods a 'grade' based upon voters' alleged previous vote history according to party affiliation."

Mississippi does not register by party, though.

"Correspondence like this is intimidating and misleading and ultimately deters voters from going to the polls to cast a ballot," Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who is running as the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Also on Tuesday morning, the Hinds County Facebook page initially sent out a message encouraging voters to "VOTE IN THE MISSISSIPPI GENERAL ELECTION TODAY, NOVEMBER 11TH." That message was up for over an hour before Hinds County replaced it with today's correct date: Nov. 5.

The cover of the current Jackson Free Press also gave the wrong election date due to a typo no one caught before the issue went to print. We have sent out notices in social media correcting the error. A small graphic on the cover said, "Vote on Tuesday, November 8," rather than Nov. 5, although a full-page add on page 5 listed the correct date. We apologize for missing the mistake.

Last-Minute Endorsements, Last-Minute Fearmongering

In the Mississippi governor's race, Republicans last night began circulating a recording of a robocall former President Barack Obama made, urging Democrats to vote for their nominee, Jim Hood, even as others claimed on social media that it was fake.

"At the 11th hour Jim Hood had Barack Obama endorse him for Governor of Mississippi," current Republican Gov. Phil Bryant tweeted Monday night. "Now we finally know what he really believes. Vote Republican tomorrow and end this once and for all."

While Bryant and other Republicans sought to portray the Obama endorsement as a scandal, they have openly touted President Donald J. Trump's support for Reeves—despite the fact that Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry, is implicated in multiple federal and state criminal investigations, and that numerous of his former aides from his time on the campaign trail and in the White House are under investigation, in prison, or awaiting sentencing.

Democratic sources confirmed to Jackson Free Press editor Donna Ladd last night that the robocall was real. On Tuesday morning, Barack Obama Communications Director Katie Hill also confirmed to the Jackson Free Press that the voice on the robocall is indeed the former president's.

Going after Democrats by emphasizing their ties to people of color is not a new tactic in Mississippi politics—or in this election. During both his Republican primary against Republican opponent Bill Waller and the general election against Hood, Reeves sent out mailers showing his opponents near images of national figures like U.S. House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and U.S. House Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

During Reeves' first race for Mississippi treasurer in 2003, Democrats accused the GOP of helping him beat a more qualified opponent by sending mailers out to white voters that included a photo of the Democratic candidate, Gary Anderson, who is African American.

On Tuesday morning, Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted out a last-minute endorsement for Democratic nominee for Mississippi Attorney General Jennifer Riley Collins.

"@JenniferforAG is a proven public servant and civil rights lawyer; she has the lived experience Mississippi families desperately need to move the state forward. Mississippians, you have a chance to make history today," Harris tweeted.

Concerns About Jim Crow-Era Election System

If she won, Collins would be not only the first African American elected to statewide office since the late 1800s, but the first African American woman ever elected to a statewide office in Mississippi.

Mississippi's Jim Crow-era election system for statewide offices could prove troublesome for Democrats, though. Under it, Democrats must win not only a majority of the vote, but a majority of Mississippi House Districts. If they do not, the GOP-dominated Mississippi House would select the next governor.

A federal judge declined to block the law ahead of the election. While some polls show Hood with a narrow lead over Reeves in the governor's race, plaintiffs in that court case told the judge that a Democratic candidate might have to win 55% of the vote in order to win the election under the current system because of the way House districts are distributed.

When Mississippi first adopted the 1890 Constitution that implemented this system, one of its framers, then House Rep. James K. Vardamn, explicitly said that the purpose of the new constitution was to curtail black voting power.

"There is no use to equivocate or lie about the matter. Mississippi's constitutional convention was held for no other purpose than to eliminate the n——r from politics; not the ignorant—but the n-——," admitted Vardaman, who later became governor and then a U.S. senator.

That provision last came into play in 1999, when Democrat Ronnie Musgrove won a majority of votes but not a majority of House districts. The Democratic majority House voted to make him governor. If a Democrat in a statewide race but not a majority of House districts, that could potentially throw the issue back to the federal courts, who would then have to decide whether or not the system is constitutional.

Aside from Collins, Democrats are running three other African Americans at the top of statewide tickets, with former Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree running for secretary of state; former Bolton, Miss., Alderwoman Addie Lee Green running for treasurer; and businessman Robert Amos running for insurance commissioner.

Watch Parties

In the race for governor, Hood is holding an election night watch party in Jackson at The King Edward Hotel's 2nd floor ballroom at 235 W. Capitol St. starting at 7 p.m.

The Mississippi Republican Party is holding an election-night watch party for Reeves and all other GOP statewide candidates beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Jackson at The Westin Hotel on 407 South Congress St.

A full list of candidates for statewide and regional office is below.

Governor

Jim Hood (D)

"Putting Mississippi families first."

Age: 57

Hometown: Houston, Miss.

Occupation: Current attorney general

Website: Hoodforgovernor.com

FB/Twitter: @Hoodforgovernor

Tate Reeves (R)

"Keep Mississippi strong."

Age: 45

Hometown: Florence, Miss.

Occupation: Current lieutenant governor

Website: www.tatereeves.com

FB/Twitter: @tatereeves

Lieutenant Governor

Delbert Hosemann (R)

"Streamlining state government to operate from the citizen up, not bureaucracy down."

Age: 72

Hometown: Vicksburg, Miss.

Occupation: Current Secretary of State

Website: delberthosemann.com

FB/Twitter: @DelbertHosemann

Jay Hughes (D)

"It's all about education."

Age: 56

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Occupation: Representative, Mississippi House

Website: jayformississippi.com

FB/Twitter: @Jay4Mississippi

Attorney General

Jennifer Riley Collins (D)

"I support smart reforms that ensure we prioritize people over prison." (JFP questionnaire)

Age: 53

Hometown: Meridian, Miss.

Occupation: Army colonel; civil rights attorney; former ACLU-Mississippi director

Website: jenniferforag.com

FB/Twitter: @jenniferforag

Lynn Fitch (R)

"A solution-driven conservative with a unique skill set in law, finance, administration and policy" (website)

Age: 57

Occupation: Current Mississippi Treasurer

Website: www.lynnfitchforms.com

FB/Twitter: @LynnFitchforMS

Secretary of State

Michael Watson (R)

"I look forward to bringing my conservative record of consistent success in the Legislature to the Secretary of State's office." (website)

Age: 41

Hometown: Pascagoula

Occupation: Mississippi senator

Website: michaelwatson.ms

FB/Twitter: @MichaelWatsonMS

Johnny DuPree (D)

"It's not enough to dream of a better tomorrow. One must also work towards that better tomorrow." (website)

Age: 65

Hometown: Hattiesburg, Miss.

Occupation: Former Hattiesburg mayor

Website: johnnydupree.com

FB/Twitter: @johnnyldupree

Treasurer

Addie Lee Green (D)

Hometown: Raymond, Miss.

Occupation: Former Bolton 
 alderwoman

Website: www.addieleegreen.com/

FB/Twitter: @AddieGreenJMS

Dave McRae (R)

"Outsider. Conservative. Businessman." (Twitter)

Age: 38

Hometown: Ridgeland

Occupation: Attorney; managing partner at McRae Investments

Website: davidmcrae.org

FB/Twitter: @DavidMcRaeMS

Insurance Commissioner

Robert Amos (D)

"I am running for insurance commissioner for all families in Mississippi regardless of political affiliation, race, sexual affiliation or religion." (Meridian Star)

Age: 46

Hometown: Jackson

Occupation: College professor; business owner

Mike Chaney (R)

"Government big enough to give you anything you want is big enough to take away everything you've got." (Neshoba County Fair)

"The aim is to create the highest degree of economic security, quality of life and public safety for citizens at the lowest possible cost." (website)

Age: 75

Hometown: Tupelo, Miss.

Occupation: Current insurance commissioner

FB/Twitter: @electmikechaney

Agriculture Commissioner

Andy Gipson (R)

"We will make sure the future of Mississippi agriculture will remain strong."

Age: 42

Hometown: Brandon, Miss.

Occupation: Current agriculture commissioner; pastor

Website: andygipson.com

FB/Twitter: @CommAndyGipson

Rickey Cole (D)

"Change our food system for the better."

Age: 53

Hometown: Laurel, Miss.

Occupation: Former Mississippi Democratic Party chairman; farmer

Website: cole4foodcommissioner.com

FB/Twitter: @RickeyCole

Jackson Metro

Public Service Commission (Central District)

Brent Bailey (R)

De'Keither Stamps (D)

Transportation Commissioner (Central District)

Butch Lee (R)

Willie Simmons (D)

Mississippi Senate District 22

Hayes Dent (R)

Joseph Thomas (D)

House District 56

Philip Gunn (R)

Vicki Slater (D)

House District 64

Bill Denny (R)

Shanda Yates (D)

House District 68

Jon Pond (R)

Zakiya Summers (D)

House District 73

Jill Ford (R)

Gale Walsh Massey (D)

Follow State Reporter Ashton Pittman on Twitter @ashtonpittman. Send tips to ashton@jacksonfreepress.com. Read more about statewide elections at jacksonfreepress.com/2019elections.


          

Solidarietà a Balotelli, Angelo Bisconti crea il pasticciotto tricolore

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Leccesette
Dopo il dolce dedicato ad Obama, il pasticcere di Campi salentina ha deciso di omaggiare così il giocatore preso di mira con ululati razzisti allo stadio di Verona. Nasce il pasticciotto tricolore dedicato a Mario Balotelli. L’idea non poteva venire che ad Angelo Bisconti, il titolare della pasticceria Cherì di campi salentina, che ha deciso così di dare il suo contributo di solidarietà al giocatore del Brescia preso di mira con ululati razzisti allo stadio di Verona. Una scelta di forte impatto, non nuova per Bisconti che in passato aveva anche creato il pasticciotto arcobaleno per i 50 anni dei movimenti di liberazione del mondo omosessuale  
          

Galactic Connection Daily News Roundup

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DOJ Makes Jaw-Dropping Admission in Flynn Case – Prosecution “Mistakenly” Attributed Wrong Notes to Wrong FBI Agents…. Democrats’ ‘Star Witness’ Admits He Wasn’t On Trump-Ukraine Call, Sole Source Was NY Times Hunter Biden’s Ukraine gas firm pressed Obama administration to end corruption allegations, memos show AWFUL. Lindsey Graham Says Hunter and Joe Biden Should be Called […]
          

Biden Dares To Call Trump’s Syrian Policies A “giant ISIS recruiting poster”, After Helping Obama Create ISIS

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[SEE: What Is the Truth About ISIS] See “Islamists go where oilmen fear to tread,” “Imperial Plan To Use Civil War As Gas and Oil Valve.” The “War On Terror” is NOT a war on terror, but a war on gas and oil producers outside the US sphere of control. The US policy has been […]
          

Donad Trump Jr. Lashes Out In New Book

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He also questions President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.
          

Pass. The. Damn. Bill.

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How the Washington Monthly helped push Obamacare over the finish line.
          

Comment on “Shifty Schiff” Releases Most Damaging Transcripts First by Stephen Weiss

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The President sets foreign policy. Period. Obama's foreign policy of appeasement help eddestroy nations, and Hillary as Sec of State did nothing but enrich herself via the Clinton Foundation. The fact that there are political appointees that liked the way Obama's foreign policy was handled, and don't like Trump's...well that goes into the folder of too damn bad....egotistical former diplomats who think their ideas are more important than the Presidents should have been ousted, and frankly I don't care what they think or say. Elections have consequences..Hillary who PROMISED to continue Obama's failed foreign policies Lost and Trump won...so get over it.
          

Credit Due: Sen. Warren did her homework. Doesn't make M4All any more likely to happen, but she showed her work.

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A few weeks ago, I said the following about Sen. Elizabeth Warren regarding healthcare policy:

  • I'm generally supporting Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic Primary (not a full endorsement, but I've been strongly leaning her way for awhile now)...

HOWEVER, for the time being at least, that seems to be where she's decided to lay her marker, so it is what it is.

(Note: Since then, I've publicly stated that I'm now leaning more towards Sen. Kamala Harris who was always my strong #2 choice. This doesn't mean I no longer like Warren--the two have simply swapped places in my #1 and #2 column.)

I noted at the time that Warren's insistence on sticking with Bernie's "pure" Medicare for All bill had been causing her a lot of headaches of late, especially given the How Will You Pay For It / Will You Raise Taxes On The Middle Class mantra.

Bernie Sanders has, to his credit or detriment, stated it plainly: Yes, his plan would indeed raise taxes on households earning more than $29,000/year, via a 4% payroll. He didn't actually bake it into the legislative text of his bill, but he included it on a list of "proposed" funding mechanisms and has repeated it many times since then, so that seems to be one source that he's locked in on.

As I noted:

The thing is, $29K/year for a family of four is just 112% FPL, barely out of poverty.

Warren has been far more circumspect on this question, for an obvious reason: She doesn't want to give the Trump campaign the sound bite they're looking for, a sharply-edited clip of her uttering the words "Yes, I would raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All".

Instead, every time she gets asked this question, she refuses to accept the framing at all, repeatedly pointing out that what's most important is the overall cost impact of making the move: Any tax increases would be offset by savings on premiums, deductibles, co-pays and so forth.

Having said that, the fact remains that yes, taxes would have to increase on some group or groups of people and/or corporations in order to provide the massive increase in federal spending which such a program would require...and most people, even those who fully understand the trade-off, would still like to know what the trade-off would be. If you say "you'll save money" overall, it's not unreasonable to want to have at least some idea of how much better off you, specifically, would be. At least a ballpark, anyway.

After being hammered on either her refusal to answer the question (or her reframing of it, depending on your POV) throughout the debate and afterwards, Warren stated this:

"My commitment is: I will not sign a bill into law that raises costs on middle class families," Warren said.

I went on to note that "middle class families" is a slippery term, since there's no legal definition of the phrase...but I went on to note that the generally-accepted range seems to be households earning somewhere between $40K - $140K/year, give or take.

I went on to recommend that:

So, if Warren wants to be absolutely certain that her statement about "the middle class" is true, it seems to me that the key would be to structure her proposed payment mechanism to be something along the lines of: No payroll tax up to around 200% FPL (perhaps $40,000/year per household); 2% from $40K - $80K; 4% from $80K - $120K; 6% from $120K - $160K and 8% from $160K and beyond. Basically, whatever it takes to make certain that no one below the $140,000 threshold would see higher overall costs than what they'd otherwise be paying...five to ten years from today.

...In any event, assuming she's able to come up with the Magic Formula, while I'd still prefer that she break away from Bernie's "pure" M4All bill altogether in favor of something more along the lines of Medicare for America, if Warren does insist on sticking it out, I'd recommend she change her response to something more like this:

"There'd be a trade-off. Most people would NOT see their taxes go up, but for those who do, the trade-off would be the elimination of premiums, deductibles, co-pays, surprise bills and virtually all other medical bills. The majority of people would pay less overall."

By wording it this way, Warren finally answers the burning question (yes, taxes would go up for some people) while doing so in a way which avoids an easy sound bite attack even with clever editing...and by squeezing nearly all of the tax hikes over the 50% median income threshold, she can also honestly say that costs would not go up for "most" people, which avoids trapping herself the way President Obama did when he stated unequivocally that "If You Like It You Can Keep It" without any caveats, which led to a massive backlash when millions of people discovered that no, they couldn't in fact "keep it".

Well, Warren put her wonkishness into overdrive, put her head together with a bunch of other respected economic wonks, and last Friday she did indeed roll out her official Medicare for All funding plan as promised...and, as I suggested, she made sure that her plan, at least on the surface, would indeed not increase taxes on households earning less than $140,000/year. In fact, she pushed things way up the income and wealth ladder. Like...a whole lot.

The first thing Warren's plan does is to chop down the total amount of increased federal spending needed by a third.

While there are several different estimates which have come out estimating how much a "pure" 100% universal, 100% comprehensive, 100% mandatory single payer healthcare system would cost from different think tanks and economists over the past few years, the range seems to generally fall somewhere in the ~$30 trillion range. The most commonly cited estimate over the past year or so was from the (right-wing/anti-M4All) Mercatus Center, which pegged it at around $32 trillion in increased federal spending. Mercatus may be a right-wing think tank and obviously anti-M4All, but even Bernie himself openly stated that $30 - $40 trillion over a decade is a reasonable range.

Assuming you rely on the estimates below (which come from Warren's own study), they average around $27 trillion...although if you dismiss the ones starting before 2019 they average $29.3 trillion. Note that Mercatus ("Blahous") appropriately starts their estimate in 2022 since that's the earliest year that a Bernie/Warren M4All bill could even theoretically be implemented, assuming a Sanders/Warren administration took office on January 20, 2021. I'm pretty sure you'd have to nudge the others up a bit to account for normal inflation as well as medical trend to at least an even $30 trillion.

Warren insists she can do it for "only" $20.5 trillion over a decade...supposedly lopping down the tally by a good $10 trillion or so.

I'm not going to get into a detailed analysis of how she eliminates the extra $10 trillion; that's all laid out in her plan and supporting documentation. A lot of it assumes significant reductions in the amount actually paid to healthcare providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and so forth). Some of it comes, of course, from eliminating private health insurance companies. Some comes from other major changes to the system.

Needless to say, the AHA (hospital lobby), AMA, PHRAMA, AHIP, BCBSA and other massive healthcare industry lobbying forces will spend an absolute fortune and call in every favor they have to fight back against most of these things. They've already started, actually...but this is just a tiny taste of what's to come.

Still, this is about her math...so how does she propose coming up with the $20.5 trillion she does admit would have to be raised?

It breaks out pretty much as follows (in addition to repurposing all existing federal Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP/ACA spending, that is:

  • Employer Healthcare Spending: Warren says employers, who provide healthcare coverage for nearly 50% of the total U.S. population, are expected to pay $9 trillion over the next decade. She's proposing having them instead basically pay 98% of that amount into a new Employer Medicare Tax based on a simple per-enrollee average spending formula, generating $8.8 trillion.
  • Automatic Increases in Take-Home Pay: Warren figures that the employee's portion of their employer-sponsored health insurance would be added to their take-home pay. If you assume that employees are currently paying around 30% of their premiums, that means they'd be taxed on around $4 trillion in additional income, which in turn would generate around $1.15 trillion in her view (the math is more complicated than that, but you get the idea). She figures she can squeeze another $250 billion out of the tax break for medical expenses over 10% of AGI becoming moot, for total additional revenue of $1.4 trillion.

Warren figures that gets you to $10.2 trillion, or around half of the amount she estimates would be needed.

Here's where she comes up with the other half:

  • Cracking down on Tax Evasion and Fraud: Warren thinks that with restoring funding and authority to the IRS, redirecting tax law enforcement from low-income to high-income violators, toughening up on enforcement in genearl and anti-fraud measures, she can reduce the amount of taxes underpaid by 30% (she says 1/3, but it's 30%), from $7.7 trillion in lost taxes to $5.4 trillion....generating an extra $2.3 trillion over a decade.

Let’s start with the financial sector. It’s been more than ten years since the 2008 financial crisis, and while a lot of families are still dealing with the aftereffects, the financial sector is making record, eye-popping profits. Meanwhile, the risk of another financial crisis remains unacceptably high. By imposing targeted taxes and fees on financial firms, we can generate needed revenue and also make our financial system safer and more secure.

For example, a small tax on financial transactions – one-tenth of one percent on the sale of bonds, stocks, or derivatives – would generate about $800 billion in revenue over the next ten years.

...We can also impose a fee on big banks that encourages them to take on fewer liabilities and reduce the risk they pose to the financial system. A small fee that applies only to the forty or so largest banks in the country would generate an additional $100 billion over the next ten years...

Next, we can make some basic changes to ensure that large corporations pay their fair share and to fix some fundamental problems with our current approach that actually encourage companies to shift jobs and investment overseas. These changes will generate an estimated $2.9 trillion over the next ten years.

...Under my plan, businesses will still write off the depreciation of their assets – they’ll just do it in a way that more accurately reflects the actual loss in value. This would generate $1.25 trillion over ten years.

...Currently, a U.S. multinational corporation can make billions in profits and attribute it to a company it set up in a tax haven like the Cayman Islands, which has no corporate taxes...That’s why I’m proposing to institute a country-by-country minimum tax on foreign earnings of 35% – equal to a restored top corporate tax rate for U.S. firms – without permitting corporations to defer those payments...Together, the country-by-country minimum tax and the taxation of foreign firms based on their domestic sales would result in an additional $1.65 trillion in revenue.

Finally, we can raise another $3 trillion over ten years by asking the top 1% of households in America to pay a little more.

...By asking billionaires to pitch in six cents on each dollar of net worth above $1 billion, we can raise an additional $1 trillion in revenue and further close the gap between what middle-class families pay as a percentage of their wealth and what the top one-tenth of one percent pay.

...We can also change the way the government taxes investment income for the top 1%. Today, taxes are only assessed on capital gains when securities are sold. That means wealthy investors can put their money in the stock market, see it grow, and not pay a dime in taxes on those earnings unless or until it is taken out of the market. Under the current system, they can then pass along those shares to their heirs when they die and their heirs will be able to pay even less when they choose to sell.

I’ve already proposed closing that loophole for how capital gains are treated when shares are passed on to heirs. But we can go a step further. Under a “mark-to-market” system for the wealthiest 1% of households, we will tax capital gains income (excluding retirement accounts) annually, rather than at the time of sale, and raise the rates on capital gains to match the tax rates for labor income. Individuals would still only pay taxes on gains and could use current losses to offset future taxes.

Under this system, investment income will no longer be treated differently than labor income for the top 1% of households. Ultra-millionaires and billionaires won’t be able to earn income on giant fortunes year after year without paying a penny in taxes. And we can raise another $2 trillion over ten years to pay for my Medicare for All plan.

I'm obviously still cutting out a ton of details here; Warren goes into great detail about each of these. But at the end of the day, she claims to be able to not only achieve the necessary funding without raising taxes on the middle class, she supposedly has done so without raising them on most of the upper class either (depending on where your cut-off definition is...I'm not sure at what income threshold capital gains really becomes a significant source of income for most households).

She's not done yet, however:

  • Immigration Reform: Warren assumes that a complete immigration policy overhaul would generate another $400 billion in federal revenue via additional documented immigrants paying taxes over the table.
  • Cuts in Defense Spending: She's proposing eliminating something called the Overseas Contingency Operations Fund, which she refers to as a "slush fund", from the overall military budget...supposedly providing an additional $800 billion over a decade:

Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has appropriated $2 trillion to fund combat and counterterrorism operations around the world via the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, or OCO. On average this spending has amounted to $116 billion per year – and in total, an amount equivalent to nearly 10 percent of all federal discretionary spending over that same time period.

Republicans – including the President’s current Chief of Staff – and Democrats alike agree that OCO is a budget gimmick that masks the true impact of war spending. The emergency supplemental funding mechanism was never intended to fund the costs of long-scale, long-term operations outside of the normal appropriations process. And in recent years, OCO has also been used to fund so-called “base” requirements unrelated to the wars, outside of the Budget Control Act caps – in effect acting as a slush fund for increased Pentagon spending. And as everything from more F-35s to massive bombs never used in combat have migrated into the OCO account, the Department of Defense has been spared from having to prioritize or live within its means. It’s not just bad budgetary practice – it’s wasteful spending.

...We can start by shutting down this slush fund and balancing with our overall defense priorities in the context of the actual defense budget. And as we end these wars, eliminating the Overseas Contingency Operations fund and forcing the Pentagon to fund any such priorities through its regular budgetary process will provide $798 billion over the ten-year period relative to current spending levels.

Add it all up and she does indeed get to a grand total of $10.2 trillion + $10.3 trillion = $20.5 trillion. PENCILS DOWN!

I'm not going to argue with her math...first because I'm not an economist, second because she's had some respected economists run the numbers. A ton of this stuff goes way beyond my knowledge base, and that's fine with me...I'd be kind of disturbed if I knew everything about the revenue sources she's referring to.

What I am going to say is that there's going to be massive pushback on just about all of these proposed changes from all of the above-mentioned industries and institutions, the likes of which will make what happened to Bill and Hillary Clinton in the early 1990's seem like a walk in the park.

The question isn't whether Democrats should fight for what they want...it's whether they're prepared to fight every one of those forces simultaneously, or whether they should pick their battles. Warren proposal requires doing just that: Fighting not just the Republican Party, FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, Breitbart, etc etc, but also entrenched interests in pretty much every part of both the government and the economy...all at the same time.

Honestly, I'm most reminded of this classic Steve Martin clip from over 40 years ago:

"You can be a millionaire and never pay taxes! First...get a million dollars. Then..."

The thing is, all of this would be an incredible lift even if there weren't 100 other major crises going on which would need to be dealt with the moment she took office as well...but there will be. Climate change. Defending democracy itself. Voter/election security. Criminal justice reform. Immigration reform (which she even shoehorns into her M4All funding plan). Repairing our tattered foreign policy relationships as well as dealing with foreign policy crises themselves. The list goes on and on.

In addition, of course, Warren wouldn't be able to sign such a bill unless and until it actually passed both the House and Senate...assuming the Democrats keep the former and flip the latter.

The House itself would be a heavy lift (the House M4All bill has 119 cosponsors, which is pretty impressive...but getting the other 99 would be difficult to say the least), and Bernie's Senate version only has 15...one of whom is Warren herself, who would no longer have a vote (conversely, Bernie wouldn't have a vote if he were to win either). Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would be no-go on it from the start, as would at least a dozen other Democratic Senators.

How in God's name either of them expects to push those numbers to 218 and 51 I have no clue...and even that assumes that the Senate Democrats were to eliminate the Filibuster upon taking congrol of the Senate, which is also extremely unlikely.

However, at the moment, none of these issues are what I proposed that she do three weeks ago. I simply said that if she's dead set on her "pure" Medicare for All vision, she should show her math in such a way that the numbers don't formally hit the middle class.

She's done that, so as a wonk, I tip my hat to her.


          

Revenge of the #RiskCorridorMassacre: Feds may have to pay out $12B...and 2020 enrollees could get a chunk of that thanks to the ACA's MLR rule

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Like Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain, I can't seem to quit playing around with the jaw-dropping possibilities which could impact future Medical Loss Ratio rebate payments in response to the ghosts of Open Enrollment Periods past.

Back in June, I reported that the Supreme Court of the United States had agreed to take up the long-simmering (4 years!) Risk Corridor Massacre class action lawsuit:

On Monday, along with posting their decisions on several important federal cases, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that, much to the surprise of many healthcare wonks, they will take up the long-gestating (and presumed dead) Risk Corridor Massacre lawsuit:

Big news: SCOTUS is taking up the ACA risk corridors case. GOP's decision to stymie that program arguably did the most damage to the ACA marketplaces. https://t.co/VeMRcd5MYn

— Bob Herman (@bobjherman) June 24, 2019

As previously noted, the various Risk Corridor lawsuits had originally been assumed to be slam dunk cases: The United States Federal Government contractually and legally owed several hundred health insurance carriers billions of dollars via the ACA's "Risk Corridor" stabilization program, which was supposed to be active for the first 3 years of the ACA exchanges, from 2014 - 2016.

Again, here's the short version:

  • For the first 3 years of the ACA, it included several "training wheel" programs designed to smooth out the rocky transition period.
  • One of these was called "Risk Corridors", in which insurance carriers which did unusually better than expected were required to pay a portion of their profits into a central fund...
  • ...while carriers which did unusually worse than expected were promised partial reimbursement via that same fund.
  • If the amount put in was greater than the amount paid out, the government would keep the difference.
  • If the amount owed was greater than the amount brought in, the federal goverment was supposed to pay the difference.

In the middle of the very first Open Enrollment Period, however, Congressional Republicans insisted that the rules of the Risk Corridor program be changed in such a way that if there was a shortfall in the fund, the "losing" insurance carriers would have to eat their losses no matter what...which is exactly what happened to the tune of over $12 billion over the course of 2014, 2015 & 2016.

Along with some other factors, led to financial ruin for nearly 20 smaller startup carriers, most of which didn't have the cash reserves to help them weather the Risk Corridor storm. I wrote obituary blog entries for yet another victim of the Risk Corridor Massacre weekly between August and November 2015...in a few cases, two of them went bankrupt the same day.

OK, so if SCOTUS rules in favor of the carriers (and they absolutely should...regardless of what you think of health insurance companies, the fact remains that they are contractually owed this money by the U.S. Government), most of the carriers will get paid what they were originally owed, and whatever firms now own the assets of the carriers which went belly-up will finally get a return on their investment. Big deal for the rest of us, right?

Well, yes...except that there's more to the story, and it involves, once again, the beauty which is the ACA's Medical Loss Ratio rule.

Again, under the Affordable Care ACt, insurance carriers on the individual market are required to spend at least 80 of their premium revenue on actual medical claims. If they spend less than 80% over a rolling three-year period average, they have to pay back the difference to the policyholders.

I wrote about this extensively in my big MLR Rebate Project a few months ago, which analyzed not only the record-breaking actual 2018 MLR payments ($770 million nationally) which went out in September, but also made projections as to the potential 2019 MLR rebates which will go out a year from now. My conclusion was that the 2019 payments (going out in 2020) could end up being double this years' due to the overpricing for the 2017 & 2018 plan years being fully baked in (potentially up to $1.7 billion total).

I then noted that due to the judgments in a different federal class action lawsuit regarding CSR reimbursement payments (not to be confused with the Risk Corridor payment case), 2020 MLR rebates could potentially be as much as quadruple this years...potentially hitting over $3 billion.

That brings me to today's update from Christen Linke Young regarding the Supreme Court taking up the Risk Corridor case:

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Moda Health Plan, Inc. v U.S., a case about the Affordable Care Act’s risk corridors program. Dozens of insurance companies are arguing that they are owed $12 billion in risk corridor payments associated with their participation in the early years of Obamacare. The Court will hear arguments in the case on December 10 and likely make a decision this spring. The Court’s decision will have a one-time effect on the bottom line of many insurers. But how the Court resolves this backward-looking dispute about a now-expired program will not meaningfully change how the Affordable Care Act or health insurance markets operate in the future.

Aside from details on the timing of the SCOTUS arguments and decision, Young's article is mostly a more detailed overview of the history of Risk Corridors, how they were changed, how it impacted the carriers and how the lawsuit is playing out. She also, however, includes two important footnotes...especially the second one:

[1] Some insurers have sold the right to collect their risk corridors debt to other parties.

[2] It is worth considering how payment of risk corridors funds in 2020 would affect insurer revenue for purposes of the ACA’s medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements. The law requires individual market insurers to spend 80% of the revenue they receive on medical expenses and pay rebates to consumers if they do not. Under current regulations, risk corridors payments are considered revenue in the year in which they are received. If the risk corridors program had operated on the statutory schedule, those payments would have been received in the same time period in which insurers were incurring significant losses on high health care claims, so MLR rebates would generally not have been triggered. Today, however, insurers would receive a bolus of risk corridors payments at a time when they are already profitable, and some may be operating close to the 80% MLR threshold. This could incent some insurers with specific patterns of prior year revenue and costs to offer somewhat lower premiums to avoid having to pay MLR rebates.

In other words, having an "extra" $100 million (or whatever) counted as 2020 revenue would cause the carrier's 2020 MLR to drop several points, so they're more likely to lower their 2021 premiums to boost that years' MLR back up a few points to cancel it out for the 3-year rolling average formula.

However...that won't change anything for the payments going out in 2021, which would include the averages from 2018, 2019 and 2020.

I think you can see where I'm going with this: If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, and if they order the federal government to pay out the years-past-due Risk Corridor funds, and if the money has to be counted as part of their 2020 revenue, that will likely mean a whopping $12 billion windfall being dumped into the laps of several hundred insurance carriers around the country all in one shot.

If all of that happens, then any carrier which is hovering around the 80% threshold (or already below it) would have to pay out a large chunk of it...or potentially even all of it...back to the policyholders.

Again, none of this is guaranteed. SCOTUS might shoot down the lawsuit, in which case nothing changes. They might rule for the plaintiffs but include some unusual rules about how the risk corridor payments are made or accounted for. Who knows?

CMS could change the rules regarding when/how it counts as revenue, so a lot of options.

— Christen Linke Young (@clinkeyoung) November 4, 2019

OK, let's take another look at the amounts actually owed to the carriers. Around $1.3 billion of it is owed to the small group market, which isn't really relevant here...I mean yes, it's a lot of money, and yes, this could mean some small bonuses to employees of small businesses, but the small group MLR rebates hasn't been nearly as volatile as the individual market over the past six years, so it's the individual market column you should be focusing on:

I've bold-faced the five highest dollar amounts. For the individual market it's BCBS Texas; BCBS Illinois; BCBS North Carolina; Highmark (Pennsylvania); and Humana (Georgia)

I noted earlier that a good twenty or so carriers have actually gone bankrupt...including Health Republic of NY. I assume their risk corridor payment would go to pay back the creditors. A few others have merged with or been acquired by other carriers; I have no idea how that will be handled.

Not only is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas owed more risk corridor money than any other carrier, it's not even close--they're owed over $1 billion, nearly twice as much as BCBS Illinois ($571 million). Nearly all of that consists of the $982 million BCBSTX is owed for their Individual Market business.

I don't know how many Indy market enrollees BCBSTX will have in 2020, but as of last year I have that number down as 390,000 Texans.

Let's take another look at BCBSTX (HCSC)'s actual MLR data:

  • 2016: $2,28 billion in claims against $2.45 billion in revenue = 93.2% MLR
  • 2017: $1.79 billion in claims against $2.47 billion in revenue = 72.3% MLR
  • 2018: $1.79 billion in claims against $2.68 billion in revenue = 66.9% MLR

This resulted in a 3-year average of 77.2%. They had to pay out $75 million to 382,000 enrollees, averaging $196 apiece.

For 2019, BCBSTX reduced their average premiums by 6.5%. Assuming identical enrollment and a 5% medical trend for the year, I'm projecting (very roughly) perhaps $1.88 billion in claims against $2.50 billion in revenue. If so, that'd mean a 75.2% MLR for 2019...which in turn would mean a 71.4% 3-yr MLR. BCBSTX would have to pay back over $216 million to their policyholders, averaging $566 apiece.

For 2020, BCBSTX is reducing rates another 2.0%. Let's assume identical enrollment and a further 5% medical trend. If so, that would mean $1.97 billion in claims on $2.45 billion in revenue, pushing them back up to 80.6% MLR. The 3-year rolling average for 2020 would be around 73.9%...they'd have to pay back $149 million in 2021.

Now what happens if you drop an additional $983 million on top of their 2020 revenue?

Suddenly their 2020 MLR plummets to just 57.4%. The three-year average for 2020 is now just 65.5%...they'd have to pay back (wait for it)...$498 million in 2021 alone.

Divided among around 380,000 enrollees, that would average around $1,300 apiece. Furthermore, that's only one year...that 57.4% MLR will be factored into the equation for 2021 and 2022 as well.

But wait, there's more!

Guys, it gets even weirder! Some of the issuers who could get big RC receivables are barely even in there individual market anymore. So the enormous rebates could be getting paid out to a TINY number of residual enrollees.

— Christen Linke Young (@clinkeyoung) June 25, 2019

Wait…so that means if they had, say, 30,000 #ACA enrollees in 2014-2016 owed a total of $3 million, but only 300 are enrolled today, those 300 people get $10,000 apiece? Good grief.

It's important to note that even if everything plays out this way, it doesn't mean that all $12 billion will be paid out. For one thing, the individual market portion is only $10.9 billion of the total; the odds are a far smaller portion of the other $1.3 billion on the small group market would end up being paid out no matter what. For another, even this year (with record-breaking MLR rebates), of the 2,700 total carriers nationally, only 207 had to pay out any MLR rebates in any market, and only 67 owed MLR rebates on the individual market. That's still 3.7 million people who received rebates this year (even if some checks were only for $20 or so), however.

...or SCOTUS could shoot down the case entirely.

The possibilities are endless.


          

It's this simple: ALL the Dems' plans EXPAND healthcare coverage for millions; Trump's strips it away from millions.

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Back in late June, right after the first Democratic Primary Candidate Presidential Debate, I posted an analysis & table to break out exactly where each of the then-20 (!) candidates stood when it comes to the Next Big Thing in U.S. healthcare policy. I posted a couple of updates as the summer and early fall progressed.

At the time, my main point was that regardless of their official campaign rhetoric, the truth was that nearly all of the candidates were open to multiple paths towards expanding healthcare coverage...both in terms of the number of people covered, the scope of that coverage and the cost of coverage to the enrollees, with a greater portion of the total cost being borne by the federal government.

This, of course, is a vast contrast to what the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have been pushing for, which amounts to the exact opposite: Fewer people being covered, by less comprehensive care, with fewer protections, and with less (or ideally none) of the costs being borne by the federal (or state) government.

It's now early November, a few more have dropped out, and while there's still officially over a dozen candidates running, the likely field has now been narrowed (in my view) down to six:

  • Former VP Joe Biden
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar

I suppose you could also throw in Sen. Cory Booker and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro if you were really pushing it, and if either of them has an amazing last-minute comeback I'll be happy to update this post again (I like both of them). And no, I'm not including Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang or Tom Steyer. Again, if one of them manages to surge, fine; I'll eat crow and deal with it at that time.

With this in mind, I've decided to repost a "clean" version of this analysis instead of adding another messy update to the old one, so here goes:

-----

With all the fuss & bother being made over whether Democratic Presidential candidates support or don't support eliminating private insurance in favor of a universal, fully-mandatory "Medicare for All" single-payer healthcare system, I decided to attempt to put together a comprehensive table listing which healthcare expansion/overhaul bills each of the candidates actually support or oppose.

This may sound like a simple question: Senators Sanders (obviously), Warren and Harris are all cosponsors of Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" bill, S.1129, right?

Well, it's more complicated than that. Most of the Senators (and some of the House members) running have actually cosponsored other significant healthcare expansion bills as well as "pure" Medicare for All...and many have made public statements indicating that they'd likely also be open to some of the other bills on the table (or some variant thereof). Harris has formally split from her prior support of Bernie's bill and is now proposing a hybrid variant which would allow for a "Private Option" in the form of beefed-up Medicare Advantage plans with much tighter regulations (similar to my preferred bill, "Medicare for America")...but she still calls her plan "Medicare for All", confusing the issue further.

Meanwhile, Biden & Buttigieg can't officially "cosponsor" any bills since they aren't in the House or Senate, so I had to go with their official plans as laid out on their campaign websites. Klobuchar has cosponsored several bills; her campaign site doesn't specify any one particular bill but the description of it is very similar to several of them as well as being similar to Biden & Buttigieg's proposals.

Since my earlier version of this analysis, I've simplified not only the list of candidates but also the types of plans--I've cut them down from eight specific bills/plans on the table down to four types of plans, each of which may include more than one specific bill. I've done my best to clarify which candidates either officially support, officially oppose or are open to supporting each. I've also thrown in my own preferred route forward for the heck of it.

There are technically fourteen different specific bills referenced, although in several cases they're basically just the House and Senate versions of essentially the same bill. These break out into four main categories:

ACA 2.0:

ACA 2.0 with a Public Option:

Universal Coverage WITH a Private Option:

Universal Coverage with NO Private Option:

Here's my methodology:

  • The blue fields are the candidates' officially-declared healthcare policy proposals, regardless of any other bills or plans they might be co-sponsors of/etc.
  • The green fields are bills/plans each candidate is a formal co-sponsor of or which they've indicated that they generally support.
  • The yellow fields are bills/plans each candidate might grudgingly support if it becomes clear that this is the bill which is going to come across their desk to sign.
  • The red fields are bills/plans which the candidate has either expressly rejected or now says they oppose (even as a stop-gap) if they used to support it.

For instance:

  • Elizabeth Warren is also a cosponsor of Sen. Schatz's "State Public Option Act" as well as being the lead sponsor of CHIPA which she just re-introduced this spring...yet she's avoided talkinga about either of them for a good six months now.
  • Sen. Harris also cosponsored both of those bills as well as Sen. Sanders' Medicare for All bill...but she recently split with him on his bill, introducing her own variant which would include a longer transition period and allow for privately-administered Medicare Advantage plans to continue, and so on.

My larger point is that all of the bills listed below are good, and they'd all represent a significant improvement to existing law.

The irony of this is that WHATEVER the Big Healthcare Overhaul Bill ends up being (and remember, all of this assumes a blue trifecta, with Democrats retaking the White House and Senate while retaining control of the House), it’s NOT going to end up looking exactly like ANY of the current plans on the table anyway.

Again, I may be a strong proponent of Medicare for America, but I still recognize that even if that becomes the basis for the final bill, there would no doubt be some changes made before it gets passed by the House, Senate and signed into law by whichever candidate below ends up winning...and that's fine.

Meanwhile, here's Donald Trump's "healthcare plan":

  • That's it. That's his plan.

(Yes, technically speaking, the House GOP's "Republican Study Committee" recently came out with their own "replacement plan" for the ACA if it's struck down...but it's basically just the same warmed-over glop they tried to push a couple of years ago in the form of the "Graham-Cassidy" bill, which amounts to a mish-mash of terrible ideas like "block grants", "high risk pools" and the like. Otherwise, that's it.)


          

Trump Boasts of GOP Success Confirming His Judicial Nominees

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Trump Boasts of GOP Success Confirming His Judicial Nominees(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump celebrated Republicans’ record on confirming federal judges on Wednesday, saying his administration has done better than any other in terms of “quality and quantity” of judges appointed to the bench.“We have a lot of great warriors in our party,” Trump said during an event at the White House, calling out Republican senators who have helped move the nominations through.The president’s comments came as the U.S. Senate is set to confirm Trump’s 45th circuit judge this week. With that vote, he will have appointed about a quarter of all appeals court judges.Trump has won confirmation of a total of 158 federal judicial nominees, including Supreme Court justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. The president, who on Wednesday named 10 additional judges he intends to nominate, is likely to see more win approval this year than during the first two years of his presidency combined.The pace of confirmation far exceeds those of his immediate predecessors, a fact that Trump routinely notes in public comments. The GOP’s Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has leveraged his party’s control of the chamber to flood the federal courts with Trump’s picks.The appointments have led to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals -- which hears cases from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware -- flipping from a majority of judges appointed by Democratic presidents to a majority appointed by Republicans. By the end of the year, similar changes are likely in the Second Circuit, which includes New York, Connecticut and Vermont, and the Eleventh Circuit, which covers Alabama, Florida and Georgia.During President Barack Obama’s second term, McConnell held up nominees -- including a Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia death in 2016 -- leaving 86 district court vacancies and 17 circuit court vacancies for Trump to fill. Trump has repeatedly mocked Obama for leaving the positions unfilled.McConnell has tweaked Senate rules to expedite the confirmation of conservative jurists. In 2017, the GOP lowered the threshold for Supreme Court nominees to 51 votes from 60, and in April the GOP cut debate time for district court judges from 30 hours to just two.The majority leader has also benefited from a rule change under former Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, who unilaterally reduced the number of votes needed to advance appellate and district court nominees to 51 votes instead of 60.“Nobody has done more to change the court system in the history of our country than Donald Trump,” McConnell said Monday at a rally in his home state of Kentucky with the president. “And Mr. President, we’re going to keep on doing it. My motto is: Leave no vacancy behind.”Democrats have complained that the rule changes have given the courts a far-right tilt, and some of the party’s presidential candidates have proposed expanding the number of justices on the Supreme Court if elected president.Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, called efforts by McConnell and Trump to reshape the federal judiciary an “evisceration” of the Constitution.“It’s not for ordinary Americans, it’s for the rich and powerful, and we have to find a way to stop them,” Merkley told MSNBC on Monday. “And that’s going to be the elections next year.”\--With assistance from Laura Litvan.To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.net;Josh Wingrove in Washington at jwingrove4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, Joshua GalluFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

PBS Gives Obama Official Forum to Bash Trump on Paris Climate Accord

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Book: 'Faith In American Public Life'

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NPR's Leila Fadel speaks with author Melissa Rogers, who served as Special Assistant to President Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
          

JW INVESTIGATES IF OUSTED UKRAINE AMBASSADOR ORDERED STATE DEPT. TO MONITOR JOURNALISTS, TRUMP ALLIES

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Judicial Watch is investigating if prominent conservative figures, journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump were unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee. Yovanovitch testified “in secret” to the House impeachment inquiry against Trump on Friday, October 11, 2019. Her […]

The post JW INVESTIGATES IF OUSTED UKRAINE AMBASSADOR ORDERED STATE DEPT. TO MONITOR JOURNALISTS, TRUMP ALLIES appeared first on Judicial Watch.


          

Steve Gruber, Bombshell!!! The so-called whistle blower has been identified

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Welcome to the Big HALLOWEEN Party! — HAVE WE GOT SOME TREATS FOR YOU! Lets get to it— I’m Steve Gruber—God bless America—this is the Steve Gruber Show—

 

Here are 3 BIG Things you need to know—

 

Three—  The forecast is looking frightening indeed—with plummeting temperatures—wind and now snow and ice and tough travel conditions—get set—a long tough winter is on the way—get the shovels and the salt!

 

Two— The internet trolls have gone crazy after President Trump Tweeted a photo-shopped picture of him pinning a medal on a military dog—to recognize the canine injured in the raid that killed the number one terrorist in the world—really—this is what they do?

