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          Senator Susan Collins Says She Is Facing a Pressure Campaign on Kavanaugh Vote      Cache   Translate Page      

Senator Susan Collins Says She Is Facing a Pressure Campaign on Kavanaugh VoteSenator Susan Collins Says She Is Facing a Pressure Campaign on Kavanaugh Vote



          Bush boosting Republicans in places where Trump isn’t strong      Cache   Translate Page      
Republicans are increasingly concerned about their ability to fend off Democrats aiming to retake the Senate and win complete control of Congress.
          Buhari is ‘analogue’, Nigeria needs a digital President – Saraki      Cache   Translate Page      
Senate President Bukola Saraki says Nigeria needs a digital president who is abreast with the new world social order. He made the comment on Wednesday, September 12, during a visit to the Cross River state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, The Nation reports. The purpose of the Senate president’s visit was to seek support for his […]
          Is There A Sanders Political Dynasty Forming In New England?      Cache   Translate Page      

Bernie Sanders had to be cheated by the DNC in order to not win the Democratic primary in 2016, and the senator really started to make a national name for the Democratic Socialist. Could this be the start of a Sanders dynasty? Levi Sanders, Bernie’s son decided to run for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District […]

The post Is There A Sanders Political Dynasty Forming In New England? appeared first on Liberty News Now.


          Cory Booker Channels Spartacus – It Didn’t Go As Planned      Cache   Translate Page      

Sitting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee for four days last week probably caused Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the sole witness, to imagine himself watching an episode of the old Superman comic; the one where Superman is transported into an alternate Bizarro World universe.  In that Bizarro World, you may recall, everything is the opposite […]

The post Cory Booker Channels Spartacus – It Didn’t Go As Planned appeared first on Liberty News Now.


          How Republicans Helped Tammy Baldwin – urbanmilwaukee      Cache   Translate Page      
urbanmilwaukeeAt the state Republican convention in May, Vukmir won the vote of 73 percent of delegates, well more than the 60 percent threshold required to give her the party’s official endorsement. And the party proceeded to do everything it could to elect her.In Wisconsin, Republican Hopes Against Baldwin Rely on Underdog VukmirRealClearPoliticsWisconsin GOP Senate Hopes […]
          Texas Democrats have a rising star. But Republicans are betting Beto doesn't have enough fans to win      Cache   Translate Page      
Ted Cruz may not do things like Beto O'Rourke skateboarding in a parking lot. But for all the attention and speculation about his US Senate race against the rising Democratic star, he also knows talk of a blue wave in Texas has always fizzled out.
          California Legislative History Digitized      Cache   Translate Page      
[We're grateful to Joanna Grisinger for drawing this announcement to our attention.]

Thousands of Historical California Legislative Publications Digitized and Openly Available Online Paul Fogel, Manager & Technical Lead, Mass Digitization, California Digital Library

California historical legislative research just got a bit easier. As a result of a collaboration between the California Office of Legislative Counsel and librarians at the University of California, Stanford University and the California State Library, nearly 4,000 California Assembly and Senate publications are now online and have been opened for reading access to everyone worldwide. They are available in the HathiTrust Digital Library as a featured collection, as well as individually in Google Books.

The project was initiated at the University of California's California Digital Library (CDL) by current HathiTrust Program Officer for Federal Documents and Collections Heather Christenson.  CDL worked with California's Office of Legislative Counsel to clarify language in recently approved California Assembly Bill no. 884 to confirm that the collected set of historical publications of California legislative output are indeed in the public domain and can be broadly shared.  The recently opened volumes were digitized as part of the Google Books project from copies collected by UC Berkeley and many other university libraries and have been aggregated in the HathiTrust Digital Library, a partnership of over 140 academic and research libraries

[More.]
          Mitch McConnell Officially Losing His Shit, Because The Senate Is IN PLAY, AYUP.      Cache   Translate Page      


Joyful news, of the kind that should make you GET OFF YOUR ASS AND WORK. Pundits are finally coming around to what yr Wonkette has been suspectin' for quite some time now, and it is that, despite what looks on paper to be a really harsh landscape for Democrats in the Senate, the upper house is pretty obviously IN PLAY and we could wake up one Wednesday morning in November controlling the whole entire Congress if we GET OFF OUR ASSES AND WORK.