 

And Number One— Bombshell!!! The so-called whistle blower has been identified—as a 33 year old hold over from the Obama Administration—that is an anti- Trump agitator—that worked for Joe Biden and John Brennan and is a Registered Democrat to boot—and it gets worse—

 

So buckle UP you are about the be hit with a load of truth that will feel like bricks!


          

အိပ္ရာေစာေစာထျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ရရွိလာႏုိင္တဲ့ အက်ိဳးေက်းဇူးမ်ား

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ကၽြန္မတို႔ ပတ္ဝန္းက်င္က လူအေတာ္မ်ားမ်ားဟာ အိပ္ရာေစာေစာထတတ္ၾကပါတယ္။ အိမ္ရာေစာေစာထျခင္းဟာ ေကာင္းတယ္လို႔ ယံုၾကည္ၾကတဲ့ သိပၸံပညာရွင္ေတြ၊ စီအီးအိုေတြ အမ်ားႀကီးရွိပါတယ္။ Apple ရဲ႕ စီအီးအိုျဖစ္တဲ့ တင္မ္ ကြတ္ခ္ (Tim Cook) ဟာ မနက္တိုင္း ၃း၄၅ မွာ အိပ္ရာထေလ့ရွိပါတယ္တဲ့။ မီရွဲလ္ အိုဘားမား (Michelle Obama) ကေတာ့ မနက္ ၄း၃ဝ ဆိုရင္ပဲ က်န္းမာေရးေလ့က်င့္ခန္းေတြ လုပ္ေနပါၿပီတဲ့။ ရွာ့ခ္ တန္႔ခ္ (Shark Tank) ရဲ႕ ရင္းႏွီးျမွဳပ္ႏွံသူ ကယ္ဗင္ အို လဲရီ (Kevin O’Leary) ကေတာ့ မနက္တိုင္း ၅း၄၅ မွာ အိပ္ရာထေလ့ရွိပါတယ္တဲ့။ ရစ္ခ်တ္ ဘရန္ဆန္ (Richard Branson) ဟာလည္း ေျခာက္နာရီ မတ္တင္းမွာပဲ […]
          

Comment on A letter from Rep. Robin Kelly: ‘We have an obligation to act’ by John McCarthy

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I didn't vote for Trump. Won't vote for him this time. But this Impeachment is hypocritical. The Obama Administration launched a criminal investigation of Trump's Presidential Campaign based on information from Ukrainians, Italians, Brits, and Australians, using foreign citizens and agencies to gather information against their political opponent Trump. That investigation turned out to be based on lies. Trump has a right, actually even a responsibility, to investigate where those lies came from. You are trying to Impeach him for doing the exact same thing the Obama Administration did. Trump has broken an awful lot of promises. If the Democrats Campaign around that, they will destroy him at the Polls in 2020. But if they keep pushing this hypocritical witch-hunt instead, they will destroy themselves. Win by campaigning with winning ideas, not by trying to overturn a Democratic election.
          

CIA Officials Complained About Barack Obama’s Obsession With Political Correctness

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New reports are coming in alleging that CIA officials complained about the fact that Barack Obama’s White House was “nonstop PC.” They also reportedly complained about Obama’s micromanaging of intelligence matters. These revelations were made in conservative commentator Doug Wead’s new book Inside Trump’s White House: The Real Story of His Presidency. In the book, Wead […]

The post CIA Officials Complained About Barack Obama’s Obsession With Political Correctness appeared first on Objectivist.


          

The Latest Polls Are Worrying Me

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Steve Hochstadt is a professor of history emeritus at Illinois College, who blogs for HNN and LAProgressive, and writes about Jewish refugees in Shanghai.

 

 

A NYT article on Monday by Nate Silver, the guru of understanding polls, frightened me: he said that Trump could win in 2020. The main evidence is a poll showing Trump running neck-and-neck with the leading Democrats in certain arbitrarily selected “key” states, every race very close. I have been relying for my sanity on Trump’s approval rating in many polls, which is down near 40%. How could he beat anybody? Maybe I need to revise my understanding of approval. Perhaps enough people disapprove of Trump, but are willing to vote for him.

 

I don’t think that polls a year ahead of time mean much about what will happen, especially if they are close. There are other polls, though, which cause me more anxiety about the state of our nation. Whether Trump wins next year or not, the views of the minority of Americans who populate his “base” are troubling.

 

In the most recent head-to-head polls, white working-class respondents preferred Trump by 25%, just the same percentage as they preferred him in 2016 against Clinton. College-educated whites gave the nod to Democrats, but only by 6 - 10%. Those Americans, who are as a whole less interested in real political information, still like Trump, after all he has done. A large minority of those who have been trained to understand that information still pick Trump.

 

Some aspects of the general approval polls offer more and maybe more unpleasant information. The tracking of Trump’s approval ratings by the Washington Post and ABC News during his whole presidency shows both remarkable stability and, maybe, the beginning of a serious downturn in the wake of impeachment, as his approval among Republicans dropped to 74%. There will be lots more points on this graph, so little weight should be put on this point. More notable is the lack of change among his most fervent supporters, those who “strongly approve of him”, which has stayed between 60% and 70%.

 

Those squishy approval polls are now being directed at the state level to help predict the 2020 decision in the Electoral College. It’s possible to be heartened by the latest poll, just before impeachment began. More approve of him than disapprove in only 17 states, mostly states in the South or next to it. More disapprove than approve in all the states that the NYT article isolated as “key”. One year ago, his approval ratings were positive in 24 states.

 

Fox News reported that their two polls this October showed that more people want Trump to be impeached and removed than oppose it, 50% to 41%. But here’s the scary part. Among those who oppose impeachment, 57% say new evidence cannot change their minds. That adds up to about one quarter of those surveyed. They probably all belong in the category of those who think the whole impeachment inquiry is “bogus”, 39%.

 

Recent polls show that Republicans who are regular viewers of FOX News are much more likely to be hard-core Trump supporters. Over half of Republicans who support the president and watch Fox News say there is “virtually nothing he could do to make them stop supporting him.” A different poll two years ago shows the same thing. In August 2017, 61% who approved of Trump said they couldn’t think of anything he could do that would make them disapprove of his job as President.

 

For me, the scariest segment of the American electorate has been identified by some political scientists as “chaos-seekers”. They are so disaffected from our political system, that they want to undermine it, even destroy it. They use social media to share outlandish stories, such as the “Pizzagate” rumor, the false story about Obama’s birth, and Alex Jones’ lies about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting being faked. They don’t necessarily believe them to be true. “For the core group, hostile political rumors are simply a tool to create havoc.” The political scientists conducted thousands of interviews, and found a significant minority of people who agreed with statements like the following. “I fantasize about a natural disaster wiping out most of humanity such that a small group of people can start all over.” “I think society should be burned to the ground.” Sometimes I just feel like destroying beautiful things.” These people tended to be Trump supporters.

 

A study from 2018 found that Trump supporters tended to “take a belligerent, combative approach toward people they find threatening.” The kind of authoritarianism that Trump’s most fervent supporters embody is “the wish to support a strong and determined authority who will 'crush evil and take us back to our true path.’” The Guardian recently listed 52 Trump supporters who carried out or threatened acts of violence since his campaign began. Since Congressman Adam Schiff became the leader of the House impeachment inquiry, he has been subject to violent threats on social media, often approvingly quoting Trump’s comments about him.

 

A video portraying Trump shooting his critics inside a church was played at a conference for his supporters at Trump’s National Doral Miami resort in early October. The pastor who gave the benediction at the 2016 Republican National Convention told the crowd there, “We’ve come to declare war!” Conference-goers roared back: “War! War!”

 

Trump himself uses careful language to encourage violent supporters and threaten wider violence against his opponents. In an interview in March, he said, “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump—I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

 

Are we near that point now? What if Trump loses the election?

 

Today, the only important polls will be taken, the elections in Virginia, Kentucky, and Mississippi. They will provide hints about 2020. Then we have only 12 months left to worry.


          

“It’s Going to Be Devastating. It’s Going to Ruin Careers” – Joe diGenova: IG Report Delayed Due to Durham Grand Jury – Several Obama DOJ Officials Will Be Indicted (VIDEO)

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by Jim Hoft TheGatewayPundit.com November 6, 2019 Attorneys and partners Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova joined Lou Dobbs on Wednesday night to discuss the latest delay to the release of the much anticipated Inspector General report on FISA abuse. Joe diGenova told Lou Dobbs that the report was delayed this time because of Prosecutor John […]
          

Principals Committees are out of control

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Some fascinating discoveries about Obama from the latest “book” coming to be purchased in bulk and ignored in a pile on a table at a Republican fundraiser near you: Fox News published an article Tuesday criticizing Barack Obama’s White House for micromanaging intelligence matters. The article was centered on a new book from a conservative writer […]
          

Audiencia del Primer Ministro con el Director de la Academia Regional de Ciencias y Técnicas Marítimas

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"El Primer Ministro del Gobierno, Encargado de la Coordinación Administrativa, Francisco Pascual Obama Asue, recibió en su despacho en la Presidencia del Gobierno, en la tarde del miércoles 6 de noviembre, a una delegación procedente de Costa de Marfil encabezada por el Director General de la Academia Regional de Ciencias y Técnicas Marítimas." Fuente: www.guineaecuatorialpress.com  Leer más
          

El Primer Ministro dirige la Reunión del Comité de Pilotaje de los Organismos Autónomos

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"En su calidad de presidente del organismo, el Primer Ministro del Gobierno, Encargado de la Coordinación Administrativa, Francisco Pascual Obama Asue, lideró en la mañana del lunes 4 de noviembre la primera Reunión del Comité de Pilotaje de la Reestructuración de los Organismos Autónomos y Entidades Públicas Empresariales." Fuente: www.guineaecuatorialpress.com  Leer más
          

“Noul totalitarism e progresist și eco”

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FUMIGENE DE WEEKEND (111) O treime din generaţia millennials, născuţi între 1981 - 1996, “ar vota în 2020 cu candidaţii de extremă stângă”, relevă un sondaj comandat de Fundația americană pentru memoria victimelor comunismului. Potrivit acestuia, “capitalismul a pierdut din popularitate”, fiind sprijinit de doar jumătate dintre  aceștia. 36% aprobă comunismul, iar 70% ar vota cu socialiștii STOP Probabil că respectivii habar n-au care e diferența dintre ele. "Dacă nu educăm generaţia tânără despre adevărul istoric al celor 100 de milioane de victime ucise de regimurile comuniste în ultimul secol, să nu ne surprindă disponibilitatea ei pentru ideile marxiste", declară realizatorul studiului. De altfel, peste 20% dintre milennials cred că "societatea ar fi mai bună dacă s-ar elimina ideea proprietăţii private" STOP Interesante comentariile la un interviu al Hotnews pe această temă, cu un istoric din aceeași generație: “o bună parte din mileniali sunt confuzi din cauza unui amestec de ignoranța și conformism. Ignoranța e întreținută de un sistem educațional deficitar... Avem în Romania, în USA sau în Franța, generații de analfabeți funcționali care pot silabisi, dar nu înteleg sensul și logica unei fraze (nu mai vorbim de lexic)” STOP Iar mai departe: “Obama a criticat dur...agresivitatea celor care tind să arate imediat cu degetul orice nu e "corect politic". Fostul președinte democrat s-a arătat îngrijorat de tendința de a bloca dezbaterea în campusurile universitare și de a interzice opiniile diferite (de cele progresiste)” STOP Un alt cititor concluzionează: “noul totalitarism e progresist și eco".  De genul Greta, 2035fărătutun, USR, Arafat și alții/altele. La “și alții” intră și Cioloș, care a îndrăznit să-și critice fostul subaltern pentru prestația de la Colectiv și “ascunderea” filmului în care șeful DSU, aidoma “bărbatului în alb din 10 august”, vorbește la telefon netulburat în mijlocul nebuniei STOP Atât de tare l-a supărat pe Arafat critica asta, încât a început să vorbească moldovenește, nemaiscoțându-l pe Cioloș din “dânsul”  STOP „Am văzut pe dânsul (Dacian Cioloş – n.r.) spune că un departament nu trebuie să ţină de un om şi sunt total de acord cu dânsul (...) Mai mult decât atât, dânsul comentează că un astfel de departament atunci când funcţionează doar sub comanda omului suprem are o problemă. Departamentul nu funcţionează doar sub comanda omului suprem” STOP În paranteză fie spus, Arafat a încercat o mică diversiune cu o teorie a conspirației, potrivit căreia cineva a încercat să îi ia jucăriile (elicoptere și avioane SMURD, înmatriculate militar). Dar declarația nu prea a avut ecou, fiind preluată sporadic. Asta în comparație cu marea  lovitură de presă despre “aparatele morții”, pe vremea când Arafat dădea verdicte despre vapat. “O tempora...” STOP Noul ministru de Interne a fost întâmpinat de protestatari cu cererea: “Capul lui Arafat vrem” STOP “Bătrânii sunt otrăviţi de medicamente, pentru că testările clinice se fac pe tineri. Mulţi pensionari iau câte 10-20 de  pastile pentru bolile pe care le au, ceea ce îi expune multiplelor reacţii adverse şi mai ales interacţiunilor dintre ele”, consideră Serviciului Naţional pentru Sănătate din Anglia. “Studii anterioare au scos în evidenţă că o persoană din 15 se află în spital din cauza reacţiilor adverse ale medicamentelor prescrise” STOP Dacă ar fi să jucăm Monopoly...Pe hârtie stăm bine, pe teren e jale. “La nivel de proiectare, suntem campioni, dar în ceea ce priveşte km de autostradă, 828, suntem pe locul 128 în lume, după Zimbabwe şi Gabon” STOP “Prima regulă a pieței unice din Uniunea Europeană este să ai o autostrada către Germania”, a transmis autorităților române un economist-șef al Băncii Mondiale, coordonator al politicii economice pentru statele UE. O autostradă catre Germania nu avem, dar avem un Președinte. Se pune? STOP Și totuși, “România alături de Germania”. Potrivit Eurostat, aproape două treimi dintre orașele europene cu cei mai puțini tineri se află în  cele două țări STOP “Industria sănătății”, ca și “industria morții”, tot industrie se cheamă că este, vulnerabilă la procese în masă declanșate de avocați orientați financiar. Nu doar “big tobacco”, dar și “big farma” plătește înțelegeri (settlements) ca să fie lăsată în pace. “Cinci producători şi distribuitori de medicamente oferă 50 de miliarde de dolari în numerar, servicii și medicamente, pentru închiderea investigaţiilor în care industria farmaceutică este acuzată că a provocat criza opioidelor din SUA”. În instanțe sunt 2.600 de procese, arată Cursdeguvernare STOP Procesomania, faza pe budă. După ce fosta șefă a ASSMB, o anume Coțofană, a afirmat că „în mandatul doamnei Firea, s-au plătit WC-uri de 230 de lei cu 3.500 de lei plus TVA”, Primărița a declarat că nu se lasă și merge cu ea “de gât, la cremenal”, adică îi face plângere la DNA STOP Guardian scrie că Guvernul chinez a lansat un Cod de conduită menit să „amplifice atitudinea pozitivă a cetăţenilor faţă de partid şi ţară şi să creeze un simţ al identităţii colective”. Documentul, emis de CC al PCC, este “un instrument nou de propagandă și de consolidare a cultului personalității, centrat pe liderul Xi Jinping și are rolul de a-i crește legitimitatea într-o perioadă în care Beijingul se confruntă cu provocări serioase - protestele din Hong Kong, încetinirea economiei și războiul comercial cu SUA. Cetățenii sunt îndemnați să trateze gândirea Xi Jinping ca fiind nucleul busolei lor morale civice, fiind omise multe referințe la alți lideri din istoria țării, precum Mao”. Aviz simpatizanților americani ai comunismului! STOP “Facebook a acceptat să plătească o amendă de 500.000 de lire sterline pentru încălcarea legislaţiei privind protecţia datelor, în cazul Cambridge Analytica”, a anunţat autoritatea britanică de reglementare. Aceasta pentru că “date despre cel puţin un milion de utilizatori britanici s-au aflat printre informaţiile strânse de Cambridge Analytica şi folosite în scopuri politice” STOP CA a fost angajată de Trump pentru campania din 2016 și ar fi fost “implicată în peste 200 de campanii electorale, inclusiv în Nigeria, Kenya, Cehia, India şi Argentina”, lucrând împreună cu “companii specializate în strângerea de informaţii”. La momentul scandalului, Cambridge Analytica România era condusă de ginerele Ministrului de externe (în prezent Președinte al Senatului), având sediul chiar la domiciliul acestuia. Peter Imre a lucrat cândva pentru o mare companie americană de tutun STOP “Camera Reprezentanţilor SUA a recunoscut în mod oficial genocidul armean, într-un vot simbolic fără precedent...o majoritate zdrobitoare de 405 din 435 de voturi, într-o rară unitate între democraţi şi republicani”. Ministerul turc de Externe a ”condamnat ferm” acest act politic și l-a convocat pe ambasadorul american. La rândul lor, bulgarii au convocat-o la Externe pe ambasadoarea Franței, după declarațiile ofensatoare ale lui Macron, care îi preferă bulgarilor pe cei din Coasta de Fildeș. Numai oficialii noștri au stat în poziția ghiocel cănd ambasadorii SUA ne-a dat lecții și indicații STOP “Orban de la Budapesta l-a felicitat pe Orban de la București. Presa maghiară face glume cu Ardealul”. Iar unii au postat pe FB: “să vezi de acum încolo ce de Hello Budapest!” STOP Înainte de predarea mandatului, fostul ministru al Agriculturii a avut parte de o aniversare unică. “PSD-iștii din Arad i-au făcut cadou lui Petre Daea, de ziua lui, un tort în formă de oaie”. Oaia aia e a lui STOP Contrabanda cu țigări a ajuns la un minim istoric apropiat de nivelul european: 10,5%. Evident, lobiștii antitutun, pregătiți să împingă tare proiectul de vânzare a țigărilor pe sub tejghea, au sărit de fund în sus că ar fi manipulare, de genul celei pe care o practică ei când clamează așa-zisele “pierderi cauzate de tutun: 4,2% din PIB”. Râd și curcile STOP Țigări de contrabandă în magazine, la Ploiești. Șase magazine au fost descoperite practicând acest “sport” bănos, alegându-se cu marfa confiscată și amenzi. Poliția nu i-a crezut pe împricinații care s-au declarat simpli vizionari, care anticipează legea Emanuel Ungureanu/Ramona Brad STOP BAT a ajuns pe locul 27 în topul exportatorilor. În același timp, a extins campania cu scrumiere stradale din Sectorul 3 București, dăruind 200 de bucăți Primăriei Iași. Pe pariu că, iar, fac activiștii scandal? Deocamdată, fac doar bube roșii și nu pot dormi pentru că, la Parament, se lanseză “Coaliția pentru libertatea comerțului și a comunicării” STOP A căzut ultima redută: “fumătorii din Austria nu-şi mai pot aprinde o ţigară în cafenele şi restaurante”, relatează AFP. Să vedem cât va afecta interdicția locul Vienei în topul celor mai bune orașe în care merită să trăiești STOP Deși cocktailurile de medicamente fac ravagii, “specialiștii în sănătate publică” au alt azimut: țigările electronice. Pentru că SUA nu se grăbește cu interdicțiile, dat fiind că majoritatea cazurilor semnalate sunt de la extract ilegal de canabis, “experții lu’ Bloomberg” s-au orientat către alte meleaguri, mai înfometate. După Brazilia, Thailanda şi India, “China a decretat închiderea temporară a magazinelor specializate în vânzarea de ţigări electronice, până când efectele acestora asupra stării de sănătate vor fi lămurite” STOP “Aprozăreasa candidează la Primaria Cluj”. Aurelia Cristea, mama legii antifumat de acum trei ani, vrea să îi ia fața lui Boc. Dar, Clujul e un oraș orientat, cu nas politic fin și buzunare larg deschise către investitori. Ca dovadă, “eșecul electoral” al lui Barna. Evenimentul Zilei relatează că, la adunarea simpatizanţilor acestuia, s-ar fi ocupat doar jumătate dintr-o sală de Cinema. A se compara cu prezența la filmele de dans de la TIFF, sponsorizate de JTI STOP Viorica Dăncilă între sabie și macetă. După ce candidata PSD a primit în dar o sabie de Samurai, ca să “taie ce trebuie”, simpatizanții ei, care împărțeau pliante la Brăila, au fost fugăriți de un bărbat înarmat cu o macetă STOP Istoria romanțată e, uneori, pasională. “John F. Kennedy a fost refuzat de actriţa Sophia Loren, dar vedete precum Audrey Hepburn şi Angie Dickinson au avut relaţii intime cu preşedintele american”, relatează Daily Mail. La noi, istoria rescrisă în funcție de “politicile corecte cacofonice” e năucitoare, scrie Marius Oprea despre Hodor și așa-zișii istorici de la CNSAS, influențați în impietarea lor de ideologii “Fenomenului Pitești”, adică de torționari și securiști STOP Dna Ludwig, noul Comisarul german pe droguri (echivalentul ANA, de la noi), a declarat mai întâi că dorește interzicerea reclamelor la țigari clasice și electronice pe panourile publicitare (că astfel s-ar putea vedea sau nu s-ar mai putea vedea ce face sau ar trebui să facă ea), după care a revenit “la castravete”: 19% dintre adolescenți au recunoscut că folosesc canabis, procent care urcă vertiginos la grupa de vârsta 18-25 de ani: 42,5% STOP Heroina și opioidele (produse farma) reprezintă, însă, principala cauză de deces asociat consumului de droguri, cu 1275 cazuri anual. Ludwig a concluzionat că oamenii trebuie ajutați sa scape de dependențe, iar “dezbaterile bazate pe ideologie” trebuie înlocuite cu dialogul STOP Socialiștii din PE dau pe dinafară de “corectitudine politică”. Nu l-au vrut pe albul hetero Sigfrid Mureșan Comisar european, pentru că nu era nici măcar femeie. Noroc că Adina Vălean e ok și nu ne va face de râs,  deși e straight STOP Cancerul corectitudinii politice ucide conștiințe și talente. Regizorul Andrei Șerban a declarat la TVR că a demisionat de la Universitatea Columbia când i s-a cerut să angajeze un nou profesor, "de preferință o femeie de culoare, care dacă este gay e foarte bine", și nu a fost de acord ca rolul Julietei să fie jucat de un transsexual STOP "În epoca Trump, dreapta e foarte radicală, stânga e foarte radicală...Universitățile în America sunt de obicei de stânga...” iar “Columbia e un fel de socialism care merge spre comunism, e o nouă formă de comunism", a spus  regizorul (HEXAVALENT)

 


          

Made In America: How the U.S. Government Paid For Turkey's War in Syria

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Matthew Petti

Security, Middle East

Reuters

Critics say the Obama administration did not do enough to fight Bashar al-Assad. But the forces attacking Syrian Kurds are the fruit of an anti-Assad effort.

Mounting evidence shows that Turkey is now using rebel groups paid for by a $1 billion U.S. taxpayer-funded program as its soldiers in a brutal war on the Kurdish-led forces in Syria—which were also armed and trained by America.

U.S. officials are describing these militants as “thugs, bandits, and pirates” as the Turkish-led Islamist forces are currently committing alleged war crimes against civilians and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Northeast Syria. Ironically, the United States armed many of these rebels as part of an effort to overthrow Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Critics say that there were warning signs along the way year after year. In fact, Turkish-backed fighters recently videotaped themselves using a U.S.-made anti-tank rocket against an SDF vehicle, perhaps itself supplied by the U.S. military.

“If a fighter was in a faction that received weapons from the CIA, and is still fighting today—and that’s a big if—he is most likely in the ranks of the Syrian National Army,” said Foreign Policy Research Institute Fellow Elizabeth Tsurkov, who has extensive contacts with Syrian rebels.

Anti-Russia and anti-Iran hawks believe that the United States could have ended the could have pre-empted the whole mess in Northeast Syria—Turkey, the Kurds, ISIS, and all—by taking out Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Now that the window of opportunity has passed, and as President Donald Trump doubles down on ending the “endless war” in Syria, anti-Assad hawks have shifted their attention toward using U.S. power to pressure the Syrian dictator into submission. But first, they have to clean up the image of the Syrian opposition.

The National Interest spoke to more than a dozen former officials, activists, and academics involved in U.S. policy towards Syria. Many were not willing to go on the record, but others were eager to point fingers for the current bloodshed and offer their own plans for the future of U.S. involvement.

Preying on Defeated Groups

Read full article
          

Exposing the scope of the politicization of all deep state agencies.

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Volker and Sondland Testimony Released – And Elise Stefanik, Once Again, On the Right Trail…


The transcripts of the closed-door deposition of Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland were released today by the Lawfare impeachment organizers and Adam Schiff.   Both pdf’s are below; however, first it is worth reestablishing a bigger, more important, context.
In the fall of 2016, long before the term “spygate” reached the lexicon of political followers, CTH research discovered the background use and weaponization of the intelligence apparatus.  This was before the November 2016 election. We didn’t exactly know who was involved, but we outlined what appeared to be a coordinated effort amid the intelligence community, current and former officials, politicians (both parties), and media.
Immediately after the November election, when CTH noted NSA Director Mike Rogers unscheduled visit to Trump Tower & the immediate moving of the Trump transition team, our review took on a more narrowed focus.  It was at that point when CTH outlined a simplistic 30,000 ft. explanation ‘black hat’ and ‘white hat‘ ops. [I regret those terms]
In the year that followed, CTH was blasted for outlining what appeared to be a planned, organized, and very concerted effort within a network of DC interests, to conduct spy and surveillance operations against candidate Trump, president-elect Trump and President Trump. We were labeled conspiracy theorists by both sides of the political spectrum.
We outlined how the Evelyn Farkas’ inadvertent admissions on MSNBC spoke to a coordinated effort that no-one was paying attention to.  However, it wasn’t until March 20th, 2017, when James Comey testified before the HPSCI and took an unanticipated series of questions from then freshman representative Elise Stefanik, and CTH outlined the specifics behind the admissions made by the FBI Director, that people started to realize what we had been saying for the past six months was indeed structurally evident.
By the end of 2017, people started to see clarity amid a picture we had been painting for over a year.  By mid-spring 2018 admissions within the apparatus of government, and released documents from Devin Nunes solidified the evidence.
Yes, there was political surveillance; yes, there was political spying; yes, there actually was an intelligence operation to remove President Trump being coordinated with involvement by a group within the IC, politicians, DC operatives (Fusion-GPS) and a network of specific media.
All of the aligned interests; and specifically all of the granular activity throughout 2018 – including activity within the DOJ and FBI under the Trump administration; which encompassed the Weissmann-Mueller effort; were working on a cover-program where defeating republicans in the 2018 mid-term election was part of a plan to: (a) protect their interests; (b) defend themselves from discovery of prior activity; and (c) hopefully continue the endeavor.  The election loss of the House was not accidental or organic political activity, it was purposeful.  [Uniparty GOP reps retiring was purposeful; ballot harvesting was purposeful; nothing was happenstance.]
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“He is a political activist in uniform.”

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Retired Army Officer Remembers Lt. Col. Vindman as Partisan Democrat Who Ridiculed America

Aretired Army officer who worked with Democrat “star witness” Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in Grafenwoher, Germany, claims Vindman “really talked up” President Barack Obama and ridiculed America and Americans in front of Russian military officers.
In an eye-opening thread on Twitter last week, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Jim Hickman said that he “verbally reprimanded” Vindman after he heard some of his derisive remarks for himself. “Do not let the uniform fool you,” Hickman wrote. “He is a political activist in uniform.”
Hickman’s former boss at the Joint Multinational Simulation Center in Grafenwoehr has since gone on the record to corroborate his story.
Hickman, 52, says he’s a disabled wounded warrior who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who received numerous medals, including the Purple Heart.
The retired officer said that Vindman, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Ukraine, made fun of the United States to the point that it made other soldiers “uncomfortable.” For example, Hickman told American Greatness that he heard Vindman call Americans “rednecks”—a word that needed to be translated for the Russians. He said they all had a big laugh at America’s expense.

Vindman, who serves on the National Security Council (NSC), appeared last week before the House Intelligence Committee and testified that he’d had “concerns” about the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman’s testimony rested on his negative opinions of the call, rather than any new facts about the call.
Vindman’s former boss, NSC Senior Director for European Affairs Tim Morrison, threw cold water on Vindman’s claims in his own testimony later in the week, saying he didn’t have concerns that “anything illegal was discussed” in the phone call.  Morrison also testified that Ukrainian officials were not even aware that military funding had been delayed by the Trump Administration until late August 2019, more than a month after the Trump-Zelensky call.

“Completely Beyond Reproach”

Hickman said he decided to come forward because Vindman “disobeyed a direct order from the commander-in-chief, his boss,” made his testimony “about his foreign policy opinions versus facts,” and “wore his Army service uniform to make a political statement” against the president.
“Then right on cue, the mainstream media began calling him a war hero with a purple heart, and completely beyond reproach,” Hickman wrote in a statement to American Greatness and another journalist. “Knowing his political bias, backed by his somewhat radical left-leaning ideology, it was my obligation, indeed my duty, to come forward with this information. I couldn’t go to the same mainstream media to put it out, nor could I go to the Army, as they’re backing Vindman, so I took to Twitter, a source for getting the truth out,” he added.
According to Hickman, Vindman was the Defense Department attaché at the Russian embassy in Germany when he met him in 2013. He told American Greatness that he also met Vindman’s twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman while he was stationed in Germany.
“I know LTC Alex Vindman from a Combined US-Russian exercise called Atlas Vision [13] in Grafenwoher,” Hickman wrote on Twitter. “He worked with the Russian Embassy and I was assigned to the JMTC (Joint Multinational Training Command), within USAREUR (US Army Europe). He worked coordination w/the Russian 15th Peacekeeping Brigade, and I was in charge of all Simulations planning, as well as assisting the USAREUR Lead Planner as the Senior Military Planner.”
Hickman provided American Greatness with a picture of himself and his wife while he was on vacation in Venice during that time period.
He noted that he and Vindman had “interacted on several different occasions throughout the planning cycle, but it was during the actual execution of the exercise that we had an issue relevant to his recent testimony.”

Laughing At Americans’ Expense

Hickman said he had pretty much forgotten about Vindman until recently.

          

The agenda of the Nobel Peace Prize

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Why Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing — and Trump never will for anything


President Barack Obama’s first act as a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2009 — nine months after he took the oath of office — was to try to wriggle out of accepting it.
“The morning the prize was announced, his staff investigated whether anyone had failed to travel to Oslo to receive their prize,” writes Nobel insider Geir Lundestad in “The World’s Most Prestigious Prize” (Oxford), out this month.
Apparently, the president was among the 61 percent of Americans who believed he didn’t deserve it.
“It is true, Obama did not do much before winning,” Lundestad, 74, a member of Norway’s Nobel Committee until 2014, told The Post. “But he represented the ideals of the committee. And when we have an American president who supports that message, we like to strengthen him.”
Obama’s advisers soon decided the honor could not be refused. But as ridicule rained down on the committee for handing a peacemaker’s award to a man who was ordering drone strikes on civilians overseas, the White House grew increasingly hesitant, dithering for weeks over how much of the traditional three-day awards gala he would attend.
In the end, Obama stayed just long enough to deliver an acceptance speech that tried to justify the wars he was waging in Iraq and Afghanistan — rationalizations that visibly irked First Lady Michelle Obama.“Did you have to go there?” she asked when he concluded, according to Lundestad’s book.
The committee’s risky choice backfired, Lundestad admits, as the new president took flak from all sides for accepting it before he had accomplished any of his lofty foreign policy goals. Even supporters like Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus called the prize “ridiculous — embarrassing, even.” David Axelrod, a top Obama advisor, said it was “more of a surreal challenge than a cause for celebration.”
Enlarge ImageAuthor Geir Lundestad
Author Geir LundestadKyodo via AP Images
“It would be difficult, even impossible, for Obama to live up to the enormous expectations,” Lundestad writes. “I personally greatly doubted their decision.”
But the committee members took the chance out of sheer exultation that a Republican no longer resided in the White House, Lundestad suggests in his book, an expanded English-language version of a memoir he published in Norwegian in 2015.
Of the 100 Nobel Peace Prizes bestowed since 1901, 22 of them have gone to Americans — far more than any other nation in the world. The entire continent of Africa has produced only 11 Peace Prize winners, including this year’s laureate, Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia.
It’s a matter of geopolitics, Lundestad explained. “It is always Norwegian policy to maintain a good relationship with the United States,” he said. “Russia is our neighbor, and we need a big friend.”
The Nobel Committee, under the terms of Alfred Nobel’s 1895 will, is made up of prominent Norwegians who share a particular worldview.
The resulting philosophy of “liberal internationalism” prioritizes globalist organizations over national governments and boosts ideas like arms control and environmentalism.
“To Norwegians it is almost as if the USA is split in two,” Lundestad writes. “A liberal and democratic country with which we feel solidarity and a conservative country for which we have little respect.”
Three of the four prize-winning American presidents have been Democrats: Obama, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter. The sole Republican is Theodore Roosevelt, who won it in 1906 as a progressive whose outlook bears little resemblance to that of today’s GOP.
Almost all of the other US honorees — such as Al Gore, Martin Luther King Jr. and anti-nuclear activist Linus Pauling — have been on the left end of our political spectrum. “The warmth of our relationship with the US is of course much higher with a left-of-center president,” Lundestad said.
Ronald Reagan was pointedly snubbed in 1990 when the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev won a solo Peace Prize for ending the Cold War.
“Gorbachev was not a true democrat, obviously,” Lundestad said — making him one of the committee’s most controversial picks. But Reagan’s peace-through-strength policies were so unpopular in Norway that a Nobel for him was unthinkable.
President Trump has been nominated for the prize by two Norwegian legislators — valid nominators, under committee rules — for his peace overtures to North Korea. But his “America First” ideology and aversion to globalism make him an equally unlikely candidate. “I probably will never get it,” Trump said in February. “I think I’ll get a Nobel Prize for a lot of things — if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t,” Trump complained again during September’s UN General Assembly.
It’s the one thing on which Lundestad and the president agree.
“I would be extremely surprised if Donald Trump ever received the Nobel Peace Prize,” Lundestad said. “He may say he wants to bring peace to the Middle East or the Korean Peninsula, but he has not accomplished anything,” he added. “And his policies do not fall into line with the ideas of liberal internationalism” — no matter how those efforts may turn out.

          

Book Claims Obama’s ‘Political Correctness’ Annoyed Top CIA Employees

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"Was there something the Trump folks could be doing better? One answer given was that in the last administration, everything was being run from the White House."
          

Le Calife, un film CIA entre fiction et réalité -- Manlio DINUCCI

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“Ça a été comme regarder un film”, a dit le président Trump après avoir assisté à l'élimination d'Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, le Calife chef de l'Isis (Daech), transmise dans la Salle de gestion des crises (Situation Room) de la Maison Blanche. C'est là qu'en 2011 le président Obama avait assisté à l'élimination de l'ennemi numéro un de l'époque, Oussama Ben Laden, chef d'Al Qaida.
Même mise en scène : les services secrets des EU avaient depuis longtemps localisé l'ennemi ; celui-ci n'est pas capturé mais éliminé. Ben (...)

Nos lecteurs proposent / ,

          

EPA Proposes to Roll Back 2015 Coal Ash Regulations

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EPA said it is modifying the 2015 CCR regulation “in order to promote increased recycling in infrastructure projects and other uses.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week that it will amend 2015 Obama-era regulations for the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) from electric utilities. The agency also plans to revise a portion of the regulations (known as effluent guidelines) affecting wastewater management from steam electric power plants.

The 2015 CCR rule required plants that burn coal to dispose of the fine powder and sludge using wastewater treatment technology in order to prevent about 1.4 billion pounds of coal ash from leaking into waterways, National Review reports.

Under Obama-era requirements from 2015, coal ash waste ponds that were seeping contaminants into groundwater would have had to close by April 2019. Under the latest revisions, utilities now have until August 31, 2020, to retrofit or close unlined ash ponds.

“Today’s proposed actions were triggered by court rulings and petitions for reconsideration on two 2015 rules that placed heavy burdens on electricity producers across the country,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement. “We are proposing both at the same time in order to provide more certainty to the American public. These proposed revisions support the Trump administration’s commitment to responsible, reasonable regulations by taking a commonsense approach, which also protects public health and the environment.”

In 2015, EPA promulgated a rule establishing a set of solid waste requirements for the management of coal combustion residuals, commonly known as coal ash, fly ash, bottom ash (BA), boiler slag and flue gas desulfurization (FGD) materials generated from coal-fired electricity utilities, in landfills and impoundments, along with inspection, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. In 2018, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned certain provisions of EPA’s 2015 final rule and remanded some provisions back to the agency.

In light of court rulings, the latest CCR rule proposal amends certain closure provisions in the regulations for the disposal of coal ash. This proposal is one of several planned revisions to provide what EPA calls “a clear and stable regulatory framework for coal ash management and disposal and address matters raised in litigation, legislation, petitions for reconsideration and rule implementation.”

In August, EPA proposed a regulation to address issues associated with piles of coal ash, which supports beneficial use. According to EPA, these beneficial use provisions will deliver additional benefits, including:

  • Reduced need for CCR disposal in landfills.
  • Reduced costs associated with coal ash disposal, increased revenue from the sale of coal ash and savings from using coal ash in place of other more costly materials.
  • Improved strength, durability and workability of materials that are used in wallboard and concrete and therefore the nation’s highways and infrastructure projects. Under certain circumstances, coal ash can be used as a direct substitute for Portland cement in the manufacturing of concrete, a stabilized base for highway road bed and for agricultural purposes.

EPA is proposing a modification to one of the criteria used to determine if coal ash is being beneficially used or would be considered disposal. Currently, when 12,400 tons or more of unencapsulated coal ash will be placed on the land in non-roadway applications, the user must perform an environmental demonstration. EPA is proposing to replace the numerical threshold for triggering an environmental demonstration with location-based criteria (e.g., placement in an unstable area, wetland, floodplain, fault area or seismic zone) derived from the existing requirements in the 2015 final rule.

“Although EPA is working on several regulatory proposals, the vast majority of the 2015 CCR rule remains in place, and its implementation continues,” according to EPA. “All units managing coal ash are required to monitor groundwater, publicly report the data and take action to address exceedances of the groundwater protection standards.”

However, environmental activists say the amendments to the 2015 rule will remove certain safeguards if the ash is dumped or spread for a "beneficial use," such as fill.

A Duke University study reports that allowing coal ash to be spread on soil or stored in unlined pits and landfills will raise the risk that several toxic elements could leach out of the coal ash and contaminate nearby water supplies across the U.S.

During an EPA public hearing on October 2, Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment who led Duke’s study, explained that the amendments “would considerably weaken the existing federal regulations and will result in higher risks to water resources and human health.” The study also notes that experiments suggest that when coal ash interacts with water—as it will if it is spread on soil or buried in soil without protective liners—there is extensive mobilization of arsenic, selenium and chromium, in the form of highly toxic hexavalent chromium.

The latest proposal addresses the deadline for initiating closure of all unlined surface impoundments containing coal ash and for impoundments located in close proximity to aquifers. It includes the following:

  • A new date of August 31, 2020, for facilities to stop placing waste into these units and either retrofit them or begin closure.
  • Revisions to the alternate closure provisions that would allow certain facilities additional time to develop alternate capacity to manage their waste streams (both coal ash and non-coal ash) before they must initiate closure of their surface impoundments.
  • A court mandated change in the classification of compacted-soil lined or clay-lined surface impoundments from “lined” to “unlined,” which means that clay-lined surface impoundments would no longer be considered lined units and will need to be retrofitted or comply with closure requirements. In addition, pursuant to the court’s decision, the revisions will specify that all unlined units are required to retrofit or close, not just those that have detected groundwater contamination above regulatory levels.

More information on EPA’s proposed CCR revisions is available here.

EPA is also seeking input on proposed revisions to its Steam Electric Power Plant Effluent Guidelines Rule issued in 2015.

Under the Clean Water Act, EPA establishes regulations that apply to categories of industrial wastewater dischargers. Known as Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Pretreatment Standards (ELGs), these regulations are technology based and protect public health and the environment by limiting wastewater discharges into surface waters and wastewater treatment plants.

In 2015, EPA issued a rule that established new ELGs for the nation’s steam electric power plants. That rule was subject to legal challenge, and the agency received multiple petitions for administrative reconsideration, including a request for reconsideration from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. In response, EPA undertook a rulemaking that changed the earliest compliance date in the 2015 rule from November 1, 2018, to November 1, 2020, to allow for reconsideration of the regulatory provisions.

After considering the issues raised by the petitioners, the agency began a rulemaking process to reconsider the 2015 ELGs for two specific waste streams produced by steam electric power plants: flue gas desulfurization wastewater and bottom ash transport water.

EPA said its latest proposal “would achieve greater pollution reductions than the 2015 rule, at a lower cost.” By leveraging newer and less costly pollution control technologies and taking a flexible, phased-in implementation approach, EPA said its proposal is estimated to save more than $175 million annually in pre-tax compliance costs while reducing the amount of pollutants discharged to the nation’s waters by approximately 105 million pounds per year over the 2015 rule.

According to the agency, the proposed rule would make key changes to the 2015 rule, including:

  • Changing the technology basis for treatment of FGD wastewater and BA transport water, which will result in cost savings for utilities and ratepayers.
  • Establishing new compliance dates, which will result in near-term costs savings for utilities and ratepayers and provide greater flexibility to identify and install pollution control technologies.
  • Revising the voluntary incentives program for FGD wastewater.
  • Adding subcategories for high-flow facilities, low-utilization units and facilities nearing retirement.

More information on EPA’s proposed ELG revisions is available here.

EPA seeks comment on both proposals through two concurrent 60-day public comment periods, during which one virtual public hearing will be held for each rule.


          

Former Obama Officials Rally Behind Biden as He Trails Top Rivals in Money Race

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WASHINGTON — In a flex of establishment muscle, a slew of former Obama administration officials came out on Wednesday to support Joe Biden’s Democratic U.S. presidential bid at a time when he is...
          

Tea Party Fairness: How the Idea of Proportional Justice Explains the Right-Wing Populism of the Obama Era

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Ekins, Emily Elisabeth ProQuest Dissertations and Theses 01 Jan 2015

Formats: Citation/Abstract

          

Message aux activistes: comment vraiment changer le monde?

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«Si tout ce que vous faites c’est jeter des pierres, vous n’irez pas loin. Vous n’allez pas changer le monde», disait Barack Obama.

L’article Message aux activistes: comment vraiment changer le monde? est apparu en premier sur FrenchWeb.fr.


          

CNS' Syria Withdrawal Coverage Becomes A Little Less Pro-Trump

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CNSNews.com's interest in defending President Trump over withdrawing U.S. troops from northern Syria, thereby permitting Turkey to attack the Kurds that once were U.S. allies, has waned as the media in general has lost interest in the story.

On Oct. 21, Patrick Goodenough detailed a backtracking on Trump's withdrawal (though, of course, he didn't call it that): "As U.S. troops are being redeployed from Syria to western Iraq, there were indications at the weekend that President Trump may be prepared to leave a residual force across the border in eastern Syria, in a bid to keep a lid on ISIS and help to ensure that oilfields in the area to not fall into hands of the Iranians, whose forces are in Syria to bolster Bashar Assad’s regime." The same day, James Carstensen touted a German plan to create an "internationally controlled security zone" in Syria.

More stuff came in over the next couple days:

  • Goodenough reported on a "bipartisan Senate bill" seeking to move U.S. military operations out of Turkey .
  • Dimitri Simes reported on a Turkish pact with Russia to attack the Kurds.
  • Goodenough went for the default pro-Trump narrative by highlighting how "The U.S. special envoy for the Syrian conflict pushed back Tuesday on the charge that, had President Trump not pulled back a small number of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria this month, Turkish forces would not have crossed the border to attack Syrian Kurdish fighters."
  • A follow-up story by Goodenough reported how "Russian troops rolled into Kobane in northeastern Syria on Wednesday, on a mission to oversee the withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish fighters and their weapons from the area in line with an agreement reached by the Russian and Turkish presidents a day earlier."
  • Goodenough also repeated an attack line from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Obama administration "invited" the Russians to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war by having "them come in and pretend to be chemical weapons inspectors."

CNS then turned the narrative to the U.S. trying to capture Syrian oil:

Then things flipped back to Goodenough making Turkey the bad guy:

Meanwhile, CNS did publish an op-ed by conservatives Ken Blackwell and david Phillips asserting that "Turkey is practicing genocide again" in northern Syria and that "by allowing ethnic cleansing to remove the Kurds from northern Syria, the U.S. may be seen as an accomplice to Erdogan’s war crimes." But it also published a couple of pieces by managing editor Michael W. Chapman trying to retroactively justify Trump's withdrawal by dismissing the Kurds as terrorists and, perhaps even worse, a bunch of commies.

In the first, on Oct. 23, Chapman ranted:

Although many liberal news outlets and some politicians have described President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria as a “betrayal” of the Kurds, our allies in fighting against ISIS in the region, it is important to note that the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, is a “Marxist-Leninist separatist organization” that was designated as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” by the U.S. State Department in October 1997.

The next day, Chapman served up a somewhat altered version of the first article that walked back that one a bit:

Although many liberal news outlets have described President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria as a “betrayal” of the Kurds -- our allies in the fight against ISIS -- the Kurds who make up the People's Protection Units (YPG), are a direct offshoot of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in Turkey, which was designated a terrorist organization in 1997.

This does not apply to all the Kurds in Syria but specifically to those in the YPG.

But as actual foreign policy experts point out, the links between the PKK and the YPG are not as clear-cut as Chapman portrays them; the YPG denies direct links with the PKK though there is some overlap and shared goals. Perhaps Chapman can write another article walking back things a bit more.


          

It's about identity: Kemp points the way from Obamacare to Georgia Pathways

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By coincidence, the two-part big reveal of Georgia Pathways, Gov. Brian Kemp’s healthcare proposal, was sandwiched around Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s announcement of her healthcare plan, if you can imagine a sandwich with meat that thick and bread that thin.

The post It's about identity: Kemp points the way from Obamacare to Georgia Pathways appeared first on SaportaReport.


          

McDonald's CEO's ouster reflects trend on workplace romances

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Workplace couples are often romanticized — think Bill and Melinda Gates or Michelle and Barack Obama . But when the relationship involves two people with unequal power, it can also be fraught with ...
          

Obama To the Cancel Culture: 'Get Over Your PC Judgmentalism'

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 Former President Barack Obama made a rare foray into the cultural conversation this week, objecting to the prevalence of “call-out culture” and “wokeness” during an interview about youth activism at the Obama Foundation summit on Tuesday, in Chicago. Fox News and other independent media carried the message quickly, but it took two or more days for other outlets to discover this speech. We wish to commend the ordinarily unreliable editors of the New York Times for finally publi [...]
          

US notifies UN of its withdrawal from Paris climate accord

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The United States has formally notified the United Nations of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The notification begins a one-year process of exiting the global climate change accord, culminating the day after the 2020 US election. The agreement brought together 188 nations to combat climate change. Announcing the plan last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the agreement had imposed an “unfair economic burden” on the United States. The Paris agreement committed the US and 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures below 2C above pre-industrial levels and attempting to limit them even more, to a 1.5C rise. The decision to withdraw – taken by President Donald Trump – made the US the world’s sole non-signatory and prompted high-level efforts by the European Union to keep the agreement on track. A report issued in December 2018 by the Institute of International and European Affairs suggested President Trump’s decision to leave had done “very real damage” to the Paris agreement, creating “moral and political cover for others to follow suit”. The report cited the examples of Russia and Turkey, which both declined to ratify the deal despite signing. The US issued its formal notification on the first day it was possible to do so, firing the starting gun on the long process of extricating the country from the 2015 agreement. The withdrawal is still subject to the outcome of next year’s US presidential election – if Mr Trump loses, the winner may decide to change course. But scientists and environmentalists fear the effect the Trump administration will have on climate protections in the meantime. It has conducted what critics have called a seek-and-destroy mission against US environmental legislation. Mr Trump promised to turn the US into an energy superpower, and has attempted to sweep away a raft of pollution legislation to reduce the cost of producing gas, oil, and coal. He characterised former US President Barack Obama’s environmental clean-up plans as a war on American energy. Announcing his decision to withdraw, last year, Mr Trump said: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris. I promised I would exit or re-negotiate any deal which fails to serve America’s interests.” But reports suggest the Trump administration made no effort to renegotiate the Paris agreement, waiting instead until the first possible day to exit. The US contributes about 15 per cent of global emissions of carbon, but it is also a significant source of finance and technology for developing countries in their efforts to fight rising temperatures. What was agreed in Paris? Climate change, or global warming, refers to the damaging effect of gases, or emissions, released from industry and agriculture on the atmosphere. The Paris accord is meant to limit the global rise in temperature attributed to emissions. Countries agreed to: Keep global temperatures “well below” the level of 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C Limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100 Review each country’s contribution to cutting emissions every five years so they scale up to the challenge Enable rich countries to help poorer nations by providing “climate finance” to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy

The post US notifies UN of its withdrawal from Paris climate accord appeared first on BBF World News.


          

Obama Presidential Center Renderings

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The Obama Foundation has revealed updated renderings for the Obama Presidential Center (OPC), the project designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) for a site in Jackson Park on Chicago's South Side...



          

CIA staff complained about Obama White House's political correctness, new book claims

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A new book claims that top CIA employees have compared President Trump favorably to his predecessor, indicating that former President Barack Obama's administration micromanaged intelligence matters and was too concerned with political correctness. The revelation comes in commentator Doug Wead's new book "Inside Trump's White House: The Real Story of His Presidency," which is set for release on Nov.

(foxnews.com)


          

Fake ransomware named after Donald Trump tries to trick victims out of a buck

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Donald Trump can add ransomware to the list of things named after him, thanks to scammers who again have demonstrated how current events create opportunities to steal data. Security researchers from Cisco’s Talos threat intelligence team on Tuesday published findings explaining how hackers are using the likeness of the president, his predecessor and other political figures to dupe victims into paying up. Numerous ransomware attacks, screenlockers and remote access trojans are named after Trump, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin. It’s the latest evidence that digital miscreants will use any trending topics to woo potential victims. “One of the unexpected aspects of the investigation was the presence of lures that dropped malware associated with multiple nation-state attacks in the past, showing how even advanced, sophisticated adversaries will use any means to achieve their nefarious goals,” researchers wrote. The scammers’ emails mention the world leaders to catch victims’ attention, or […]

The post Fake ransomware named after Donald Trump tries to trick victims out of a buck appeared first on CyberScoop.


          

Hijo de Trump revela identidad del supuesto informante de presiones a Ucrania

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Donald Trump Jr., el hijo mayor del presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, divulgó este miércoles el supuesto nombre del informante que reveló las presiones del mandatario a Ucrania para investigar al exvicepresidente Joseph Biden.

Trump Jr. citó en Twitter un artículo del diario conservador Breitbart News que señala que el informante trabajó en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca bajo la Presidencia de Barack Obama (2009-2017) y que ahora es empleado de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA).

La revelación se produce d

...

Más información en El Siglo de Torreón


          

Harvard Law School traces its origins to an Antiguan slave owner. Now the country wants reparations. (WaPo)

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Harvard Law School must answer.

HLS produces some stellar graduates, like:

  • my finest law professor Robert C. Banks, Jr. (who refused to list his Harvard LL.M. degree on our graduation programs for years, preferring to say only, "J.D., University of Arkansas," on the basis he spent three years at Arkansas and only one year at Harvard);
  • Charles P. Rippey, USDOL Administrative Law Judge, the first judge for whom I clerked;
  • HLS' first African-American Harvard Law Review Editor (Barack Obama).
Neither Memphis Law Professor Bob Banks nor our 44th President Barack Obama have ever been described as snooty -- far from it.

There are many fine HLS graduates who have humbly dedicated their entire careersto public service, like Judge Rippey, and including my boyhood hero, Senate Watergate Committee Chair Sam J. Ervin, Jr. of Morgangon, N.C., who humbly described himself as "just an old country lawyer."

But far too many HLS graduates are snooty corporate thugs, hired knife-throwers, leading meaningless lives of privilege for our oppressors.

HLS has been a tool of wicked evil corporations since its founding by slave owner money.

They are all of a size (extra small), not unlike the two (2) HLS graduates I defeated in Seater v. Southern California Edison. Co., 95-ERA-13.  When one was at the podium during our trial, he asked his estimable colleague for a glass of water; his colleague refused to give it to him.  Senior Special Agent Robert E. Tyndall (Retired EPA, FBI and HUD) was in the courtroom and observed this curious behavior and reported it to me during recess -- obviously, one of the two HLS graduates was "not a 'team player.'"

The fact that slave owners' money started HLS speaks volumes.

Today, slaves have debts, not chains, and our government is owned by the Wall Street Oligarchy of Cosmic Plunderers, whose greed puts the future of our planet at risk.

Due to its blood-stained history, HLS must enact reforms, just as my undergraduate school, Georgetown University, has done.

Fitting reparations might be to provide HLS clinical assistance to Antigua for its people, to help them navigate the legal system, which is too often biased in favor of the wealthy, worldwide.

From The Washington Post:







In this Nov. 19, 2002, photo, students walk through the Harvard Law School area on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.  (Chitose Suzuki/AP)
In this Nov. 19, 2002, photo, students walk through the Harvard Law School area on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. (Chitose Suzuki/AP)
By
November 6, 2019 at 6:08 a.m. EST





In an urgently worded letter recently sent to Harvard, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne demanded that the university pay his country reparations “for the gains Harvard enjoyed at the expense” of Antiguan slaves.
Browne’s Oct. 30 letter to Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow — reported Tuesday night by the Miami Herald and Harvard Crimson — draws a direct line from Harvard Law School’s success today to the oppression of Antiguans enslaved by a Massachusetts-based plantation owner in the Colonial era.





That plantation owner was Isaac Royall Jr. — the wealthy benefactor of Harvard’s very first law professorship in 1815, whose name is still attached to Harvard’s distinguished Royall Professor of Law position today.
“We consider Harvard’s failure to acknowledge its obligations to Antigua and the stain it bears from benefiting from the blood of our people as shocking if not immoral,” Browne wrote.
Browne’s request for reparations comes as numerous universities across the United States, including Harvard, have sought to reckon with their enduring ties to the chattel slavery economy. Last month, Princeton Theological Seminary pledged $27 million in reparations, in the form of scholarships and other initiatives to assist descendants of slaves; in September the Virginia Theological Seminary also created a $1.7 million reparations fund.
Though the university hasn’t committed to reparations, Harvard also has taken steps to extensively research and acknowledge its ties to slavery, particularly related to Royall. Under pressure from students, Harvard Corporation decided in 2016 to retire the Harvard Law School shield, which bore the Royall family coat of arms. And in 2017 the university erected a stone memorial and plaque honoring “the enslaved whose labor created wealth that made possible the founding of Harvard Law School.”
But to Browne, the acknowledgment has not been enough. The university, Browne wrote, has failed to take steps to make more concrete amends with Antigua through reparations. He claimed the university has ignored Antiguan officials’ past requests to begin discussing how reparations could work. He suggested in his letter that Harvard could offer financial assistance to the University of the West Indies campus in Antigua and Barbuda.
“Reparation from Harvard would compensate for its development on the backs of our people,” Browne wrote. “Reparation is not aid; it is not a gift; it is compensation to correct the injustices of the past and restore equity. Harvard should be in the forefront of this effort.”
Harvard spokesman Jason Newton provided Bacow’s Tuesday response letter to Browne. Newton noted Wednesday morning that while Bacow did not respond to a 2018 letter from the Antigua and Barbuda ambassador, a Harvard official did respond to a 2016 letter, which described Harvard’s efforts to confront slavery.
Neither the 2016 letter nor Tuesday’s addresses the core request from Antigua and Barbuda: reparations.
“We recognize that there is more work to be done,” Bacow wrote Tuesday. “Indeed, Harvard is determined to take additional steps to explore this institution’s historical relationship with slavery and the challenging moral questions that arise when confronting past injustices and their legacies."
Bacow did not specify what the additional steps would be. Browne had requested a meeting between representatives from Harvard and Antigua and Barbuda, but in his letter, Bacow does not say whether he would be open to facilitating such a meeting.
The story of the Royall family begins at the turn of the 18th century, when Isaac Royall Sr. sailed to the West Indies and settled on the island of Antigua to make a living in the lucrative, slave-fueled sugar trade. The son of a carpenter, Royall Sr. had few prospects in the British colony of Massachusetts before moving to the island, according to a 2011 report, “Harvard and Slavery: Seeking a Forgotten History.”
But after purchasing stake in a slave ship named the “Mayflower,” Royall Sr. quickly began to amass his wealth, eventually earning enough to start his own sugar cane plantation in Antigua. That’s where his son, Isaac Royall Jr. — the namesake of Harvard’s first professorship — was born in 1719.
The family wouldn’t stay forever. By the 1720s and ’30s, disastrous hurricanes and earthquakes struck the island, drought left many slaves dying of starvation, and disease and infection ― flourishing among slaves performing the backbreaking work of chopping sugar cane — caused countless other Antiguan deaths, according to the 2015 book, “On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century.”
As a result, Royall Sr. began planning his return to Medford, Mass., as early as 1732. He was finally pushed over the edge after the failed 1736 slave revolt, according to the book.
The bloody event, the authors of “On the Battlefield of Merit” say, is part of Harvard Law’s history too.
“The oldest and arguably the most distinguished chair in American legal education is Harvard’s Royall Professorship of Law. … But it is a historical fact that this chair is directly linked to a slave revolt on the Island of Antigua in 1736,” wrote Harvard Law School professor Daniel R. Coquillette and Ohio State University professor Bruce A. Kimball.
To plan the revolt, years in advance, about 2,000 slaves gathered in a forest to prepare to overthrow the white government, the professors reported, citing testimony from an 18th century British inquiry. Slaves in Antigua outnumbered white men four to one in 1723, according to Coquillette and Kimball’s research. But the alleged revolt conspiracy was never carried out. It instead resulted in the brutal executions of 88 enslaved Antiguans — including the Royall family’s head slave, who was burned at the stake, according to the professors.
The Royalls returned to Medford, Mass., in 1737 and brought their Antiguan slaves with them to work their new 540-acre farm. Royall Jr. inherited much of his father’s wealth, at least 18 slaves and land in both Massachusetts and Antigua following his father’s death, according to the “Harvard and Slavery” report. He became a popular statesman in the Massachusetts legislature and in local government — but following the outbreak of the American Revolution, he fled to England, according to “On the Battlefield of Merit.”
In exile, Royall Jr. penned his will in 1778 — in which he awarded the “gift to Harvard College that was to ensure Royall’s lasting fame,” Coquillette and Kimball wrote. He gave the college more than 800 acres of land, which he specified should “be appropriated towards the endowing a Professor of Laws in said Colledge, or a Professor of Physick and Anatomy” — whichever the college thought was best, Royall Jr. wrote.
In 1815, nearly 25 years after the slave owner’s death, Harvard used the proceeds from Royall Jr.'s gift to create the law professorship, establishing the foundation of today’s Harvard Law School.
“The bequest to Harvard came from the proceeds of the plantation in Antigua and from the exploitation and sale of human beings that Royall regarded as chattel,” Browne wrote in his letter. “Professor Janet Halley, on assumption of the Royall Professorship in 2006, was right to acknowledge in her inaugural address that Isaac Royall’s slaves ‘are intrinsically bound, if you will, to the grant that established the Royall Chair.’ ”
Antigua and Barbuda, which celebrated the 38th anniversary of its independence from Britain on Nov. 1, has been working with the Caribbean Reparations Commission for the last several years to make the “moral, ethical and legal case for the payment of reparations by the governments of all the former colonial powers and the relevant institutions of those countries.”
Browne said that Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the United States, Sir Ronald Sanders, wrote to Bacow to press the issue in November 2018. At that time, Sanders pointed out that “the reputation Harvard enjoys internationally is intertwined with the dark legacy of Royall’s Antigua slaves who died in oppression, uncompensated for their lives in slavery and their death in cruelty.” Sanders sought a “genuine effort” from Harvard to begin working toward reparations.
But Sanders received no response, Browne said.


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Meagan Flynn is a reporter on The Washington Post's Morning Mix team. She was previously a reporter at the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Press.


          

Qual é a cor do cabelo das executivas bem-sucedidas?

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Michelle Obama (Foto:  Jim Bennett / Colaborador // Getty Images)

 

Uma executiva compartilhou um artigo curioso comigo. O texto falava que, apesar de apenas 2% da população ser naturalmente loiro, metade das presidentes femininas das grandes empresas e a maioria das mulheres nos altos escalões da política são loiras.

“Você acha que devo tingir meu cabelo para virar loira também?”, ela me perguntou.

Eu pensei que ela estava brincando: uma mulher mulata, bonita, autoconfiante, com ótimas credenciais e muito sucesso profissional, não iria gastar seu tempo com algo tão trivial.

Obviamente o problema não era a cor do cabelo.

Ela confessou que, na verdade, estava nervosa a respeito de sua participação futura em um vídeo corporativo. Por não ser loira como “aquelas mulheres bonitas e bem-sucedidas,” como ela seria percebida pelos funcionários da empresa?

“Veja o exemplo da Michelle Obama. Quais são as caraterísticas mais atraentes dela? Seu cabelo? A cor da pele? A sua roupa?", disse a ela.

“A atitude, a personalidade, a auto-confiança e a inteligência”, respondeu a executiva. Ela entendeu o que eu queria dizer.

Essa interação me fez refletir sobre a importância da representatividade e as dificuldades sociológicas enfrentadas pelas pessoas que nunca veem alguém como elas nos cargos de liderança.

Sendo uma mulher branca (e loira), nunca pensaria em algo como a cor de cabelo como um símbolo de pertencimento a um grupo de sucesso. Entretanto, como uma mulher, estou extremamente ciente da escassez de modelos variados de sucesso.

Faça um experimento intelectual e escreva “líder de sucesso” no Google. Na maioria dos resultados, aparece uma imagem de homem branco com terno e gravata.

Quando é preciso citar um líder inovador, sempre aparecem os mesmos nomes: Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg etc. Recentemente ressurgiu o nome de Elizabeth Holmes (mais uma loira), da Theranos, mas num contexto de empreendedora que se perdeu e cometeu fraude.

Temos uma visão extremamente estereotipada sobre as características que tornam uma pessoa um bom executivo ou executiva, e continuamos perpetuar o mito do gênio abusivo como um modelo certo de liderança. Temos que mudar isso aí.

+ A pergunta que as empresas devem parar de fazer às mulheres em entrevistas de emprego

*Miriam Grobman ajuda líderes de empresas de grande porte e startups criar culturas mais eficazes e fortalecer suas lideranças femininas. Ela também desenvolve programas de liderança para mulheres de alto potencial

 


          

Comment on Dreams Of My ‘Caliphate’ by byronmullet

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Obama wasn't duped, he was all in for treason to advance Islam. Now we need to be all in for prosecuting him for it.
          

Comment on Islamic State Tells Muslims to Set Forest Fires in U.S., Europe by ladywarrior

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....which brings to mind that Indiana and other areas of the country are fighting TB brought in by the "refugees" that is stronger than anything we've seen before. Obama knew they had TB and let them in anyway. Back in the day if you showed up at Ellis or other points of entry and you had TB or anything else ...you were denied entry. Not under Obama.
          

Comment on Islamic State Tells Muslims to Set Forest Fires in U.S., Europe by CharlieSeattle

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The Saudi's have bribed Congress and our Presidents for decades. G Bush, Clinton, W Bush, Obama and now Trump, all on their knees suckling at the well.
          

Samsung i IBM najavili sigurnosnu platformu koju pokreću IBM Cloud, umjetna inteligencija i 5G

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Samsung i IBM najavili sigurnosnu platformu koju pokreću IBM Cloud, umjetna inteligencija i 5G

San Jose / Zagreb (Samsung Developer Conference), 30. listopada, 2019.

Samsung i IBM najavili sigurnosnu platformu koju pokreću IBM Cloud, umjetna inteligencija i 5G

Zajedničke inovacije koje vladama i tvrtkama pomažu poboljšati sigurnost korisnika

Sa ciljem kreiranja najnovijih mobilnih rješenja, tvrtka Samsung Electronics je u suradnji s IBM-om razvila zajedničku platformu koja koristi IBM Cloud i mogućnosti umjetne inteligencije. „Mobilna industrija transformira postojeće i otvara nove načine poslovanja dovodeći u poduzeća inovativne tehnologije poput 5G tehnologije, IoT i umjetne inteligencije. Veliko nam je zadovoljstvo pokrenuti digitalnu transformaciju za naše poslovne korisnike u 5G eri pomoću IBM-ovih i Samsungovih mobilnih uređaja i povezanih usluga.“, rekao je DJ Koh, predsjednik i izvršni direktor Odjela za IT i mobilne komunikacije Samsung Electronics.


Platforma koja omogućuje pravovremenu reakciju u hitnim slučajevima

Prema podacima Međunarodne organizacije rada, gotovo 3 milijuna smrtnih slučajeva svake godine uzrokuju profesionalne nesreće pa vlade i tvrtke imaju sve veću potrebu za izgradnjom sustava za praćenje zdravstvenih stanja radnika. Izgrađena na IBM Cloud-u, nova će platforma poboljšati radno okruženje policijskim službenicima, vatrogascima i ostalim osobama koje pružaju prvu pomoć te im omogućiti da pravovremeno reagiraju u situacijama koje zahtijevaju neposrednu pozornost. Tako će, primjerice, moći pratiti vitalna stanja poput otkucaja srca i fizičkih aktivnosti te reagirati u slučaju iscrpljenosti ili opasnosti od srčanog udara.

Suradnja Samsunga i IBM-a u različitim industrijama

Zahvaljujući ovoj suradnji spojene su IBM-ove inovacije u oblaku i Samsung Galaxy ekosustav, što uključuje Galaxy tablete, mobilne uređaje i pametne satove. Ova platforma omogućuje korištenje Samsung Galaxy uređaja u različitim okruženjima i vremenskim uvjetima, poput onih s kojima se susreću vojnici, zaposlenici elektrana te radnici u rudnicima. Kako bi iskoristile najbolje od onoga što nude, tvrtke Samsung Electronics i IBM surađuju u različitim industrijskim sektorima, poput zdravstva, energetike i financija. Također, digitalizacijom prerađivačke industrije, ovo partnerstvo postavlja temelj za automatizaciju tvornica koje postaju učinkovite i produktivne uz napredne mrežne usluge i 5G. Programeri mogu pristupiti platformi i tehnologiji koja stoji iza nje te nadograditi mogućnosti koje će unaprijediti aktivnosti vezane uz proizvodnju, obranu i maloprodaju.


          

Letter to the Editor: Trump's al-Baghdadi diatribe was cringe-worthy

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Portland Press Herald - I'm moved to comment having watched the president Sunday morning elaborating on the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi that had already been reported. With the mute button on, I monitored the screen while reading the newspaper in hopes of returning to CBS' sane and civilized "Sunday Morning." No luck. Not with Trump ? and certainly not with WGME, huh? It's been noted that his predecessor, President Obama, upon the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, took just 9 minutes to simply advise the country of the event. No braggadocio, no chest-thumping. No "If it wasn't for me ?" But that was when we had a commander-in-chief worthy of respect. Trump's 40-minute diatribe, as if he were personally directing the operation, wasn't. Sophomorically mimicking al-Baghdadi's [apparent] final words was childish ? cringe-worthy. Later that evening, D.C. and Texas baseball fans vividly demonstrated their displeasure along with most of the country. As is his wont, Trump watched the whole operation on TV ?
          

Why is Nidal Hasan still alive?

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As of yesterday, it has been a decade since the Fort Hood massacre. In Strategy Page, Austin Bay writes,
Vice President Mike Pence deserves praise for not only remembering the national horror but also personally showing up and speaking out at Fort Hood, Texas, the scene of the Nov. 5, 2009, terrorist massacre that killed 13 American soldiers and citizens.

It has been a decade since that terrorist attack on U.S. soil by a self-identified Islamic terrorist and American traitor. Ten years on and only a damnable trickle of mainstream media bother to reflect on this horror. In terms of mainstream printers, TV images and internet pixels, this savage outrage has been ... briefly mentioned, barely touched.

For the record, the terrorist who perpetrated the massacre is still alive, on death row in the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, military prison.

...Former Army major and psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan made Fort Hood a domestic battlefield. He killed 13 people and wounded over 30 more before a policeman wounded him. Fourteen dead is arguably a more accurate toll, since the unborn child of a pregnant victim died when she died. This is a forensic fact.

What spurred Hasan's treason? From the get-go, non-benighted humans identified Islamic jihadi ideology as the psycho-political insanity guiding his crime. Hasan had known contact with terrorist recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki. But the FBI did not investigate the warnings signaling Hasan's Islamic conversion. An official who recommended the FBI investigate was told an interview was "politically sensitive."

Really? Sensitive to whom?

Answer: the boss of the FBI, then-President Barack Obama. Obama initially called the Fort Hood attack "tragic events" and "violence in the workplace." Words matter. Obama insistently ignored evidence indicating that violent Islamic dogma spurred Hasan. It took Obama six years -- till 2015, well after the 2012 election -- to call the massacre a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Obama decided his political survival trumped the welfare of the soldiers he commanded.
Read more here.
          

Comment on Warren unveils health plan: $20 trillion, no middle class tax hike by RE

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Where to begin? The projected cost is too low, the projected revenue is too low, and Warren apparently learned nothing from the failure called Obamacare. No, we did NOT save $2,500. No we could NOT keep our doctor, and could NOT keep our plan. Maybe if Warren and Congress hadn't exempted themselves they'd know this! More government bureaucracy is the wrong way to go, on so many levels. Shame on anyone who supports this fiasco.
          

White House Petition Focuses on Parental Rights

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NEWS PROVIDED BY ParentalRights.org Nov. 5, 2019   WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2019 /Standard Newswire/ -- A new petition at WhiteHouse.gov would call on President Trump to urge Congress to take up a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.   According to the website program first launched by President Obama, any petition that amasses 100,000 signatures in its first 30 days will receive a response from the Administration. This parental rights petition, which launched on Octob Source: ParentalRights.org
          

6Nov19 Soylent Green New Deal: Newest Eco-Propaganda (Full Show)

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*00:14:10 Alarmists bring back "overpopulation". A look back at how it began, how it started China's one-child policy, the lies, false prophecies & failed models of "climate scientists" *00:32:07 Liberal women who hate children & demand YOU not have any *00:42:27 Fit entire world's population in Texas? How about a handful of giant SmartCities? *00:56:28 ABC (Always Betting on Clintons) - spins their Epstein coverup *01:14:10 Internal Passports about to roll out USA *01:26:55 Police blow out woman's eye with pepper spray; another fights arrest for medical marijuana & wins *01:33:31 Was slaughter of innocent mothers & their young children tied to NXIVM sex cult? *01:46:48 John Rappoport, NoMoreFakeNews.com, joins to explain 5 horrible things Obama did that corporate media & political establishment had NO problem with.
          

AP Analysis: Activity at Iran's nuclear site raises risks

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Ten years ago while flanked by the leaders of Britain and France, then-President Barack Obama revealed to the world that Iran had built a "covert uranium enrichment facility" amid tensions with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.

A decade later, Iran's Fordo facility is back in the news as Iran prepared Wednesday to inject uranium gas into the more than 1,000 centrifuges there to pressure the world after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from Tehran's nuclear deal.

The resumption of nuclear activity at Fordo pushes the risk of a wider confrontation involving Iran even higher after months of attacks across the Middle East that the U.S. blames on Tehran. Israel, which has carried out pre-emptive airstrikes on its adversaries' nuclear programs in the past, also is repeating a warning that it will not allow Iran to have atomic weapons.

Tehran, which maintains its program is peaceful, is gambling that its own maximum pressure campaign will be enough to push Europe to offer it a way to sell Iranian crude oil abroad despite U.S. sanctions

Activity at Fordo, just north of the Shiite holy city of Qom, remains a major concern for nuclear nonproliferation experts. Buried under a mountain and protected by anti-aircraft batteries, Fordo appears designed to withstand airstrikes. Its construction began at least in 2007, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, although Iran only informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog about the facility in 2009.

"As a result of the augmentation of the threats of military attacks against Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to establish contingency centers for various organizations and activities," Iran wrote in a letter to the IAEA.

Satellite images, however, suggest construction at the Fordo site as early as between 2002 and...


          

Radical Spawn Chesa Boudin: Nation’s Most Toxic DA Candidate   

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Michelle Malkin {townhall.com } ~ Socialist commie-Bernie Sanders just endorsed the bleeding-heart candidate for San Francisco District Attorney who makes President scumbag/liar-nObama’s Attorney General, scumbag-Eric Holder, look like Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Meet Chesa Boudin. He’s the Bay Area public defender and former shill/translator for the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez who plans to turn the…
          

Saturday ~ thefrontpagecover

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Who’s Putting Who in Chains? By Daren Williams{americanthinker.com } ~ It was in August, 2012, during the final months of the scumbag/liar-nObama reelection campaign, when then-Vice President loose lips liar-Joe Biden made the ham-fisted statement to a Danville… Virginia crowd which included many black Americans, that rino-Mitt Romney would, “put y’all back in chains,” by…
          

La investigación de juicio político a Trump, a punto de ver la luz

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Washington, 6 nov. (EFE).- Una nueva fase de la investigación en la Cámara Baja al presidente de EE.UU., Donald Trump, se abrirá la próxima semana con audiencias públicas, en vez de a puerta cerrada, como ha sido hasta ahora; mientras que aumenta la presión para desvelar la identidad del informante que destapó el caso de Ucrania, cuyo supuesto nombre reveló este miércoles un hijo del mandatario.

El presidente del Comité de Inteligencia de la Cámara Baja, el demócrata Adam Schiff, señaló a la prensa en el Capitolio que 'las audiencias públicas darán una oportunidad al pueblo estadounidense de evaluar por sí mismo a los testigos y su credibilidad, pero también de conocer de primera mano los hechos de la negligencia que ha cometido el presidente'.

Varios comités de la Cámara de Representantes, de mayoría progresista, desarrollan desde septiembre una investigación con vistas a abrir un juicio político a Trump por haber presionado a su homólogo ucraniano, Vladímir Zelenski, durante una llamada telefónica en julio en la que le pidió que investigara a su rival político, el exvicepresidente Joe Biden, y a su hijo Hunter por presunta corrupción en Ucrania.

Por el momento, los testigos que comparecerán en público la próxima semana, ya lo han hecho en privado ante los legisladores.

Las audiencias públicas comenzará el miércoles, 13 de noviembre, con el testimonio del embajador interino de EE.UU. en Ucrania, Bill Taylor, y del subsecretario de Estado adjunto encargado de la política hacia el país europeo, George Kent; mientras que dos días después lo hará Marie Yovanovitch, quien hasta mayo fue la embajadora de EE.UU. en Ucrania.

En su primera comparecencia, el mes pasado, Yovanovitch denunció que Trump presionó para expulsarla de su cargo; y Kent apuntó que un superior le pidió que mantuviera un perfil bajo después de que expresara su preocupación sobre los esfuerzos del abogado personal de Trump, Rudy Giuliani, para influenciar a Ucrania para que indagara sobre los Biden.

Por su parte, Taylor reconoció ante los legisladores que el embajador de EE.UU. ante la Unión Europea, Gordon Sondland, le había dicho que Trump retuvo asistencia de su país a Ucrania para presionarla para que iniciara una indagación contra Biden.

Precisamente este miércoles, el Congreso hizo pública la transcripción de la declaración de Taylor, en la que se lee que el diplomático explicó a los congresistas que tenía 'un claro entendimiento' de que la ayuda militar de EE.UU. a Ucrania no se entregaría a menos que Kiev iniciara una investigación contra los Biden que podría beneficiar políticamente a Trump.

En sus declaraciones a la prensa, Schiff destacó que cada vez ven 'más claro qué ocurrió exactamente este año y el grado hasta el que el presidente reclutó a departamentos enteros del Gobierno con el fin ilícito de conseguir que Ucrania sacara trapos sucios de un rival político y (potenciara) más teorías conspiratorias sobre las elecciones de 2016'.

Los demócratas no han establecido un calendario concreto para culminar su investigación, que seguramente terminará en un voto en el pleno de la Cámara Baja para ver si se autoriza un juicio político contra Trump, que se desarrollaría en el Senado, de mayoría republicana.

Mientras, la presión se ha intensificado en los últimos días por parte del propio presidente y de sus partidarios para que se identifique al informante anónimo que llamó la atención en una queja presentada en agosto sobre la conversación de Trump con Zelenski, lo que motivó la apertura de la investigación para un posible 'impeachment' (juicio político).

Este miércoles, el hijo mayor del presidente, Donald Trump Jr., dio un paso más e identificó en Twitter al supuesto informante.

Trump Jr. citó un artículo del diario conservador Breitbart News que señala que el denunciante trabajó en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca bajo la Presidencia de Barack Obama (2009-2017) y que ahora es empleado de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA).

Uno de los abogados del informante, Mark Zaid, evitó confirmar o desmentir la revelación de Trump Jr. y advirtió en un comunicado de que 'identificar cualquier nombre del informante pone a ese individuo y su familia en riesgo de daño serio'. EFE


          

Yuval Noah Harari: 'Trump es un líder antinacionalista'

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Sao Paulo, 6 nov (EFE).- El historiador israelí Yuval Noah Harari criticó este miércoles al presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, por ser un 'líder antinacionalista' y 'ampliar intencionadamente la ruptura' dentro de la sociedad estadounidense, 'escampando amenazas de odio hacia los extranjeros y las minorías'.

De esta manera se expresó el autor de superventas como 'Sapiens: Una breve Historia de la Humanidad' y '21 lecciones para el siglo XXI' durante la segunda edición del proyecto Cidadão Global, una iniciativa del Banco Santander y el periódico Valor Económico que tuvo lugar en el Teatro Santander de Sao Paulo.

Durante su discurso, Harari señaló que la singularidad de las naciones modernas es que 'encuentran la manera de hacer que la gente se preocupe por personas que nunca conocieron y lugares donde nunca fueron', una idea que le permitió conectar dos conceptos que a menudo se presentan como opuestos: nacionalismo y globalización.

En este sentido, Harari criticó al presidente Trump, por autoproclamarse un 'buen patriota' y 'escampar amenazas de odio hacia los extranjeros y las minorías'.

'Los antinacionalistas, en vez de fortalecer la unidad nacional, intencionadamente amplían la ruptura entre la sociedad, usando un lenguaje provocativo y políticas divisorias', apuntó el escritor tras aclarar que el nacionalismo va de 'amar a los compatriotas y no de odiar a los demás'.

En esta línea, Harari sugirió sustituir los muros entre países por 'una red de seguridad' y 'confianza' que permita encontrar soluciones a nivel global, pues afirmó que la 'única manera de asegurar prosperidad' entre las personas de una misma nación es 'cooperar con los extranjeros'.

'Si los políticos no pueden tener una visión global del futuro, no los voten', sostuvo el historiador, que concluyó: 'Nuestro objetivo debería ser la armonía global sin uniformidad'.

Este fue precisamente el punto que conectó a Harari con el biólogo Jared Diamond, también invitado al evento, autor de 'Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis' y ganador del premio Pulitzer por el libro 'Armas, Gérmenes y Acción'.

Diamond pidió al público votar por aquellos partidos políticos más capaces de 'ganar la carrera de caballos', una metáfora que usó para aludir a la incertidumbre del mundo de 2030.

'El caballo de la destrucción está yendo cada vez más rápido y también el caballo de la esperanza. No sabemos cuál va a ganar porque esta no una carrera normal, sino una carrera con aceleración exponencial', aseguró.

En su intervención tampoco faltó la crítica al Gobierno estadounidense que, a su parecer, fracasó en el intento de superar la crisis nacional que está viviendo, marcada, entre otros, por una 'polarización política, las restricciones de voto y la desigualdad'.

'El Gobierno no acepta su responsabilidad y culpa a China, a Canadá... Refuta aprender de otros modelos porque piensa que es excepcional, único', apuntó Diamond.

El evento, bajo el título 'O Mundo em Transformação - narrativas do século XXI' ('El Mundo en Transformación - narrativas del siglo XXI', en español), también contó con las intervenciones del director general del Grupo Globo, Frederic Zoghaib Kachar, y el presidente ejecutivo de Santander Brasil, Sérgio Rial. Ambos transmitieron al público un mensaje optimista y subrayaron la riqueza de las 'dudas' que, en su opinión, invaden de complejidad nuestro siglo.

En la edición del año pasado, el proyecto Cidadão Global recibió al expresidente estadounidense Barack Obama, que inició un ciclo de debates sobre lo que significa ser un ciudadano en este siglo. EFE


          

Baja presencia de negocios de EEUU en feria cubana

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LA HABANA (AP) — La Feria Internacional de Comercio de La Habana es donde Cuba trata de poner el mejor rostro a su atribulada economía.

Esta semana, hay restaurantes estatales con comida fresca, muestras de motocicletas eléctricas de Panamá y decenas de compañías del gobierno ofreciendo productos desde habanos y ron hasta langosta y camarón de cultivo.

Un punto sombrío este año es la sección de Estados Unidos, donde la presencia se ha reducido de decenas de compañías durante la presidencia de Barack Obama a un puñado. Algunos dicen que pudiera no soportar otro año de sanciones del gobierno de Donald Trump.

Luego que el entonces presidente Obama anunció en el 2014 una mejora de relaciones con Cuba, la feria comercial anual se inundó de empresarios estadounidenses en busca de oportunidades. Había decenas de compañías estadounidenses, funcionarios de los estados y asociaciones, incluyendo la Cámara de Comercio de Estados Unidos. Empresarios cubano-estadounidenses recorrían los pasillos, discutiendo la posibilidad de regresar a la isla tras décadas de exilio.

Pero ese auge sin precedentes no duró mucho, pues las compañías comenzaron a darse cuenta de las dificultades de hacer negocios en Cuba, donde la burocracia estatal centralizada debe autorizar todas las inversiones extranjeras y las empresas estadounidenses son especialmente sensibles.

La presencia estadounidense comenzó a reducirse de lleno luego del anuncio del presidente Trump en el 2017 de que iba a revertir la apertura hacia Cuba, seguido de dos años de crecientes sanciones a la isla y su aliado estrecho Venezuela.

Este año, Cuba ha tenido más dificultades para hacer negocios a nivel internacional. Estados Unidos está presionando a bancos a cortar lazos con la isla y sancionando a los buques que transportan petróleo desde Venezuela.

Hay escasez esporádica de productos comunes, gasolina y diésel y la carencia de efectivo por el gobierno se ha empeorado.

Jay Brickman, vicepresidente de servicios para Cuba de Crowley Maritime, una importante empresa de embarques con sede en Florida, dijo que su compañía ha registrado una caída de 20% en sus negocios en la isla este año.

Una excepción del embargo comercial de Estados Unidos a Cuba les permite a las empresas estadounidenses venderle alimentos al gobierno en La Habana y Crowley transporta la mayoría de los frijoles de soya, los pollos y otros productos agrícolas que viajan de Estados Unidos a Cuba.

Mirando a la mayormente vacía sección de Estados Unidos del Pabellón 7 en ExpoCuba, un centro de convenciones en las afueras de la capital, Brickman dijo que recordaba con afecto su primera feria de La Habana, en el 2001, luego que Washington legalizó las exportaciones de productos agrícolas a Cuba.

Dijo que había centenares de compañías estadounidenses, el entonces gobernador de Minnesota Jesse Ventura e incluso vacas llevadas para convencer a Cuba de los beneficios del ganado estadounidense.

Con la excepción de los años de Obama, las últimas dos décadas con cumplieron con esa promesa, dijo Brinckman.

'Mucho más reflujo que flujo”, dijo. “El espíritu de todo eso comenzó a desvanecerse”.

Durante la presidencia de Trump, Cuba ha estado tratando de adquirir productos agrícolas de otros países, aparte de Estados Unidos, y los negocios de Crowley en Cuba han caído hasta el punto donde está en dudas su sostenibilidad.

'Nuestro compromiso es continuar estando aquí mientras sea económicamente posible”, dijo.

Esta semana, miles de cubanos y extranjeros acudieron a los pabellones con secciones de España, Portugal, Venezuela y otros países. Además de Crowley, la sección estadounidense en la feria tenía un par de firmas exportadores-importadoras basadas en Florida y una consultoría con sede en Guatemala que trabaja con la asociación de huevos y aves de corral de Estados Unidos.

Los estantes de la Alabama State Port Association y otros pocos representantes estadounidenses estaban vacíos el martes por la tarde, un día después de la inauguración.

El funcionario estadounidense de mayor rango en la feria parecía ser la secretaria de Agricultura de Virginia, Bettina Ring, al frente de una pequeña delegación que ella dijo mostraba el compromiso de su estado para vender cantidades moderadas de soya y pollo a Cuba.

Miembros de la delegación dijeron que dada la incertidumbre del comercio internacional, Virginia valora las compras regulares por Cuba de productos agrarios del estado.

'Cuba ha sido un mercado confiable”, dijo la vocera Stephanie Agree. 'Tenemos que mantener los amigos que tenemos”.


          

El electorado latino en Florida da la espalda a Trump, según un sondeo

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Miami, 6 nov (EFE).- Casi la mitad del electorado latino de Florida (48 %) desaprueba el desempeño del presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, y si solo contaran sus votos en las elecciones de 2020, el gobernante sería derrotado por los demócratas Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders y Elizabeth Warren.

La Iniciativa de la Encuesta sobre Economía y Negocios de la Universidad Florida Atlantic (FAU BEPI) reveló que el 65,7 % de los electores hispanos de Florida votaría por el exvicepresidente Biden frente al 34,3 % que lo haría por Trump.

Si la elección es entre la senadora Warren y Trump, el resultado es 64,9 % frente a 35,1 %, y si el rival es el también senador Sanders, la cuenta es 62,1 % frente a 37,9 %.

La encuesta revela que un 48 % de los hispanos de Florida desaprueba a Trump, un 31 % lo aprueba y un 21 % no sabe o no contesta.

En el caso de los puertorriqueños radicados en este estado, un 64 % está descontento con Trump, al que se acusa de no haber prestado suficiente ayuda a Puerto Rico cuando fue asolado por el huracán María en 2017.

Por el contrario, en el caso de los cubanos, el 47 % está a favor de un presidente que ha endurecido la política hacia el régimen de Cuba.

BEPI entrevistó para este sondeo a 600 hispanos registrados como votantes, una parte a través de internet y otra por teléfono fijo, del 30 de octubre al 2 de noviembre.

La encuesta, que tiene un margen de error de 3,9 %, muestra que el apoyo de los hispanos al gobernador Ron DeSantis, seguidor de Trump, es de un 36 %, frente a un 23 % de opiniones desfavorables y un 34 % de no respuestas.

De los 600 encuestados, 152 se declararon republicanos y un 77 % de ellos dijo que votaría por Trump en unas elecciones primarias de su partido.

De los 268 demócratas, un 27 % votaría por el senador Sanders, un 21 % por Biden y un 20 % por la senadora Warren.

El único latino entre los aspirantes a la nominación por el Partido Demócrata, el ex secretario de Vivienda Julián Castro, es el escogido por el 5 % de los encuestados.

Florida, con un 26 % de población hispana, es un estado clave en las elecciones presidenciales, no solo porque brinda un importante número de votos en el Colegio Electoral, que es donde al final se decide quién es el ganador, sino porque no tiene un patrón de voto fijo y lo mismo puede inclinarse por los republicanos que por los demócratas.

En 2012 votó por Barack Obama y en 2016 por Trump. EFE


          

Hijo de Trump divulga identidad de supuesto informante de presiones a Ucrania

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Washington, 6 nov (EFE).- Donald Trump Jr., el hijo mayor del presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, divulgó este miércoles el supuesto nombre del informante que desveló las presiones del mandatario a Ucrania para investigar al exvicepresidente Joseph Biden.

Trump Jr. citó en Twitter un artículo del diario conservador Breitbart News que señala que el informante trabajó en el Consejo de Seguridad Nacional de la Casa Blanca bajo la Presidencia de Barack Obama (2009-2017) y que ahora es empleado de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA).

La revelación se produce después de la repetida insistencia del presidente en que se conozca la identidad del informante anónimo, que fue el primero en plantear su inquietud sobre la llamada que Trump mantuvo en julio con su homólogo de Ucrania, Vladímir Zelenski, y en la que le pidió investigar a Biden, aspirante a la candidatura presidencial demócrata en 2020, y a su hijo Hunter.

Uno de los abogados del informante, Mark Zaid, evitó confirmar o desmentir la revelación de Trump Jr. y advirtió en un comunicado de que 'identificar cualquier nombre del informante pone a ese individuo y su familia en riesgo de daño serio'.

'Esta publicación no hace otra cosa que mostrar la desesperación de un grupo partidista para desviar la atención de la sustancia de la queja del informante. Ciertamente no evitará que el presidente tenga que encarar las importantes alegaciones, las cuales han sido todas materialmente probadas que son ciertas', agregó Zaid.

Las filtraciones en la prensa sobre la queja presentada en agosto por el informante sobre la llamada entre Trump y Zelenski hicieron que en septiembre la presidenta de la Cámara de Representantes, la demócrata Nancy Pelosi, anunciara el inicio de una investigación para abrir un posible juicio político contra el mandatario.

La decisión ha desencadenado una crisis política en el país y generado la ira de Trump contra los demócratas a los que acusa de lanzar contra él una 'caza de brujas'.

Los demócratas informaron hoy de que las primeras audiencias públicas de la investigación de la Cámara Baja comenzarán dentro de una semana.

La fase pública se iniciará el miércoles 13, con la comparecencia de Bill Taylor, el embajador interino de EE.UU. en Ucrania; y George Kent, un subsecretario de Estado adjunto responsable de la política hacia el país del este de Europa.