Wanna know how we know the Senate is in play, besides how we are smart? Because Mitch McConnell is freaking out:


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday sounded some of the most doubtful notes of Trump's presidency that Republicans will keep the upper chamber of Congress, telling reporters, "I hope when the smoke clears, we'll still have a majority."

Oh yeah? Well Wonkette hopes when the smoke clears, we'll be able to make out the sound of Mitch McConnell up inside his turtle shell, crying TURTLE TEARS OF SADNESS about how he's going to die a turtle loser minority leader who ain't got no turtle power no more.

Things had been looking pretty nasty, as the Democrats are defending six seats in states won by Donald Trump. (That would be Jon Tester in Montana; Joe Manchin in WV; Joe Donnelly in Indiana; Claire McCaskill in Missouri; Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota; and Bill Nelson in Florida.) Meanwhile Republicans are only defending one seat in a state won by Hillary Clinton, and that is Dean Heller in Nevada.

Thing is, those races are going pretty OK for the Democrats at this point, some of course better than others. The Cook Political Report currently has all the red state Dems still listed as toss-ups except Tester in Montana which is still "leans Dem." Dean Heller's seat too. Oh yeah, and also Jeff Flake's seat in Arizona and Bob Corker's seat in Tennessee. Ted Cruz's seat is still listed as "lean Republican," but our gut says that rating "leans bullshit."

Let's look at a few numbers:

  • Joe Manchin is up in West Virginia by seven or eight points, according to the Real Clear Politics average.
  • Joe Donnelly in Indiana, who was supposed to be the easiest get for the GOP, is up about six points.
  • Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Claire McCaskill (MO) are about tied in their races.
  • Jacky Rosen, who is running against Republican Dean Heller in Nevada, is a little bit ahead in the RCP average, but she needs your help. HELP HER!
  • In Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema is running just about even with Republican Martha McSally. HELP HER TOO!

At this point, Bill Nelson of Florida is considered the most vulnerable sitting Democratic senator, and the latest poll has Batboy impersonator and current GOP governor Rick Scott up a couple points. But people are wildly excited about voting for Andrew Gillum for governor -- even according to Republican-leaning polling outfits -- so maybe that will help keep Nelson in place. As always, it's about turnout, turnout, turnout, and how do you make that happen? By knocking on doors and making phone calls and giving money! Hit up the Nelson campaign to help here.

Also, there have been some surprises! First of all, there is BETOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We've slobbered over written about Beto O'Rourke's race against Ted Cruz in Texas quite a bit lately, because the GOP is shitting its pants and hemorrhaging resources, due to how everybody hates Ted Cruz and his foreign-born face, and Texans secretly have been wanting to get off that ride for ages. Well, there's a new ride in town, and his name is BETOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

RIDE HIM! WITH VOTES!

Texas is blanketed with Beto signs, conservative Texans seem confused as hell, and people are fired up and ready to go. The polls still show Beto down a few points, but they're getting closer, and the right amount of enthusiasm and voter participation could really give Texans some Beto O'Rourke in their stocking this Christmas.

Here, watch a video about Karen Collins, a retired quilter in Texas who wasn't really involved in poltiics before President Dipshit got elected, but is now involved at every level, and let her fire you up to help Beto cross the finish line:

But it's not just Beto!

Down here in Tennessee, there's beloved Democratic former governor Phil Bredesen, who is fired up and ready to kick Marsha Blackburn's lunatic ASS this November. And he's up in the polls! We've been watching the national media get all confused about this race, sure of itself that all these polls (every one of 'em) is an outlier, but Tennesseans know the truth, which is that everybody loves Phil Bredesen and everybody hates Marsha Blackburn. (She's kind of our Ted Cruz.)