El viernes 15, testificará en público Marie Yovanovitch, que hasta el pasado mayo fue la embajadora de EE.UU. en Ucrania y aseguró en su comparecencia en privado que Trump presionó para expulsarla de su cargo.

La oposición demócrata cree que esos testimonios dejarán claro que 'los hechos más importantes' de la investigación 'no están disputados', entre ellos que Trump presionó a Ucrania para que investigara a Biden y que condicionó un paquete de ayuda financiera al país europeo a esa indagación. EFE


          

Zum Tod von Ernest J. Gaines - Louisiana On My Mind

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Ernest J. Gaines 2013 bei einer Ehrung durch den damaligen Präsidenten Obama (DPA/Consolidated/ Ron Sachs)Die Diskriminierung von Schwarzen während der Rassentrennung im US-amerikanischen Süden war sein Schreibthema: Nun ist Ernest J. Gaines mit 86 Jahren gestorben. Als Kind von Plantagenarbeitern musste er sich sein Recht auf Bildung erkämpfen und ging als Schriftsteller einen eigenen Weg.

Gisa Funck im Gespräch mit Tanya Liekse
www.deutschlandfunk.de, Büchermarkt
Hören bis: 19.01.2038 04:14
Direkter Link zur Audiodatei



          

Obama, Clinton Offer Tributes To Late Congressman Cummings

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(Baltimore, MD-AP) – Two former presidents are heaping praise on the late Congressman Elijah Cummings. Speaking at Cummings’ funeral in Baltimore, Barack Obama said Cummings’ life validated “what is possible in life.” He noted that Cummings was a kind and compassionate man of “dogged determination.” Obama said Cummings’ commitment to justice and the rights of … Continue reading Obama, Clinton Offer Tributes To Late Congressman Cummings
          

American People Send Powerful Message To RINO Mitt Romney

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The post American People Send Powerful Message To RINO Mitt Romney appeared first on I Love My Freedom.

It is beginning to look as though the longer that Mitt Romney stays around, the less popular that he becomes now that has finally made it to Washington D. C. The pathetic sore loser of the 2012 presidential election when he choked like a dog against a beatable Barack Obama has now become the leader of the gaggle of renegade Senate Republicans who will join the Dems when President Trump’s fate is in their hands. URGENT POLL: Do you support Trump against Dem impeachment efforts? Never one to simply get the message and go away, Mitt has lingered like a

The post American People Send Powerful Message To RINO Mitt Romney appeared first on I Love My Freedom.


          

There’s One Word For Trump’s Record On LGBTQ Rights: Appalling

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There’s One Word For Trump’s Record On LGBTQ Rights: Appalling boston Tue, 11/05/2019 - 13:04
LGBTQ flags

Americans United has spoken out strongly against last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that it will strip anti-discrimination policies that apply to all of its grant programs agency-wide.

While many Americans may be harmed by this misguided policy, the brunt of the proposed rule will fall on members of the LGBTQ community. Under President Barack Obama, HHS had issued a rule that protected LGBTQ people, among others, against discrimination in its grant programs. Trump is obliterating that rule.

It’s important to remember that this is far from the first Trump salvo against LGBTQ people. The president’s record in this area can only be described as appalling. Here are the low points:

  • One of Trump’s first acts after taking office was to rescind policy guidance issued during the presidency of Barack Obama that offered protection to transgender students in public schools.
  • Five months after that, Trump announced, via Twitter in July 2017, that he was banning transgender troops from military service. He took this step without consulting with military leaders, many of whom later indicated that they opposed the move.
  • In the fall of 2018, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was considering new regulations that would narrowly define gender as a biological condition, based on genitalia at birth, that cannot change. The Times story, headlined, “‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration,” asserted that the rule, if implemented, would be “the most drastic move yet in a government­-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.” (The order was never issued as a stand-alone rule, but its anti-trans concepts have surfaced in other orders.)
  • HHS’s Office for Civil Rights in May proposed new rules that would remove explicit nondiscrimination protections for transgender people under a section of the Affordable Care Act – severely threatening transgender people’s access to health care. (Although aimed at the transgender community, the new rules are so broad that they would make it harder for others to access health care without discrimination, including women, people with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities and people living with HIV/AIDS.)
  • In a series of cases pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, Trump’s Justice Department argued that our nation’s civil rights law provides no protections for members of the LGBTQ community. In a case from Michigan, the department asserted that a funeral home should be able to fire a transgender employee. In an earlier case, Trump’s Justice Department sided with a Colorado bakery that sought the right to refuse service to LGBTQ people.
  • Trump’s HHS in May proposed a sweeping rule that would allow people who work in any area of the medical field to cite their religious beliefs to deny services to almost anyone, and LGBTQ people are particularly at risk. Americans United and allies are challenging this Denial of Care Rule in court, arguing that it puts people’s lives in jeopardy.
  • In August, Trump’s Department of Labor unveiled a proposed rule that would allow taxpayer-funded government contractors to use religious litmus tests in employment, a move that is widely perceived as giving them the right to fire or refuse to hire LGBTQ people.
  • Trump’s judicial appointments are often vetted by extreme far-right groups; many have been hostile to LGBTQ rights. Trump has stated that he is open to seeing the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality overturned.

During Trump’s campaign, he told LGBTQ voters that he’d be a “real friend” to them, adding, “I will fight for you….” Instead, he has spent three years kowtowing to Christian nationalists who have a demonstrated track record of hostility to LGBTQ rights.

Americans United believes that our laws and public policies should promote equal treatment, decency and dignity for everyone and that religion should never be an excuse to undermine these laws to cause harm or result in discrimination. We’re fighting Trump’s misguided discriminatory policies against LGBTQ Americans, women, nontheists and others in courts, in the Congress, in state legislatures and in the arena of public debate. Please consider joining us.


          

Former Obama officials rally behind Biden as he trails top rivals in money race

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In a flex of establishment muscle, a slew of former Obama administration officials came out on Wednesday to support Joe Biden’s Democratic U.S. presidential bid at a time when he is fighting to maintain his front-runner status.

          

Brookline Millionaire Says “Tax Me”

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Brookline's Robert Bowditch is rich. So rich, he can confidently sign an open-letter to President Obama in which he calls for an expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans.
          

Obama Officials Confess Their Human Rights Sins at J Street Conference

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Obama Officials Confess Their Human Rights Sins at J Street Conference mg allen Fri, 11/01/2019 - 14:18
          

Barbara Leypoldt replied to Robin's discussion Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry..Ukraine/Trump... #CrowdStrike .. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Dep. Asst Sec Def, Ukraine, and Burisma (Hunter Biden)......

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Barbara Leypoldt replied to Robin's discussion Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry..Ukraine/Trump... #CrowdStrike .. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Dep. Asst Sec Def, Ukraine, and Burisma (Hunter Biden)......

          

Barbara Leypoldt replied to Robin's discussion Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry..Ukraine/Trump... #CrowdStrike .. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Dep. Asst Sec Def, Ukraine, and Burisma (Hunter Biden)......

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Barbara Leypoldt replied to Robin's discussion Nancy Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry..Ukraine/Trump... #CrowdStrike .. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Dep. Asst Sec Def, Ukraine, and Burisma (Hunter Biden)......

          

Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs

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Latest World News, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs


Tweets For Today

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:32 PM PST











Picture Of The Day

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:24 PM PST

A B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber, assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, sits on the flight line, Oct 24, 2019. Consistent training and exercising validates the B-2Õs ability to respond to challenges all over the globe. (Sr. Airman Thomas Barley/Air Force)

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Best photos of the week: Nov. 4, 2019 (Defense News).

Majority Of U.S. Voters Say President Trump Will Be Re-Elected In 2020 Despite Impeachment Process

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:16 PM PST

U.S. President Donald Trump sits for an exclusive interview with Reuters journalists in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Daily Mail: Comfortable majority of voters say Trump WILL be re-elected in 2020 despite impeachment process – including one-third of Democrats

* A new poll found that 56 percent of registered voters believe President Trump will win again in 2020
* That includes 85 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats, according to the Politico/Morning Consult survey
* Pollsters found that voters believed that Trump's voters were twice as likely than Hillary Clinton's to be 'very motivated' to go vote
* Another poll found that the percentage of voters who believe Trump should win re-election hasn't significantly changed since the impeachment inquiry opened

A majority of registered voters believe President Trump will win again in 2020.

A new Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 56 percent of all voters said Trump will be re-elected next year. The president obviously has an edge with Republicans, with 85 percent saying a Trump 2.0 is happening.

But a majority of independents - 51 percent - agreed. Even a third of Democrats, 35 percent, said they believed there would be four more years of President Trump.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: He will be difficult to defeat. President Trump has the advantage of the incumbency and the bully-pulpit. The economy is also doing well, and his base overwhelmingly supports him. The Democrat candidates for President are also not inspiring, and I have trouble seeing them being able to attract independent voters. But the election is still far away. A lot can happen in 12 months.

Should CIA Director Gina Haspel Protect The Ukraine Whistleblower From President Trump?

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:10 PM PST

CIA Director Gina Haspel is sworn by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as President Donald Trump looks on and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo holds the bible during ceremonies at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, U.S. May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque © Reuters

NBC: Intel officials want CIA Director Gina Haspel to protect Ukraine whistleblower from Trump

As Trump allies denounce the whistleblower, pressure is building on CIA Director Gina Haspel to take a stand, say current and ex intelligence officials.

WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump and his allies continue to denounce the CIA whistleblower whose complaint led to an impeachment investigation, pressure is building on the spy agency's director, Gina Haspel, to take a stand on the matter, current and former intelligence officials tell NBC News.

"It will be incumbent on her to protect the whistleblower — and by extension, the organization — moving forward," Marc Polymeropoulos, a recently retired CIA officer who oversaw operations in Europe and Russia, said in an interview. "This is a seminal moment for her leadership, and I'm confident she will do the right thing."

So far, Haspel has been publicly silent as Trump has railed about the whistleblower, a CIA analyst, on Twitter. So has the director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: There is a problem with this "CIA analyst". He was removed from the White House for lying and leaking. He is implicated in filing a complaint against President Trump and Ukraine that has led to this impeachment inquiry, even though his complaint is at odds with the transcript that was released. He is a well known Democrat activist who is closely affiliated with former Obama intelligence officials whose opposition to President Trump is well known. Bottom line. This is a person who has used his CIA position to pursue a political agenda against the President and his policies. In this context, this is someone that I am sure CIA Director Gina Haspel does not want to step in and defend.

Democrats' 'Star Impeachment Witness' Admits He Was Not On The Trump-Ukraine Call, And That His Sole Source Of Information Was From The NY Times

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 09:17 PM PST


Zero Hedge: Democrats' 'Star Witness' Admits He Wasn't On Trump-Ukraine Call, Sole Source Was NY Times

House Democrats have released the latest in the series of heavily-redacted transcripts of the secret hearings they had undertaken in recent weeks - that of Bill Taylor - the top US diplomat in Ukraine - ahead of his public testimony next week.

As The Hill notes, Taylor is viewed as a key witness who previously testified in meticulous detail about what he considered an effort by Trump and his allies to pressure Ukraine into opening investigations that would benefit Trump politically.

In leaked copies of his 15-page opening statement, Taylor voiced concerns that the Trump administration had withheld nearly $400 million in aid as leverage to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open investigations into interference in the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden, one of his leading 2020 political rivals.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: When you listen to the main stream media they are saying that Ambassador Bill Taylor is a critical witness to President Trump's demand for a quid-pro-quo from the Ukraine government on military aid and an investigation on the Bidens .... Why William Taylor's testimony is central to the impeachment inquiry (PBS). But when you read his transcript .... READ: Testimony Of William Taylor, Acting U.S. Envoy To Ukraine (NPR), the story is very different where he admits that his source of information comes SOLELY from the New York Times?!?!?! You gotta be kidding me. His sole source of information that he is basing his testimony on is from the New York Times?!?!?! It is not surprising that the main stream media is ignoring this critical admission. Kudos to the above post from Zero Hedge and The Federalist .... Testimony Transcript Shows William Taylor Never Talked To Trump, Wasn't Even On July 25 Phone Call (The Federalist) for their summary and analysis on Bill Taylor's testimony. As for the Democrats hoping that he will be their "star witness" next week, my advice to them is that they find a better witness.

Saudi Arabia Recruited Twitter Workers To Spy On Critics Of Saudi Regime

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 08:47 PM PST



CNBC: Justice Department charges two former Twitter employees with spying for Saudi Arabia

* The Department of Justice on Wednesday charged two former Twitter employees for spying on users on behalf of Saudi Arabia.
* The charges allege that Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo used their employee credentials to access information about specific Twitter users, including their email addresses, birth dates, phone numbers and internet protocol addresses.

The Department of Justice on Wednesday charged two former Twitter employees for spying on users on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

The charges allege that Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo used their employee credentials to access information about specific Twitter users, including their email addresses, birth dates, phone numbers and internet protocol addresses. A third individual, Ahmed Almutairi, was also charged for acting as an intermediary between the Twitter employees and the Saudi government, the Justice Department said.

Read more ....

More News On Saudi Arabia Recruiting Twitter Workers To Spy On Critics Of Saudi Regime

US: Saudis recruited Twitter workers to spy on users -- AP
Two former Twitter employees accused of spying for Saudi Arabia -- Euronews/Reuters
Former Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia -- The Hill
Saudis recruited Twitter workers to spy on critics of Saudi regime, U.S. charges -- NBC
Twitter employees recruited by Saudi Arabia to spy on kingdom's critics, US prosecutors say -- The Independent
Former Twitter employees charged with spying for Saudi Arabia by digging into the accounts of kingdom critics -- The Washington Post
Three charged in US with spying on Twitter users for Saudi Arabia -- Twitter

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- November 6, 2019

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 04:00 PM PST

Jesse Barajas searches for the remains of his brother José, who was was dragged from his ranch on 8 April 2019 and has not been seen since, last month near the town of Tecate. Photograph: Emilio Espejel/The Guardian

Tom Phillips, The Guardian: 'The disappeared': searching for 40,000 missing victims of Mexico's drug wars

José Barajas, who was snatched from his home, joins the ever-swelling ranks of thousands of desaparecidos, victims of the drug conflict that shows no sign of easing

As he set off into the wilderness under a punishing midday sun, Jesse Barajas clutched an orange-handled machete and the dream of finding his little brother, José.

"He's not alive, no. They don't leave people alive," the 62-year-old said as he slalomed through the parched scrubland of tumbleweed and cacti where they had played as kids. "Once they take someone they don't let you live."

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- November 6, 2019

Deadly ambush shows Mexico lost control of area -- Peter Orsi and Maria Verza, AP

The epic struggle behind Iraq's protests -- CSM Editorial

A Month of Anti-government Protests in Iraq -- Alan Taylor, The Atlantic

As US dithers over human rights, China opens its arms to Prabowo Subianto, the Indonesian defence minister with a chequered past - Amy Chew, SCMP

From Singapore to Sweden, China's overbearing campaign for influence is forcing countries to resist and recalibrate relations with Beijing -- Drew Thompson, SCMP

New Silk Road money is paving the Old Silk Roads -- Alexander Kruglov, Asia Times

Why India pulled out of the RCEP free trade deal -- Rahul Mishra, DW

Why is India's pollution much worse than China's? -- BBC

One year to go for Tanzania's President Magufuli and the reviews are mixed -- Cristina Krippahl, DW

Study: Russia's web-censoring tool sets pace for imitators -- Tami Abdollah, AP

UK election campaign: Who wants what on EU issues? -- Rob Mudge, DW

Explainer: Chile's constitutional conundrum - To change or not to change? -- Natalia A. Ramos Miranda, Reuters

Revisiting the End of the Cold War -- John Lewis Gaddis & Elmira Bayrasli, Project Syndicate

Why Are So Many Countries Witnessing Mass Protests? -- The Economist

World News Briefs -- November 6, 2019

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 03:36 PM PST

An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Reuters: Iran fuels centrifuges, resumes uranium enrichment at Fordow

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, the country's Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) said on Thursday, further stepping away from its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

The agreement bans enrichment and nuclear material from Fordow. But with feedstock gas entering its centrifuges, the facility, built inside a mountain, will move from the permitted status of research plant to being an active nuclear site.

"After all successful preparations ... injection of uranium gas to centrifuges started on Thursday at Fordow ... all the process has been supervised by the inspectors of the U.N. nuclear watchdog," the AEOI said in a statement, Iranian media reported

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Turkey's Erdogan speaks with Trump, to visit Washington next week.

Houthis fire missiles at Yemen's Mokha port, military coalition says.

Iraqi security forces break up protests in Battle of the Bridges.

Civilian deaths as Idlib hospital struck by Russian air raids.

Turkey says Kurdish fighters still remain in safe zone near Syrian border.

Iran begins process of fuelling centrifuges at Fordow.

Riyadh has 'open channel' with Yemen rebels: Saudi official. Riyadh in talks with Yemen rebels, Saudi official says.

Lebanon protesters seek to shut down key state institutions.

World Bank urges Lebanon to form govt, warns of recession.

Jordan police arrest man after stabbing attack at popular tourist site.

ASIA

China urges re-elected Canadian government to free Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Over a dozen killed in attack in Thailand's Yala province. 15 defense volunteers killed in Thailand attack. 15 killed in suspected rebel attacks in Thailand's south.

Tajikistan: 17 killed in border outpost attack. ISIL blamed for deadly attack on Tajik border outpost.

Two suspected suicide bombers from Egypt killed in Philippines.

Hong Kong protesters don Guy Fawkes masks to mark month since mask ban. Water cannons deployed in Tsim Sha Tsui as Hong Kong protesters wearing 'V for Vendetta' masks test new 'flash mob' tactic of assembling at short notice.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho stabbed in Hong Kong.

Facebook video shows PNG police kicking, hitting and stomping on group of men.

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy announces Saturday return.

South Korea promotes DMZ 'peace zone' with new video.

AFRICA

At least 37 killed in attack on Canadian miner Semafo convoy in Burkina Faso.

Water crisis builds in Egypt as dam talks falter, temperatures rise.

France says its troops killed a leading jihadist in the Sahel.

10 civilians killed in militia attack in eastern DRCongo.

Sudan rebels insist new parliament be formed only after peace deal.

UN calls for action as Somalia floods affect 200,0000 children.

US Nile talks 'not a negotiation', says Ethiopia.

Two killed in strike on Libya police station: ministry.

Libya migrant attack: UN investigators suspect foreign jet bombed centre.

Mozambique detains elite police chief over election observer's murder.

EUROPE

Mike Pompeo carries divisive US messages to Germany.

Sweden charges man with spying on Iranian exiles.

Johnson tries to shake off rocky start as UK election begins.

PM's election campaign launch marred by gaffe, resignation and doctored video.

Spain's far-right Vox surges in wake of Catalan independence protests.

Local German conservatives cause uproar with call for talks with far right.

Putin: New weapons will offer Russia reliable protection.

EU urges faster Greece vetting of migrants as arrivals soar.

Hungarian mayor resigns after yacht orgy video.

Netherlands: '4,000 schools shut' in teacher strike.

Italy to become first country to make studying climate change compulsory in schools.

AMERICAS

Exclusive: Brazil likely to vote with U.S. against Cuba at U.N. over embargo.

US Diplomat had 'clear understanding' of Ukraine quid pro quo.

McConnell says Senate would acquit Trump if trial held today.

Democrats win control of Virginia Legislature. Democrat declares upset victory in Kentucky governor race.

Heavily armed hitman of rival El Chapo cartel is arrested over Mormon massacre after a stand-off at the US border where he held two HOSTAGES as heartbreaking photos show devastated relatives visiting the scene of the massacre.

Mexico ambush: Boy, 13, walked 23km for help after gun attack.

United States sanctions 5 Venezuelan officials.

Chile: president promotes minimum wage hike to quell unrest.

Chile's Pinera resists call to resign over protests.

Chilean protest footage captures police officers on fire after molotov cocktail explosion.

Thousands of Bolivians march over disputed election.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Pakistan failed to stop terror groups from recruiting & raising funds, US report сlaims.

German man fighting for Kurds killed in Syria.

Turkey captured al-Baghdadi's wife and didn't make fuss like US – Erdogan.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall St. ends near flat; healthcare shares gain but trade deal delay weighs.

Europeans look to China as global partner, shun Trump's US.

Xi Jinping's Brazil trip 'may be too soon' for China to sign partial US trade war deal.

Macron in China: Xi hails $15 billion trade contracts as 'strong signal of free trade'.

Michael Jackson's iconic moonwalk socks are tipped to sell for over $1MILLION at auction... more than a decade on from his passing.

Israel Expects To Be Engaged In A Major War Very Soon

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 03:01 PM PST

Ali Hashisho / Reuters

Michael Oren, The Atlantic: The Coming Middle East Conflagration

Israel is bracing itself for war with Iranian proxies, as Tehran escalates its provocations. But what will the United States do if conflict comes?

The senior ministers of the Israeli government met twice last week to discuss the possibility of open war with Iran. They were mindful of the Iranian plan for a drone attack from Syria in August, aborted at the last minute by an Israeli air strike, as well as Iran's need to deflect attention from the mass protests against Hezbollah's rule in Lebanon. The ministers also reviewed the recent attack by Iranian drones and cruise missiles on two Saudi oil installations, reportedly concluding that a similar assault could be mounted against Israel from Iraq.

The Israel Defense Forces, meanwhile, announced the adoption of an emergency plan, code-named Momentum, to significantly expand Israel's missile defense capacity, its ability to gather intelligence on embedded enemy targets, and its soldiers' preparation for urban warfare. Israeli troops, especially in the north, have been placed on war footing. Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Syrian conflict, unrest in Iraq, and the Yemen war is where the focus in the Middle East is right now. Another Hezbollah - Israel and/or Hamas - Israel war is not on people's radar.

Media Upset That Trump's Son Tweets Name Of Alleged Whistleblower Even Though His Name Was Revealed Last Week

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 01:00 PM PST


AFP: Impeachment: Trump's son tweets name of alleged whistleblower

Washington (AFP) - President Donald Trump's son published on Wednesday the name of the alleged anonymous whistleblower whose complaint fired the impeachment inquiry against Trump, breaking strict conventions for protecting officials who reveal wrongdoing in government.

Amid calls by the president himself to expose the whistleblower, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted the name of a CIA analyst which has circulated online for weeks, and linked to a Breitbart news article implying the person was pro-Democrat and anti-Trump.

AFP could not independently verify the whistleblower's identity and is not publishing the name.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is actually old news. The identity of the "whistle-blower" was revealed last week .... The Identity Of The Anonymous 'Whistleblower' Who Triggered Impeachment Proceedings Against President Trump Is Suspected To Be A Well Known Democrat Activist (October 31, 2019). A picture of the "whistle-blower" is below.

Special Operations Air Force Member Goes Missing During Training Jump Over Gulf Of Mexico

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 12:40 PM PST

The airman was a part of the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field in in Okaloosa County, Florida. He disappeared four miles south of the field over the Gulf of Mexico

Daily Mail: Desperate search launched for airman who fell out of Special Operations military plane 1,500 feet over the Gulf of Mexico and was last seen treading water after deploying his parachute

* A search is underway for a staff sergeant in training who disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday afternoon during a training exercise
* The unidentified Air Force airman was from the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County, Florida
* He exited a C-130 four engine aircraft around 1.45pm from a height of 1,500 feet
* He deployed his parachute and was last seen treading water in the Gulf, approximately four miles south of Hurlburt Field
* As the aircraft turned to retrieve the man, crewmen lost sight of him
* Several vessels, three Air Force aircraft were deployed in the search
* The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Coast Guard are also on the scene

A desperate search is underway for a missing airman who disappeared into the Gulf of Mexico after suffering a parachute-jump mishap while exiting a Special Operations military plane.

The unidentified Air Force airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field was exiting a C-130 four-engine aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico during a training exercise around 1.45pm Tuesday when he suddenly vanished into the water below.

'The fall happened during a parachute-jump training exercise out of Hurlburt Field,' a report from the Air Force Times said.

The Coast Guard said the airman was a staff sergeant in training and fell out of the aircraft at 1,500 feet, according to WEAR.

Read more ....

More News On A Special Operations Air Force Member Going Missing During A Training Jump Over The Gulf Of Mexico

Special tactics airman missing in Gulf of Mexico; search underway -- Air Force Times
Airman who fell from plane above Gulf of Mexico still missing -- NBC
Mobile area Coast Guard continue search for airman who fell from plane into Gulf of Mexico -- Al.com
Air Force member goes missing during training jump over Gulf of Mexico -- CBS
Airman fell from C-130 military aircraft while training over the Gulf of Mexico -- Defence-Blog
Coast Guard, Air Force, local agencies searching for a airman in the water near Destin -- FOX 10

ISIS Launched A Failed Attack On A Tajikistan Border Outpost With Uzbekistan

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 11:00 AM PST


DW: Tajikistan: 17 killed in border outpost attack

Twenty masked gunmen launched a failed attack on a Tajik outpost on the border with Uzbekistan. The rare attack was quashed when border forces launched a counter operation and killed most of the raiders.

At least 17 people were killed in an overnight raid by armed men on an outpost on the border between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Tajik authorities said on Wednesday.

"An armed group of 20 unknown masked individuals attacked a border outpost … using firearms," said Tajikistan's national security committee, according to Russian state-run news agency TASS.

Tajikistan's border forces said the assailants were members of the "Islamic State" (IS) militant group in Afghanistan.

At least five of the gunmen were detained and later provided critical intelligence during interrogations, authorities said.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I agree with this analysis .... Reported Attack In Tajikistan Could Have Broad Implications For Central Asia (RFE).

More News On Today's ISIS Attack On A Tajikistan Border Outpost With Uzbekistan

Many dead in Tajikistan 'firefight with IS' -- BBC
Fifteen IS jihadists killed in Tajikistan border attack -- AFP
Tajikistan: 17 killed in attack on border checkpoint -- Eurasianet
ISIL blamed for deadly attack on Tajik border outpost -- Al Jazeera

World Leaders Warn Iran To Stick To Nuclear Deal

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:24 AM PST



ABC News Online: World leaders warn Iran to stick to nuclear deal, as it begins injecting uranium gas into centrifuges

World leaders have called on Iran to fulfil the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal, after it begins injecting uranium gas into centrifuges at its underground Fordow nuclear facility.

Iran has begun to further distance itself from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that curbed its atomic work, local media reported on Wednesday (local time).

The deal bans nuclear material from Fordow and, with the injection of uranium gas into its centrifuges, the facility will move from its permitted status of research plant to become an active nuclear site.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Aside from their rhetoric that everything is still OK .... Long way before JCPOA collapses, says Rouhani's chief of staff (MEHR News Agency), the Iranians are becoming more and more nervous .... Exclusive: Iran briefly held IAEA inspector, seized travel documents - diplomats (Reuters).

          

World News Updates, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs, World News Updates

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World News Updates, World News, Current Affairs, Daily Current Affairs, World News Updates


EU crisis: Eurozone economy growth rates slashed amid fears of downturn

Posted: 07 Nov 2019 12:54 AM PST



THE European Union's economy is set to be plunged into chaos after seven years of consecutive growth, according to the bloc's latest fiscal forecast.

Taiji dolphin hunt: Sweet mammals slaughtered in horror event as calls for its axing grows

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 10:06 PM PST



GRAPHIC CONTENT WARING - DISTURBING footage has surfaced showing a pod of dolphins being coerced into a cove and then slaughtered in a town, called Taiji, in Japan.

Jesus revelation: Mysterious bullet hole found in Last Supper masterpiece painting

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 08:30 PM PST



A BULLET hole has been found in an interpretative painting of the masterpiece, The Last Supper, in a mysterious discovery that has eluded the artist.

Trump triumph: US President soars in major poll that predicts victory in 2020 election

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 07:13 PM PST



PRESIDENT Donald Trump received a huge boost to his chances of being reelected for a second term , as a recent poll found that a majority of voters expect him to win next year's contest.

Michelle Obama shock: Ex-FLOTUS reveals how Barack forced her to make major life decision

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 06:56 PM PST



MICHELLE OBAMA makes surprising admission about her relationship with husband Barack Obama - and it's adorable.

Melania Trump outrage: FLOTUS accused of lying about being a supermodel by ex-NYC roommate

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 06:25 PM PST



MELANIA TRUMP was accused of lying about being a supermodel by her former New York City roommate.

Archeology shock: Ancient US burial site accidentally unearthed by baffled builders

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 05:31 PM PST



A ROAD widening project was halted in California after construction workers accidentally unearthed an ancient American burial site.

Severed hand of British tourist found in killer shark’s stomach after man goes missing

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 05:25 PM PST



A BRITISH swimmer's hand has been found inside the carcass of a shark that was killed off the coast of Reunion Island, near Madagascar.

Melania Trump backlash: FLOTUS accused of 'hurting patients' as protestors storm hospital

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 04:18 PM PST



MELANIA TRUMP was met by dozens of protestors at Boston Medical Center as she visited to highlight the case of drug-exposed babies as part of her Be Best initiative.

EU news: What Europe fears more than anything else - and it involves Trump

Posted: 06 Nov 2019 11:46 PM PST



THE EUROPEAN UNION is in flux as the UK's departure remains uncertain. While across the pond, the campaign for the US 2020 elections is ramping up, posing further concerns to the bloc.

          

An Overseers Challenge Slate—and More on Fossil-Fuel Divestment

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Young alumni and others advance an agenda of governance change and divestment from fossil-fuel investments.

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Harvard Board of Overseers Challenge Slate
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As climate change generates news daily—Donald Trump formally initiates U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement; 11,000-plus scientists declare a “climate emergency”former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy, now professor of the practice of public health, becomes president of a leading nonprofit to defend against efforts to undermine environmental science—Harvard’s focus on the issues broadened and intensified this week, too:

  • On Sunday, Harvard Forward, organized by young alumni, unveiled a slate of petition candidates for election to the Board of Overseers, pursuing a dual agenda of promoting Harvard governance reform and divesting fossil-fuel investments from the University endowment.
  • On Tuesday, Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) advocates of divestment held the second long discussion of the issue this semester (the October session is covered here). Although decisions on investment policy rest with the Harvard Corporation, not with the faculties, the advocates made the case for divestment on moral, historical, and financial grounds. In turn, they elicited previously unexpressed opposing arguments by colleagues who focused on the faculty’s research and teaching mission, and raised concerns about unintended, adverse political consequences from an elite institution’s decision to divest. Read a full account of the latest debate, including participants’ statements and President Lawrence Bacow’s reaction.
  • Alumni advocates of divestment reiterated their case in a detailed letter to Bacow and William F. Lee, the Corporation’s senior fellow, and hired alumni who had been involved in divestment as undergraduates to help organize support for the measure among the wider alumni community.
  • And student advocates weighed in, too.

These developments all suggest continuing, intense community focus on climate change—and on the steps the University might pursue to deploy its resources (intellectual and pedagogical, as well as financial) to address it.

An Overseers Slate

Harvard Forward announced itself on November 3 with a letter to alumni from the candidates who will petition for signatures to seek election to the Board of Overseers next spring. Citing the 1980s controversies over divesting investments in companies operating in South Africa (during which petition candidates also campaigned for election), they wrote, “Today, a coalition of alumni, students, and faculty called Harvard Forward is doing the same—this time to establish Harvard as a moral and academic leader in the fight against climate change.”

“Harvard students, led by Divest Harvard, have called on the University for years to divest its endowment from fossil fuels,” their letter read. “And yet, at a time when bold action and leadership are required, Harvard is falling behind….Our forward-looking platform calls for divesting from fossil fuels, bolstering our responsible investment practices, and increasing support for climate-related research and education initiatives.”), Harvard Forward also presents itself as a broader, dual-purpose effort. Its home page puts the message succinctly: “Harvard is falling behind in its response to the climate crisis because our governance is not representative of our alumni and student bodies. We’re changing that.”

And indeed the platform is, so far, much more evolved on the latter priority—advocating changes in governance—than on divestment. The “Climate Justice & Responsible Investing” plank is labeled “coming soon,” but “Inclusive Governance & Student Voices” provides a detailed argument for:

  • reserving six seats on the 30-member elected Board of Overseers for recent alumni (three who have graduated from the College within the past four academic cycles, and three who have graduated from the graduate schools within the past four academic cycles—or are in good academic standing and on track to graduate at the May Commencement);
  • involving the Undergraduate Council (UC) and the Harvard Graduate Council (HGC) with the Harvard Alumni Association in selecting diverse candidates for those seats; and
  • limiting voting for those recent alumni candidates to eligible members of the community who are themselves graduates within the past four academic cycles.

Moreover, the platform calls for annual Board of Overseers town halls to engage directly with students in Cambridge, Allston, and the Longwood Medical Area; and for the Overseers to invite the UC and HGC presidents to present their views on current campus affairs before the board each semester.

Harvard Forward’s platform reflects work done by The Boarding School, a nonprofit that aims  “to recruit and train young people to serve on boards of organizations that affect their lives.” The organization’s president, Nathán Goldberg ’18, and campaign manager, Danielle Strasburger ’18, are, respectively, the strategist/policy adviser and campaign manager for Harvard Forward: the Boarding School’s first project.

During a conversation this week, Strasburger (a social-studies concentrator with a secondary in human evolutionary biology, and an alumna of Winthrop House, where she chaired the House committee) and Goldberg (who captained the soccer team, served on a University-wide Title IX review committee, and earned the first joint degree in philosophy and statistics) talked about applying campaign strategies, social media, and digital and data technologies to youth engagement generally. The impetus, Strasburger said, was a sense among their College classmates that for all their involvement in undergraduate life, their impact on the institution as students was limited. Though neither was involved in the highly visible student movement for divestment, both were impressed by the energy and enthusiasm their peers were bringing to climate-change advocacy. As recent alumni, they felt a new kind of frustration about engaging with Harvard. Across the spectrum of their Harvard lives, she said, the issue of “unrepresentative governance” in the face of student and young-alumni concerns arose.

Goldberg said that UC presidents told them the council had been considering whether there could be student representatives on the Overseers—an option precluded by the terms of the University’s charter. But recent alumni, he felt, were in touch with student life still. The recent advent of online voting for the Board opens a “huge amount of space” to boost turnout (which is often in the teens as a percentage of those eligible to cast ballots).

The governance platform, Goldberg said, reflects research on the boards of peer institutions (MIT and Princeton, for example) that have student or young-alumni representation, as well as discussion among Harvard Forward campaigners on what steps to pursue. Although that governance theme has now been married to advocacy of divestment, he said that he, Strasburger, and others involved in conceiving the program were not steeped in that cause. So the climate platform is being refined in cooperation with those who have worked on the issue—and who have increasingly come to feel that the University’s governance structure is not responsive to their agenda. Goldberg said Harvard Forward was gathering input from stakeholders, and would detail its climate platform once that process concludes.

Harvard Forward’s candidate slate is meant to “look like the Harvard of today,” Goldberg said, with members diverse across “multiple axes,” including ethnicity, Harvard affiliation, geography, age, class years, background, interests (including climate and civil-rights advocacy), and socioeconomic status. The petitioners are:

  • John Beatty ’11, who was an early divestment advocate and now works at Amazon;
  • Lisa Bi Huang, M.P.A. ’19, an entrepreneur and former management consultant;
  • Margaret Purce ’17, a professional soccer player
  • Thea Sebastian ’08, J.D. ’16, a lawyer at Civil Rights Corps; and
  • Jayson Toweh, S.M. ’19, an environmental scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency 

The governance-reform platform has been endorsed by the UC and the HGC, and in an indication of Harvard Forward’s programmatic and tactical dexterity, climate-change and divestment organizer Bill McKibben ’82 wrote a supportive op-ed published in The Boston Globe.

While Strasburger says she is living on savings and the kindness of supporters, couch-surfing as she travels, the geographic breadth of the candidate slate, and their own business travels, mean that Harvard Forward has been able to reinforce its online outreach with alumni meet-ups and events scheduled in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Orlando, New York, Cambridge, at The Game in New Haven, Boston, Austin, and Mexico City—just in November, and with dates popping up in early December. That should facilitate gathering signatures for the candidates’ nomination petitions, and rally the faithful. If funds flow, too, job listings are posted for a digital and field director, and a social and communications director, both reporting to Strasburger.

In 2016, a slate of petition candidates for the Board of Overseers, calling their program “Free Harvard/Fair Harvard,”campaigned largely in opposition to affirmative action in admissions. Their campaign prompted organized opposition by alumni who supported the University’s holistic admissions policies, and the petitioners were defeated.

Harvard Forward is employing new tools and techniques in what feels like a different era. It may appeal to young alumni with its governance platform (and the University might well favor their greater engagement, even if not by the means being advocated here. There is an organized constituency in favor of divestment, with which a larger group of potential voters concerned about climate change might sympathize—and opponents of divestment do not seem similarly organized, at least to date. And although the Corporation’s Senior Fellow now grants annual news briefings on the governing board’s work (a result of the 2010 governance reforms), some peer institutions disclose more about their respective boards’ concerns and activities—so transparency may resonate as an issue with some Harvard alumni voters, too.

The University leadership has made it clear, as recently as this week, that it cares a great deal about climate change, but will not divest endowment investments in fossil-fuel production. Electing a slate of pro-divestment Overseers would not make a practical difference, in the near term: they do not vote on the endowment, for example—a power that rests with members of the Corporation (who are not elected). This a point of difference from the elected boards of trustees at institutions like MIT and Princeton, and often a point of frustration for those who do become Overseers.

That said, this promises to be an interesting, sustained election for the Board of Overseers. Stay tuned.

Alumni Advocates for Divestment

One reason that is so is that there is an organized alumni campaign for divestment—most recently, with more than 3,000 signatories. That is not a large share of the alumni overall, but in elections where relatively few people vote, it is not nothing, either.

In their most recent communication with University officials, the leading spokespeople for the alumni advocates wrote to the president and senior fellow on October 24. They requested a meeting with the Corporation, at which they propose to advocate divestment (among those assets managed directly by Harvard Management Company, and ultimately those managed by external advisers) and reinvestment of the endowment in accordance with sustainability principles by 2030. 

They also expressed support for student and faculty advocates of divestment and note, finally, that “we are working to engage a broad coalition of alumni who, like us, recognize the urgency of now. We have hired organizers to help us reach and communicate with alumni. We think that the University should use its existing institutional resources such as the Board of Overseers and its range of alumni councils to help the University adjust to and target its financial resources to the growing climate crisis.” 

Canyon Woodward ’15 and Chloe Maxmin ’15, veteran undergraduate Divest Harvard leaders, have been retained, for 30 and 10 hours a week, respectively, to work on organizing alumni in support of divestment. Their work, the correspondents’ focus on the Board of Overseers, and the Harvard Forward petition slate would seem aligned to make this a vigorous, focused campaign unlike others the University has seen in recent years.

And the Students

Nor has the graduation of earlier student divestment advocates seemed to sap enthusiasm for the cause. As rain fell before the November 5 FAS meeting, students were stationed outside University Hall leafletting the arriving professors.

“Whether you support fossil-fuel divestment, oppose it, or are undecided,” their fliers read, “it is critical that faculty are engaging in this debate that affects the defining issue of our generation. For years, the administration has not listened to student voices on this issue, so we are grateful to faculty for helping lead the way to an open dialogue.” (In fairness, this administration is doing a whole lot more listening than its predecessor—in meetings with students and the faculty—but it has not changed its reasoning or opposition to divestment per se.)

In a generational appeal, they continued, “Today, we are asking you to advocate for us. As FAS debates this critical question, we hope you keep in mind how important this issue is to us as students who will live through the increasing dangers of the climate crisis. We need a just, rapid transition to a decarbonized economy, which is why Harvard must cut its financial ties to the fossil-fuel industry….”

The students advocated disclosure of endowment assets, divestment of fossil-fuel holdings, and reinvestment “in a more socially just and environmentally sustainable economy….”

In Prospect

Whatever the outcome of the continuing debate on divestment and of the Overseeres election, there is ample room for Harvard to make significant contributions to the transition toward sustainability by focusing on students and scholarship.

Several faculty members spoke in favor of emphasizing climate change within the curriculum—a matter wholly within FAS’s jurisdiction. And after one emphasized his disappointment that The Harvard Campaign did not make climate change and energy a major, substantive fundraising goal, it is clear that the University could, and now might well want to, devote resources to research, across the disciplines and professions, that could advance technological, policy, institutional, and behavioral solutions.

Late, in this case, would still be better than never—and would give real meaning to Harvard’s aspirations to draw on its intellectual capital and its education of future leaders as One University, focused on bettering the world.

 

Harvard Board of Overseers Divestment, Governance Challenge
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Debating Divestment in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

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A formal, docketed discussion as proponents of divestment intensify their campaign 

Photograph of University Hall, where the Faculty of Arts and Sciences meets

University Hall, where the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is based and holds faculty meetings
Photograph by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications


University Hall, where the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is based and holds faculty meetings
Photograph by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications

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Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Divestment Debate
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This afternoon, at its regularly scheduled faculty meeting—which happened to fall on the day after President Donald Trump moved formally to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change—the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) formally docketed “a discussion of whether Harvard’s appropriate response to the global climate and ecological crisis should include financial divestment from fossil fuel interests.” The public discussion with President Lawrence S. Bacow, long sought by faculty advocates of divesting endowment assets invested in fossil-fuel production, follows an October airing of concerns about climate change (read a detailed account here)—which was on the agenda as a more general “discussion of the global climate and ecological crisis and Harvard’s appropriate response to that crisis.” (Bacow, who normally presides at FAS meetings, was absent that day, for Rosh Hashanah.)

The forum took place at a time of heightened activity by campus and community divestment advocates, including alumni pressuring the University to reveal its fossil-energy investments, if any, and to dispose of them—and an effort, announced this past Sunday, to put forth a slate of candidates for the Board of Overseers in the spring 2020 election who will advocate both divestment and changes in Harvard governance (see a separate report on these matters, to be published on November 6).

The Faculty’s Forum

Today’s discussion did not introduce a formal legislative proposal—which would, under FAS rules, have to lay over for a vote at a subsequent meeting. Instead, it provided the occasion for faculty divestment advocates to make their case, in the open, to Bacow and to former Harvard Corporation member Jessica Tuchman Mathews ’67, who was president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and was a founder of the World Resources Institute—an environmental research organization. (During Tuchman’s service on the senior governing board, from 2013 to last year, the Corporation and then-Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust articulated their opposition to divestment. Bacow was a Corporation member then, too. Senior Fellow William F. Lee ’72, who has spoken for the Corporation in opposition to divestment, was apparently unable to attend today’s session.)

The three docketed faculty speakers, respectively, addressed the role of individual professors and the larger institution in taking on climate change; the history of Harvard’s decisions concerning its investments and public-policy questions; and the operations of the endowment itself and the financial implications of divestment.

They were followed by speakers from the floor, some of whom made further arguments for divestment, and some who forcefully objected to divestment—instead focusing on the faculty’s role in teaching and research, and likely (unintended) political perceptions of its advocacy of divestment. President Bacow then spoke about points of agreement, even though he disagreed with divestment as an action or as a “litmus test” for any person or institution.

Where speakers provided their comments in advance or after delivery, they are reproduced below as prepared for delivery. Where other faculty members spoke from the floor, FAS rules require that they consent to being associated by name with quotations from or paraphrases of their remarks within the confines of faculty meetings; that consent has been sought, and when and if it is granted, the text will be updated to associate the speakers with their remarks. [Updated November 6 at 3:40 P.M. All the speakers are now identified below,with their consent.]

The Docketed Speakers

Individual and institutional responsibility: statement of Charlie Conroy, professor of astronomy and director of graduate studies.

I am an astronomer. I spend most of my time collecting data and running computer models to understand the origin of our Galaxy. But today I speak to you as a deeply concerned member of our community.

I have grown up with the reality of what we once called global warming: rising temperatures, melting glaciers, species extinctions, destabilizing weather patterns. The consequences for humans have also been in plain view: increased occurrence of famine, droughts, and diseases, and, on the horizon, a refugee crisis unparalleled in human history. And yet, like many people I became numb to the increasingly urgent calls for action. I was busy and preoccupied with issues closer to home: raising a family, conducting research, securing tenure. I focused on small acts—recycling, commuting with public transit, eating locally grown food. What more could I do? I am after all only one person.

That thinking was wrong.

As members of the Harvard faculty we have a powerful platform to effect change. This means that we also have a responsibility to use that power in extraordinary times. And these are extraordinary times.  

As I speak California is burning. UC Santa Cruz, where I used to teach, has been subjected to forced blackouts resulting in canceled classes. Fire-related evacuations are now a routine part of life for many communities. This is the new normal. In recognition of the climate crisis, the University of California system is divesting its $13-billion endowment and its $70-billion pension fund from fossil fuels. 

The ice sheets on West Antarctica and Greenland together hold enough water to raise global sea level by 13 meters. Destabilization of these ice sheets could result in sea level rise of 2 meters by the end of this century and 6 meters by the end of the following century. With 6 meters of sea-level rise significant portions of the Harvard campus will be underwater. As will all of MIT, Fenway, and the South End. Globally the situation will be much worse: 600 million people live at an elevation within 10 meters of sea level.

We in rich countries may be able to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, though the costs may be staggering. Maybe. Maybe not. But island nations, poor countries in South Asia and elsewhere, will not have the option of buying their way out of disaster. 