Tennessee and Texas are clearly All Hands On Deck situations for Democrats, but if we work, and we work for all these incumbent Democrats and we work for Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona and we work to kick Dean Heller's ass in Nevada ... this is DOABLE.

And that is why Mitch McConnell and the GOP are so freaked out.

Oh yeah, and let us just briefly mention to you what might be a sleeper for the Democrats, and it is Mississippi. HEAR US OUT. We are not talking about the regular Mississippi Senate election in November. Roger Wicker is considered SOLID to win re-election. But there's also a Senate primary for Thad Cochran's seat on November 6, to see who will go up against Democrat Mike Espy on November 27. Will he face bugfuck insane Chris McDaniel, or the slightly less insane Cindy Hyde-Smith, whom the governor appointed to fill out Cochran's term? We just don't know, but a recent poll shows Espy beating BOTH OF THEM.

So keep that one in your back pocket, especially if Mississippi selects McDaniel, who, again, is bugfuck insane. We could be looking at a HELLO, DOUG JONES situation in the state next door to Alabama.

The point of this post is DON'T BOO, VOTE, and FIRED UP, READY TO GO, and also more sexxx jokes about riding Beto O'Rourke, because we are gay like that.

Also it is your open thread.

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          What If Lindsey Graham Isn't Compromised, What If He's Just LIKE THAT?      Cache   Translate Page      


Bob Woodward's book Fear was released Tuesday so someone should get around to reading it to Donald Trump next week (Sarah Huckabee Sanders calls "not it!"). It exposes a great deal of dysfunction within the White House but also reveals the corruption that has seeped out of it like a failed sewer line into other branches of government. Perhaps there's no better or more disappointing example than Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Graham, of all the Vichy Republicans who capitulated to President Trump, was the loudest Cassandra about candidate Trump. He scathingly summed up Trump in 2015 as a "race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot ... who doesn't have a clue about anything." Trump didn't spend 2016 at Clue! Academy. He actually ramped up the race-baiting and overall bigotry. Trump's election should've propelled Graham to the front lines of the NeverTrump conservative resistance with Evan McMullin, the guy he actually voted for, but instead he shifted course literally on election night, tweeting that Trump "defied laws about accepting aid from a hostile foreign power the odds and overcame many obstacles to win a stunning victory." Dude, this is the presidency. You're acting like Trump won the 2016 World Series.


Woodward's book describes Graham as playing a "starring role" in the Trump White House, practically "moving in" and attempting to exert his influence because, I dunno, maybe in this "race-baiting, xenophobic" administration he can get the trains to run on time. Collaboration with Trump has become the new "patriotism" and Graham is such a model collaborator, he should strut his stuff on a Paris runway.

Graham quickly wormed his way into Trump's good graces. He flattered him with a bunch of bare-ass lies about how only Trump, "the ultimate deal maker," could "right the ship" in Congress. Yeah, asshole's been divorced twice and sued literally thousands of times, but he'll resolve all the partisan rancor in Washington. This shameless self-abasement was enough to win Graham some golf dates with the putter-in-chief, and Trump pressed him relentlessly on why he wasn't his number one guy.

Trump wanted Graham's "100 percent" support instead of the "82 percent" he believed Graham was putting out (top off but bra still on, etc.). I'm not sure how Trump was getting these figures -- probably Ivanka and a slide rule. Graham massaged the issue, telling him he was a "good commander-in-chief" and that he was "cleaning up" Obama's mess. This satisfied Trump so he later offered Graham an ambassadorship to Pakistan. Graham shrewdly turned this down because he knew what's just where you send away the mistress so she'll stop asking you to leave your wife. He wanted to stay close and push Trump toward his own "hawkish view of foreign policy." Idiots claimed during the election that Trump was less "hawkish" than Hillary Clinton, and even if they were right (idiots usually aren't, though), Graham was actively working to undermine Trump's possibly one good idea. Trump even wondered when we might get around to ending the war in Afghanistan and Graham insisted NEVER! because the "good vs. evil never ends." Yo Joe!