The predicted short-term consequences of climate change from major organizations such as the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] tend to be conservative. We see evidence of this every year as new reports indicate the pace of change is accelerating faster than predicted. The global climate is a complex system with multiple non-linear feedback cycles that are poorly understood. The near future could easily turn out to be much more extreme than current models predict—during the Pliocene Epoch the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were comparable to today’s levels. During that time the Earth was 3° C warmer and global sea levels were 10-20 meters higher.

There is currently five times more fossil fuel in proven reserves than can be burnt if we are to stay within the 2°C warming scenario advocated by the UN Paris Agreement. Avoiding catastrophic changes to our world will therefore require leaving huge reserves of fossil fuel in the ground. And yet, the fossil-fuel industry continues to devote vast sums of money and resources to identifying new reserves. Despite its profession of support for the Paris Agreement, ExxonMobil has not changed its position since this agreement was signed. In 2015 ExxonMobil projected that by 2040 fossil fuels would supply over 75 percent of the world’s energy needs. In its latest projections from this year, that number has actually risen to 80 percent.   

It is simply unrealistic to expect the fossil-fuel industry to willingly walk away from so much money in the ground. As our colleague Naomi Oreskes has demonstrated through extensive scholarship [read her October statement here], the fossil-fuel industry has for decades engaged in deliberate doubt-mongering on the topic of climate change. This includes explicit undermining of public policy and indirect undermining of attempts to move to alternative energies. In light of these facts, the idea of working in collaboration with the fossil-fuel industry is dangerously naïve and counterproductive.

These extraordinary times require big ideas and bold leadership.  

The scale of the problem is so enormous that many ideas must be pursued simultaneously. We should commit to a carbon-free campus on a rapid timescale. We should incentivize reduced air travel and the use of a robust public transit system. We should encourage significant new academic and research ventures. We should engage with our community beyond Harvard. And we should divest from the fossil-fuel industry.

There are multiple reasons to support divestment. There are arguments from history and from economics that my colleagues will discuss. My perspective is this: the degree of action and change required to avoid the worst-case scenarios is far larger than anything we could hope to accomplish on our own, even as teachers and researchers. Every one of us could commit 100 percent of our time and resources to combating climate change, but that would fall far short of what is needed. This is where divestment comes in. It is an opportunity, perhaps our best opportunity, to catalyze action and change far beyond these walls. 

Imagine I came here to announce that a civilization-destroying asteroid is heading toward Earth. Would we wait to act until the probability of disaster is 100 percent? No. Would we wait to act until the impact was days or weeks away? No. Climate change is that asteroid. Its impact will be felt not instantaneously but over years, decades, and centuries. As scientists we have an obligation not only to identify and study the asteroid, but to act upon the clear and present danger it represents, and to join our colleagues in other disciplines in urging responsible action.

Harvard is in a position to lead on this issue. We have a responsibility to do so. Now is the time to act.

The Harvard historical perspective: statement of Joyce E. Chaplin, Phillips professor of early American history. (Footnotes removed from this version.)

On the question of divestment from fossil-fuel interests. Harvard’s official position has been that the endowment should not be used to make political points or influence social policy, that the University’s engagement with leaders in the fossil-fuel industry would instead be more effective. In my remarks today, I will examine Harvard’s past in order to question this position, showing that Harvard has a long history of using its reputation and resources to make points about politics and society, that there are precedents for using Harvard’s endowment to state those ethical claims, and that reluctance to do so has had the unfortunate effect of making Harvard seem indifferent to human-rights violations. 

Harvard has been raising its voice in politics and public life at least since April 3rd, 1776, when it granted an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws to General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army. Harvard thus endorsed the idea of American independence three months before delegates from Massachusetts would sign the Declaration of Independence. Harvard would gain its own independence in 1865, when selection of the Overseers would begin to be done by alumni rather than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. From this point on, Harvard’s contributions to public life would increasingly engage the worlds beyond Massachusetts. This was notably the case for the service Harvard President James B. Conant performed for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Conant became director of the National Defense Research Committee in 1941; he estimated that, during the war, he racked up half a million miles on the train between Boston and Washington, D.C. Conant witnessed the July 16th, 1945 successful test of the first atomic bomb, “Trinity,” at Almogordo, New Mexico, reporting that “the whole sky [was] suddenly full of white light[,] like the end of the world.” 

After the war, Harvard faced new questions about its financial investments, and this is when we first see a stated policy of conservatism about the endowment—during the Civil Rights movement. In May 1964, at the start of the Mississippi Summer Project, Harvard and Radcliffe students identified Harvard as the largest shareholder in Middle South Utilities. This company owned Mississippi Power and Light, whose leadership overlapped with that of the Jackson Citizens’ Council, a white supremacist group. Students did not ask for divestment; rather, they requested that the Corporation withdraw 10 percent of its $10-million investment in Mississippi Power and Light to use as bail for students working for civil rights in Mississippi. The Corporation refused. A conflict of interest was apparent. Middle South’s second largest stockholder was Massachusetts Investor Trust; a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers, Thomas D. Cabot, served on the trust’s advisory board. In addition, Harvard’s treasurer, Paul C. Cabot, was chairman of Middle South’s third largest stockholder, State Street Investment Corporation. When Cabot retired, he was succeeded by Harvard’s deputy treasurer, George F. Bennett, also of State Street Investment. In the wake of the controversy over Harvard’s investment in Middle South Utilities, Bennett responded, “We don’t try to accomplish social purposes with our capital; we just try to put it where it will bring us the best return.”

That preference was restated several times during Derek Bok’s twenty-year term as president of Harvard. One year into Bok’s tenure, two student groups, in February 1972, demanded that the Corporation sell its 682,000 shares of stock in Gulf Oil, valued around $20 million. Gulf Oil was extracting oil from the coastline of Angola, a militarily-occupied colony of Portugal, which until 1974 was itself ruled by a dictatorship, one determined to suppress Angolan freedom fighters. But the Harvard Corporation declined either to sell its Gulf Oil stock or require the company to issue a report on its business strategies in Angola. 

This too was the response when students urged Harvard to disassociate itself from the apartheid regime in South Africa. The 1980s anti-apartheid movement focused on government sanctions of the country and non-governmental divestment from commercial and financial interests in South Africa. Harvard’s disinclination to divest was, in this instance, technically political, because it could have been read as criticism of U.S. leadership—President Ronald Reagan opposed sanctions. The Reaganite alternative was “constructive engagement” with the apartheid regime and with South African businesses, to persuade government and business leaders to abandon racist policies; Harvard likewise advocated constructive engagement. Of course, this position of not divesting was no less political than making any decision to divest. Only when it became clear, by 1985, that Reagan’s policy against sanctions was losing support did Harvard begin to divest from its financial connections to South Africa. By 1988, formal U.S. policy no longer endorsed unilateral engagement with the apartheid regime; it was considered irrelevant, if not bankrupt, as a political strategy. The 2009 comprehensive history of The Rise and Fall of Apartheid, peer-reviewed, published by a university press, does not even list “constructive engagement” or its Reagan-era architect in the book’s index. 

The position that the Harvard endowment should not be used to address social problems has, in any case, never been consistent. In 1970, a Harvard Committee on University Relations with Corporate Enterprise issued a statement that ethics should influence investment, specifically naming alcohol and tobacco as questionable sources of profit. During the controversy over Angola, President Bok set up two deliberative committees: a Harvard Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR) and an Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (ACSR) composed of alumni, faculty, and students. Perhaps unexpectedly, the CCSR proved to be somewhat critical of anti-divestment and the ACSR in 1984 voted for total divestment. 

And in the case of one industry, divestment became Harvard’s policy. In 1990, Harvard sold off its last (direct) stock in tobacco companies. “This decision was motivated by the University's belief that in this case it would be unable, as a continuing shareholder, to influence the policy of the companies in regard to the marketing practices mentioned above, and by the desire not to be associated as a shareholder with companies engaged in significant sales of products that create a substantial and unjustified risk of harm to human health.” 

If the official position of the President and Fellows of Harvard College is still that Harvard’s endowment should not be used for political or social purposes, that engagement with the fossil-fuel industries is instead preferable, I think we must ask: why? Why should a position tarnished through association with racism be acceptable as a response to the climate crisis, arguably the greatest threat to human rights today? Why should “engagement,” highly questionable during the 1980s argument over apartheid, now be regarded as an effective way to handle an industry we know to be perfidious? The World Health Organization and Harvard physicians warn that the climate crisis is already generating threats to global public health, threats that will eventually be enormous—why are these of less concern than those posed by big tobacco? In 1945, Harvard’s president saw his work on atomic weapons culminate in a light so bright it seemed to signify the end of the world. In 2019, science has shone enough light on climate change for all of us to see that it might end the world as we know it. This danger demands that we end our complicity with the industries that deny their responsibility in creating our current state of emergency.

 •Financial and investment perspective: statement of Stephen A. Marglin, Barker professor of economics. (References removed from this version.)

I must first report a failure. I do not have the information I need to speak in any detail about the Harvard endowment. Not for lack of trying. After some delay, which I mistakenly, perhaps naively, took as a positive sign, I was directed to the annual financial report and SEC filings. Practically useless.  

Absent this information, what is there to say? Turns out quite a lot. I used to caution against thinking that divestment would have a direct effect on the fossil-fuel industry by denying capital for expansion. No, the shares in ExxonMobil that Harvard sold would be purchased by some other investor. No impact on ExxonMobil.  

I’m no longer sure that it’s a fallacy to argue that our endowment directly provides capital to the fossil-fuel industry. One of the things I did learn from this year’s financial report is that over 50 percent of the endowment is invested in hedge funds and private equity. We simply do not know how much capital Harvard is providing for the expansion of the fossil-fuel industry through these vehicles. We do know, thanks to Bill McKibben [’82, a prominent climate-change and divestment activist], that providing finance for the industry is a thriving business, even as it puts the planet in jeopardy: one bank, Chase, has reportedly committed a hundred and ninety-six billion dollars in financing for the fossil-fuel industry in the three years after the Paris Agreement was signed.

How much has Harvard committed? The Administration won’t tell us.

Not that the information about current holdings and past returns is dispositive. But knowing the extent of our commitment to fossil-fuel investment would at least provide context for an intelligent discussion.

There are a small number of studies on the financial costs of divesting. Not surprisingly—this being economics after all—the conclusions differ. Two studies argue that divestment would have major effects on the financial performance of investment funds, one suggesting that the Harvard endowment in particular would be 16 percent smaller after 50 years if we divested our holdings in fossil-fuels.

These studies suffer from two defects. First, the argument rests on the superior performance of energy stocks during one particular decade. Between 2003 and 2012, ExxonMobil stock rose at double the rate of the stock-market average, from $35 per share in the first week of 2003 to $89 in the last week of 2012. The second defect—make of it what you will—was that both these studies were financed, as the authors acknowledge, by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

Other studies, I read four, find no adverse effects of divestment. The risk-adjusted performance of portfolios with and without fossil-fuel stocks are virtually identical over long periods.

But all these studies look at publicly traded stocks, and only one-quarter of our endowment is invested this way. In any case, one thing we know for sure: the past is not going to be a very good guide to the future. Unless you’re Donald Trump, climate change is real.  

And so, looking ahead into the not-too-distant future, are the financial risks of investing in fossil fuels. The major risk is stranded assets, oil, gas, and coal that must be left in the ground if we are to limit global warming to the 1.5° Celsius target that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now recommends.    

Not a problem for ExxonMobil. As Professor Conroy pointed out, ExxonMobil has upped the ante: in 2014, it was projecting that over 75 percent of the world’s energy would come from fossil fuels in 2040; in its most recent projections, the 2040 percentage for fossil fuels is 80 percent. No peak oil, no stranded assets. The oil companies, professing allegiance to the Paris Agreement and even to the IPCC’s revised targets, are like St. Augustine: give us renewable energy, only not yet. 

Stranded assets are not the only problem. ExxonMobil is in court right now defending against charges brought by the Attorney General of New York that “the company lied to shareholders and to the public about the costs and consequences of climate change.” Litigation is an increasing worry and now appears among the risk factors major oil companies acknowledge. 

A third risk, believe it or not, is the divestment movement itself.  Listen to Shell Oil:

“Additionally, some groups are pressuring certain investors to divest their investments in fossil-fuel companies. If this were to continue, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our securities and our ability to access equity capital markets.”

Whom are we to believe? Well, institutions with assets totaling $11.5 trillion have divested at least partially. Yes, their motives are complicated, but financial motives are playing an increasing role. The University of California is divesting fossil-fuel investments from both its $13-billion endowment and its $70-billion pension fund. The Chair of the Board of Regents investment committee and UC’s chief investment officer could not be clearer:

“We believe hanging on to fossil fuel assets is a financial risk….

“We [are placing] our bets that clean energy will fuel the world’s future. That means we believe there is money to be made. We have chosen to invest for a better planet, and reap the financial rewards for UC.”

Can a clever (or lucky) investor make money for the University even if the fossil-fuel industry is going down the tubes? You bet. If you’d bought ExxonMobil at the end of 2018 and sold it in April of this year you would have made 20 percent on your investment. Can a clever investor consistently make money out of special situations? That’s more doubtful. And these clever investors don’t come cheap. Perhaps this is why the University of California has decided to go down a fossil-fuel-free path.

Our endowment managers already screen potential investments in terms of environmental effects, social effects, and corporate governance (ESG for short). The website of the Harvard Management Company, the guardians of our endowment, even recognizes the particular relevance of these factors in assessing the impact of climate change (https://www.hmc.harvard.edu/sustainable-investing/#esg). HMC’s senior vice president for sustainability, Michael Cappucci, has argued convincingly that ESG is not for the fainthearted. The worst results come from a half-way commitment. 

Here is a simple screening device that will strengthen our commitment to ESG and bring HMC into line with what hopefully, sooner rather than later, will become standard practice for institutions like ours: Is this investment contributing to the solution of global climate change? Extra points. Or is it part of the problem? No way. Fossil fuels are rightly an endangered species. No prudent investor would choose to be the last hold-out.

In the end financial considerations will take us only so far. One consequence of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal is that both President Bacow and Provost Garber have expressed the need to rethink our policy about donations. Epstein’s crime was to sexually abuse teen-aged girls. He has been credibly accused of rape. I expect we will end up with a policy of screening donations on the basis of the character of the donor. President Bacow, ExxonMobil has been credibly accused of raping the planet and lying about it to boot. Are we really any less culpable accepting the poisoned fruit of fossil-fuel investments than accepting the tainted money of the ilk of Jeffrey Epstein?

Comments from the Floor

Following these docketed statements, other speakers joined the discussion.

[Updated November 5, 2019, 8:00 p.m., to identify the speaker.] Hooper professor of geology Daniel P. Schrag—who is also professor of environmental science and engineering and  director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment—said he was “very impressed and heartened” by the discussions in October and today, given the importance of climate change—the greatest challenge human society has ever faced—and the difficulties it presents as a “global collective-action problem” of the sort humans find it hard to solve, and as a problem on “really long time scales,” extending thousands and even tens of thousands of years. Very long time scales also characterize the necessary changes in the energy system, given the enormous capital investment and infrastructure involved. 

In that light, he continued, despite envisioning a huge role for Harvard to play, he opposed divestment. Even though climate change poses moral issues, there are real differences surrounding divesting, and the problem does not fall solely on the endowment managers. Rather, Harvard and the FAS have to contribute via “the education we give our students and the research we do in every field.” Symbolic actions can have a value, but they are problematic when they supercede actions needed to effect change. He recalled proposing a major initiative on climate and energy at the outset of The Harvard Campaign; despite decanal and faculty enthusiasm, President Faust declined to pursue it, and instead initiated a grant-making presidential climate-solutions fund: worthwhile, but, funded at $8 million, an “embarrassing” level of commitment relative to the problem. Given the recent $750-million gift to Caltech for climate research, a larger, broader institution like Harvard ought to aim even higher. It was laudable for Harvard to stress its internal greenhouse-gas-reduction goals, but again, those efforts are symbolic, when “by far the biggest way we will impact the future of our climate” is through research and teaching.

He applauded the passion and engagement of student advocates of divestment. But he still felt the “obligation to do our central task first,” in the classroom and laboratories. He hoped that faculty members from across the University, and in every FAS discipline, would engage in efforts to conduct research and teaching on climate change on a major scale, and that deans and the president and provost would support that.

•An economist’s political perspective on the perils of divestment: statement of James H. Stock, Burbank professor of political economy.

In 2013-14, I served as a Member of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Obama. My portfolio included energy, environment, and climate. I was the chief economist in the White House working on the Clean Power Plan, our regulation for reducing CO2 emissions from the power sector. I also led the process that led to the moratorium on new leases under the Federal coal program. Although I had worked on climate issues as a secondary interest prior to my time in D.C., since returning to Harvard, climate economics and policy have been the main focus of my research and public engagement. Disclosure: I take no financial support from the fossil-fuel industry.

Putting aside direct financial market effects, divesting sends a message. My worry is that the message, intended or not, is one of moral superiority. We would send that message not just to the oil executives who spent $30 million to defeat a carbon tax in Washington state, but to the oil roughneck in west Texas, the refinery worker in Louisiana, the long-haul trucker, and the coal miner in Gillette, Wyoming. Those workers are not morally flawed by virtue of their working in the fossil-fuel industry. But how could they interpret Harvard’s divestment as other than yet another criticism by liberal elites of the honest way of life they adopted to earn a living and support their families? 

This summer, I testified in Congress on the Federal Coal program. The hearing occurred a week after a coal company, Blackjewel, unexpectedly declared bankruptcy and closed two mines near Gillette. Wyoming’s representative, Liz Cheney, who is on the committee, lit in to me. I quote: 

“Our communities and our families are feeling and facing real pain. We have had 700 people laid off, and the idea that that pain would be used by witnesses in this committee to somehow suggest that we ought to pursue an anti-coal endeavor to me is really offensive.”

She continued in this vein. Representative Cheney’s comments built on a narrative of climate action being something coastal elites do at the expense of everyday Americans. Harvard’s divestment would play into that narrative.

Decarbonizing the economy is a problem we must solve. But if the solution is to be durable, we need to solve it together as a nation. This issue is too important to be driving wedges.

What should Harvard do? In brief: Invest, not divest. Invest in teaching and research in climate technology and policy. These are things we do well but insufficiently, and here, Harvard can do much more. 

•A counter-divestment argument, on FAS’s academic mission: statement of Harry R. Lewis, Gordon McKay professor of computer science

I am Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay professor of computer science, and I should like to speak against the push for divestment from fossil fuels. 

Let me begin by agreeing with the colleagues who have docketed this discussion that climate change is the great existential threat of our times. The question is what Harvard should do about it. Of course, Harvard can do more than one thing, but as we are an institution devoted to teaching and research, those are the weapons we are best positioned to marshal in the fight. And teaching in particular is the thing that this Faculty, acting as a body, can decide to do. Our undergraduates disproportionately go on to influence the future of the world in industry, the professions, and public service. We could shape our curriculum so that Harvard undergraduates will leave here understanding the nature of the threat and their agency to do something about it. I know that many individual faculty members have, to their credit, stressed environmental issues in their own teaching. But we are now being asked to act as a body to pressure the Corporation for divestment, when we have taken no comparable action as a body to better educate our students. 

For this Faculty as a body to alter our education requires no petition to the Corporation or permission from any dean or president. Someone could put a curricular motion on the table and we could vote on it. If we wanted to make it happen, it would happen, whether the Corporation liked it or not. We could make a requirement, or we could fashion a more creative educational strategy. But mainly I wish that my colleagues had asked us to make a commitment as a body to do something that is actually within our competence and power to do, before asking us to tell the Corporation how it should run the endowment. Rather than piling up educational requirements, we might even decide that learning about climate change is more important than the least important of the many other things we already expect of our students.

As for divestment now. I took some pains a moment ago to name the donor of my chair, to make the point that Harvard can do good works with tainted money. If you do not know the tale of Gordon McKay, I invite you to read the Vita I wrote about him for Harvard Magazine a few years ago. He would be a pariah today, but I don’t think that has diminished the good that has come from his endowment. 

Now I have no opinion about whether Harvard should or should not be invested in anything. The job of the endowment managers is to preserve and increase Harvard’s endowment, so that we faculty can do our good works and our students can reap the benefit. Our job is advancing society through teaching and learning. 

Universities are the kidneys of society. The main thing you want from kidneys is to produce pure output, whether or not the inflow is dirty. It is odd that we regularly try to seize the moral high ground by discussing divestment from something or other that is considered impure, but we rarely talk about whether our own work advances society or not. It is no breach of academic freedom to seek answers to that question. All it requires is a willingness to be as critical of ourselves as we are of the Corporation and its investments.

At the last meeting Professor [Edward] Hall correctly described fossil-fuel divestment as a political statement, one that would not exert financial leverage on the fossil-fuel industry. Indeed, selling supply-side stocks to someone else and leaving all the demand-side stocks in our portfolio—airlines, trucking companies, Amazon, the meat industry—seems to me pointlessly self-gratifying. Really, divestment votes are a waste of time. The country’s two largest pension funds, which are many times the size of the Harvard endowment, divested from gun stocks after the Sandy Hook massacre, but there’s no evidence that did anything to solve our horrible gun problem. But they resisted pressure to divest from stores selling guns, and because they had a seat at the table as shareholders, they helped get some of those companies to change their practices.

One of the things about political statements is that they tend to be welcomed by people who don’t need convincing and to do little to persuade skeptics. They are divisive, when academia more than ever needs friends and allies today. Universities make too many political statements already, and such empty declarations increase skepticism about whether we are really in the business of truth as we claim to be or are now just one more politicized American institution.

What we as a Faculty should instead do to impact the climate, it seems to me, is to use as much money as Harvard can make available to us to fight the needed scientific, technical, economic, civic, and social fights. If some of the money we use to do that comes from the fossil-fuel industries themselves, the joke will be on them.  We should accept the profits and use them to help save the planet in the ways we are professionally competent—and powerfully positioned—to do.

[Updated November 6 at 3:40 p.m., to identify the speaker.] Steven C. Wofsy, Rotch professor of atmospheric and environmental science,  rose to say that although he had until recently opposed divestment, the  gutting of the Clean Power Plan and the CAFE standards [for automobile and truck energy efficiency], at the behest of the fossil-fuel industry, had led him to change his mind. Making money from fossil-fuel investments, he now thought, was equivalent to profiting from tobacco.

•Climate change and core values of diversity and inclusion: statement of Scott V. Edwards, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology (OEB). [Editor’s note: Professor Edwards is a member of the Board of Directors of Harvard Magazine Inc.]

As an ornithologist, my research and teaching have both involved climate change as a core driver of evolutionary and ecological change. As [Agassiz professor of zoology] Jim Hanken pointed out at our last faculty meeting, zoology classes at Harvard have been, by necessity, intensely focused on the consequences of climate change for various animal groups. For example, for decades ornithologists have quantified the extent to which climate change has altered the timing and geography of migration, often with detrimental effects on the species in question, especially when arrival times in spring are driven out of sync with the emergence of insect and other prey. The effect of climate change on animal populations is a core issue that few classes in OEB can avoid. To the extent that climate change erodes the very populations that we study in our research, our research itself will suffer and become uprooted.

But today I’d like to draw your attention to a different link between climate change and our core values as a faculty. Specifically I’d like to argue for an important link between Harvard’s approach to climate change and our approach to diversity and inclusion. I just returned from the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists, or SACNAS, one of whose themes this year was climate change. SACNAS is the largest and most diverse national gathering of students and faculty in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and is a fertile arena for dialogues between indigenous communities of scientists and educators. Climate change has been at the center of discussions at SACNAS for years, and we have heard heartrending stories of environmental degradation from diverse indigenous peoples, naturally the first to experience our rapidly changing environment. This year, the keynote speaker at SACNAS was Hilda Heine, the president of the Marshall Islands, a Pacific island nation whose very future depends on the ability of developed nations like ours to curtail their production of greenhouse gases. In graphic detail, President Heine reminded the audience of 5,000 undergraduates of the horrific deployment of hydrogen bombs and multiple nuclear tests by the U.S. government in the post-World War II years—a typical —I repeat, typical—example of the disregard of the U.S. government for the plight of voices perceived to be weak and marginalized. In our comfort as a developed nation, with no end to technologies and quick fixes that buffer us from the negative consequences of climate change, it’s all too easy for us to forget that many people around the globe are orders of magnitude more sensitive to climate change than we are. As a country, and, I daresay, as a University, we are literally contributing to the genocide of indigenous populations through our unwillingness to address the sources of climate change. I believe that, as a University, a failure to divest from companies grossly contributing to the problem of climate change is tantamount to contributing to this genocide and to ignoring the voices of diverse indigenous populations around the globe. How can we, as a University, claim to hold the values of diversity and inclusion to heart, when our actions disproportionately affect those already marginalized on the global stage?

[Updated November 6, 7:55 a.m., to identify the speaker and provide a fuller account of his remarks; this paragraph replaces the prior summary sentence on those remarks.] Timken University Professor Irwin I. Shapiro rose to observe that, although it may be hopelessly idealistic, he thought Harvard should consider taking the lead to help solve this clearly world problem of climate change through initiating the organizing of the universities of this country, if not of the world, to develop an approach to the scientific, political, economic, etc., means to solve the problem. That coalition then could be used to pressure the governments of the different countries to support this approach, perhaps with modifications.  This approach would likely involve both cooperation and competition of universities, and other entities, in solving specific parts of the overall problem. 

President Bacow Responds

President Bacow said these issues would be revisited at the next faculty meeting, and that the comments aired today would be taken back to the Corporation. In reflecting on the statements made, he said, “I think it’s important for us to focus not on points of disagreement but on points of agreement”—namely, that climate change is real, threatening, and demands action. “Whatever people may believe about divestment,” he continued, “we all need to agree that as a faculty, we need to confront this issue through our scholarship and teaching,” and through the actions of each individual.

He was troubled, he said, that divestment was seen as a “litmus test,” a sign of whether an individual or an institution cared about climate change. “I do,” he emphasized, recalling his scholarly career in environmental science at MIT (read background here). “I don’t need to be persuaded” that climate change is an urgent problem. So, he said, he agreed with many speakers on many things, even though he might disagree on what is the most effective action.

Turning to divestment per se, he recalled Professor Hall’s statement at the October faculty meeting, where he characterized divestment as a “political statement”—as it indeed is, Bacow said. “But we need to be modest about our capacity to improve the world merely by making political statements.” As Professor Stock had noted, this is an elite institution; many people regard it skeptically, even with mistrust, Bacow continued: “We don’t want to make it harder to solve this problem. We want to make it easier.” He noted that he was supporting research within FAS on how to support parts of the United States where people might lose from changes necessary to adapt to climate change (an example of how to proceed productively).

He also said that he would not defend the conduct of all companies, but noted, “We paint with a very broad brush” if we believe that all companies act in the same ways. Some energy companies, he noted, are trying to be carbon-neutral. They deserve constructive engagement, rather than being labeled as morally repugnant.

Harvard did divest from tobacco investments, he noted: tobacco has no social utility, it is dangerous, and owning tobacco securities was repugnant. But at the same time, Harvard banned sale of tobacco on campus, banned consumption on campus, and prohibited research funded by tobacco interests. The “day after” divesting from fossil-fuel enterprises, he said, “We would still have to turn on the lights, we would still have to heat our buildings,” and many faculty members would still get on airplanes. “We cannot wash our hands of this problem.”

Accordingly, it was urgent for an institution like Harvard to research how to lessen demand for fossil fuels, to explore and teach about new clean-energy technologies, sustainability, and the policies that would bring them into effect. Given the scope of the changes required, he said, the role of government and policy in changing behavior on a wide scale was key.

He pointed to a handout on Harvard Management Company’s engagements on sustainable investment, and urged the faculty members to read it. Were the University to divest, he said, those engagements would cease at once—something he thought faculty members ought to inform themselves about.

In any event, he said, the discussion would continue. Apart from, or beyond, divestment, a Corporation decision, he focused on the point Professor Lewis made: “What is it that as a faculty we want to do? What do you want to do,” as teaching faculty members, “with no permission from anyone”—in scholarship, teaching, and the way FAS members conduct their lives, demonstrating the power of their conviction to their students?

With that, he deemed the meeting useful and productive, and thanked all for taking part.

 

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Letters on Angela Davis, the Bureau of Study Counsel, climate change, and more

November-December 2019 Opinion

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Angela Davis, Bureau of Study Counsel, climate change
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Crime and Incarceration

The article about Elizabeth Hinton (“Color and Incarceration,” by Lydialyle Gibson, September-October, page 40) included an observation by Hinton when she visited a loved one inside a California prison and saw “all these black and brown families.” I work for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), dedicated to helping incarcerated men and women successfully transition back into society and reform our criminal justice system. I have walked into numerous prisons in California, which has one of the world’s largest prison systems. Each time I step into one of these institutions, my breath is taken away by the image of a sea of black and brown bodies in oversized blue prison uniforms, slowly pacing these prison yards in a fog of hopelessness.

I’ve also seen how education can help break through this fog. Sam Lewis, ARC’s executive director, often speaks with me about how education dramatically changed his life during his 24 years of incarceration in a California prison. I applaud and second Hinton’s call for Harvard to invest in prison education. Education is and will continue to be critical in developing the leadership of those most impacted by our justice system. As an alum, I would love to see Harvard lead in this effort.

Bikila Ochoa, Ph.D. ’09
Los Angeles

Speak Up, Please

Harvard Magazine welcomes letters on its contents. Please write to “Letters,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138, or send comments by email to yourturn@harvard.edu.

 

Hinton’s critique of our criminal justice system, and her call for policy reform, are compelling and convincing. But aside from a few casual references, the article ignores an essential dimension of the story: the victims. It is as if none of the incarcerated had committed an offense graver than possession of recreational drugs. Yet in many if not most cases, the victims of crime are from the same disadvantaged socioeconomic, racial, or ethnic groups as the perpetrators. Moreover, victim compensation, sometimes in lieu of incarceration, should be a key element of humane and effective offender rehabilitation.

In portraying the perpetrators as the victims, the author airbrushes the real victims out of the story. Truly, justice is blind.

Andrew Sorokowski, A.M. ’75
Rockville, Md.

The article was disappointing because it left out an important part of the story. Gibson overlooked James Forman Jr.’s book, Locking Up Our Own, subtitled Crime and Punishment in Black America, which won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 2018. I am interested in the topic because I have been a criminal defense lawyer for most of my career, beginning in 1981.

The article sums up Hinton’s book as:

[telling] the story of how federal policies—shaped by presidential administrations and endorsed by Congress—ratcheted up surveillance and punishment in black urban neighborhoods from the 1960s through the 1980s, how criminalization was steadily expanded, and how all of this was driven by deeply held assumptions about the cultural and behavioral inferiority of black Americans.

Gibson overlooks the most important point of Locking Up Our Own: that “amid a surge in crime and drug addiction,” black mayors, judges, and police chiefs who took office in the 1970s, “fearing that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness, embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics” (as the dust jacket puts it). Those officials responded to the demands of black people to do something about the crime in their neighborhoods.

There were big changes in the late 1980s with the advent of the federal sentencing guidelines. Drug cases, even for small amounts of illegal drugs, were prosecuted in federal court instead of state court to take advantage of long mandatory minimum sentences. While many black people were sentenced to prison for crimes involving crack cocaine in urban areas, white people were imprisoned for methamphetamine offenses in rural areas.

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In effect, our country decided to treat illegal drug possession and sales as a criminal-justice problem instead of a public-health challenge. Many public officials, black and white, were making decisions with the best of intentions that resulted in what is now called mass incarceration. Fear of crime motivated all races to do something. I hope Hinton is telling the whole story to her classes about how we got to now.

Patrick Deaton, M.P.A. ’87
St. Louis

The statistics are painfully clear: 50 percent of U.S. murders are committed by 6 percent of our population, black males. A very high violent crime rate in black communities requires police presence to (a) protect potential victims, mostly black, and (b) deter more serious crime. But Hinton concludes that history and white racism are to blame for black crime and imprisonment. Are we to believe that the black community bears no responsibility for its behavior?

Richard Merlo ’57
Elkin, N.C.

“Color and Incarceration” tells a tragic story. To the extent Hinton’s and others’ research in this field defines the problems to be solved, it is useful. This past August 30, Norfolk, Virginia’s, black police chief said, after a bloody week in which 10 people were shot and 5 killed, he is forming a committee to address the public-health crisis of young black men and gun violence the in the same way that they look at the opioid crisis. This means looking at poverty, education, and children regularly witnessing and being victims of gun violence. Black men are either suspect or victim in 93 percent of shootings in Norfolk, often both.

The chief said those demographics have persisted throughout his 30-year career. Black men were victims in 71 percent of the 450 homicides from 2006 to 2017. In the 320 killings in which police arrested someone, that suspect was black 78 percent of the time. He has been saying to groups: Guns are everywhere, shooters are getting younger, and Norfolk residents aren’t energized enough.

The racial makeup of Norfolk is : 47.1 percent white; 43.1 percent African American; 0.5 percent Native American; 3.3 percent Asian; 0.2 percent Pacific Islander; 2.2 percent other races; and 3.6 percent two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 6.6 percent.

Where are the calls for Pareto analyses and research that help will help us set things right?

Robert Armour, M.B.A. ’67
Virginia Beach, Va.

 

Professor Elizabeth Hinton seems to view poverty and racial oppression as the underlying causes of violent crime.

The homicide offending rate for blacks in St. Louis is about 116 per 100,000 (https://www.slmpd.org/images/2018_Homicide_Stats_for_Website.pdf). This is 13 times the rate of 9 per 100,000 in New York City (https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/nypd/downloads/pdf/analysis_and_planning/yea....). The poverty rate in St. Louis is 23 percent, versus 19 percent in New York City.

New York City’s overall homicide rate declined from 31 per 100,000 in 1990 to 3.4 per 100,000 in 2018. Its poverty rate was 19 percent in both years.

Varying levels of poverty and racial oppression do not explain the homicide offending rate for blacks being 13 times higher in St. Louis than in New York City or the 90 percent decline in New York City’s homicide rate since 1990. What does?

Andrew Campbell ’74
Ann Arbor, Mich.

 

Elizabeth Hinton has done valuable research, but the her book From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime and the article give a misleading picture of the origin of the dramatic growth in our prison population. Chronological plots of crime statistics from Baltimore* and Massachusetts offer a better picture of what happened (*FBI UCR Crime data from a student research project led by me at George Mason University [in preparation]).

 A combination of factors including rise in drug use and other developments in the 1960s led to a huge surge in crime nationwide. This ultimately led to a bipartisan-supported increase in police resources and stiffening of sentencing that peaked with the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act. The Baltimore plot suggests it had major effect in reducing crime. 

Blacks bore the brunt of increased incarceration because higher percentages lived in poverty-burdened neighborhoods that are breeding grounds for crime. The anti-crime movement overreacted—a typical American behavior—but was fundamentally motivated against lawlessness, not a vendetta against African Americans. 

Frank T. Manheim ’52
Fairfax, Va.

Angela Davis

Harvard Magazine’s hagiographic paean to Angela Davis (“Revisiting Angela Davis,” the sidebar to “Color and Incarceration,” September-October, page 44) at least does touch on reality by noting a few of the details of her part in a horrible terrorist murder in the 1970s. Too bad the tone about that incident is so forgiving and low key.

However, to then pass off her totalitarian sympathies by simply saying she was a “member” of the Communist Party is an outrageous evasion. She was the vice presidential candidate of the American Communist Party twice, supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1979 in Moscow. It’s nice that Davis cares, or says she does, about prisoners in this country. However, when Czech dissident Jeri Pelikan publicly called on her to defend his imprisoned dissident comrades, she refused. When Alan Dershowitz asked her to support Eastern bloc political prisoners, she told him that “they are all Zionist fascists and opponents of socialism.” Which of course calls attention to her strong support for the anti-Zionist BDS movement, which aims to dismantle the Jewish homeland.

Angela Davis is a thoroughly reprehensible extreme leftist and a hypocrite when it comes to prisoners’ rights. It is a shame that such a puff piece on her made it into your pages, and it is a disgrace for Harvard to have anything to do with glorifying or honoring her.

Jonathan Burack ’64
East Lansing, Mich.

In “Revisiting Angela Davis,” on the exciting, upcoming exhibit from the papers of Angela Davis recently acquired by the Schlesinger Library, there is a questionable characterization of the “attack on the Marin County Courthouse” in 1970 that resulted in her arrest and trial on multiple charges related to this event.

Often referred to as the August 7 Revolt or Rebellion, the courthouse action was initiated by Jonathan Jackson, the younger brother of George Jackson, who was the most influential of the radical black prisoners referred to as the Soledad Brothers after being accused of the murder of a guard in the California state prison of that name. The sidebar states that the courthouse action was “intended to free the Soledad Brothers but instead left four people dead…,” a claim that was actually used by the prosecution in her trial to support the argument that Davis’s personal relationship with George Jackson was the principal motive for her involvement with the incident. The prosecution could not present definitive evidence for this claim, as detailed in Davis’s Autobiography, describing the cross-examination of chief prosecutor Albert Harris by the defense on that point. The implication that the four deaths resulting from the action were attributable to the brutality of Jackson and three militant prisoners during that incident was also contested in the cross-examination. Jonathan Jackson, prisoners James McClain and William Christmas, and Judge Haley were shot and killed inside a van by San Quentin guards in line with the policy at that time that all escapes must be prevented, even if the killing of hostages might be involved.

Anna Wexler, Ed.D. ’98
Jamaica Plain, Mass.

Bureau of Study Counsel

We are the five living former directors and associate directors of the Bureau of Study Counsel (BSC), representing nearly a half-century (1971-2019) of the BSC’s existence since its founding in the mid 1940s. We are concerned about the characterizations of the bureau offered as justification for its closing (“Bureau of Study Counsel, R.I.P.”; harvardmag.com/bsc-to-arc-19). We appreciate the magazine’s recognition that something important to students’ educational experience will likely be lost (“A Chill in the Air?” September-October, page 5). In our direct and extensive experiences of the BSC, we know it as an office that is deeply committed to an educational mission and model and that has continuously evolved to support the learning and developmental needs of an ever-changing student population.

The primary mission of the BSC has always been educational. BSC services have helped students sharpen their academic skills (reading, time management, problem-solving) with the broader goal of helping each student develop an independent mind that can, among other things, take thoughtful perspective on sources of knowledge and authority; reckon with complexity and uncertainty; generate and evaluate new possibilities; engage difficult endeavors with rigor and purpose; and weigh choices and consequences against deeply considered values. These capabilities are central to the College’s mission and the aims of a liberal arts and sciences education and are as relevant today as they were in the post-World War II era of the BSC’s founding.

When the College hired a new director in 2005, it expressly reconfirmed the BSC’s mission as an academic support office, not a mental-health service—a clarification that was necessary given that Harvard had moved oversight of the BSC to the University Health Services the previous year (a shift which the BSC counselors at that time cautioned against). In 2015, the staff welcomed the move back to the College as a renewed endorsement of the BSC’s original and continuing focus on learning and development.

During the last few decades, at Harvard and beyond, the term “mental health” has slipped almost unquestioned into everyday parlance and has become overly applied to human experience, including the inherently personal and emotional aspects of education and learning. The best educational/developmental support welcomes the rich complex whole of students’ experience of learning. Although such support—including that offered by the BSC—is appropriately informed by the fields of psychology and neuroscience, it is not mental-health treatment.

Listening closely to students’ experiences of learning has helped the BSC staff identify and bring early attention to emerging educational issues and trends—often long in advance of these becoming College priorities—including diversity, inclusion, and belonging in the University; plagiarism and academic integrity; academic stress and resilience; the role of technology in the college experience; and the value of a holistic approach to learning and development. The BSC has a longstanding record of hiring diverse staff from the fields of education and psychology as well as a history of drawing upon and contributing to evolving models and materials in the field of student learning and development.

For over 70 years the BSC has provided an educational setting in which students from every background have found the practical support, illuminating perspectives, and personal courage needed to engage in transformational learning. We five educators who lived and led two-thirds of the BSC’s long history are grateful to have been a part of such an innovative and inclusive learning service dedicated to promoting the intellectual and ethical development of our students.

Suzanne Renna, Ed.D. ’88
Former associate director and
former acting director

Ann Fleck-Henderson ’64, Ph.D.
Former associate director

Jean Wu, Ed.D. ’84
Former associate director

Abigail Lipson, Ph.D.
Former director

Sheila Reindl ’80, Ed.D. ’95
Former associate director

Climate Change

In an essay on “Climate Change” [President Lawrence S. Bacow’s regular letter to readers, September-October, page 3], it is stated that “The scientific consensus is by now clear:” Convenient, because there is not a word in the article to support this so-called science. Nor is there any mention that carbon dioxide, a small fraction of one-half of 1 percent of the earth’s atmosphere, is essential for plant life, and so for all life on earth—including us. One shudders to think how long life could “flourish” in this academically ideal “decarbonized future.”

Of course, the “scientific consensus” on the structure of the universe was settled by Ptolemy, creation by the Bible, gravity by Newton—until someone like Galileo, or Darwin, or Einstein, with the imagination and courage to challenge consensus, follow-the-crowd thinking came along. One hopes for something better from a major university. Nullius in verba.

William J. Jones, J.D. ’60
Warren, N.J.

Editor’s note: The nearly universal scientific consensus, worldwide and among Harvard experts, is that increased man-made emissions of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are accelerating the warming of the planet and climate change—as has been scientifically predicted for decades. No one disputes that plants use carbon dioxide. Decarbonization refers to reducing man-made emissions from combusting fossil fuels, burning forests, and so on—not to changing the natural chemistry of the atmosphere. The magazine’s extensive coverage of these issues is searchable online at www.harvardmagazine.com; the president’s letter is about University affairs from his perspective, not an article or a report summarizing the underlying science.

 

I read with admiration and sadness the Undergraduate column by Isa Flores-Jones ’19, who writes of the disempowerment she felt as a climate activist trying, in vain, to convince Harvard to divest its holdings from oil and gas companies before her graduation (“Movement Ecology,” September-October, page 35). As Undergraduate columnist from 1985 to 1987, I well remember the “Divest Now” balloon tethered to my and many classmates’ graduation mortar boards—referring not to the University’s fossil-fuel assets, but to holdings in companies doing business with then-apartheid South Africa.

Then, as now, the Overseers made student activists feel they had no agency. As Flores-Jones describes: they listened politely, acknowledged students’ quaint idealism, and disclaimed any power to change the status quo. Affirmation and moral conviction came, instead, from afar: a graduation-day phone call from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to student movement leaders, assuring them their efforts would matter in the end. And matter they did.

Although the lesson of history is that we don’t learn from history, the denouement of the present divestment story seems particularly obvious. Couldn’t Harvard simply cut to the finish, and show that America’s most powerful institutions can occasionally be leaders rather than laggards?

Claudia Polsky ’87
Associate clinical professor of law
and director, Environmental Law Clinic
UC, Berkeley School of Law

I write to challenge President Bacow’s call for a “decarbonized future.” While all scientists agree that the earth has warmed and is still warming since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850, there is no “consensus” that anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) is the cause of either past or future warming. See, e.g., www.PetitionProject.org, where 31,487 scientists expressly dispute the “consensus” to which President Bacow erroneously refers. In my view, the current climate-change hysteria is based solely upon the projections of several dozen relatively crude and defective computer climate models. All of those models assume their own conclusion that: current and future anthropogenic CO2 will “cause” the glaciers to melt, the seas to rise, and shorelines to disappear. I liken the scary predictions of those modelers to the Wizard of Oz. President Obama has appropriately disregarded all of that CO2 hysteria and recently purchased his dream home on the immediate shoreline of Martha’s Vineyard Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He obviously has no fear of future sea-level rise.

Ten years ago, two distinguished German physicists destroyed the modelers’ unsupported CO2 hypothesis (see “Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics,” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner, Int.J.Mod.Phys.B, vol. 23, no. 3, 2009). Since that time, no physicist at Harvard, or any other institution, has even attempted, much less succeeded, in showing that Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s falsification of the “anthropogenic CO2 warming hypothesis” is scientifically incorrect. Because there is no valid scientific evidence that the “anthropogenic CO2 warming hypothesis” has any basis in physics and/or the real world, there is obviously no need to put the entire world through the unimaginable and impossible task of “decarbonization.”

Don W. Crockett, J.D. ’66
Washington, D.C.

President Bacow in his essay says, “If the future is our genuine concern, we must face up to the stark reality of climate change.” He proceeds to tout Harvard’s “research, education, and engagement” but refers to the reasonable demand that Harvard act on its principles by divesting from its fossil-fuel investments only by noting that the debate about divestment “will no doubt continue.” What is he waiting for? How long can Harvard continue to urge its employees and students to recycle their cups while avoiding taking the ethical step—and showing true leadership among universities—by divesting? And he doesn’t even mention the advocacy for Harvard to divest from its investments in prisons, which are huge parts of a greedy and profoundly racist and classist set of enterprises.

Paula J. Caplan ’69 
Associate, Du Bois Institute, Hutchins Center for 
African and African American Research
Cambridge

Relative to the health of Mother Earth, the question is whether divestment is primarily a moral or a practical issue. Due to insatiable demand, the overuse of fossil fuels may be permanently damaging the planet; consumption is out of control, for political and economic reasons only indirectly related to good and evil. Thus the corruption of the fossil-fuel industry, and whether or not using a plastic toothbrush is morally superior to smoking a cigarette, are both incidental; unchecked consumption is the issue, regardless of the moral character of fossil-fuel sellers who merely supply the market with what it wants. And because they sell to anyone, as far as good and evil are concerned it is their absence of morality that should concern us; cold, mercenary, and devoid of conscience, they bargain with saints and sinners alike. This is what an Exxon share really signifies—a for-profit investment in a ruthless trade that does not trouble itself with delicate matters of conscience, and soils its hands as conditions require.

So the least the apologists for fossil-fuel investment can do is stop patronizing us with their pseudo-moral arguments of convenience—for the sake of intellectual honesty, if nothing else. Otherwise we must take their position for what it is: a timid, unprincipled concession to the raw power of a worldwide behemoth, to which many research universities are now attached like remoras to the back of a whale. And since we are known by the company we keep, we are left with two questions; for what do we stand, and how will we be remembered. Slavery once had its share of ardent defenders who saw positive moral good in it; how long, then, will it take the fossil-fuel apologists to see the bankruptcy of their position for themselves.

Frank Morgan ’73, Ds ’79
Wrightsville, Pa.

In his September message to the Harvard community, President Bacow summarized his concerns on climate change and fossil fuels: Climate change is a crisis…fossil fuels are the problem…We hope to be fossil-fuel free by 2050. 

Is the “We” President Bacow is referring to, to make all buildings of the Harvard community fossil-free by 2050? If so, how would one measure the cost and benefit to the University? Or is “We” referring to a larger entity?

As we debate the extent and location of “Climate Change” problems, we must not forget the Hockey Stick hoax of East Anglia University, which most agree was based on manipulated data. 

On August 8, 2019, there was a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel that announced that global warming was devastating crop production and threatening food shortages. This news was contradicted 20 days later, by a Wall Street Journal article that global crop production is setting new records. 

I would like to see a report by a skilled scientist of the Harvard community evaluate the research done by the petroleum engineer Robert Rapier in his paper, published by Forbes on July 1, 2018, titled “China emits more carbon dioxide then the U.S. and EU Combined.” Rapier’s statistics indicate a substantial growth of global emissions of CO2 between 1990 and 2017 from 11 to 18 billion tons/year. In 1990, free Europe and the U.S. combined emitted 9 billion tons, and in 2017 it dropped to 8 billion tons. During the same period the emissions of CO2 in China increased from 2 to 10 billion tons. 

A question for our Harvard community should be, what is the measure we should be using in defining the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere?. And what is the view of Professor William Happer of Princeton? 

David Scott ’51, M.B.A. ’53 
Dover, N.H. 

I was disappointed by Mr. Bacow’s column, particularly by his comment that “The scientific consensus is by now clear.”

While periodically scientific consensus may be clear, it is never immutable nor settled. Science is based on observation; and as we continue to observe more and gain more facts, scientific consensus moves on.

The “scientific consensus” was settled that everything revolved around the earth before Galileo. In the Soviet Union, the “scientific consensus” was settled under the Lysenkoist theory that changes to living beings could be passed on genetically. And so on.

I would also observe that “climate change” is and always has been ongoing. As far as I can understand, the earth’s climate has been changing for several million years. It is hard to know what exactly is different right now and why we should suddenly be alarmed about a process that does predate us by the aforementioned several million years and which seems not to have resulted in catastrophe for tens of thousands of years (ever since the last Ice Age.)

I applaud Mr. Bacow’s call for additional research. But the president of Harvard, of all people, should not indulge in unscientific and even anti-scientific appeals to a current consensus.

Tom Neagle, M.B.A. ’72
Fort Mill, S.C.

 Larry Bacow’s climate-change column was the most globally important piece I recall reading in Harvard magazine in decades.

By way of background for this comment, I spent many years studying various fields of science before becoming a Humphrey Fellow at Harvard Business School a lifetime ago. With my M.B.A. degree in hand, I worked as a management consultant for Arthur D. Little Inc., then headed up a similar but smaller firm with a reputation for high-quality consulting work. From this education and experience, through HBS, ADL, and a nearly 40-year-long career, I learned how to sort out the real from the fake, and the important from the trivial. 

Now, as a parent, a grandparent, and someone who cares about other people, I feel obligated to speak up and say that no truer words have been written about climate change and its overarching importance than those in Larry’s column. World-famous scientists who understand climate change, including many at Harvard, shake their heads in sad disbelief at the huge gap between their fact-based concern for our future and the widespread nonchalance of the general public—not to mention the outright denial among some.

Larry’s column provides a welcome and overdue brightening of the glimmers of climate-change light that now emanate from various Harvard schools, including HBS. For that I am grateful. Now it’s time for Harvard, the university that educates leaders who make a difference in the world, to show others the way forward by establishing a University Climate Initiative to put Harvard at the cutting edge of this critical existential issue.

Roger Shamel, M.B.A. ’74
Hillsborough, N.H.

The global warming alarms that sounded late in the last century initially were very troubling. But time was not kind to the alarmists, who have since been discredited: none of their dire forecasts has come to pass. We’ve had no temperature increase at all over the past 20 years, even as atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise steadily.

Agreement seems to be emerging among numerous credible scientists that:

  • CO2 probably is not a significant factor in global warming. There certainly is no “consensus” to the contrary, and studies claiming to have found one have been refuted.
  • Warming and cooling cycles occur through natural forces which we can’t control, with solar activity likely being one of the most important.
  • CO2 is a good thing, not a bad thing, and so are fossil fuels. Increased atmospheric CO2 produces many beneficial effects on natural plant and animal environments.

Thus, I was very disappointed to read Harvard president Larry Bacow’s “View From Mass Hall: Climate Change.” He merely parrots the popular media narrative: “…we must face up to the stark reality of climate change. The scientific consensus is by now clear: the threat is real, the potential consequences are grave, and the time to focus on solutions is now.”

Well, no, not really. That is to view climate change from the alarmist extreme of the debate.

Many respected scientists now know better; they offer a more balanced view of things. Future generations may well look back upon the climate change panic as the worst case of mass hysteria since the Church of Rome convulsed over Galileo. Too bad that Harvard’s leadership is following politics, not science, doing little to calm the hysteria or expose the decarbonization mania for the folly that it is.

Robert E. Price, M.B.A. ’71
Franklin, N.C.

Baseball’s Rules

Jacob Sweet’s baseball profile, “All Instincts” (May-June, page 32), states that a batter cannot steal first base. But a batter may attempt to steal first on a wild pitch when there are no on-base runners.

Paul Coran
Rockville, Md.

Jacob Sweet clarifies: This is true in the independent Atlantic League as of July, but not in college baseball or MLB as of press time.

About That Vole

Although I greatly appreciated the article about me (“A New Way of Being in the World,” September-October, page 67), there’s something I would like to clarify. The article ends with a vole who is cornered on my porch by two of my cats. She knows she can’t escape, she believes the end has come, and she covers her eyes with her hands. That part’s okay, but I’ve had some criticism from readers for letting this happen, and the truth (which didn’t appear in the article) is that I didn’t let it happen. I ran toward the cats, shouting at them, they turned to look at me, the vole saw she had a moment to escape, and she dashed away to safety. That’s in the book, and I’d appreciate your publishing this letter so readers won’t think too badly of me.

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas ’54
Peterborough, N.H.

Kudos

Thank you and Nell Porter Brown for the “Explorations and Curiosities” series (Harvard Squared). It’s drawn our attention to all kinds of experiences we would have missed otherwise—just last week we spent a wonderful afternoon at the fascinating Public Health Museum in Tewksbury, which I wouldn’t have known about without Porter Brown’s article in the magazine.

Tara Kelly ’91
Gloucester, Mass.

I enjoyed All in a Day about Worcester (“Purgatory—and Beyond,” Harvard Squared, September-October, page 16N). But I was sorry it did not mention the great Korean restaurant Simjang. The food is outstanding, the staff welcoming; they even hosted a poetry reading where I had a chance to share some of my own dishes of poems about Korea. I hope others discover Simjang, too.

David McCann
Korea Foundation professor of
Korean literature emeritus
Watertown, Mass.

Nell Porter Brown’s feature on “Purgatory—and Beyond” brought me to full attention.

I haven’t thought of Purgatory in Sutton, Massachusetts, for decades. It was a destination for a few summer outings for us kids coming from the heat of the nearby city of Worcester. Although it lacked a swimming hole, the rocks provided entertainment sufficient for an afternoon. Thanks for the photo and for the text which stirred some very good memories, and which in turn inspired the poem I attach.

Station Yourself on the Rock

Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, Mass.—
a geological anomaly—meant
more than that to you and me
(no scientists we at five and seven)
who had come with parents
to picnic a lifetime ago.
Pictures emerge in my mind
of sharp outcroppings of towering rock
intimidating in their seeming leaning
at a cautionary angle that said, Take care,
and we did, climbing that rocky place
named by Puritans as Purgatory
where the soul is cleansed by fire
before coming into the presence of God
enabled to bear the beatific vision
which otherwise it could not, recalling
Moses, hidden in rock and waiting to see
the glory of God pass by, but only
allowed the hindmost parts, as no one
could look on the face of God and live.
As smoke rose up from our charcoal grill—
hot dogs, chips and tonic ready—
we sat at a picnic table and shared
the family meal before God.

Judith Robbins, M.T.S. ’96
Whitefield, Me.

Diversity

Regarding the New York Times Magazine’s cover story on litigation before Judge Burroughs (9/1/19):

While the author sets out to analyze the litigation from the viewpoint of second-generation Asian immigrants, the point I draw from it is quite different. The Harvard admissions process is about diversity for the benefit of the student body, not for the purpose of righting old injustices; it has nothing to do with affirmative action. Harvard may quite properly have a purpose not focused on addressing the harms of historic, institutional racism. One can quite properly argue whether this is the “right” purpose for a private institution or not, but it’s not a federally justiciable issue. 

 William Malone ’58, J.D. ’62
New Canaan, Conn.

 Not White, not Black; Asian. Hispanic.

My son’s high school writes to ask me about his race. There are very few choices and so, I reply, none of them describe the diversity he represents. 

I hesitate to tell the information officer that my son is African American. Yet that’s exactly what he is: his father was born under a tree in the Sahara. His first language was not Arabic dialect but the tribal language of the Saharawi. 

In New Orleans, I think, my son isn’t black. But I’m wrong. He isn’t white. And what else is there? In this town, where people have been mixing for 400 years, the reality of Code Noir and Jim Crow has left lasting divisions. My son came home from day care, at age three, and confided in us that he was glad that his father was not a slave because, as his caregivers had told him, this had been the fate of black people in Louisiana. 

So why do I get it wrong, on the form, and say—because there is no category for my son—white? It is the same box that his young, African-American, English teacher puts him in, ignoring the experience he brings to their reading of African and Asian, Muslim, literatures. But the following year, another English teacher, white and on the verge of retirement, puts him in that other box, the one in which people, no matter how smart they might be, are not seen as competent in English. People with my son’s strange name and curly dark hair. 

Harvard students representing diversity have recently testified about their experience. I applaud them. I did not know what it was like to be “taken for” something, to be projected onto, until I watched my son. 

I worried about my son applying to Harvard with less than perfect scores, less than perfect grades. But he understands something better than I do. He understands that, wherever he is admitted, he will bring needed diversity: intelligence and experience, but also that fact that some people might not have seen him the way I do and also for that reason might not have given him the grade he deserves. And this, too, makes him who he is: “white” or African American, beur or Arab; in the UK, Asian, Muslim; and in Spain, Spanish, like his uncle, and other members of the tribe born before the Sahara was de-colonized.

He checks all the boxes. Why ask me? He knows who he is. 

Felicia McCarren ’82
New Orleans 

Errata

The fourth paragraph of the Vita on suffragist Adella Hunt Logan (September-October, page 54) contained inaccuracies in dating and other details involving Hunt Logan’s interactions with Susan B. Anthony, which were pointed out by Anthony biographer Lynn Sherr. Details appear at harvardmag.com/vita-logan-19. We regret the errors.

The profile of Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (“A New Way of Being in the World,” September-October, page 67) reported that she had “three dogs and three cats”—but one of those dogs is her son’s.

The report on a collection obtained by Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library (“Revisiting Angela Davis,” September-October, page 44) indicated that Professor Elizabeth Hinton and two graduate students sorted and organized the materials for an exhibition. In fact, their selections for the exhibition were preceded by processing of the materials by Schlesinger staff archivists Jenny Gotwals, Amber Moore, and Jehan Sinclair.

As published, the letter from Robert H. Goldstein (September-October, page 6) omitted a significant word, rendering “my humorously intended comments incomprehensible,” he notes. The letter should have read: “Among certain ethnic groups, the theological question of when life begins is reputed to be answered, ‘On graduation from law school,’” with the italicized word here restored.

 

Letters from our readers
10
Online Only

          

THEY ALL KNEW JOE WAS A CROOK: FOIA Documents Reveal Obama Admin Knew Burisma Scandal Was Major Issue for Joe Biden Back in 2015

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Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Trump’s ‘Conscience’ Rights That Allow Doctors to Refuse to Perform Abortions

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BOOM! Ukrainian Whistleblower Blows Up Schiff’s Lies – Says Obama Admin Pressured Ukraine All of the Time! (VIDEO)

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“It’s Going to Be Devastating. It’s Going to Ruin Careers” – Joe diGenova: IG Report Delayed Due to Durham Grand Jury – Several Obama DOJ Officials Will Be Indicted (VIDEO)

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REMEMBERING THE FORT HOOD TERROR ATTACK: Ten years ago this week. Obama initially called the Fort…

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REMEMBERING THE FORT HOOD TERROR ATTACK: Ten years ago this week. Obama initially called the Fort Hood attack “tragic events” and “violence in the workplace.” Words matter. Obama insistently ignored evidence indicating that violent Islamic dogma spurred Hasan. It took Obama six years — till 2015, well after the 2012 election — to call the […]
          

More celebs join Michelle Obama's voter outreach drive

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Election Day is over, but Michelle Obama is still trying to get out the vote.
          

[General] A few US presidents are my idols, besides Obama.

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Hi. Today I chatted with a friend online. He said his idol is Barack Obama. I told him that my idol back in a decade ago was also Obama. I was greatly inspired by him. I also said "A few US presidents are my idols, besides Obama". I wonder if...
          

Trump Administration Moves to Expand Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Care

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The Trump administration has moved to reverse Obama-era regulations that prevented adoption and foster care agencies that receive federal money from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  On Nov. 1, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would, in the name of religious liberty, stop enforcing Obama-era nondiscrimination regulations for HHS grantees. The same day, the […]
          

Fisura Obama poster

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Obama poster van Fisura. Illustratie van een moderne Barack Obama, door Amit Shimoni. Obama poster met dreadlocks, tattoos en een hemd. De poster is 50 x 50 centimeter groot en wordt geleverd zonder l..
          

More celebs join Michelle Obama’s voter outreach drive

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NEW YORK (AP) — Election Day is over, but Michelle Obama is still trying to get out the vote. The former first lady announced that Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Shonda Rhimes, Megan Rapinoe, Tracee Ellis Ross and Kerry Washington have signed on as co-chairs of the national organization When ... Reported by Seattle Times 19 minutes ago.
          

Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke the Legislative Filibuster

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Manchin, Tester Vow They’ll Never Nuke the Legislative FilibusterIf Democrats take control of the White House and the Senate in 2021, repealing the Senate’s legislative filibuster would be necessary for Democrats to enact a host of their legislative priorities. Several Democratic presidential candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, have called on the Senate to scrap the 60-vote rule for that very reason. But a crucial bloc of Senate Democrats is speaking up and promising they will never vote to repeal the Senate’s legislative filibuster.“They will not get my vote” to eliminate the Senate’s 60-vote requirement, Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema told Politico’s Burgess Everett in an interview last week. “In fact, whether I’m in the majority or the minority I would always vote to reinstate the protections for the minority. … It is the right thing for the country.”This week, two red-state Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, joined Sinema in firmly pledging to keep the 60-vote requirement for legislation.“I’ve always been there. That’s been my position from day one,” Manchin tells National Review. Are there any circumstances where Manchin could see himself voting to eliminate the 60-vote requirement for legislation? “Never,” Manchin replied. “Nope, I’m sitting in Bob Byrd’s seat. Just read his history.”“I don’t want to see the Senate become the House,” Montana senator Jon Tester tells National Review when asked about eliminating the legislative filibuster. Asked if he could imagine any circumstances where he would change his mind about the filibuster, Tester says: “Nope.”Politicians are well known for saying one thing and doing another. But the comments of Sinema, Manchin, and Tester are especially noteworthy because they just won in 2018. They are not speaking under the pressure of an imminent election.If Sinema, Manchin, and Tester all keep their word, their votes alone would likely be enough to preserve the Senate filibuster. Keeping the filibuster would ensure Democrats could not enact a variety of laws, from the Assault Weapons Ban to the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, if they take control of Washington in 2020.Republicans currently hold a 53–47 majority in the Senate, and it is hard to imagine Democrats winning more than 52 seats in next year’s elections. Republicans are playing defense in two states that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 (Colorado and Maine) as well as a few battleground states (Arizona, North Carolina, and Iowa). Beyond those five states, Democrats will look to red states of Georgia, Montana, and Texas.Democrats, meanwhile, have to defend one seat in deep-red Alabama, but incumbent Democratic Alabama senator Doug Jones also promises he would not vote to eliminate the legislative filibuster if he’s re-elected. “I’m going to keep the filibuster,” Jones tells National Review. No matter what? “Yep,” he says.Two more Senate Democrats who won election in 2018 also say they’d vote to keep it. “I think we should keep the filibuster. It’s one of the few things that we have left in order to let all of the voices be heard here in the Senate,” Nevada freshman Jacky Rosen, the only Democrat to unseat a Senate GOP incumbent in 2018, tells National Review. “I’m a yes” on keeping the legislative filibuster, Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey says.But several other Senate Democrats left the door open to eliminating the filibuster. “That’s an active discussion I’m participating in,” says Maryland’s junior senator Chris Van Hollen. New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand says eliminating the legislative filibuster is “something I’m spending time thinking about because there’s obvious risks when you have a 51-vote threshold when it comes to women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, clean air, clean water. So before I change the filibuster threshold, I need to think long and hard about the unintended consequences.”“I can only imagine myself being willing to do that where persistent Republican obstruction prevented us from making progress on the core issues facing our country for a long period of time,” says Delaware senator Chris Coons. “Not the first day, not the second day. Not the first months.”“I would welcome bipartisan reforms in the Senate rules. But I really believe they have to be truly bipartisan with a broad consensus and not forced by one party on the other,” says Maryland’s senior senator Ben Cardin.Colorado’s Michael Bennet says eliminating the 60-vote requirement requires a “longer conversation.” Virginia’s junior senator Mark Warner says he’s in favor of keeping the filibuster “at this point,” but he also “understand[s] the frustrations” of opponents. Virginia’s senior senator Tim Kaine dismissed the question of scrapping the filibuster: “That’s way out in the future.”How would Senate Democrats pass a health-care bill if they don’t repeal the filibuster? “I think budget reconciliation probably gives us the scope we need,” Rhode Island senator Sheldon Whitehouse says, referring to the Senate’s annual process for passing legislation with a simple majority.Republicans used the budget-reconciliation process to pass tax reform in 2017; they repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate and opened up open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration in that same bill. But there are complex rules governing what can and cannot be passed under budget reconciliation, and those rules were one factor that thwarted Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare in 2017. Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid killed the “public option” in Obamacare in 2009 in order to ensure the bill got 60 votes.If Democrats take the White House and the Senate and the filibuster stops them from passing any significant laws, Senate Democrats would face increasing pressure to jettison the filibuster. But Sinema, Manchin, and Tester would seem more likely than others to withstand pressure from progressive activists and Democratic leadership. Their pledges to keep the filibuster seem to be squarely in line with their political interests. As senators representing states that voted for Trump in 2016, they would want to stop Democrats from enacting unpopular laws, and preserving the filibuster would do just that.



          

Letters to the Editor: 11.07.19

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Letters to the Editor: 11.07.19 Yupay Wed, 11/06/2019 - 11:06

Henry Haney


Amagansett


November 1, 2019

Dear David,

We have lost one more of East Hampton’s finest kind — all of us.

Sadly,

LONA RUBENSTEIN


Something Is Wrong


Hampton Bays


November 4, 2019

To the Editor,

My beautiful hometown of Montauk — these words have been churning within me for some time, scattered, submerged. I’ve been making all the standard excuses for not getting around to this letter: I don’t have the time. I’m not sure anyone cares to hear this. There are already people in charge. The universe will work itself out.

But my heart is telling me that something is wrong, and I’m starting to realize that the only time we have is right now. So here it goes:

Montauk, we are in a state of emergency. Our waters are poisoned. Our fishermen are imprisoned on open seas. Our children are being fed a dystopian dream, and every year, more of us are forced to abandon the hamlet we grew up in in desperation for a life we can afford. Our psyche is damaged; our identity clouded by trends and dollar signs.

I believe we are suffering collectively, but like the rest of the world, we allow politics to further divide us.

One of the most precious, unique aspects of this town is our camaraderie. We watch each other’s kids without question, we fund-raise for the suffering, we speak (loudly!) when we believe there is injustice. But we are turning a blind eye to our own loss of quality of life, the drugs sneaking into the hands of the young and the compromised, the habit we have of tolerating being berated by strangers for less than five months, only to take it out on each other or ourselves, usually at a bar late at night or, more regrettably, on social media.

I am asking our leaders — more honestly, I’m begging them — to take their roles more seriously than they ever have before. It’s time to swallow our pride and our personal politics and remember that we are a town built on the good of the hive.

Montauk, when will you remember that the conveniences of today will not outweigh the generational consequences of tomorrow? Who are we trying to hold back the tide for? I can still see the opportunity for change before us, but I also see the window closing, and I can’t stand silently anymore.

My dream is to raise my own children there, to show them the same surf breaks and walk them through the same school halls. I am not naive to change. The world is ever expanding, and so too must Montauk. But we can retain the empathy, and the beauty that draws so many newcomers here like moths to the flame, who stand on our bluffs staring out at forever, who put their arms around us at closing time and say, “This place is truly special.”

Respectfully, and with hope,

KIAH WRIGHT


Art-Making Space


East Hampton


November 4, 2019

Dear David,

There are many things the Town of East Hampton sorely needs, but I believe a studio art center is among the most important for many reasons. A building including individual rentable studios with shared amenities where local artists can create work in all its forms would be a great asset not only to the many creatives in town (some say we have the highest per capita in the country) who require affordable space, but also to the curious public hungry to engage with authentic creativity and its process.

We are a town obviously steeped in artistic heritage, beginning with Thomas Moran and the early artist summer colony, continuing with Jackson Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists, and today we are home to many notable contemporary artists. Despite this history, our many amazing institutions and museums, and the presence of many collectors and enthusiasts, we lack the kind of community center dedicated to creating art that is surprisingly common in many other towns and cities. Younger artists and those of lesser means simply can’t make the work for lack of dedicated space and nearly all move away to larger cities.

There is no future for an arts community in this current situation. Affordable studio space is nearly impossible to find, just as housing is, and is further complicated by the fact that the town outlaws stand-alone studios with a bathroom.

I want to emphasize that artists need special consideration because we aren’t like plumbers, lawyers, or carpenters who have a reliable income through a straightforward trade. The path of the creative is uncharted and unique in every situation, and cannot thrive without some support. Indeed, many studies show that a strong arts community is a huge economic driver for many communities and serves to strengthen social bonds while enriching people’s lives tremendously. I believe that the Town of East Hampton absolutely benefits from its artistic community and heritage and it’s time to give back to this underserved population.

The real estate prices are the biggest obstacle here, but many existing underutilized structures exist that would serve the purpose well. I point out the former C.D.C.H. School building in Wainscott, currently owned by the town and undergoing restoration. I also point out LTV Studios in the same neighborhood, also owned by the town, which has a whole floor of acutely underused space.

Some may remember the former Amagansett Applied Arts building, formerly a small art school with a darkroom, print studio, and computer lab. The building now houses Grain Surfboards and features a great little wood shop in the basement, and is up for sale again after years of near vacancy under the ownership of the infamous Sackler family. I believe this building above the others would serve the greater community as a dedicated art-making space, pairing nicely with an existing artisan workshop.

I write this because I want to get the ball rolling for those who feel the same, and to build support for this endeavor, wherever and however it may manifest.

SCOTT BLUEDORN


Accabonac Harbor


Springs


November 4, 2019

Dear David,

As a summer resident of Gerard Drive from 1964, I have noticed since the culvert was built and continuously dredged  a degradation of Accabonac Harbor.

Some of the issues for residents on Accabonac Harbor are interrelated: Accabonac shoreline flooding, caused by accelerated sand sedimentation from the bay entering through the culvert, raising water levels. This leads to shore erosion, which, along with sedimentation, blocks drainage of vector ditches. This increases the mosquito population, posing disease risks.

As far as most know, there has been no scientific research measuring any benefits to water quality from the culvert, in fact many sections of the harbor remained closed to shellfishing.

The real issue is cesspool leakage into the harbor from many of the houses near or on Accabonac.

My proposal is to require any Accabonac shoreline homes to convert to a low or no-nitrogen-emitting sewage system. This would minimize the single argument in favor of maintaining the culvert and would allow the harbor to return to its natural state.

My best,

PHILIP WEYHE


Ebb and Flow


Amagansett


November 4, 2019

To the Editor,

Thank you for the editorial about the important work that the CARP team has started on looking at the problems of beach erosion in the bays from Gerard Drive to Lazy Point. One beach area that does not seem to be included in that group is Fresh Pond Beach, and this would be a great disservice.

As an almost 20-year resident several yards from Fresh Pond Park, I have seen this beautiful and important shoreline drastically recede, and watched the stream that keeps the pond viable open and close with each passing storm. When we moved there, the beach in high tide was out about three-quarters of the jetties. And the stream ran along the north jetty adjacent to Little Albert’s Landing. This provided a small beach perfect for the many families with young children who could wander into very shallow water safely. And the stream provided the ebb and flow into the pond that has kept it healthy.

Over the years the stream has migrated south, cutting the beach in half, and the beach has eroded so badly that it now only goes out about one-third of the jetty. This leaves very little space for families to sit and let the children roam.After a recent storm the stream completely closed and the town had to dredge it open.

Fresh Pond Park and beach are very popular with families for parties and swimming — and of course the July Fourth fireworks. So I hope that the members of CARP will also look at the problems at this beach that is so important to the residents of north Amagansett and Springs.

Sincerely,

ELLIN BURKE


Unethical Assertion


East Hampton


November 4, 2019

Dear Editor,

In response to recent statements that appeared in the local press regarding Mayor Rickenbach’s opinions about transition plans upon his retirement in December, we would like to make the following clear to the public:

We respect the mayor’s decision to announce his impending retirement in December, and we believe that any decision regarding how best to transition from the mayor’s retirement to the June election should be made openly and transparently.

There is no vacancy at this point and the mayor has indicated he won’t retire until Dec. 31. Should the mayor formally retire in December as he has indicated, we believe the board should have a public discussion at a public meeting before deciding on how best to facilitate the transition. The most important thing in our opinion is for the village to be efficiently and effectively managed during the transition period until the next mayor is elected in June and installed on July 1. 

Jerry Larsen’s false allegation that the village board is being unethical by simply following New York State law after Mayor Rickenbach leaves office at the end of this year is offensive. The law provides that the deputy mayor shall assume the responsibility in the absence of the board appointing a mayor until the next election.

Mr. Larsen’s unethical assertion is unfortunately typical of his self-serving propensities, since it was his own lack of ethics and abuse of authority for his own personal gain during his tenure as village chief of police that precipitated the unanimous decision of the village board to refuse to renew his employment contract with the village in 2016.

Sincerely yours,

RICK LAWLER

Deputy Mayor

BARBARA BORSACK

Village Trustee


Go Forward


Springs


November 4, 2019

Dear Editor,

Election day has come and gone, and we are all still here no worse for the wear. Hopefully, though, we all are better informed and more motivated to question the town’s elected officials moving forward.

The political demographics in East Hampton are unique. The truth of the matter is East Hampton registered Demo­crats (8,700) outnumber the combined total (4,900) of registered Republicans, Conservatives, Independents, and Libertarians. Only when you add (4,000) those not registered with a political party is the total of unregistered Dem­ocrats less than (200) the combined total. What makes this all interesting is the fact that East Hampton, with a year-round population of 21,000, has the highest percentage (85 percent) of registered voters in the nation. The New York State average is 55.3 percent, Suffolk County 53 percent, and the state with the highest total of registered voters is Maine, at 77.1 percent.

What I will tell you from the Republican camp despite the overwhelming enrollment edge, a bumpy start due to several factors outside of our control, and that some in the community that were professing the Republican Party in East Hampton to be defunct, our candidates (Republican, Democrats, and Independents) excelled. Our philosophy was to bring issues to the forefront, make our elected officials respond and articulate their decisions, to give a voice to the growing segment of our community that is increasingly feeling more ignored by the day. We believe that elected officials that represent a supermajority must not lose sight that whenever a political party dominates the government more often than not, segments of the community become disenfranchised and underrepresented, as is the case in East Hampton.

Congratulations to the winners from both camps and thank you to those who did not. Putting yourself out in the public eye for all to scrutinize and criticize is not an easy thing to do. The pressures to raise funds to run a campaign, win the favor of voters, and still maintain one’s interpersonal relationships with family and friends is a constant struggle in any campaign.

Now go forward and be the best you can be.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town

Republican Committee


Find a Child


Montauk


November 1, 2019

To the Editor,

After reading Russell Stein’s letter to the editor dated Oct. 15, I can only hope he is the stupidest person in town. I suggest he find a child to explain the signs to him.

MIKE SKARIMBAS


Animal Products


East Hampton


November 1, 2019

Dear Editor,

Re: Laura Donnelly’s Oct. 31 “Seasons by the Sea”: Food cheating reflects the thinking of a lot of people who struggle to defend their eating choices despite having some awareness of their destructive nature. She questions her food lifestyle, which is a good thing, but I am disturbed by some of her thought processes and feel that she is misleading her readers by promoting her ambivalence. Making an informed food choice requires nutritional, environmental, and ethical considerations.

Ms. Donnelly stated that it would be daunting to give up yogurt, butter, milk, and cheese for breakfast. There is a massive volume of literature substantiating that dairy consumption is unhealthy and should definitely be avoided when recovering from a myriad of diseases. Canada recently removed dairy from its 2019 nutrition guide. The water use as well as air pollution associated with dairy farming is excessive and unnecessary, and is well documented in peer-reviewed journals worldwide. Dairy cows are forcibly inseminated until they can’t produce milk anymore, at which time they are sent to slaughter only five years into their 20-year life span. Their journey to the slaughterhouse is barbaric, as is their short time at the slaughterhouse. Their calves are almost immediately removed from them after birth so that we can have the milk that is designed and intended for the calves, not humans. Male calves are confined to a small area to prevent muscle development so that their flesh is tender for human consumption as veal. As the saying goes, there is a slice of veal in all dairy products. They are fed a non-iron formula, which makes them anemic so that their flesh has acceptable coloring for human consumption. The life that we impose upon dairy animals and the consequences imposed upon earth so that humans can consume dairy (an unhealthy product with respect to each of three aforementioned food choice considerations) is a daunting reality. 

Ms. Donnelly implied that giving up bacon and ham would be too challenging. Again, there is a substantial volume of literature suggesting that pig consumption is unhealthy nutritionally and environmentally. The World Health Organization classifies bacon as a group one carcinogen. Hog agriculture is one of the worse environmental offenders. Pigs create a lot of manure. Where do you think the manure goes? It goes untreated into the air, soil, and water. Pigs are castrated and have their tails docked without the benefit of painkillers. The majority of pigs live in very small indoor spaces. They often don’t see the light of day until they are boarded to be transported for slaughter at very young ages. The average life span of a pig is approximately 11 years, yet meat pigs are slaughtered at approximately 6 months of age and breeding sows average 4 years of age. The U.S.D.A. recently eliminated slaughterhouse processing speeds for hogs. Apparently, the current slaughtering speed of approximately 1,100 hogs per hour was too slow and inefficient. The new legislation also reduces federal inspections by 40 percent, leaving the slaughterhouses to effectively monitor themselves. The slaughterhouse employee turnover rate is extremely high and there are psychological consequences associated with continuously killing sentient intelligent individual beings. Yet it is too much to ask humans to not consume pigs.    

Ms. Donnelly stated, “Sometimes I want some shrimp for a cocktail appetizer.” The shrimping industry is recognized as a leader in fisheries bycatch, nothing for the industry to be proud of leading, or for individuals to be proud of eating. The shrimping industry creates approximately 30 percent of total bycatch or approximately 10 pounds of bycatch per pound of shrimp eaten. The bycatch includes endangered and threatened species such as sea turtles, which often are dead and thrown overboard. I am frustrated that shrimp bycatch statistics are so readily available and yet many people choose to eat shrimp. Are people not aware of shrimp bycatch or do they not care about all the individual sentient beings they kill to consume shrimp? In passing, it is important to mention that the worldwide commercial fishing industry is depleting our oceans at a rate that has led to a massive change in its fragile ecosystem.

I could comment on the nutritional, environmental, and ethical issues pertaining to all the animals and animal products mentioned in this article, but will comment on only one more, eggs. After having their very sensitive beaks cut back (debeaked) without pain medications, female chickens for the most part live their lives in a crate, which limits their movements; they can’t spread their wings. Their floor space is approximately 70 square inches. The female chicks each lay hundreds of eggs annually partially because of forced molting. Molting involves starving the female chickens to create stress, which somehow results in their laying eggs at much higher rates. A wild chicken would only produce about 20 eggs annually. When they can’t lay eggs anymore or at a fast-enough rate, they are sent to the slaughterhouse to face a barbaric ending to their lives. The approximately 300 million male chicks born into the egg industry are ground up, suffocated, or dumped into garbage cans to be starved immediately after birth. There is a substantial volume of literature pertaining to the significant environmental externalities associated with the chicken industry. Nutritionally, eat eggs and you will get plenty of fat and cholesterol.

Unrelated to this article, the European Union won’t allow chickens produced in the United States into their food supplies because they are dipped in chlorine and the E.U. people don’t want to eat chlorinated chicken. Can you blame the E.U. people for not wanting to eat chlorine? Animal agriculture in the United States utilizes approximately 80 percent of the antibiotics consumed in the country, which is a threat to the health of those people consuming animals and animal products. Space limitations prevent me from bringing forward so many more pertinent food-related issues.

I encourage everyone to think nutritionally, environmentally, and ethically when making food choices.  

RANDY JOHNSTON


Makes No Sense


East Hampton


November 4, 2019

Dear David,

Your article of last week, “LIPA Airs Wind Farm Power Rates,” does not uncover an important fact in the LIPA publication, one that shows how improperly high is the price of the first 90 megawatts of the Deepwater Wind South Fork project.

Imagine an absurdity that matches what is happening with Deepwater: You go to a farmers market and on a small table is a small bucket of corn at the price of $1.60 per piece. On a very small table next to it sits an even smaller bucket of corn selling for 86 cents. The corn is the same quality, grown on the same farm, so the different price makes no sense. At an adjacent farm, the same farmer harvests six times the amount of the same quality of corn and sells them for 80 cents per piece. No corn lover would pay $1.60 per piece from the same farm area unless they were being forced to.

The corn metaphor shows that it is nonsensical to allow Deepwater to receive the proposed price per output for the 90 megawatts section. The recent LIPA article shows that the 90 megawatts section of the Deepwater project will receive an initial price of 16.0 cents per kilowatt (also shown as 16.3 cents on a graph). It states that the 40 megawatts section of the very same project would receive substantially less at 8.6 cents per kilowatt. Additionally, the report shows on the graph that the two large, accepted New York projects, Empire Wind and Sunrise Wind, are 816 megawatts at 8.7 cents per kilowatt and 880 megawatts at 8.0 cents per kilowatt, respectively. The 90 megawatts of Deepwater, if it were alone, should be evaluated as extremely high priced. Because the same project also has output that will be sold at only a little more than half the price, the price of 16 cents per kilowatt is absurd. That absurdity is increased by the fact that right next door in the ocean the same company will build Sunrise Wind at six times the output all at one-half the price per kilowatt.

In 2018, I did an Excel spreadsheet, which I shared with the public, that calculated almost all the Deepwater prices for the 90 megawatts. This included a first year cost between 16.0 cents to 16.34 cents. On Oct. 7, 2019, I submitted the spreadsheet to the legal case of Deepwater. Finally, LIPA published an update around Oct. 28, 2019, that showed that my calculations were correct. Unfortunately, the Town of East Hampton and many people in the public realm have not done any, or any adequate and good, financial analysis of the Deepwater project.

My recent calculation using New York State comptroller numbers shows that the monthly average client cost for the 90 megawatts output is predicted at $6.15 per month for each of the 1,100,000 Long Island customers. That is dramatically different from what supporters of Deepwater state as the monthly price — $1.19 or less they say? And they never discuss that all Long Island customers must pay. Constructing Deepwater as a new high-priced small 130 megawatts makes no financial sense.

I am a huge supporter of energy production that does not produce carbon or other environmental negatives. However, that does not mean that one should support all wind farms or solar farms. The very high price of the Deepwater 90 megawatts must be paid monthly by the 1,100,000 Long Island LIPA/PSEG customers. The price and electricity are not just for the East End. Publications by LIPA/PSEG from 2016 and 2017 show that major cable upgrades are being developed from Riverhead to the east. The upgrades will fully connect East Hampton and Southampton electrical needs to stations and substations west of Shinnecock Canal.

On Nov. 28, 2018, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said that wind farms should ideally be 800 megawatts or larger and that they should never be below 400 megawatts in size. That would reject Deepwater but the construction of the 130 megawatts of turbines unfortunately does not require New York State approval. Deepwater has not yet received required approval from the United States or Rhode Island.

Landing Deepwater cable anywhere in East Hampton and the construction of a new substation next to houses near Cove Hollow are unnecessary and problematic if done. Long Island electricity goes everywhere and announcements from LIPA in 2016 and 2017 provide proof that transmission enhancements starting in Riverhead will allow the East End to receive full electrical needs for the future from western outputs of Long Island.

Deepwater Wind South Fork provides little energy compared to other new wind farms. What it provides is not needed because the other large wind farms will be built soon. The Deepwater electricity price is absurdly high. Its substation and cable installation in East Hampton have triggered strong opposition? Most of it correct.

My only solution is for Deepwater to combine with its nearby 880 megawatts project, Sunrise Wind. The price for the 90 megawatts portion can go down yet the company will still make good profits. The cables will all enter the LIPA substation at Holbrook on Long Island. If this cannot work, then reject the project.

ZACHARY COHEN


Free Enterprise


North Haven


November 4, 2019

To The Editor:

Sunday, Joe Ricketts, the founder, former C.E.O., and former chairman of TD Ameritrade (and with a net worth of $2.7 billion as of 2019 according to Forbes) was given a 10-minute segment on CBS Sunday Morning to flog his new book and expound on the goodness of free enterprise.

Joe, a billionaire Republican supporter, appeared with a backdrop of Wall Street graphics to acknowledge that he is the darling of conservatives with his statement: “Free enterprise has come to be seen as the province of the conservatives.”

Next he added that: “Liberals praise something more like socialism,” with a graphic background of a guy among a small group of youths holding a prominent sign stating: “Kill Capitalism Before It Kills Us!”

Joe then said: “My progressive liberal friends worry that free enterprise is unfair, producing inequality.” Although he acknowledges some inequalities, he continued to say, “These folks talk as if there will always be a big pot of money, and the only question is how to divide it. Where does that pot come from? It comes from free enterprise.”

To grab more attention, he stated that he is “100 percent certain there will be a recession,” hedging that he doesn’t know when. Thus rendering that threatening opinion useless. His dramatic false narrative sets up the misunderstanding that “liberals” are “so-called socialists,” and against free enterprise.

This is an unfortunate, narrow, and inaccurate portrayal of what is actually the Democratic and progressive view. There is actually a wide range of opinions held by Democrats that vary considerably about the economy. I have heard none that are against the freedom of enterprise. Mostly, progressive discussion is about the need for reasonable regulation to ensure fairness of product, employment, and compensation.

No progressives of any meaningful significance promote the abolition of capitalism, creativity, or the freedom of enterprise. Just a cautionary concern to avoid an absolute freedom, one entirely deregulated, as was first attempted during the Reagan era.

Joe lists his extremely profitable successes developing his company, and rightly is proud of how many well-compensated employees he has created. All good. But he means to leave us thinking liberals would deny him this success. “Free enterprise is the engine for us all” is his parting shot. Most of us agree about that, we need to maintain it and protect it from rampant greed and abusive disregard.

As recently as this February, USA Today reported: Ricketts, 77, apologized in a statement for the content of his emails that were published by the website Splinter News. His son, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, called the father’s emails “racially insensitive” and said “the language and views expressed in those emails have no place in our society.” He also sought to distance his father, a longtime backer of conservative politicians, from the baseball franchise, one of baseball’s most valuable and iconic Major League teams.

The meanness of his racial and religious bigotry is shocking if you choose to read press coverage of this situation. It is hard to understand why CBS, granting use of its public airwaves licenses, put on this obviously biased political promotion as if it were a balanced factual and fair opinion, especially without a corresponding opinion in support of fair regulation. In my opinion this is a blatant campaign pitch for Republican successes in upcoming elections.

Shame on CBS!

ANTHONY CORON


Played Golf


Springs


October 30, 2019

Dear David,

Immediately after announcing the death of a killer, rapist, kidnapper, and so much more, attempts were made to downplay this mission or find a negative angle on which to spin it.

For security reasons this mission was kept a secret, but the left, jumping up and down screaming, “I wasn’t told.” Ms. Rice hollering that Obama should have been advised, why, why, tell me why: So it could be leaked and become a failure?

President Trump destroyed a coward, as he blew up his own children. Now we have the left defending the leader of ISIS. Headlines: al-Baghdadi, a scholar, father, murdered. Jamie Lee Curtis added her two cents, and the left is screaming about what a great man this brutal murderer who has caused pain and death on so many was killed.

Unlike President Obama, who announced the beheading of the journalist, walked away and played golf, yes, remember, walked off the golf course and played golf, President Trump, after watching in real time the accomplishment of this mission, had a press conference and then called the parents of the young lady abducted, raped, and tortured by this so-called leader of ISIS.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO


Angry White Men


East Hampton


November 2, 2019

Editor: 

They bust through the doors of the secure meeting room. There are 20, maybe 30 of them. They are men, white men. Wearing blue suits, white shirts, blue ties, and black shoes. They have blue eyes, blond hair, and white faces. Red faces. Angry faces. Demanding their rights to know something. Cellphones in hand working to alert the world that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Here to protect their rights. Their privileged position in our universe. How brave and fearless they are. Abused, battered, deprived of their exalted status. God, how can we not feel for them? Are they the “human scum” that Trump assailed last week or are they just a bunch of scumbags?

The story, however, is about lies. Constant lies. Endless lies. Fourteen a day by lie counters’ estimates, 5,050 a year, 15,150 in three years. What is truth? Fact? Fantasy?

Except this story isn’t about lies, yet. Public knowledge. Real transcripts. Live testimonials. Fact, sans dispute. No amount of backtracking and bullshit can obfuscate the reality of spoken words. Too dumb not to know better. Too arrogant to really care. Too many white men in blue suits willing to deny the truth and cover their asses.

We dropped more bombs in Vietnam than we did in World War II. We dropped more bombs in Iraq than we did in Vietnam. Bombs and lies and white men in blue suits talking about Jesus.

What’s wrong with Vindman? Too Jewish (not his fault). Too honest (sworn oath). He’s white enough but not the right white. No blue suit. Has to be a closet commie (there aren’t any more left). We know that white men in blue suits (G.O.P.) have always had a problem with Jews and with soldiers who survive wars.

“Lock him up” — truth in sickness. What comes around takes us into the gutter. Too repugnant. How much lower can we go? Too “blanked” up.

Kelly was right. The genius screwed up. No place to go but down. All the angry white men in blue suits in the world can’t change the story. Even if they do a Nixon on the transcript. Oops! They will give it their best shot and should take the fall with their feckless leader.

NEIL HAUSIG


(False) Claim


Plainview


November 4, 2019

While searching Donald Trump’s year 2000 book, “The America We Deserve” for his (false) claim that he therein presciently called for the killing of Osama bin Laden, I did come across these even more amazing claims:

“I would center my presidency on three principles: one term.” (Page 276)

“Jeb Bush is a good man, who’s exactly the kind of political leader this country needs now and will very much need in the future.” (Page 280)

“Hillary Clinton is definitively smart and resilient.” (Page 281)

“Bill Clinton could have gone down as a very good president. Instead he goes down as a guy they tried to impeach.” (Page 281)

“We need to come together as a people, and we will find the leader we need. Where? Maybe our next great leader is walking down Fifth Avenue.” (Page 286)

Oops! Trump just shot that leader dead, to test his “and not lose any voters” theory.