Last September, Graham reportedly advised Trump to "encourage" China to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and replace him with a general "they control." That's gangster shit and is also precisely why so many other nations hate us. Graham isn't even Tom Hagen to Trump's Sonny Corleone. He's like Connie Corleone in The Godfather Part III. If I'm gonna live in a gangster movie, I want it to at least be a good one.

But this doozy Woodward drops regarding Graham and the late John McCain is really sickening.

Torn between his longtime friendship with the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and his efforts to influence Trump, Graham worked to repair the relationship between them by arranging a dinner with Trump, McCain and McCain's wife Cindy.

Graham tried to trade his supposed friend's soul for some Groupon promo codes. That's just low. Trump also offered to buy off the McCains by making Cindy an "ambassador focused on human trafficking," which she already does pretty well without him.

Graham later boasted of "managing" McCain so the GOP could screw poor people without the senator's whispers of conscience getting in the way.

Graham said his “chief job is to keep John McCain happy," to keep the senator from bucking his party's leadership," Graham said.

One of the few "good Republican" things about Graham was that he bucked the hardliners in his party on immigration. He was involved in the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill, which wasn't enough to get past the GOP-controlled House. Despite becoming BFFs with repulsive racist Steve Bannon (they spoke "every day" before Bannon left the White House), Graham still tried to promote sane immigration policies, which mostly failed and only resulted in Trump insulting people and eventually jailing immigrant children.

I confess I hoped that Putin had a file a foot deep on Graham, and his whiplash-inducing about-face was a clear indication he was compromised somehow. But Fear raises the very real possibility that Graham just thought he could control the mad king. The New York Times op-ed revealed that a lot of people believe they can use Trump to their advantage. "Fear" isn't strong enough to describe how it feels to learn that people like Graham are willing to look evil in the face, shrug, and say, "Maybe we can cut a deal?"

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          Apple will testify on data privacy policies before US Senate on Sept. 26      Cache   Translate Page      
Article Image

Vice President of Software Technology Bud Tribble is set to appear Sept. 26 before a Senate panel to talk about user privacy, along with execs from Google, Amazon and other companies.
          WaPo: Say, this attack on Collins might well be bribery after all      Cache   Translate Page      

#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Maybe Susan Collins was right after all. The senator from Maine castigated progressive opponents for attempting to “bribe” her into voting against Brett Kavanaugh by promising not to spend the $1.3 million they’ve raised against her if she voted nay. The “bribe” accusation sounded a little hyperbolic, but the Washington Post’s Eli Rosenberg writes that it might be more spot-on than one would think:

The unusual fundraising effort by Maine People’s Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership and activist Ady Barkan on the platform Crowdpac had raised more than $1 million by Tuesday — a not insignificant amount for a political race in the small state. But amidst the attention it was receiving were signs that its efforts could be backfiring.

At least one ethics expert consulted by The Washington Post said that it may very well violate federal bribery statutes, which prohibit giving or offering anything of value to government officials in exchange for any acts or votes. …

Adav Noti, a senior director at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, which works on rules of ethics and finance in government, told The Post that he thought the listing was illegal, noting that bribery is a federal crime.

“I think they’re playing a game to avoid the literal application of the bribery statute,” he said. “They have structured the campaign in a way that the action they will do if she does what she wants is that they will refund the money but that seems to be a fictional distinction. It still seems like they’re saying if you don’t do what we want we will spend $1 million and that strikes me as just as much as an inducement as saying we’ll give you $1 million if you do what we want.”

If it’s a bribe, it’s more of a reverse or negative bribe. The group isn’t actually giving her something of value in exchange for the no vote on Kavanaugh; they’re promising not to spend the money they’ve collected against her. On net that’s a valuable transaction, but it’s still the absence of action that they’re trading.

Does that count for bribery? It’s tough to say, and other experts contacted by Rosenberg don’t agree with Noti, although one did note that the effort against Collins looked “icky”:

“It seems kind of icky but it doesn’t rise to the level of bribery because there’s no agreement,” Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibilities. “It’s just the way money and politics tend to work these days.”