Sorry, America.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN


          

Trump Administration Proposes Rollbacks From Two Obama-Era Coal Pollution Rules

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The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed relaxing two Obama-era regulations on waste products from coal-fired power plants, a move environmental groups say would prolong the risk of toxic spills or drinking water contamination.
          

Michelle Obama aims to increase voter turnout

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'When We All Vote' is a national nonpartisan organization aimed at increasing participation in every election, and it has just launched the new 'Voting Squads' initiative. Valerie Jarrett joins Morning Joe to discuss.
          

Skrivena ljubav

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Do sada je uglavnom s terase viđala njegovo savršeno građeno i preplanulo telo, koje je, s obzirom na njegov stil života, pre bilo dar prirode, nego preznojavanja po teretanama i samoljubivog analiziranja čvrstine svakog bicepsa i tricepsa pred ogledalom. Sa svojom poludugom sjajnom crnom kosom, koja mu je u spiralnim uvojcima padala po vratu, i srebrnom naušnicom u uvu, bio je jedan od onih momaka kakve je često sretala u prolazu, na ulici, ali ne i u svojoj kuči. Oduvek je bila u izvesnoj nedoumici, pa čak pomalo sklona i predrasudama, kad je reč o osobama tako avangardnog izgleda. U […]
          

Sanders presenta un plan migratorio para acoger a "todos" los imigrantes en EE.UU.

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Bajo el lema "Unos Estados Unidos acogedores y seguros para todos", el senador demócrata y aspirante a la Presidencia Bernie Sanders presentó hoy su plan migratorio para transformar ese sistema en el país y revertir todas las iniciativas en ese frente del presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump.

Entre sus ideas, Sanders crearía un camino "rápido y justo" hacia la ciudadanía estadounidense, despenalizaría la inmigración, desmilitarizaría la frontera con México y protegería y fortalecería los derechos laborales de los inmigrantes en EE.UU.

"Mi padre vino a Estados Unidos como refugiado sin una moneda de cinco centavos en el bolsillo, para escapar del antisemitismo generalizado y encontrar una vida mejor. Como orgulloso hijo de un inmigrante, sé que la historia de mi padre es la historia de muchos estadounidenses hoy en día", argumentó Sanders en un comunicado.

Las principales claves de su plan migratorio, al que Efe tuvo acceso antes de su publicación, son las siguientes:

REVOCAR TODAS LAS INICIATIVAS DE TRUMP

Sanders usaría la autoridad ejecutiva del cargo de presidente para revertir las acciones "dañinas" de Trump sobre inmgiración, incluyendo garantizar que los solicitantes de asilo puedan presentar sus peticiones en Estados Unidos, poner fin a la detención y separación familiar, reunir a las familias, eliminar el veto a viajeros de países musulmanes y detener la construcción del muro fronterizo.

"Como presidente, Sanders usará su autoridad ejecutiva en el primer día de su Administración para revocar todas las acciones del presidente Trump para demonizar y dañar a los inmigrantes", aseguraron a Efe fuentes de su campaña presidencial, que prefirieron permanecer en el anonimato.

ACCESO A LA CIUDADANÍA A LOS "SOÑADORES"

Desde la Casa Blanca, Sanders restauraría y expandiría el plan de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), promulgado por el expresidente Barack Obama (2009-2017) para ofrecer amparo a miles de jóvenes indocumentados que llegaron a Estados Unidos de niños, conocidos como "soñadores".

"DACA se ampliaría para incluir a todos aquellos que fueron traídos a Estados Unidos antes de cumplir 18 años, eliminando fechas de corte y de solicitud arbitrarias", detallaron esas fuentes.

PONER FIN A LAS REDADAS MIGRATORIAS

Uno de los primeros puntos del programa migratorio de Sanders apunta a una moratoria sobre las deportaciones en curso y finalizar las redadas del Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE, en sus siglas en inglés).

Además, pretende reestructurar el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, en sus siglas en inglés) y comenzar a tratar la inmigración "fuera del contexto de la seguridad nacional".

SOLUCIONAR LA SITUACIÓN DE BENEFICIARIOS DEL TPS

El objetivo final del ahora senador por Virginia con los beneficiaros del Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS, en sus siglas en inglés) es proponer un camino legal hacia la ciudadanía estadounidense.

Las designaciones de TPS se ampliarían, se otorgaría un amplio alivio administrativo y Bernie Sanders presionaría por un camino hacia la ciudadanía que incluya a los titulares de TPS.

Cerca de 325.000 inmigrantes de trece países distintos están amparados bajo el TPS en EE.UU., con 195.000 salvadoreños, unos 60.000 hondureños y 46.000 haitianos, entre otros.

AMPARO A LOS REFUGIADOS VENEZOLANOS

Como parte de su estrategia, facilitaría el acceso al amparo del TPS a aquellos venezolanos que tuvieran que huir de su país por culpa de la crisis humanitaria que existe actualmente.

De hecho, Sanders y una veintena de senadores demócratas enviaron una carta a Trump en junio para pedirle que otorgase el TPS a los venezolanos para "aliviar su sufrimiento y demostrar el compromiso de EE.UU. de apoyar una transición democrática segura en Venezuela para que las personas puedan regresar a casa pronto".


          

U.S. EPA Weakens Obama-era Toxic Water Pollution Rules

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U.S. EPA Weakens Obama-era Toxic Water Pollution Rules
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By Cristina Tuser
ctuser Wed, 2019-11-06 11:38

The Trump administration moved to weaken Obama-era regulations aimed at limiting the leaching of toxic pollution into water supplies from the ash of coal burning power plants.

The Trump administration moved to weaken Obama-era regulations aimed at limiting the leaching of toxic pollution into water supplies from the ash of coal burning power plants.

          

Debby Ryan denkt an "Jessie"-Zeiten zurück: Ihr Lieblings-Gast-Star war Michelle Obama

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#DebbyRyan ⇒ Die Schauspielerin hat an ihre Zeit bei der Serie #Jessie zurückgedacht und von Gast-Star #MichelleObama geschwärmt ✔ Details hier!
          

Julian Castro Addresses Top Issues Facing Californians – September 27, 2019

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One of the democratic presidential candidates stopped by our studio to talk about affordable housing, student debt and other issues being discussed on the national stage. Julian Castro served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama. He spoke with KRCB’s Adia White and Steve Mencher about how the policies he’s […]
      

          

An American Revolution

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An actress from the Broadway touring production of “Hamilton” on why the cultural phenomenon is so special.

The first time that composer, lyricist, playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda spoke publicly about his Alexander Hamilton musical project, his audience wasn’t sure he was serious.

Invited to the White House to perform music from his first Broadway musical “In the Heights” in 2009, Miranda instead offered President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and assembled guests a glimpse of what eventually would become the opening number to the musical “Hamilton.” At the time, Miranda believed the song “Alexander Hamilton” would be a part of a hip-hop album titled “The Hamilton Mixtape.”

“It’s a concept album about the life of someone I think embodies hip-hop: Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton,” Miranda told the crowd, drawing laughs. “You laugh, but it’s true!”

No one’s laughing now. Miranda’s adaptation of Ron Chernow’s biography of the Founding Father went on to win a Pulitzer Prize, 11 Tony Awards, a Grammy, a Kennedy Center Honor, a MacArthur fellowship for Miranda and just about every other accolade in Western civilization. With its inventive staging, rapid-fire wordplay, hip-hop score and choreography, color-conscious casting of nonwhite actors and pro-immigrant message, “Hamilton” struck a once in a generation nerve and became a cultural phenomenon.

Seats at the start of the show’s Broadway run were so coveted that New York Times critic Ben Brantley wrote it might be worth it for people to “mortgage their houses and lease their children to acquire tickets.” It’s since become easier to see “Hamilton” on Broadway if you plan ahead, and soon Richmond audiences can be in the room where it happens without having to leave the River City. Starting Nov. 19, the Broadway tour of “Hamilton” will set up shop at the Altria Theatre for a nearly four-week run.

Reached by phone in late October from the tour’s stop in Boston, actress Stephanie Umoh says the past year she’s spent on the road with “Hamilton” has been a bit surreal.

“It’s definitely an experience I’ve never had before. I’ve been in the business 10 years and this show is extremely special,” says Umoh, who plays Angelica Schuyler, Hamilton’s flirtatious sister-in-law, in the show. “It’s been very profound, honestly, just traveling around the country and sharing our story.”

Part of that feeling is from the show’s devoted fans, who sometimes dress up as Hamilton, King George or the Schuyler sisters. Umoh says she’s never seen an audience so moved by a show before.

“You have people in tears, you have people jumping up and down,” says Umoh, whose other credits include playing the role of Sarah in the 2009 Broadway revival of “Ragtime.” “Everybody takes away something different. To see their faces when they come out and see how affected they are by the show, it’s really such a marvelous thing.”

In tackling a role in such a well-known show, Umoh says she’s thrilled by the amount of latitude she was given to make Angelica her own.

“What’s very cool about being a part of ‘Hamilton’ is that they give you the freedom to interpret the role and bring yourself into it. That was really important for me coming into this,” Umoh says. “I’m happy that we’re given the freedom to be able to do that.”

As well-oiled a machine as a touring Broadway musical might appear, Umoh says there’s always a human element to theater that can make for a unique experience. Just a week earlier in Boston, Umoh says she was in the middle of the act one closer “Non-Stop” when she hit a hiccup. Halfway through the line “I have found a wealthy husband who will keep me in comfort for all my days,” she suddenly couldn’t remember the lyrics.

“My mind just blanked, and I could not remember what the lyrics were,” she says. “It’s the most bizarre feeling, and it’s very scary in the moment. You just have to get extremely focused.”

To cover, she scatted the rest of the line. Minor mistakes like these are cause for the cast to crack up backstage, she says.

“It happens to every actor on stage, and it’s so funny. I don’t know why we find it so funny. Perhaps it’s because we can all relate to it,” she says, noting the fast pace of many of the show’s songs. “It goes by so fast. It’s like a train that’s just propelling forward, and if you fall off, good luck getting back on.”

For all the honors that have been showered upon “Hamilton” since it debuted in 2015, Umoh says it lives up to the hype.

“You will not be disappointed,” she promises. “There is absolutely something for everyone, and whether or not you connect to hip-hop or rap, the story is so strong, and it’s our story. It’s an American story, and you will learn something.”

Broadway in Richmond’s “Hamilton” plays Nov. 19-Dec. 8 at the Altria Theatre, 6 N. Laurel St. For information visit broadwayinrichmond.com.


          

More Celebs Join Michelle Obama's Voter Outreach Drive

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The former first lady announces that Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Shonda Rhimes, Megan Rapinoe, Tracee Ellis Ross and Kerry Washington have signed on as co-chairs of the national organization When We All Vote
          

The Toxic “Cancel Culture”

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Barack Obama calls out a polarizing social trend.
          

Kind To Be Cruel – SLP272

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Everyone from Matthew Parris to Barack Obama has pointed out our Wokier Than Thou call-out culture. In this LIVEcast, Paul Feesey and Glen Scrivener discuss how ‘niceness’ has become weaponised in our discussions. In the name of tolerance (for the ‘right views’) we silence and deride those who are ‘wrong.’ But what’s the way forward?

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Justice Prayers - November 6th

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The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God's realm where everything is possible.  He specializes in the impossible.  Nothing is too great for his Almighty power.  Nothing is too small for his love.  - Corrie TenBoom 


Loggers Kill Indigenous Protector of the Forest

Illegal loggers in the Amazon ambushed an Indigenous group that was formed to protect the forest and shot one of them dead. Paulo Paulino Guajajara, or Lobo (which means ‘wolf’ in Portuguese), was hunting on Friday inside the Arariboia reservation when he was attacked and shot in the head. The clash comes amid an increase in invasions of reservations by illegal loggers and miners since Brazil’s President took office this year and vowed to open up protected Indigenous lands to economic development.

God, for Indigenous people in Brazil whose way of life is threatened, and whose lives are threatened, by powerful business or political forces, we pray. Protect them, Lord. We pray for justice in this incident of violence, and for a future in Brazil that protects the natural resources that are so globally significant for human health, and for a future that protects the dignity of indigenous people.


DACA Heads to U.S. Supreme Court

Nearly 700,000 so-called Dreamers, or undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children, are waiting for the US Supreme Court to decide their fate -- a decision that is scheduled for November 12. They have been living in limbo since September 2017, when President Trump ordered his administration to stop renewing the temporary work permits for those in the DACA program. DACA is a temporary work permit given as the President’s executive order, in lieu of Congress passing a law that gives them permanent protection. The court will decide whether it was legal for then-President Barack Obama to create DACA without congressional approval in 2012.

We pray for young men and women whose DACA status gave them hope and a sense of a future. Uphold them as they wait, Lord. We pray for Congress to  -- we offer our prayers for hope, for dignity, and for a way forward. God, give wisdom to the justices as they weigh this important decision. Give compassion to our leaders who pass laws, or fail to pass laws, that shape the lives of so many. Give hope to the families who wait for signs of a brighter future.


Beirut Protests

Protesters blocked roads in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon on Monday, pressing a wave of demonstrations against the ruling elite that have plunged the country into political turmoil at a time of acute economic crisis.The nationwide protests, which were ignited on Oct. 17 by a government proposal to tax WhatsApp calls, led Saad al-Hariri to resign as prime minister last week. There has been no sign of progress yet toward agreement on a new government.

God, for the protests in Lebanon, we offer our prayers. For those suffering because roads, schools, and commerce are closed or dangerous, we pray for sustenance and protection. For powerful leaders who can resist or address calls for change, we pray for wisdom. For protestors, who risk their livelihoods and safety to voice their beliefs, we pray for wisdom.


Canada to Decide if U.S. Remains Safe for Asylum Seekers

A long-awaited legal look into whether the U.S. remains a safe country for refugees begins today at a Federal Court in Toronto. At issue is the Safe Third Country Agreement, which prohibits people from asking for asylum if they enter Canada from the U.S. — and vice versa. The agreement was signed by the two countries 17 years ago on the grounds both are safe places, so those seeking sanctuary should apply in the first country where they arrive. But as the U.S. has tightened its asylum rules and regulations in recent years, the deal has come under scrutiny over concerns that actions taken by the Trump administration no longer make the U.S. a safe harbour for asylum seekers.

God, for those who are desperate at borders they long to enter, but are prevented from doing so, we pray for comfort and for provision and for safety. We pray for those who think through policy and lawmaking, which affect so many people -- we pray for clear thinking, wise decision, and compassionate hearts.


Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Canada Action Alert: Creation Care

We need your voice on this issue! As an expression of love for God’s awesome creation, tell your MP that you, as a person of faith, want meaningful climate action – consistent with the principles of the Paris Agreement – to reduce GHG emissions and address climate change.  Add your voice today!

US Action Alert: H.R. 2407

In 1989, the UN adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child on November 20, Universal Children’s Day. The Convention of the Rights of the Child lists the right not to be tortured or subjected to inhuman treatment or punishment. Ask your Member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 2407 and ensure that the billions of dollars sent to Israel every year are not used to abuse or detain Palestinian children.  Take action now!
 


          

Democrat Abrar Omeish made history in Virginia’s elections

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Democrat Abrar Omeish made history in Virginia’s elections

WASHINGTON: Twenty-four-year-old Democrat Abrar Omeish made history on Tuesday as both the youngest woman and first Muslim woman to hold elected office in Virginia’s history. Omeish shares that second accolade with Indian-American Democrat  Ghazala Hashmi after the latter unseated incumbent Republican Glen Sturtevant in the state Senate. Also Read Senator Ghazala Hashmi is ‘deeply attached’ …

Check out more stories at The Siasat Daily


          

Trump economy is really experiencing a middle-class boom -- this data doesn't lie

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I recently wrote op-eds that ran in the Wall Street Journal and on these pages that showed median household incomes under Donald Trump have soared from $61,000 to an all-time high of $66,000 in less than three years into the Trump presidency. This is tremendous news and documents substantial middle-class prosperity in Trump’s first three years in office. The $5,003 rise in middle-class incomes is especially impressive given that incomes only rose by $1,200 in the seven years under Obama — after the recession ended. If the media, liberal think tanks and Democrats in Congress were truly concerned about the...
          

The Feds Spend More on National-Debt Interest Than You Think

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Recently, the Treasury Department reported a 26% increase in the federal budget deficit with a 2019 deficit of $984 billion. The reported data on the budget can be misleading. You might think that a budget deficit is the amount of spending that exceeds budget revenue, in other words, the amount of borrowing needed to make up for this shortfall. However, in the world of Washington D.C., not all spending is counted as spending and it’s possible for the government to borrow money from itself. Let’s look at the actual Treasury Department budget numbers.

The Treasury reports the Total Public Debt Outstanding of almost $23 trillion, which is the sum of the Intragovernmental Holdings and the Debt Held by the Public.

There is roughly $6 trillion of Intragovernmental Holdings. This is money that the federal government says that it owes to itself. Over the years, the government has earmarked tax revenues for one use, say Social Security spending, and spent those revenues on some other category of spending. So now they owe themselves this money. However, this is not truly debt. No business or household is concerned about being in debt to itself. If you promise to spend $100 of your income on a car payment and instead you buy $100 of food, you don’t pretend that you owe yourself $100. However, in the feds’ budget this is called Intragovernmental Holdings. When looking at the debt numbers we should ignore these Intragovernmental Holdings.

That leaves us with the Debt Held by the Public, what I consider to be the true amount of federal government debt.

In your personal life, if you earn $100, you spend $120, and you borrow $20 to cover this shortfall, then your personal deficit is $20. Similarly, if the feds have $100 billion of revenue and spend $120 billion, then they must borrow $20 to cover this spending. That $20 increase in their debt is the deficit. So the true deficit is the change in the Debt Held by the Public.

Here is the Treasury Department data for the Debt Held by the Public since 2001.

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The Congressional Budget Office has reported that the 2019 deficit is the highest that it’s been in seven years. As you can see from the numbers above, that report is not quite accurate. The deficit peaked at over $1.7 trillion in 2009 and while the deficit is distressingly high, the 2018 and 2016 deficits were slightly higher. The deficits of this century under the Bush II, Obama, and Trump administrations should concern all of us. The government’s debt has increased 400% in 18 years. And we’re projected to have trillion dollars plus deficits for the foreseeable future.

How much interest does the government pay on their debt? Since the government owes is in debt to itself, it pays itself interest. We should ignore these intragovernmental interest payments for the same reason we should ignore the intragovernmental debt.

Fortunately, the Daily Treasury Statements provide us with the Interest on Treasury Securities. This is the actual amount of withdrawals from government accounts for interest payments, so this number ignores intragovernmental interest payments. Here are the numbers.

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From FY 2001 to 2019, interest payments increased 88% from $162.5 billion to $305.7 billion. As I previously stated, during that same time, Debt Held by the Public increased 400%. For the last several years, the feds have taken advantage of artificially low interest rates. If interest payments had increased at the same rate as the level of debt, the 2019 interest payments would be $818 billion. For comparison sake, payments for Security Benefits in FY 2019 were $921 billion. As the government continues to pile up trillion dollar deficits, when interest rates return to a historical norm, interest payments may exceed payments to Social Security recipients. With the coming budget deficits, it’s possible that interest payments could surpass a trillion dollars annually in the next decade.

Generally, the political class appears to be unconcerned about the budget deficits. Those who are troubled about budget issues are generally concerned that the deficits will out of control in a couple of decades. The 2019 Congressional Budget Office Long Term Budget Outlook report states that the 2019 federal debt held by the public equals “78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — its highest level since shortly after World War II. If current laws generally remained unchanged, growing budget deficits would boost federal debt drastically over the next 30 years, the Congressional Budget Office projects. Debt would reach 92 percent of GDP by the end of the next decade and 144 percent by 2049.”

Don’t be fooled. A budget crisis could occur much earlier than 2049 because of the level of borrowing needed to fund the deficit and its debt payments. It’s reported that the federal government spent about $4.75 trillion last year . This ignores the government’s debt payments. According to the Treasury Department, total spending in FY 2019 was nearly $16 trillion. (In the Daily Treasury Statements, this is calls Total Withdrawals.) By reporting spending to be $4.75 trillion, the feds are hiding most of their spending from us.

The federal government is borrowing a tremendous amount of money to make its payments on its Debt Held by the Public. The final Daily Treasury Statement of 2019 tells the story. In the past fiscal year, they borrowed $11.9 trillion (called Public Debt Cash Issues) and made debt payments of $11 trillion (called Public Debt Cash Redemptions). If we include all borrowing and debt payments to be part of the federal budget, then the $11.9 trillion of borrowing constituted 74.5% of federal spending and debt payments were 68.5% of federal spending. Debt payments in 2019 were over twice as much as all other combined spending.

Here is the historical data for the Public Debt Cash Issues and the Public Debt Cash Redemptions.

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Note the skyrocketing amount of borrowing in the past 19 years. Since 2001, Public Debt Cash Issues (total borrowing) increased 375% and Public Debt Cash Redemptions (debt payments) increased 311%.

The danger here is that lenders at some point may not be willing to loan our government these trillions of dollars a year. In the last 18 years, Public Debt Cash Issues increased at an average rate of almost 9% per year. This is not sustainable. If the federal government continues to increase its borrowing at 9% annually, in 2030, the feds will need to borrow over $28 trillion to cover their spending on the deficit and debt payments. The moment lenders become unwilling to fund this budget recklessness, the government’s financial houses of cards will collapse.


          

Special Counsel Probe into Origins of the Russian Collusion Hoax Becomes Criminal Investigation

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While the Democrats are obsessing over impeachment, important things are happening in Washington. Attorney General William Barr charged 2 special counselors with finding out if there were any abuses by the FBI, CIA or any Obama admin officials in regards to the spying of the Trump campaign prior to the 2016 election. We don’t have […]
          

How to best support undocumented immigrants in your life

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When the Supreme Court goes back in session on Nov. 12, one of the major items on their agenda is determining the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, under which 700,000 children of undocumented immigrants, known as "Dreamers," have been provided protection from deportation. 

How did this get to the Supreme Court? The undoing of Obama's DACA program was one of President Trump's 2016 campaign trail promises. But after Trump ordered his administration to stop the renewal of work permits for DACA recipients in 2017, his order was blocked by lower federal courts. (Before his blocked 2017 order, Trump also ordered the Department of Homeland Security to stop taking new DACA applications, which they did.) In defense of the blocked order, administration officials claimed that former President Obama's conception of DACA in 2012 was illegal, due to lack of congressional approval. Read more...

More about Immigration, Undocumented Immigrants, Daca, Immigration Reform, and Immigration And Customs Enforcement
          

Less than a week

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Less than a week ago, I came home to the Gulf Coast after a trip to Washington DC (where I joined a group of Gulf Coast residents in protesting the Keystone XL pipeline and BP "Claims Czar" Kenneth Feinberg).  Since coming back, here is what I've seen and heard: I have seen photos of a 7-year-old with a rash all over her body - whose mother is fearful we will lose her if she is not helped.

I have been unable to contact a close friend, who worked clean-up on the spill. He told me before I left for D.C. he was “not alright”. He was supposed to go with us, but had lost 22 pounds in 5 days, and the doctors had no idea why. He can’t breathe, and has been told he has the lungs of a 45 year old smoker. He is in his mid twenties, and hasn’t smoked a day in his life.

I have spoken to another friend, who is a resident who lived near the spill. He has been sick for a very long time now, and wishes death to take him.

I have heard from a friend who is very near to losing her house, while not receiving one dime from Feinberg as an interim payment. He is starving her out.

I talked to a friend who is a shrimper who said there are little to no shrimp, and he brought up oil in his net, and he has to use a inhaler 3 times every hour to breath.

There have been photos of oil and tar balls daily on my computer. (Photo above taken by Laurel Lockamy, 11/15/11)

And videos (this one is from 11/11/11):

And the oil workers were not paid right or fairly from the moratorium.

And our sweet cousins, the dolphins (among others) are still washing up dead.

And the Coast Guard said, in a closed meeting, that BP does not have to do long term monitoring of the Gulf concerning the affects of the spill.

And BP and the Coast Guard say that 90% of the oil is gone and they are ending clean up operations.

And Hayward got his life back.

And a report came out saying that there were threats to shoot down a news helicopter during the spill, and that most of those birds I saw early on coated in oil were euthanized, and that people are sick.

And the feds have chosen to ignore the largest environmental disaster in United States history when it comes to future drilling, (yes, even deepwater) in the Gulf of Mexico, let alone in our pristine waters of the Arctic.

The question is, how much more are you going to take?

MLK said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” He didn’t say that we wouldn’t have to all reach up and grab it with our hands and use our weight to make it bend.

Where to we go from here? Let’s talk.

I am going to be at the Health for the Gulf Benefit this Sunday, November 20, 1-6 in NOLA at the Maison.

Meet me there, if you can. It’s time to step it up.

More info on new initiatives coming later today…

The time has come. The health crisis we talked about from the toxins, is upon us. The lack of catch we worried about, it is here. When we worried Feinberg was a liar, he is. When we thought the government might not really care about us, they don’t. Time to make a decision.
 
How much are you worth?

How much are your loved ones worth?

How much is our Gulf worth?

How much more are you going to take?

************
Cherri Foytlin is an oil worker's wife, mother of six, Louisiana resident and journalist whose family has been deeply impacted by the BP Oil Disaster and consequential moratorium on deep water drilling. She co-founded Gulf Change, blogs for www.BridgeTheGulfProject.org, and walked to Washington D.C. from New Orleans (1,243 miles) to call for action to stop the BP oil disaster.  She has been a constant voice, speaking out to the Obama Administration's Gulf Oil Spill Commission, and in countless forms of media.  Cherri will continue her fight for the industries, people, culture and wildlife of south Louisiana and the Gulf Coast "until we are made whole again."


          

*Special Episode* – Interview With A Black Trump Supporter (with Brandon Tatum)

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Finding a Black Trump supporter in the most liberal city of the most liberal state is damn near impossible. Our search led us from the Northeast to the Southwest. This week our guest, Brandon Tatum (@theofficertatum) joins us remotely from Arizona...Tatum is a motivational speaker, former police officer and NFL prospect. In this exclusive interview, Tatum explains why Trump is not a racist, why Russian collusion is a witch-hunt and why Trump has done more for the Black community in half a term than Obama did in his entire presidency.
          

#Repost @thedailyshow • • • • • • Obama called out “woke”...

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#Repost @thedailyshow
• • • • • •
Obama called out “woke” culture and for a brief moment we remembered what it was like when American presidents spoke English.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B4jkEBpIW2B/?igshid=15w5lwf0qhrj0


          

trumps new substance abuse website pretends obamacare doesnt exist

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Chiloquin man to pay for lifting New York Post photos

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Title 28 Definition 15 (a): “United States” a Federal corporation.  Michael J. McShane was appointed by CEO Barack Obama, doesn’t that make this a corporate court?  Coupled with the 14th Amendment, which declares every American a subject, doesn’t logic dictate that we … Continue reading

The post Chiloquin man to pay for lifting New York Post photos appeared first on From the Trenches World Report.


          

5 Things Americans Should Know Before Travelling to Cuba

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President Obama had his aims to improve relations with the country of Cuba. However the Trump administration is not too keen on improving relations with this beautiful country. This is the reason why it has become very difficult for American tourists to travel to Cuba. However, this shouldn’t deter you from applying for a Cuba Read more about 5 Things Americans Should Know Before Travelling to Cuba[…]

The post 5 Things Americans Should Know Before Travelling to Cuba appeared first on Don't Stop Living.


          

11/05 Links Pt1: ‘I like your frame on this’: Warren nods as supporter claims US backs 'genocide in Palestine'; It’s Time to Close Down UNRWA; Israel’s Supreme Court rules HRW Director can be deported over BDS

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From Ian:

‘I like your frame on this’: Warren nods as supporter claims US backs 'genocide in Palestine'
Elizabeth Warren nodded along with an attendee at her town hall event while he claimed the American military supported genocide.

The Massachusetts senator and 2020 presidential hopeful took questions from the crowd in Grinnell, Iowa, on Monday, with one attendee saying, “Right now, the United States is bombing at least seven countries. We support genocides in Palestine and in Yemen. The U.S. military is actually the biggest polluter of any organization in the world.”

He continued, “United States sanctions on Venezuela caused over 40,000 deaths, and we also have sanctions on many other countries like Iran, North Korea, and you can name many more.”

The attendee asked Warren, “I’m wondering, as president, will you stop U.S.-supported murder, whether it’s through sanctions, arms support, or boots on the ground?”

Warren responded, “I like your frame on this.”


Republican Jewish group’s campaign slams Democrats as a ‘disgrace’ — in Yiddish
The Republican Jewish Coalition on Sunday launched a $10 million campaign — an unprecedented amount in partisan Jewish advertising — with online ads depicting 2020 Democratic US presidential candidates as a “disgrace.”

Videos titled “Shanda,” Yiddish for “disgrace,” blast the Democrats for saying they would consider reducing aid to Israel.

“The radical Left has taken the reins of the Democratic Party, and their policy proposals will devastate our national security, our alliance with Israel, our economy, and our health care system,” Matt Brooks, the RJC’s executive director, said in a statement announcing the release of the 15- to 30-second ads.

The placement of the videos on Facebook, YouTube and other media will cost $50,000. Brooks confirmed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency a report in Axios that the RJC had budgeted $10 million for its 2020 efforts.

In the spots, “leading Democrats” are accused of “turning their back” on Israel. They show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is Jewish.





It’s Time to Close Down UNRWA
UNRWA’s top official, Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, was accused of appointing as an adviser a woman with whom he was romantically involved. The pair traveled on business class flights across the globe. Deputy Commissioner-General Sandra Mitchell was accused of bullying and of manipulating the system to find a well-paid job for her spouse, Robert Langridge, who was promoted. Chief of Staff Hakam Shahwan was accused of behaving like a thug, placing people loyal to him in positions of power, and lobbying to take over UNRWA operations in Jerusalem.

Perhaps not surprisingly in view of the above, the agency has adopted a culture of secrecy about itself. It employs about 30,000 people (compared to the UNHCR’s 11,000 for the rest of the world’s 17 million refugees and displaced persons). Most of its staff are Palestinians and many are known members of Hamas (indeed, Hamas membership helps one get a UN job). Peter Hansen, UNRWA’s former Commissioner-General (1996–2005), admitted in an interview with CBS that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll. For example, the chairman of UNRWA’s Palestinian workers’ union, Suhail al-Hindi, is a member of Hamas’ new political leadership.

Retired IDF Col. Yoni Fighel, a former military governor in the territories, notes that as long as UNRWA employees are members of Hamas, they are going to pursue the interests of that organization within the framework of their job.

The agency was threatened with closure after the Trump administration implemented severe cuts following reports that proved rockets had been hidden inside UNRWA schools. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who sat on the ethics findings for months, claims he is “committed to acting swiftly on the corruption allegations.”

The UN originally made clear that UNRWA’s mandate would be short-term, indicating that the refugee issue should be solved expeditiously through repatriation or resettlement. In the words of former UN Secretary-General Trygve Lie, “The refugees will lead an independent life in countries that have sheltered them. Except for the ‘hardcore’ cases, the refugees will no longer be maintained by an international organization as they are at present. They will be integrated into the economic system of the countries of asylum and will themselves provide for their own needs and those of their families.”

Palestinian residents of Arab states — all of whom are considered refugees by UNRWA — should become citizens of those states, as they are in Jordan.


Israel’s Supreme Court rules HRW Director can be deported over BDS
In a landmark anti-BDS ruling the High Court of Justice has paved the way for Israel to deport Human Rights Watch’s local director Omar Shakir for his support of boycott activity against Israel.

Human Rights Watch is weighing an appeal to a larger judicial panel of the verdict by a three judges. If not appeal is lodged, Shakir could be asked to leave the country within 20-day.

The ruling is a victory for those who hold that advocates of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment Movement are acting against the state and are not engaged in legitimate criticism of Israel. Opponents view it as part of a movement to suppress human rights advocacy in Israel.

Shakir, who is a US citizen, immediately tweeted that if the HCJ decision is upheld, Israel will “join ranks of Iran, N Korea & Egypt in blocking access for @hrw official. We wont stop. And we wont be the last.”

Minister for Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan [Likud] expressed his satisfaction over the verdict.

"I applaud the decision of the Supreme Court that accepted my Ministry and the Interior Minister's position that a work visa should not be given to a foreign boycott activist who wants to harm Israel and its citizens," he said in a statement.

"Omar Shakir is a BDS activist who took advantage of his stay in Israel to harm it, something no sane country would allow. Israel sees great importance in the activities of real human rights organizations, granting hundreds of visas every year to human rights activists. HRW is welcome to appoint another representative in Israel in place of Shakir if it chooses to do so," he added.
NGO Monitor: Resource Page on Omar Shakir (HRW) Court Case
On November 5, 2019, the Supreme Court rejected Shakir’s appeal and upheld the ruling of the Lower Court that his work visa will not be renewed.

In October 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW) hired Omar Shakir to serve as its “Israel and Palestine Country Director.” Shakir has been a consistent supporter of a one-state framework and advocate for BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) campaigns, fitting the longstanding HRW practice of hiring anti-Israel activists to serve in key positions relating to Israel.

In May 2018, due to Shakir’s BDS ties, the Israeli Ministry of Interior chose not to renew his work visa. HRW and Shakir have been challenging this decision in Israeli courts. In April 2019, he lost his case in the Jerusalem District Court and immediately appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court. The hearing took place on September 24, 2019. While Shakir regularly assails Israel for its “lack of democracy,” in fact, the Israeli courts allowed him to remain in the country during his appeal process despite having no obligation to do so.

Omar Shakir’s background and history of anti-Israel activity exemplifies the organization’s troubling ideological approach to Israel and retreat from the universal principles of human rights.1


Guardian fails to challenge the lies of HRW’s Omar Shakir
The Guardian is adept at amplifying, and failing to critically scrutinise, the unsubstantiated claims and accusations of anti-Israel NGOs, and today’s article about the Israeli Supreme Court decision on Human Right Watch’s regional director Omar Shakir – a long time BDS activist – follows this pattern.

First, as we predicted in a tweet before the article by Oliver Holmes (“Israel can deport Human Rights Watch official, court rules”, Nov. 5th) was published, the piece uncritically cites Shakir’s simply unhinged response to the court’s decision:
Shakir wrote on Twitter that if he was kicked out, Israel would join the ranks of Iran, North Korea and Egypt in blocking access to Human Rights Watch staff. “We won’t stop. And we won’t be the last,” he said.

The truth is that democracies all over the world reserve the right to deny entry to those seen as intent on harming the state. Moreover, there are in excess of 350 NGOs (such as HRW) operating freely in Israel, even those who continually deligitimise the state, support BDS and even reject Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

The denial of a work visa to one employee of one of these NGOs – after careful consideration by the country’s internationally respected supreme court – wouldn’t even minimally change the democratic nature of Israel. The human rights organisation Freedom House continually ranks Israel as the only truly free and democratic country in the region, and the suggestion that this status will change due merely to the supreme court’s decision on Shakir’s work visa is risible.

In a subsequent paragraph in the article, Holmes makes the following claim about the broader effort by Israel to fight BDS – a movement, let’s remember, whose leaders oppose the continued existence of a Jewish state.
'A unity government is dead, and Israel is on its way to a 3rd election'
There is virtually no chance, and if there is no dramatic breakthrough in negotiations, Israel will be facing its third general election in a year, senior political officials from the Likud, Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu, and the New Right were saying Monday.

According to one official, the two sides are farther apart than ever, particularly since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokespeople were questioned by police last week.

The same official said that Blue and White was waiting for Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit to decide whether or not to indict Netanyahu. Mendelblit is expected to make his decision in early December. For Blue and White, even if Mendelblit were to drop the count of bribery, any indictment would be the final nail in the coffin of any possibility of forming a government with Netanyahu, he explained.

On the other hand, the official said, Netanyahu wants to remain prime minister, even if he is indicted. Therefore, he will not step down, and will apparently retain the support of the Likud and the smaller right-wing parties when and if he is under indictment.

The official said that as of Monday night, it was clear that neither the Likud nor the right-wing bloc would oust Netanyahu and would prefer to hold a third election, even at their detriment.

He also said that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz's position was shaky and even if he wanted to adopt the compromise put forth by President Reuven Rivlin, he would not be able to negotiate it.

"A unity government is dead, and Israel is on its way to a third election," the official said.
Sderot youth challenge MKs to take up their cause
In the middle of Sderot, near the Gaza border, 120 chairs sat empty on a lawn on Sunday, waiting for MKs to fill them.

The chairs were set up by young residents of Sderot to represent the 120 MKs who they say they feel abandoned them as rockets continue to be fired at them from Gaza on a regular basis, including on Friday.

“Elections are important and coalition negotiations are important,” organizers wrote. “Even investigations are important, recordings are important, indictments are important. And also a memorial ceremony [for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin] is important.”

“Hey, how did we forget?” they continued. “A plane for the prime minister is important and so are demonstrations outside the attorney-general’s house, but wait, rockets on the residents of the South are not a little important.”

The residents said they’re sick of promises that are not being fulfilled.

“After a Shabbat full of fireworks in the sky, after the horror show organized by terrorists on the other side of the fence, we decided to stop being quiet.”

Dvir Sasi, a spokesman for the protest, said: “We welcome all the MKs to come to us and explain the situation to us, and listen to us, and tell us their solution.”

What does conviction of IDF soldier mean for ICC war crimes battle?
Twenty months into the Gaza border conflict, the IDF courts issued their first conviction of a soldier for shooting one of the approximately 350 Palestinians who have been killed.

At the same time, the sentence was a mere one month of community service since the conviction was not for a more serious charge, like manslaughter, but essentially for the low-grade offense of violating the rules of engagement for opening fire.

Why was this the result, and what does all of this mean for the broader big battle before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over whether Israel’s legal system complies with international law or whether it has committed war crimes?

Official and unofficial statements from the IDF were short on details, leaving some critics to speculate about potential improper intentions.

Essentially, they said that the unnamed IDF soldier had violated open fire regulations in shooting toward the 15-year-old Palestinian Othman Helles as he was climbing the Gaza security fence, but that IDF investigators could not establish for sure one way or another whether that soldier’s bullet was the one that killed him.

What does this mean? How can the IDF know the soldier fired illegally toward Helles without knowing whether his bullet was the “kill-shot”?
JPost Editorial: Recognize the Armenian genocide
About 105 years ago, the Armenian genocide began. Members of the Armenian community living in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated at the orders of the governing authorities. As many as 1.5 million Armenians, an ethnic minority, were rounded up and murdered or deported to the deserts of Syria to die.

The Armenian genocide was well known in its time. The German military attaché to the Ottoman Empire described it as “total extermination” and other accounts provided graphic details of the horrors the survivors went through. Women were sold into slavery and raped, children were left to starve. In a prelude to the Holocaust and the crimes of ISIS, the slaughter of Armenians was an opening to a hundred years of similar mass murder events.

As a state founded in the wake of genocide, Israel knows too well what it means to be a small minority subjected to massacre and the systematic murder by a government. Like Armenians, Jews had to live as minorities under regimes such as the Germans or the Poles, enjoying “protection” so long as they did not get in the way of the state’s interests.

In late October, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide. It overwhelmingly passed with 405 votes and affirms that the US will record the genocide and provide “solemn remembrance of one of the great atrocities of the 20th century.” The US was moved to act because of recent tensions with Turkey.


Turkey protected Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Turkey protected ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – and Trump should have known.

In his national address announcing that US Special Forces had killed Baghdadi, President Donald Trump commended Turkey while turning a blind eye to Turkey’s collusion with ISIS. While Trump thanked “the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us,” he downplayed the importance of intelligence provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which was critical to the mission.

We know that Turkey institutionalized support for jihadis after Syria’s President Bashar Assad attacked Syrian rebels in Ghouta using chemical weapons in September 2013, and that Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) provided weapons, money and logistical support to jihadi groups that evolved into ISIS. Wounded ISIS warriors regularly showed up at Turkish hospitals in Gaziantep to receive medical care.

Baghdadi founded ISIS in the spring of 2014. ISIS attacked Mosul and Sinjar in June, terrorizing Yazidis and Kurds. Over five years, the so-called ISIS caliphate grew to the size of Great Britain, with eight million people under its control.

According to the SDF, “Turkey provides all kinds of support to the terrorist groups. These forces, trained and funded by Turkey, are engaged in a planned ethnic cleansing against our people.” Turkish-backed jihadis in the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) commit crimes on a daily basis in Turkish-occupied areas of Syria such as Afrin, Azaz, Bab, Jarablus and Idlib.
MEMRI: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad: It Is Possible That Al-Baghdadi Has Been Kidnapped, Hidden, Or Had His Appearance Surgically Altered; Israel Has Been Behind The Scenes Throughout The War; Erdoğan Is Our Enemy
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad was interviewed on Syria TV on October 31, 2019. He said that the extremist Wahhabi doctrine represented by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and ISIS will continue to exist even after ISIS is gone and that Al-Baghdadi had been released from American prisons in Syria in order to lead ISIS. Questioning whether Al-Baghdadi was really killed by the Americans, President Al-Assad suggested that he may have already been dead or that he may have been kidnapped, hidden, or had his appearance surgically altered. He said that the American operation to kill Al-Baghdadi was a trick and that American politics rely on imagination and resemble Hollywood. Later in the interview, President Al-Assad said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is Syria's enemy and that U.S President Donald Trump is the best president America has ever had because he is transparent about American policy and America's interest in Middle Eastern oil.

In addition, President Al-Assad said that even though Turkey is occupying parts of Syria, negotiating with it would not suggest that Syria could also negotiate with Israel, because Syria does not recognize Israel as a state or the Israelis as a people the way it does Turkey and the Turks. He also said that Syria wants to gradually regain sovereignty in Kurdistan. Furthermore, President Al-Assad said that Israel's influence is ever present in Syria, that Israel's involvement in the Syrian civil war is a given even though it is not openly apparent, and that everything that has taken place in Syria has served the interests of Israel through proxies, agents, flunkies, or the United States. The English-subtitled version of the interview was uploaded to the Syrian Presidency's YouTube channel.
Halkbank Says It Will Seek Dismissal of US Indictment, Judge’s Recusal
A lawyer for Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, which has been criminally charged by US prosecutors with helping Iran evade sanctions, said in a letter on Monday that it would seek to dismiss the case and have the judge assigned to it recuse himself.

In a letter to US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan, Andrew Hruska, a lawyer for Halkbank, said the bank was not agreeing to appear in court on the charges. He asked that he be allowed to represent the bank for the limited purpose of arguing the dismissal and recusal motions.

A hearing is scheduled in the case on Tuesday, and prosecutors have said they may seek a fine against Halkbank if it refuses to appear.

A spokesman for the office of Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment. Hruska did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan brought the criminal charges against Halkbank on Oct. 16. The bank called the charges an escalation of Washington’s sanctions on Ankara over its military incursion in Syria, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called them an “unlawful, ugly” step.

Hruska said in Monday’s letter that the bank’s “incidental contacts with the US are insufficient to establish… jurisdiction” in the New York federal court.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah official: Abbas won't seek reelection
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not planning to run in the next presidential election, senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub said in an interview with Palestine TV on Monday.

Rajoub’s announcement contradicts a statement by another senior Fatah official, Hussein al-Sheikh, who recently said that the only candidate of Fatah in the presidential election will be the 84-year-old Abbas.

“President Abbas is the only candidate of Fatah and honorable Palestinians,” Sheikh said.

Rajoub, who also heads the Palestinian Football Association, described Abbas as a “national treasure.” Abbas, he revealed, does not want to run in the election, and he won’t agree to be a candidate.

“Let us make him the sheikh of the tribe and the spiritual father of the democratic process,” Rajoub said. “In two months, President Abbas will celebrate his 85th birthday.”

In September, Abbas announced in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly that he intends to call for “general elections” in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

Rajoub, a former head of the PA’s Preventive Security Force in the West Bank, is seen by some Palestinians as a potential successor to Abbas. However, Rajoub did not say in the interview whether he intends to present his candidacy in the presidential election.

Rajoub’s announcement that Abbas won’t seek another term in office is likely to trigger a “war of succession” between several veteran PLO and Fatah officials who see themselves as suitable candidates to succeed the PA president.

Abbas himself has not said whether he intends to contest the next election. Moreover, he still hasn’t announced a date for holding new presidential and parliamentary elections.

The last Palestinian presidential election was held in 2005, when Abbas was elected for a four-year term. The last parliamentary election, held in 2006, resulted in a Hamas victory.

Rajoub expressed hope that Abbas would set a date for the new elections before the end of this year.
PMW: “The most despicable plot” – Palestinian reactions to the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration
The Balfour Declaration of Nov. 2, 1917 was a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Zionist leader Baron Rothschild stating that “His Majesty's government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

Every year, PA officials condemn the Balfour Declaration and seem to compete in calling it names, denying its legitimacy, and refuting the validity of Jews’ right to a national home in “Palestine” as Palestinian Media Watch has reported. This year is no exception. Here are some examples of statements by PA officials and others about Balfour’s “ominous promise”:

PA Minister of Culture Atef Abu Saif stated that the Balfour Declaration is an “invalid promise” that Britain had no right to give, and that the Jews had no right to receive. He called it “a mark of disgrace in the history of humanity” and a “historic mistake,” and predicted that Israel/the Jews will disappear like previous “invaders”:
Minister Abu Saif: “Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, and the invaders will go away as those who preceded them went away...