True, and Senate seats are valuable commodities … as Rod Blagojevich once observed before talking himself into a federal indictment. Raising money to campaign against Kavanaugh is certainly legal, as it is to campaign against Collins. Making an endorsement contingent on a vote is not just kosher, it’s a wide practice among all sorts of interest groups, as is threatening opposition over it. Making it explicitly about cash while the money is in hand, however, might cross a line. Maybe.

Would anyone prosecute it? Naah. But the IRS might take an interest in the 501(c)(4) status of the groups involved while they’re electioneering against Collins. Otherwise, the legal issues are academic, but the political damage from this ill-advised bullying campaign is likely to help Kavanaugh a lot more than these groups could have ever hurt him. Great job!

The post WaPo: Say, this attack on Collins might well be bribery after all appeared first on Hot Air.


          On Politics With Lisa Lerer: A Blue Wave You Haven’t Heard About      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats have the chance to flip a handful of state senates with just a few races; and an amendment to ban slavery in Colorado.
          Pressure Mounts On Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski To Block Brett Kavanaugh - HuffPost      Cache   Translate Page      

HuffPost

Pressure Mounts On Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski To Block Brett Kavanaugh
HuffPost
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has received 3,000 coat hangers in the mail. Women dressed as handmaids in red robes and bonnets have shown up at her home in Maine to protest. Activists have raised over $1 million for her 2020 challenger should she vote ...
Interest Groups Turn Up Pressure on Senators Before Kavanaugh VoteNew York Times

all 581 news articles »

          Senator Cory Booker Explains How Young Voter Turnout Could Change Congress Overnight      Cache   Translate Page      
Senator Cory Booker shares how his mom lectured him throughout his swearing-in ceremony and suggests young Americans are the key to dramatically …
          Senator Cory Booker Explains His Famous “Bring It” Moment      Cache   Translate Page      
Senator Cory Booker talks to Jimmy about why he risked his standing in the Senate by releasing confidential documents during hearings on U.S. Supreme Court …
          9/12/2018: SPORTS: See it to believe it      Cache   Translate Page      

It was about this time last year that the Ottawa Senators announced that they would cover about 1,500 seats in their arena with tarps, as a novel solution to the problem of selling them to patrons. I think they are going to need bigger tarps. With...
          Re: People Are “Fighting For Food” As Authorities Warn Florence “Could Produce A Disaster Comparable To 2005’s Hurricane Katrina”      Cache   Translate Page      

President Trump is a fine President and a true American Patriot. And Ovomit is just the opposite..........A TRAITOR AND LAWLESS SCUMBAG

Ovomit's
Acts of Treason:

1.Perpetrating acts of fraud, perjury and conspiracy in his refusal to confirm
his lawful eligibility to serve as president under the U.S. Constitution
Article II, Section 1, constituting impeachable offenses of high crimes and misdemeanors
adumbrated in U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 4;

2. Surrendering sovereign U.S. war-making to foreign powers and international
authorities by attacking Libya without consulting Congress, in violation of U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8 and U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter33:1541-1548;

3. Accepting foreign title and office while acting as U.S. President and without consulting Congress when in 2009, Obama assumed the Chairmanship of the UN Security
Council, the international body responsible for declaring war on behalf of the UN, in violation of U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 9;

4. Making
bribery attempts in word and in deed, as Obama administration offered bribes to
at least three Federal candidates for office: Joe Sestak, Andrew Romanoff and
Jim Matheson, in violation of U.S. Code Title 18, Section 201;

5. Defying a
Federal Court Order by refusing to halt the unconstitutional implementation of
the "Patient Healthcare and Affordable Care Act of 2010, popularly known
as "ObamaCare", in violation of U.S. Constitution Article II, Section
3, and Article III, Sections 1 & 2;

6. Defying a
Federal Court Order by refusing to grant lawful deep water drilling permits, in
violation of U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 3, and Article III, Sections
1 & 2;

7. Executive
Branch creation and implementation of regulations asserting unconstitutional
force of Federal law on matters explicitly rejected by or contrary to the will
and intent of Congress, specifically the EPA implementation of Cap and Trade,
in violation of U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 1 and Section 8;

8. Refusing
to secure our broken borders from illegal alien invasion, international
criminal incursion, and terrorist cadre penetration, in violation of U.S.
Constitution, Article III, Section 3 and Article IV, Section 4;

9. Executive
Branch malfeasance and impeding the administration of justice by preventing the
U.S. Department of Justice from investigating crimes committed for the direct
benefit of the President by presidential associates including: voter
intimidation at the hands of the New Black Panthers and ACORN election fraud,
in violation of U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 3, and U.S. Criminal Code
Section 135, (Comp. St. § 10305);

10. Direct
mobilizing and funding of mob violence, sedition and insurrection, as witnessed
in Wisconsin, by the President's own reelection campaign group Organizing for
America, and including open statements of incitement to the insurrection by the
President himself, in violation of U.S.Penal Code, Chapter 115, Section 2383;

11.
Executive Branch usurpation of lawmaking powers voiding duly enacted
legislation of Congress by improperly preventing the U.S. Department of Justice
from defending established Federal law – specifically the Defense of Marriage
Act, in violation of U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 3;

12. Adhering
to the enemies of the United States, giving them aid and comfort, as witnessed
by consorting with, supporting and installing to powerful Federal positions
persons who in writing, word and deed have called for and promoted the
overthrow of America's constitutionally guaranteed Republican form of
government, and the overthrow of the United States Constitution; including but
not limited to William Ayers, Bernadette Dohrn, Cass Sunstein, John Holdren,
Van Jones, Dalia Mogahed, Harold Koh, and Eric Holder, in violation of U.S.
Constitution, Article III, Section IV and U.S. Penal Code, Section 2385.

, according to Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, “the U.S. government has traced some of the
$1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed
terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.”

There is a law that applies to this situation.
U.S. Code 2381 says: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies
war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort
within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer
death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this
title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office
under the United States.”

But there is one thing Barack Obama has on all
competitors: treason.

He showered hundreds of billions of dollars on
the Islamic Republic of Iran. There are those who say, “It was their money. It
belonged to the Iranian government but was frozen and not paid since 1979.”
Indeed, and there was a reason for that: not even Jimmy Carter, who made the
Islamic Republic of Iran possible, thought that money, which had been paid by
the Shah’s government in a canceled arms deal, belonged to the mullahs who
overthrew the Shah. Likewise Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W.
Bush all thought that the Islamic Republic was not due money that was owed to
the Shah.

Only Barack Obama did.

The definition of treason is giving aid and
comfort to the enemy. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran order their
people to chant “Death to America” in mosques every Friday, and repeatedly vow
that they will ultimately destroy the United States of America and the state of
Israel. How was giving them billions and helping them skirt sanctions applied
by the U.S. government not treason?

A List of Obama’s Constitutional
Violations

Ovomit took the
Presidential Oath, swearing to “.. preserve, protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States” but has:

§ Used Executive Action in direct opposition
to the law, and unilaterally changes the law for at least five million illegal
aliens; Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; “he shall
take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3; Article
I Section 8

§ In direct violation of ACA Law ( Section 36B
) ordered subsidies be paid under Federal Exchange. Article. I. Section. 1;
Article II, Section 3.

§ *Entered Treaty Agreement with Iran without
Advice & Consent of the Senate. No agreement (including one with the UN) is
valid without 2/3 Senate approval. Article II Section 2.

§ Operation Choke Point program – Direct
infringement on 2nd Amendment.

§ Violated statute on “Material Support of
Terrorism” by returning top terrorists back to terrorist organizations. Article
II Section 3; Dereliction of Duty Article II Section 4

§ Violated Appropriations Act (DOD Section
8111) – GAO report; Article II Section 3

§ Ignored law that requires Congress be
notified prior to any detainees being moved from Guantanamo. “he shall take
Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3

§ Using EPA to “legislate” over States,
Congress, and Federal Court; Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8; Direct
violation of Presidential Oath.