He added: ‘The ominous promise, in which the one giving the promise permitted giving what is not his to one who has no right, was a mark of disgrace in the history of humanity. The historic mistake will only be corrected when the right returns to its owners.’”

[Donia Al-Watan, independent Palestinian news agency, Nov. 2, 2019]


The PA claims of the illegitimacy of Britain’s actions and Israel's creation is illustrated by this image printed by the official PA daily, which shows the British and the Israeli flags in a no entry sign on the Balfour Declaration together with an image of Balfour and “Palestine”:

The PLO factions issued a joint statement on the anniversary that named the Balfour Declaration “the most despicable plot in the history of the peoples.” The PLO claimed that the “ominous promise” was the result of the convergence of interests of the “colonialist states” Britain and the US and the Zionist movement. The PLO repeated the PA claim that the colonial powers used the Jewish people as a pawn in the Middle East to gain control in the region, steal its resources, and prevent the Arab countries from developing:
Fatah: “We will defend our holy sites with our blood and our souls” “Jerusalem is ours”
Text: “The deal of the century will never pass. We will defend our holy sites with our blood and our souls” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "This is not allowed. This cannot happen. This is a decisive moment, a dangerous moment for us. Our entire future is at stake. If Jerusalem is lost, what will you say afterwards?" Text: “Jerusalem is ours and you will never have a place in it” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "This is a crucial moment that demands that every Palestinian present themselves immediately to quickly discuss the fate of the eternal capital [Jerusalem]. In politics: It’s the capital. In religion: It’s the capital. In geography: It’s the capital." Text: “The shining rage will uproot the tyranny from our land” PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "Here we are sitting, here we are remaining. We will never repeat the mistakes of the past. We will not repeat the mistakes of 1948 or the mistakes of 1967. We are remaining here – occupation, settlements, whatever – We are remaining here!" Song lyrics: "The home is ours and Jerusalem is ours" Text: “The home is ours and Jerusalem is ours. And with our hands we will liberate it, Allah willing” Text: “Fatah Al-Asifa” (The Fatah logo includes a grenade, crossed rifles, and the PA map of “Palestine” that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” together with the PA areas.) [Official Fatah Facebook page, July 28, 2019]


Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas Joins Iranian Plan to Foil Arabs' Anti-Corruption Protests
Alnehaiwi added that the "popular revolutions against the [Iranian] occupiers and [Arab] executioners are a luminous point and milestone that will serve the interest of the Palestinian issue." Noting that Hamas did the right thing when it sided with the Syrian people in their uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad, the political analyst said:
"Hamas may regret its support for Iran. Hamas will lose a great deal if it continues to side with Iran and stands against the people who have revolted against [Iranian] occupation and the executioners."

Such criticism, however, is unlikely to deter Hamas from pursuing its agenda of promoting Iran's interests in the region. The Arabs who are risking their lives to demand good governance and an end to corruption are now being targeted by Iran and its puppets in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Iraq.

It now remains to be seen whether the Arabs who have finally woken up to realize that Iran -- and not Israel -- is the real threat to their well-being will be able to keep up the momentum and continue their uprising against corruption and Iranian dominance over their countries.

By continuing to align itself with Iran, Hamas is leading its people straight toward even greater suffering. The only way for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to alleviate their misery is by revolting against their "leaders" in Hamas. Instead of firing rockets at Israel and demonstrating at the Gaza-Israel border, Palestinians ought to learn from their brothers in Lebanon and Iraq who their real enemies are: Iranian-backed dictators and fake Palestinian leaders, who only know how to lead their people towards further suffering.
Hamas Encouraging Youth Drug Use as Qatar Support Comes to an End
As the year comes to an end, the Gaza Strip is preparing to return to the familiar, suffocating financial crises that is sure to result from Qatar’s ending its grant to poor families. Qatari envoy in the Strip, Mohammed al-Emadi, has informed Hamas and other terror factions there that his government is having difficulties renewing the grant, Al-Akhbar reported Tuesday.

These funds did not cover all of Gaza’s poor families, and the most each lucky family received was $100 each month, but it was a reliable stopgap measure to stave off the explosion that’s sure to come without this charity. There will be two more payments until the end of 2019, Al Emadi told the local leaders, after which they are on their own.

Over the weekend, Hamas made it clear that it was blocking the security escalation with Israel and is not interested in keeping it up. But then, on Monday, Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, bragged that he had been the one to determine in recent years whether or not there would be war.

Kan 11 TV on Monday night provided a glimpse into the other wars Hamas has been waging: internal leadership wars, a cruel, Darwinian effort to literally “thin the herd” with violent border fence riots, and an unofficial operation to induce as many as 200,000 Gazan youths to using drugs, mostly hashish and opiates – to help them forget the hardships of their daily lives.
Hamas official: Egypt has barred Haniyeh from traveling abroad for past 3 years
Egyptian authorities have barred Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh from traveling outside the Gaza Strip and Egypt for almost three years to prevent him from meeting with their political rivals, a senior official in the terror group said in an interview published Tuesday.

The last time Haniyeh traveled beyond Gaza and Egypt was in late 2016 and early 2017 before he was elected Hamas head.

“The Egyptians are not permitting the head of the politburo to travel abroad because they do no want him to meet their political rivals,” Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior official in the terror group, told Dar al-Hayat, an Arabic-language news site. “This ban [has been in place] for about the last three years.”

Hamas, which frequently meets with Egyptian intelligence officials mediating between the terror group that rules the Strip and Israel, also maintains close ties with countries that Cairo views as foes such as Qatar and Turkey.




In chilling detail, ex-envoy to US Oren warns of Israel-Iran ‘conflagration’
Former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren has described in chilling detail how a conflict between Israel and Iran could easily be sparked and descend into a massive conflagration, devastating Israel and other countries in the region.

Israel is already girding for a war with the Islamic Republic, and has carried out hundreds of strikes against Iran-linked targets in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. A single miscalculation during one of those airstrikes could draw retaliation by Iran, Oren wrote in a column published in The Atlantic on Monday.

“The senior ministers of the Israeli government met twice last week to discuss the possibility of open war with Iran,” he began. “Israeli troops, especially in the north, have been placed on war footing. Israel is girding for the worst and acting on the assumption that fighting could break out at any time. And it’s not hard to imagine how it might arrive. The conflagration, like so many in the Middle East, could be ignited by a single spark.”

An Israel Defense Forces bombing run could inadvertently hit a sensitive target, or an Israeli official could step out of line and say something to embarrass Iran following an attack, Oren wrote.

“The result could be a counterstrike by Iran, using cruise missiles that penetrate Israel’s air defenses and smash into targets like the Kiryah, Tel Aviv’s equivalent of the Pentagon. Israel would retaliate massively against Hezbollah’s headquarters in Beirut as well as dozens of its emplacements along the Lebanese border. And then, after a day of large-scale exchanges, the real war would begin,” he continued.
The Revolt Against Iran
Unsurprisingly, Iran and its allies in Iraq and Lebanon are blaming recent unrest on the usual suspects: a conspiracy of foreign actors that includes the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the Zionists.

How will this end? In 2008, civil unrest led to Hezbollah’s armed seizure of Beirut. Hezbollah and Iran have poured thousands of fighters and billions of dollars into neighboring Syria to help crush the rebellion against their Syrian ally. In 2009, Iran’s green movement protests over stolen elections finally ebbed in the face of torture, beatings, and detentions meted out by the regime. “We in Iran know how to deal with protests,” Iran’s second-most powerful man assured Iraqi officials this month. “This happened in Iran and we got it under control.”

Ten years ago, when Iran saw its largest uprising since the 1979 revolution, Obama was not only reluctant to express solidarity with Iranians, he also refused to acknowledge the rigged elections, dismissed advisers who urged active assistance, and blocked CIA resources earmarked for supporting democratic uprisings. In The Iran Wars, former Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon reveals how Obama’s peculiar reticence was largely motivated by his worry that American involvement would ruin his secret overtures to Tehran in hopes of brokering an agreement. While President Trump has also expressed a desire to strike a deal with Iran, he has already retweeted two videos of Iraqi demonstrators storming the Iranian consulate in Karbala. Whether this administration is able to leverage these protests into successful policy beyond tweets remains to be seen. And perhaps more importantly, it is too early to tell whether the nascent political revolts in Lebanon and Iraq can survive the backlash from Iranian-backed militias and snipers long enough to evolve into a meaningful, organized political opposition.
Rep. Cheney to Introduce Legislation Mandating Full Dismantling of Iran Nuclear Deal
Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) will soon introduce new legislation that would compel the Trump administration to eradicate the remaining vestiges of the landmark Iran nuclear deal, the lawmaker told the Washington Free Beacon.

Cheney's legislative effort comes as GOP hawks in Congress have launched an offensive against the Trump administration's decision to again grant Iran sanctions waivers that permit it to conduct sensitive nuclear work, including at an underground bunker site that once housed the regime's atomic weapons program.

The legislation is yet another sign of mounting frustration among hawkish Republicans over the Trump administration's mixed signals on Iran. Critics allege the administration is backtracking on its own "maximum pressure" campaign on Iran in order to preserve possible diplomacy with Tehran down the road.

The Free Beacon reported last week that the Trump administration's State Department had signed off on the nuclear waivers, despite public and private pressure from anti-Iran voices on Capitol Hill. The debate marks one of the clearest divides yet between typically faithful Trump administration supporters in Congress and those inside the administration.

Cheney told the Free Beacon that the waivers have helped legitimize Iran's nuclear infrastructure and paved a way for it to continue working on sensitive nuclear issues with help from countries such as China and Russia.
The Islamic Zealots Who Seized U.S. Embassy 40 Years Ago Today Weren't 'Students'
These were first and foremost religious zealots blindly following the will of clerics (Ali Khamenei and Mousavi Khoeini among them) who often visited the hostages, too. Many attended Amir Kabir University, "strictly allied with Khomeini and the new Mullah establishment," according to Mark Bowden in Guests of the Ayatollah (2006). As Bowden puts it, they "were all committed to a formal Islamic state and were allied, some of them by family, with the clerical power structure around Khomeini."

Bruce Laingen, who was the chargé d'affaires at the embassy, wrote in his journal that Khoeni was "the clerical link with the 'students' at the embassy since the day of the seizure and . . . the link before that, too, in the planning for the seizure." On July 21, 1980, he wrote with certainty that Khoeni was Khomeini's "liaison with the 'students' of the embassy" and that there "can be no question of the extent to which the clerical forces are solidly in control."

The term "students" was inaccurate and misleading in 1979, and it is all the more so now. After four decades, the time has come finally to get it right.


40 Years On: How US-Iran Hostility Affects the World Today
With anti-American slogans and effigies mocking President Donald Trump, thousands rallied outside the former US embassy in Tehran on Monday to mark the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. Amid renewed tensions with Washington, state television showed rallies taking place in several other cities, including Mashhad, Shiraz and Esfahan, four decades after revolutionary students stormed the diplomatic mission. "They will continue their enmity against us. They are like a lethal scorpion whose nature is to have a poisonous sting," the head of the army, General Abdolrahim Mousavi, said in a speech at Tehran. "We are ready to crush this scorpion and will also pay the price."






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11/04 Links Pt2: Poll: Almost 50% of UK Jews will 'seriously consider' leaving if Corbyn wins elections; Historian: New evidence shows FDR’s bigotry derailed many Holocaust rescue plans; Ray Charles in Israel

 Cache   
From Ian:

Poll: Almost 50% of UK Jews will 'seriously consider' leaving if Corbyn wins elections
Britain's Jewish community so deeply concerned by the prospect of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn winning the next general election that community leaders have launched a campaign to undermine his premiership candidacy.

A recent poll by the Jewish Leadership Council, a British-Jewish advocacy group, found that 47% of British Jews would "seriously consider" emigrating if Corbyn is elected prime minister.

Some 87% of British Jews believed Corbyn to be anti-Semitic, and 90% said they will not vote for Labour, the poll found.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the general elections, set for Dec. 12, following his failure to push the Brexit deal through Parliament. Johnson's promise to have the UK leave the European Union by Oct. 31 had been a key element in the Conservatives' leadership bid, which brought him to power in July.

Corbyn has been repeatedly lambasted for his failure to tackle anti-Semitism within Labour. In 2018, the party received 863 complaints of anti-Semitism but took action in only 101 of those cases. Worse, Labour members who have publicly made statements such as "Jews are the problem" have remained in the party despite complaints against them.


According to the Jewish Chronicle, prominent British Rabbi Jonathan Romain has even taken the unprecedented step of urging congregants to vote against Labour, warning that a Corbyn-led government "would pose a danger to Jewish life as we know it."

"I should stress that the problem is not the Labour Party itself, which has a long record of fighting discrimination and prejudice, but the problem is Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn-led Labour, has at best, let antisemitism arise within its ranks, or at worst, has encouraged it," Romain wrote in a letter to the 823 families who are members of his Berkshire shul.

"This has never happened under any previous Labour leader … so the finger of responsibility really does seem to point to Jeremy Corbyn. I am therefore suggesting we should each put aside all other considerations and vote for whichever party is most likely to defeat Labour in whatever constituency we are in – even if we would never normally vote for that party."

Israel Advocacy Movement: Why vote Labour?
In the upcoming election, a vote for Labour is a vote for:
☠️ Terrorism supporters
🇻🇪 An economy like Venezuela
🚫 Racism
A vote for Labour is a vote for insanity… watch the election video Labour don't want you to see.


Jewish Caller Tells Maajid Nawaz He Would Emigrate If Corbyn Elected
A Jewish caller told Maajid Nawaz that he would close his business and leave the UK if Jeremy Corbyn were to become Prime Minister because of anti-Semitism.

David, from Hendon, said: "I will leave the country as soon as Corbyn comes in, God forbid that he should.

"I will not stay in a country where anti-Semitism is now accepted because I think, brilliantly, he and his PR people just didn't answer really, just deflected old accusations.

Now people are fed up with hearing the word so it's almost as if it's accepted and whether that's the case or people are actually anti-Semitic in this country... I hope not but I'm beginning to have my doubts."

He also explained that he would shut down his business of 53 people.

He said: "I will leave, I will close down all of my businesses which I can. I've been nervous of this, I'm in the position where I'll be able to close them down.

"These people won't be employed anymore and that's fine. I'm looking after myself and I'm sure people, some of your viewers or listeners will be saying 'good riddance, let's get rid of the guy'.

But there are hundreds of people like me, and not all of them are Jewish, there are hundreds of wealthy people who have built up businesses who know that in the end Mr. Corbyn will take it all away from us because he doesn't appreciate people who work hard."




Historian: New evidence shows FDR’s bigotry derailed many Holocaust rescue plans
Not only was US president Franklin Roosevelt perfunctory about rescuing Jews from the Nazis, but he obstructed rescue opportunities that would have cost him little or nothing, according to Holocaust historian Rafael Medoff.

FDR’s role in preventing the rescue of European Jewry is detailed in a new book called, “The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust.”

Published in September, Medoff’s book includes new archival materials about the relationship between Roosevelt and Rabbi Stephen Wise, who the author sees as a sycophantic Jewish leader used by Roosevelt to “keep the Jews quiet.”

Wrote Medoff, “Franklin Roosevelt took advantage of Wise’s adoration of his policies and leadership to manipulate Wise through flattery and intermittent access to the White House.” In return for visits to the White House and Roosevelt calling him by his first name, Wise undermined Jewish activists who demanded the administration let more Jewish refugees into the US.

According to Medoff, Roosevelt’s policies toward European Jews were motivated by sentiments similar to those that spurred him to intern 120,000 Japanese Americans in detention camps as potential spies.

“Roosevelt used almost identical language in recommending that the Jews and the Japanese be forcibly ‘spread thin’ around the country,” Medoff told The Times of Israel. “I was struck by the similarity between the language FDR used regarding the Japanese, and that which he used in private concerning Jews — that they can’t be trusted, they won’t ever become fully loyal Americans, they’ll try to dominate wherever they go.”
Gil Troy: Mark Twain’s ‘Innocents Abroad’ explains our Israel obsession
Twain offered his pragmatic American explanation for Palestine’s desolation: “Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition – it is dream-land.” Twain feared that Palestine induced so much stargazing no one ever rolled up their sleeves to produce anything there.

Fortunately, the Zionist movement was starting to tap into old-new Jewish dreams to motivate hardy, hardscrabble, hardworking pioneers – much as the American dream drove Twain’s fellow Americans. This pre-Zionist book offers a core Zionist message. The Palestine Twain saw highlights the modern miracles Zionism created that we take for granted.

STILL, IF dreams can motivate or paralyze, mythmaking can inspire – or disappoint. Sarna has long shown how Palestine as dreamland boosted modern Israel in American and Jewish eyes. Many Americans, especially American Jews, echo the pilgrims’ naivete. They romanticize Israel, falling in love with what Sarna calls a “mythical Israel,” more indicative of “American Jewish ideals” than “Israeli realities.” The Zionist dream, American-style, long celebrated an Israel that was even more progressive than America – defined by kibbutz workers, not Wall Street investors; built by new brawny Jews, not traditionally brainy Jews.

Beware: too much mythmaking about any country – especially the world’s only Jewish state trying to survive in a Middle East hostile to Jews and democracies – is risky. As with any romance, some idealization during courtship greases the wheels of love. And Israel’s “dreamland” still dazzles most Americans. But, today, with Israel in middle age, the toxicity of faded romance often triggers an overly harsh counterreaction. Somehow, many of Israel’s jilted leftist lovers still love America while hating Donald Trump. Yet when they detest an Israeli policy or prime minister, they give up on Israel and Zionism.

Mark Twain’s memories of being a Missouri non-Yankee in King Solomon’s court helps explain our modern obsession with Israel, too. Twain emphasizes how foundational Palestine is to the West. “Crowded with historical interest,” filled with “elegant fragments,” it still dominates our collective imaginations.

But heed Twain’s warning. Those who believe Israel can do no right – along with those who believe Israel can do no wrong – are often telling us more about the “verdicts they brought with them” rather than their fair assessments of this rich, complex, modern democracy.

Clearly, we have some Mark Twain-like “unlearning” to do, especially about Israel.
Revisionist Author Tries to Distort the Record of David Ben-Gurion
Tom Segev’s well-written biography of Israel’s first prime minister, A State At Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion, is undercut by the author’s biases and penchant for narrative.

It would be hard to imagine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publishing an op-ed in The New York Times on Buddhism. But back in April 1962, the first Israeli premier, David Ben-Gurion, did precisely that — but only after spending weeks studying with religious scholars as a personal guest of the prime minister of Burma, today’s Myanmar. Ben-Gurion even insisted, much to the consternation of his teachers, “that he had discovered a self-contradiction in the Buddha’s doctrine that no one else had ever noticed.” It turned out that he was wrong; it was a translation error.

As Segev makes clear, Israel’s founding father was both exceptional and eccentric. And nearly five decades after his passing, Ben-Gurion remains iconic, with a legacy and career that are arguably unmatched in the small nation’s modern history.

As his private secretary, Yitzhak Navon, once observed, “Without Ben-Gurion, the State of Israel would not be in existence — and this I can say about nobody.” Indeed, long before he was making history, Ben-Gurion was its avid student.

As Segev notes: “He saw himself, and was seen by others, as an incarnation of history.” To a great extent, this was the result of the tremendous willpower that he displayed throughout his life.
New Book Tells a Holocaust Family Mystery
I just finished reading an extraordinary new book, House on Endless Waters by author Emuna Elon.

From start to finish, I found it to be well-written, touching, and chock-full of character development; there were so many stories I could relate to.

The book is a family mystery ripe with great plot twists. It explores one man’s quest — a renowned Israeli author — to visit his birthplace in Amsterdam, despite promising his late mother that he would never return to that city. And during a visit to that city’s Jewish museum, he sees a picture of his mother, pre-war, holding a child he doesn’t recognize. The book explores his adventures through Amsterdam — past, present, and future — replete with dreams, visions, and more, all in beautifully written prose.

Throughout the book, I had memories of growing up in a home where my grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and my mom (z”l) spent so much time researching, reading, and studying about the history of our many family members who were murdered by the Nazis. She attended conferences, discovered obscure files, and spent days at Yad Vashem. In the last few months of her life, my mother learned that her father, Morris Waga, had been married with a family before he married my grandmother. He lost that wife and a three-year old daughter in the camps to the Nazis. Yet, throughout his entire life, he never told my mother or her younger brother.

The book discusses underground networks that hid Jewish children during the war, and the burdens faced by those who survived. The scars of the Holocaust haunt families and people for generations.
Jonathan Tobin: Can Joe Biden save the day for pro-Israel Democrats?
The problem here for pro-Israel Democrats is that, out of necessity, they’ve hitched the fate of their cause to what right now looks like a fading star. Biden, who hasn’t won a competitive race on his own (being Barack Obama’s running mate doesn’t count) since Richard Nixon was president, has so far been a disappointment to his backers. With a focus on the effort to impeach Trump dominating the headlines this winter, it may also remind voters of his son’s questionable behavior further dragging him down.

Nor, it should be added, is Biden coming to the issue with entirely clean hands. He was part of Obama’s eight-year-long pressure campaign against the Israeli government, as well as an ardent supporter of the disastrous 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he still defends.

Biden may be instinctively supportive of the Jewish state in ways that eclipse those of Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg; however, the tenor of his dialogue with Israel has always been that of an American who thinks he knows the Middle East better than Israelis. Biden received a devastating – and completely deserved – tongue-lashing from former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at a Senate hearing in June 1982. In response to Biden’s threats of aid cuts that were hardly different from the statements of the primary opponents he now considers “outrageous,” Begin slapped him down by telling him that he was “not a Jew with trembling knees,” and that Israel would defend its principles, “and, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”

In a competition with far more extreme critics of Israel than he ever was, Biden is the best that pro-Israel Democrats, who once dominated their party yet now seem unable to muster sufficient support for censoring or shunning anti-Semites like Omar and Tlaib, can muster. It is on his aging and uncertain shoulders that the fate of the Democrats as a pro-Israel party rests. That’s a prospect that should scare friends of the Jewish state, no matter which party they support.
Michael Lumish: Are Arabs indigenous to Judea?
Of course, Arabs are not indigenous to Judea / Israel. Arabs are conquerers indigenous to the Arabian peninsula. If one cares about "the conflict" -- or what I call The Long Arab / Muslim War against the Jews of the Middle East -- then one must recognize the Jews as indigenous and the Arabs and Muslims as imperialists and colonialists.

And, yet, the progressive-left and the Democratic Party honestly believe that the Jewish defenders of Jewish children and Jewish land are the aggressors. They honestly believe that Arabs have every right to kill Jews as a matter of "resistance." It is an intelligent rhetorical strategy on par with the propaganda skill of the National Socialists.

The brilliance behind Arab and Muslim imperialism is that they actually managed to convince the arrogant and ignorant Euros that they are the indigenous population in the lands that they conquered.
Corbyn, a cause for concern
Meanwhile, Johnson's main rival, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, also isn't assured of restoring his party to power for the first time since 2010. Corbyn's ideological extremism is attractive to certain strata of British society but is also a deterrent to others. Some polls find Corbyn to be the "least popular Opposition leader of the past 45 years." Even if he doesn't win, it's still theoretically possible for him to establish a "resistance coalition" against Johnson and Brexit, which would include the Liberal Democrats and Scottish separatists who oppose leaving the EU.

Even if Labour is weakened in the upcoming election, in such a manner that Corbyn is forced to resign, he will have left behind a party that is fundamentally different than the one he inherited four years ago. Labour's far-left faction has effectively consummated its takeover of Britain's main Opposition party, essentially ridding it of all internal dissent. Under the guise of its anti-Israel and anti-Zionist worldview, Labour has normalized anti-Semitism as part of the British political landscape. Even if Corbyn goes, the devastation he leaves in his wake will be absolute.

All efforts by the country's Jewish community and Labour's own Jewish MPs to foster dialogue with Corbyn's circle about banishing anti-Semitic activists within its ranks have floundered amid their refusal to recognize the importance of the matter. There have been cosmetic initiatives, mostly for public relations purposes, but little else. Labour under Corbyn's leadership has legitimized anti-Semitism and shown Jews that the party that first welcomed them to Great Britain – no longer cares for them.

With a sense of humor that under the current circumstances has taken a darker turn, British Jews have altered Labour's slogan from "For the many, not for the few," to "For the many, not for the Jew." If Labour rises to power, this joke could have serious implications for all of Britain.




Also in October: A selection of other antisemitic Incidents that we did not cover
A swastika was spray-painted on a sign near a Jewish school in Gateshead. The graffiti appeared on the corner of High West Street and Gladstone Terrace on 7th October.

A swastika and the words “Lewis is a Jew” were carved into the glass panel of a bus stop in East Leeds. Anyone with information should contact West Yorkshire Police on 101 referencing log number 243.

On Shabbat, 19th October at the Clapton Common and Oldhill Street junction in Stamford Hill, three males accosted Orthodox Jews walking home from synagogue with antisemitic slurs including “Heil Hitler”.
Alison Chabloz fails to overturn conviction over Holocaust denial at High Court, leaving no further avenue of appeal
Moments ago, notorious antisemite and Holocaust denier Alison Chabloz has had her application for a judicial review denied by the High Court following her landmark conviction on three charges of sending grossly offensive communications via a public communications network.

Ms Chabloz had sought to overturn her conviction on technicalities relating to the meaning of what constituted sending communications online, but the High Court denied her appeal and upheld the earlier judgment. There was confusion over the way that the case had proceeded to court as Ms Chabloz’s case was brought before judges by her barrister, Adrian Davies, who maintains his record of losing cases for neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers.

Ms Chabloz had sought to overturn her conviction on technicalities relating to the case began as a private prosecution by Campaign Against Antisemitism, which was then continued by the Crown Prosecution Service. The charges related to three self-penned songs in which Ms Chabloz denounced a supposed Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world and attacked the Holocaust as a fraud perpetrated by Jews for financial gain.

The conviction set a new precedent in British law, effectively delivering a landmark precedent verdict on incitement on social media and on whether the law considers Holocaust denial to be “grossly offensive” and therefore illegal when used as a means by which to hound Jews.
Boston University set to hire anti-Israel professor
Sarah Ihmoud, a postdoctoral associate at Boston University, is currently under consideration for a teaching position at the university, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) reported.

According to APT, the university has not yet made an offer to Ihmoud, but the offer is "imminent."

Education Without Indoctrination (EWI) called for action to prevent Boston University from becoming "a platform for Jew-hate."

Ihmoud, co-author of Sexual Violence, Women’s Bodies, and Israeli Settler Colonialism, presented the paper to BU. In it, she claims that "rape and killing of Palestinian women was a central aspect of Israeli troops' systematic massacres and evictions during the destruction of Palestinian villages in 1948" and describes Nazi-like actions, including the shooting of pregnant women and the murder of children.

The paper also claims that that both brutality and sexual violence against Palestinian Authority women is an ongoing tactic of the IDF.
Major Jewish Groups Applaud Twitter for ‘Belated’ Shut Down of Hamas, Hezbollah Accounts
Major Jewish groups applauded the micro-blogging website Twitter on Sunday for suspending a series of accounts affiliated with the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

“Thank you @Twitter for suspending the accounts of Hamas and Hezbollah,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted.

Referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Greenblatt added, “US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations do not belong on the platform. Let’s hope all platforms follow @jack’s lead.”

The American Jewish Committee also weighed in, pointing out that while Twitter has accepted that there is no difference between the “military” and political wings of terrorist groups, the European Union continues to separate the two.


The Simon Wiesenthal Center responded by tweeting, “Belated but welcome anti-terrorist moves by @Twitter — hope others will follow.”
BBC ignores Twitter’s terror groups suspensions
To date, those searching for coverage of that story under the BBC News website’s ‘social media’ and ‘Twitter’ tags will find nothing.

Perhaps the BBC is having difficulty working out how to square that quote from Twitter with its own euphemistic portrayals of Hamas as a ‘militant Islamist group’ and Hizballah as a ‘political, military and social organisation’.
Indy egregiously misleads on Gaza power shortages
A Nov. 3rd article in the Independent on the use of solar power in Gaza grossly misled readers as to the extent and origin of the strip’s electricity shortages.

The article, “Meet the Gazan woman turning rubble into building blocks and sunlight into power”, by their deputy international editor Gemma Fox, begins thusly:

For Samar, Gaza’s crippling blackouts used to mean a daily, panicked rush to take her son to the nearest hospital so that his lungs wouldn’t fail.

He suffers from a lung disease that has left him dependent on a machine to breathe. But the machine depends on electricity – something in critically short supply in Gaza.

Samar’s story is far from unique, with the enclave’s two million residents forced to try to survive on roughly three hours of electricity since Israel imposed a blockade in 2016.

Hospitals and other buildings rely on generators to keep the power on during the cuts, but they are expensive, and until recently, a luxury that Samar was unable to afford.


First, Israel imposed their blockades of Gaza, due to Hamas’s takeover of the strip, in 2007, not 2016.

Also, it was both Egypt and Israel who imposed a blockade. In Israel’s case, the only items that have generally been restricted are military related (or dual-use) goods.

Additionally, the Indy gets their figures on the daily availability of electricity in Gaza wildly wrong. Palestinians in the strip get around twelve hours a day, not three, as a detailed report and graph by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) makes clear.
BBC WS radio amplifies claim that a country called Palestine “existed”
Despite the claims from Hills and Lefrak, as we noted when BBC World Service radio previously promoted the museum and its founder back in June, it is essentially the continuation of a project that is very much political – even if Lefrak fails to identify it as such.

Lefrak: “Museum founder Bshara Nassar says his goal is to create a space that’s more personal than political.”
Nassar: “We want to really transform the story and put Palestinians in the light that we’re human beings, right? We’re artists, we’re entrepreneurs, we’re in politics and we contributing a lot to the US as immigrants as well.”
Lefrak: “Nassar immigrated to the US from the West Bank in 2011. When he came to Washington he saw a city full of museums but he didn’t see one that reflected him.”
Nassar: “Really I could not see a place where the Palestinian story can be told.”
Lefrak: “So he decided to open a travelling exhibition that would eventually become the museum. One of the objects in the collection is a 1946 passport for the Palestine Mandate. It was rendered useless the following year after the United Nations voted to establish the State of Israel. Curator Nada Odeh wants visitors to understand that history.”


That passport was of course in fact “rendered useless” in May 1948 when the British terminated their administration of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – the purpose of which was to create a Jewish national home. In 1947 the UNGA passed a resolution (181) recommending that the area then still under British administration should be partitioned between Jewish and Arab states – a recommendation accepted by the Jews but rejected out of hand by the Arabs and hence never implemented. BBC world Service listeners heard nothing of that history – or the Arab attacks which followed that UN vote – but they did hear the ‘non-political’ museum’s Syrian-born head curator promote the falsehood that a country “called Palestine” used to exist.


German Cardinal: Antisemitism is an attack on us all
A prominent German cardinal of the Catholic Church has pledged that Jews and Christians will stand together in the fight against rising antisemitism in the country.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who is chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference and serves as the archbishop of Munich and Freising, said on Sunday night that “Christians and Jews will never separate again,” in the face of new antisemitism.

He made the comments during a panel discussion on antisemitism at the Catholic Academy in Berlin hosted by the German Bishops’ Conference and the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany.

Among prominent figures who attended were Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission coordinator on combating antisemitism; Armin Laschet, prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia; and Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

A statement released by the German Bishops’ Conference quoted Marx as calling for stronger social commitment and better cohesion in society “in the face of resurgent antisemitism in Germany and Europe.”

He stressed that he was “very worried” about the direction society is heading because there are “more and more blogs and ideologies from people that cannot be taught, who indulge in conspiracy theories and soon unite as a sounding board for... slogans of antisemitism.”
Outrage in Germany over neo-Nazis’ political ‘kill list’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government on Monday strongly condemned death threats against two leading Green party politicians by a neo-Nazi group, as concern mounts over a rise in right-wing extremism.

Greens lawmaker Cem Ozdemir, who has Turkish roots, revealed at the weekend that police were investigating an email he had received from a neo-Nazi group saying he was at the top of their kill list.

“We are currently planning how and when to execute you. At the next rally? Or will we get you outside your home?” the email read, according to the Funke newspaper group.

Fellow Greens MP Claudia Roth received a message saying she was second in line to be killed.

Both emails were sent on October 27 and signed with “Nuclear Weapons Division Germany” (AWD), apparently a German offshoot of a notorious US-based neo-Nazi group.

“The German government clearly condemns any kind of threats or violence against politicians,” Merkel’s spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters.

“We cannot and will not accept these attacks on our free democratic system,” she said, vowing to use the full force of the law against the perpetrators.
White supremacist charged with planning to blow up Colorado synagogue
US authorities have arrested a known white supremacist on suspicion that he planned to blow up a synagogue in Colorado, local media reported Monday.

The suspect, named as Richard Holzer, 27, reportedly met an undercover FBI agent on Friday at a motel with explosives that he allegedly intended to use to attack Temple Emanuel in the city of Pueblo.

Holzer told an undercover FBI agent that he had previously been a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and had become a skinhead, according to the Denver Post.

Holzer said he was preparing a “holy war” and claimed to have poisoned the water at the synagogue with arsenic and was planning to do so again, The Denver Post reported, citing an affidavit filed on Saturday at the US District Court in Colorado.

According to the affidavit, when asked what if people were in the building when the bomb exploded, “Holzer stated that he did not think anyone would be there, but that if they were, Holzer would not care because they would be Jews.”
Men dressed as Jews hand out Holocaust denial fliers at Colorado mall
A group of men wearing large white yarmulkes and fringed prayer shawls handed out fliers promoting Holocaust denial and hung up cards bearing anti-Semitic canards on a pedestrian mall in Boulder, Colorado.

The fliers handed out at Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall by the men who appeared to be posing as Jews claimed the Holocaust was “impossible.”

The men also hung notes on index cards around the mall that claimed “Academia is dominated by Marxist Jews,” Jews run the porn industry,” and “Jews ran the Atlantic slave trade,” the Daily Camera newspaper reported.

The men livestreamed their actions, according to the report.

As of Sunday morning, no reports were filed with police about the fliers, Boulder police told the newspaper.


City of Poway, CA, set to rename street after Chabad shooting victim
The city council in Poway, Calif., will consider a proposal on Nov. 5 to change the name of a short street in memory of Lori Lynn Gilbert-Kaye, the only fatality in the shooting earlier this year at Chabad of Poway.

Under the proposal, Eva Drive would become Lori Lynn Lane. It is located near where the 60-year-old congregant lived with her husband, Dr. Howard Kaye, about a mile from the synagogue.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said that people associated with Chabad approached the city to propose the street-name change.

“They did all the groundwork, and our team got the obstacles out of the way,” he said. “It should have unanimous and enthusiastic support.”

Three people, including senior Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, were wounded on April 27 when lone gunman John Earnest shot at worshippers during Shabbat-morning services.

Earnest has pleaded not guilty to state and federal charges, including 113 federal hate crime-related counts.
Karish natural gas field off Israel’s shore found to be much bigger than thought
Energean Oil and Gas plc, a Greek gas producer focused on the Mediterranean, said Monday that its appraisal of the Karish North discovery offshore Israel has revealed 0.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable natural gas resources plus 34 million barrels of light oil or condensate.

The appraisal “significantly” increases the resource volumes discovered by Energean at the Karish and Tanin leases off Israel’s shore, the statement said.

The firm had already discovered 2.4 tcf of natural gas at the Karish and Tanin fields, along with 33 million barrels of light oil. Energean has already signed accords to sell 4.7 billion cubic meters a year of the fuel to Israeli customers.

Light crude oil is a liquid petroleum that has a low density and low viscosity than heavy crude oil. Natural gas condensate is a mixture of hydrocarbon liquids that are present in the raw natural gas produced at gas fields.

Israel, a nation traditionally starved of natural resources, believes the discovery of natural gas reserved off its shores in the Mediterranean will lead it to energy independence and make it an exporter of gas. The Karish and Tanin natural gas fields sit alongside the larger Tamar and Leviathan deposits in Israel’s economic waters in the Mediterranean.
Israel-Egypt gas pipeline deal expected in coming days
A deal that would transfer control of a natural gas pipeline between Israel and Egypt is expected to be closed in the next few days, the companies said on Sunday.

Texas-based Noble Energy (NBL.N), Israel’s Delek Drilling (DEDRp.TA) and Egyptian East Gas Co have partnered in a venture called EMED, which last year agreed to buy a 39% stake in the subsea EMG pipeline for $518 million that will carry Israeli gas exports to Egypt.

In a regulatory filing in Tel Aviv, Delek said the shares have already been transferred to the buyers while the funds are currently being held in a trust. It noted that no closing conditions remained.

“Upon the transfer of the full amount of the consideration to the sellers, which is expected to be performed in the coming days, the EMG transaction will be closed in practice,” Delek said.

Partners in Israel’s Leviathan and Tamar offshore gas fields had agreed to sell $15 billion worth of gas to a customer in Egypt — Dolphinus Holdings — but last month the deal was amended to boost supply by 34% to about 85 billion cubic meters, or an estimated $20 billion.
Elbit Systems Lands 5-Year, $50 Million Portuguese Defense Ministry Contract
Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems announced over the weekend that it has been awarded a $50 million contract to supply the Portuguese Air Force with a complete electronic warfare suite and customer logistics support for the new KC-390 multi-mission aircraft. The contract is to be completed over a five-year period.

Under the contract, Elbit will supply the Portuguese Air Force’s KC-390s with Radar and Laser Warning Systems, an IR Missile Warning System, Countermeasures Dispensing System, a Directional IR Countermeasures system and Active ECM (AECM) POD system.

“The Portuguese Air Force is a long-standing strategic partner of Elbit Systems and we are proud of this contract award to provide enhanced survivability for their new fleet of KC-390 aircraft,” said Edgar Maimon, executive vice president and general manager of Elbit Systems’ Electronic Warfare and Signals Intelligence Unit.

Last week, Elbit announced that it had been selected by the Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport to provide the Swiss Armed Forces with an army-wide tactical Software Defined Radio (SDR) solution under the Telecommunications Armed Forces (TK A) program.
Ray Charles in Israel
“I had always heard that I was popular in Israel, but I didn’t get over there until the early seventies,” the soul genius Ray Charles recalled. “Some people asked me to do a documentary. I liked the idea. I’d never done anything like that before. The film people knew I wasn’t a scholar or a theologian, but they had heard that I had a decent working knowledge of the Bible. They had also heard that the Israelis liked me, and they hoped the two things would blend.”

Ray Charles, accompanied by his five backup singers, the Raelettes, arrived in Israel in early December 1972. In the first two weeks of that month they performed at five wildly successful concerts. Israeli fans of the “Genius of Soul” thronged the concert halls of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. Fans cheered the musicians in the streets and the press gave their concert tour wide coverage.

The musicians spent two weeks performing and touring in the country. It was, Charles remembered, an opportunity to “look around and learn. … It was all so old, so incredibly old, that I couldn’t help but shake my head in wonder. I could smell history in the streets.”

By the early 1970s, Ray Charles and the Raelettes had given concerts all over the world. In Japan, they had encountered particularly enthusiastic audiences. But in terms of enthusiasm none of these concerts prepared Charles and his ensemble for the reception they received in Israel.

That many Israelis liked Ray Charles and his music was an understatement. I was living in Jerusalem at the time and I remember vividly the excitement that his visit generated. I also remember that by the time I made it to the concert hall box office the two Jerusalem shows were completely sold out. I never got to hear him on that tour, but news of it was in all of the Israel newspapers. It seemed that by missing that concert I had missed more than the music.

The riveting story of the Jerusalem concert is best told by the genius himself: In his autobiography, Brother Ray, (co-written with David Ritz) Charles wrote that, “In thirty years on the road, I had never experienced anything like this. We were supposed to do two shows, but the first one had the crowd so crazy and happy that they wouldn’t leave. The second crowd was due any minute, but the first crowd wasn’t about to move.”


The Jewish roots of French icon Asterix the Gaul
The iconic adventures of Asterix the Gaul may be most famous in the French-speaking world, but their inspiration is decidedly Jewish.

One of the most famous characters in French comics, and considered by many to be a French national hero, the adventures of Asterix and his sidekick Obelix are popular all over the world. The comics were translated to over 100 languages, including Latin, Welsh and Hebrew. It has inspired 10 movies, the most recent one the 2018 Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion.

But could Asterix be Jewish? While the answer is obviously no – Asterix is literally a Gaul, after all – Ateret Yerushalayim rosh yeshiva Rabbi Shlomo Aviner argues that the Jewish inspiration is clearly there.

It is important to note that the original writer behind Asterix, René Goscinny, was undoubtedly Jewish, having been born in Paris in 1926 to two Jewish immigrants from Poland. His father accepted a job in Argentina after he was born, unknowingly ensuring their family won't be harmed by the Nazi occupation of France, to which he returned in 1946.

Speaking in an interview reported by Srugim, Rabbi Aviner, who is French himself – after mentioning that this isn't as important as studying Rashi, a medieval Jewish scholar who was also French – reaffirmed Goscinny's Jewishness.

"His father was born in Warsaw, and his grandfather was a rabbi," he explained. "His Jewish identity was strong."
Jewish astronaut snaps space pics of Israel, salutes late father
Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir, who made history last month as one half of the first all-female spacewalking team, on Friday posted pictures of Israel snapped from space with a caption saying the country was part of her father’s journey.

“My father’s globe spanning journey as a surgeon from the Middle East, to Europe, and eventually to the U.S. was an inspiration to many in my immediate and extended family. #TheJourney,” Meir wrote.

Meir’s late father was born in 1925 in Baghdad, and in 1931 the whole family left Iraq as a result of anti-Semitism and settled in pre-state Israel.

He was in medical school at the American University of Beirut when the 1948 War of Independence broke out and returned to Israel, where he drove an ambulance during the war. He then went to Geneva to finish medical school before taking a job in Sweden, where he met Meir’s mother, a nurse who was raised in a Christian Swedish family.

Her parents then moved to the US.




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Hillary's Russian Connections : i NEVER get emotional,about a...

 Cache   
Author: carbon20
Subject: 36632
Posted: October 31 2017 at 2:58pm

i NEVER get emotional,about  a FOX news item, (never read the rubbish) or politics ,to me its a a big joke , and Chump is the top JOKER....at the moment, 

please Note ,Obama will be the next President of the USA ,

 i cant wait to see Chump SACKED.......

Jacksdad, if you have ever read "the Art of War",its very pertanent to the China situation we have developing NOW.....they building "ports" all over in Strategic places , i.e Sri Lanka,Djibouti , building and fortifing Islands...........seems to me they building infrastructure to what means  ,who knows.....

the World needs a strong USA lead by a 

STATESMAN................

not a TWIT SALESMAN !!!!!



          

Hillary's Russian Connections : Satori wrote: Joy Reid dismantles...

 Cache   
Author: Medclinician
Subject: 36632
Posted: October 30 2017 at 8:04am

Originally posted by Satori Satori wrote:

Joy Reid dismantles GOP Uranium One propaganda in a little under two minutes

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/10/29/1710809/-Joy-Reid-dismantles-GOP-Uranium-One-propaganda-in-a-little-under-two-minutes

this whole "scandal" is literally the definition of FAKE NEWS

nice try DonnieLOL


This thread is not about Trump, it is about Hillary. Can anyone stay on topic here?

Joy Reid lost the election for Hillary Clinton and she still is more than one brick shy of a load. As most Social Justice Warrior she thinks saying something makes it true it doesn't.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/09/19/msnbcs-joy-reid-calls-trump-supporters-deplorables.html

She helped alienate millions of voters for Hillary by calling Trump's supporters "deplorables".  This another black woman on a mission calling people racists at every turn and trying to boost NBCs rating on the network.

I can say anything in 5 minutes. That doesn't mean it's true. I will continue to hedge off all the thread diversions that continue to be completely off topic on this thread.

This is about Hillary Clinton's Russian Connections and also the DNC and Obama Administration. They took over $145,000,000 in bribes, and money to the "Pay for Play" for the Clinton Foundation. The formal investigation of the Uranium Sale sent people to prison and was lied about recently when everyone is claiming they did not know "until today" anything about it.

It will continue.  The rest continues to be a smoke screen and a witch hunt which has turned around. Mueller should be removed from the case since he as involved in a far great example of working with the Russians.

You continue to attack anonymously. When my country and my president is attacked I would like to know where that is coming from. It does matter where you are from and free speech is not shooting bullets from the dark - which is what you are doing.


Medclinician


          

Hillary's Russian Connections : Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent...

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Author: carbon20
Subject: 36632
Posted: October 29 2017 at 2:26pm

Hillary Clinton Gave 20 Percent of United States' Uranium to Russia in Exchange for Clinton Foundation Donations?

Allegations of a "quid pro quo" deal giving Russia ownership of one-fifth of U.S. uranium deposits in exchange for $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation are unsubstantiated.