§ Appointed 24+ Federal agency czars without
advice and consent of the Senate; Violation of Article II Section 2

§ Used Executive Privilege in regards to Fast
& Furious gun running scandal. When Government misconduct is the concern
Executive privilege is negated.

§ 23 Executive Orders on gun control –
infringement of the 2nd Amendment

§ Exposed identity and methods of operation of
a Navy SEALs team – Illegal for a President to reveal classified military
secrets. Article II Section 3

§ 2 Executive actions mandating private health
information on patients be turned over to NICS – Violation of HIPPA law.

§ Executive Order bypassing Congress on
immigration – Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress;
Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8

§ Unilaterally issued new exemptions to
immigration restrictions law that bars certain asylum-seekers and refugees who
provided “limited material support” to t

errorists. – Article 1 Section 1; Article I
Section 8 Congress shall have the Power..to establish an uniform Rule of
Naturalization.

§ Issued directive instructing ICE to NOT
enforce immigration laws in certain cases. Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative
power held by Congress; “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully
executed,” Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8

§ Release of convicted illegal aliens ordered
in direct opposition to law-Article II Section 3

§ Expanded executive action for amnesty to
illegal immigrant relatives of DREAM Act beneficiaries. Article 1 Section 1,
ALL Legislative power held by Congress; “he shall take Care that the Laws be
faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3; Article I Section 8

§ Executive action directing DHS that almost
all immigration offenses were unenforceable absent a separate criminal conviction.
Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held by Congress; “he shall take
Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3; Article I
Section 8

§ Ignoring Law (2006 Secure Fence Act) “he
shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3

§ Used DOJ to ignore section 8 of the Voting
Rights Act. ” he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article
II Section 3

§ Used DOJ to prevent Arizona and Alabama from
enforcing immigration laws. – 10th Amendment

§ Information memorandum telling states that
they can waive the work requirement for welfare recipients, thereby altering
the 1996 welfare reform law. – Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power held
by Congress.

§ Used NLRB to dictate to a business where
they can do business. (Boeing Dreamliner Plant). No Constitutional authority to
do so.

§ NDAA – Section 1021. Due process Rights
negated. Violation of 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Amendments.

§ Executive Order 13603 NDRP – Government can
seize anything

§ Executive Order 13524 – Gives INTERPOL
jurisdiction on American soil beyond law enforcement agencies, including the
FBI.

§ Executive Order 13636 Infrastructure
Cybersecurity – Bypassing Congress Article 1 Section 1, ALL Legislative power
held by Congress

§ Attempt to tax political contributions – 1st
Amendment

§ DOMA Law – Obama directed DOJ to ignore the
Constitution and separation of powers and not enforce the law. ” he shall take
Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” Article II Section 3

§ Dodd-Frank – Due process and separation of
powers. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau writing and interpreting law.
Article. I. Section. 1

§ Drone strikes on American Citizens – 5th
Amendment Due process Rights negated

§ Bypassed Congress and gave EPA power to
advance Cap-n-Trade

§ Attempt for Graphic tobacco warnings (under
appeal) – 1st Amendment

§ Four Exec. appointments – Senate was NOT in
recess (Court has ruled unconstitutional yet the appointees still remain)

§ Obama took Chairmanship of UN Security
Council – Violation of Section 9.

§ ACA (Obamacare) mandate – SCOTUS rewrote
legislation and made it a tax because there is no Constitutional authority for
Congress to force Americans to engage in commerce. SCOTUS has no authority to
Legislate or lay taxes. Article I Section 1 & 8.

§ Contraceptive, abortifacients mandate
violation of First Ammendment

§ Healthcare waivers – No president has
dispensing powers

§ Refuses to acknowledge state’s 10th
Amendment rights to nullify Obamacare

§ Going after states (AZ lawsuit) for
upholding Federal law (immigration) -10th Amendment.

§ Chrysler Bailout -TARP – violated creditors
rights and bankruptcy law, as well as Takings and Due Process Clauses – 5th
Amendment (G.W. Bush also illegally used TARP funds for bailouts)

§ The Independent Payment Advisory Board
(appointees by the president). Any decisions by IPAB will instantly become law
starting in 2014 – Separation of Powers, Article 1 Section 1.

§ Congress did not approve Obama’s war in
Libya. Article I, Section 8, First illegal war U.S. has engaged in. Impeachable
under Article II, Section 4; War Powers Act – Article II Section 3.

§ Obama falsely claims UN can usurp
Congressional war powers.

§ Obama has acted outside the constitutional
power given him – this in itself is unconstitutional.

§ Bribery of Senator Ben Nelson and Senator
Mary Landrey. (Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Purchase) Article II, Section
4.

§ With the approval of Obama, the NSA and the
FBI are tapping directly into the servers of 9 internet companies to gain
access to emails, video/audio, photos, documents, etc. This program is code
named PRISM. NSA also collecting data on all phone calls in U.S. – Violation of
4th Amendment.

§ Directed signing of U.N. Firearms treaty –
2nd Amendment.

§ The Senate/Obama immigration bill (approved
by both) raises revenue – Section 7. All Bills for raising Revenue shall
originate in the House of Representatives

§ Obama altered law – (A president has no
authority to alter law) Delayed upholding the Employer Mandate Law (ACA) until
2015 – Individual Mandate will be enforced. A President does not have that
authority – Article. I. Section. 1. All legislative Powersherein granted shall
be vested in a Congress of the United States; The president “shall take care
that the laws be faithfully executed” -Article II, Section 3; Equal Protection
Clause -14th Amendment.

§ Obama altered law – ACA Medicare cuts
delayed until 2015. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama altered law – Enforcement of
eligibility requirements for ACA delayed until 2015. Article. I. Section. 1;
Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama wavered ACA Income Verification
Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama altered law – Delayed ACA caps on out
of pocket expenses until 2015. (when implemented premiums will skyrocket)
Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama ignored judicial order to fulfill
legal obligation regarding Yucca Mountain waste. Article II, Section 3

§ Waived Federal provision that prevents U.S.
From arming terrorist groups – Article I. Section 1; Impeachable under Article
III, Section 3.

§ Directed State Department HS to ignore law
barring entry to U.S. those giving political or charitable aid to known
terrorist groups. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ Obama shelves part of the ACA Law for
Insurers, extending the life of non-qualifying (according to ACA) plans until
Jan. 1, 2015. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3. Violation of the
Take Care Clause, Separation of Powers.

§ Obama waved ACA individual mandate for those
that lost their insurance. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.
Violation of the Take Care Clause, Separation of Powers.

§ Obama alters ACA law and exempts companies
employing between 50-100 full-time workers from business mandate until 2016.
Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3.

§ In total, Obama has unilaterally altered ACA
24 times. Article. I. Section. 1; Article II, Section 3. Violation of the Take
Care Clause, Separation of Powers.


          Senate hopeful in Tenn. `embarrassed' by Kavanaugh hearings      Cache   Translate Page      
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen says he's "embarrassed by the circus" in the confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee -- and he's pointing at both Democrats and Republicans.

The former governor says Republicans are "running this thing through in a way that I don't think was the founders' intent." He also says some Democrats involved in Brett Kavanaugh's hearings have acted as presidential candidates.

Bredesen says he hasn't decided how he would have voted on Kavanaugh, but feels he owes it to Tennesseans to do so.

Bredesen's opponent in the closely watched Senate race is Marsha Blackburn, and the GOP congresswoman has strongly backed Kavanaugh's nomination.

Polls show a tight race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker. The GOP holds a 51-49 Senate edge.

]]>
          Another group pulls its endorsement of Julia Salazar after reviewing her academic credentials      Cache   Translate Page      

New York State Senate candidate Julia Salazar has lost another endorsement over her fudged background.

The post Another group pulls its endorsement of Julia Salazar after reviewing her academic credentials appeared first on twitchy.com.


          FBI arreston një senator të Porto Rikos      Cache   Translate Page      
Byroja Federale Amerikane e Hetimit (FBI) ka arrestuar një senator të Porto Rikos me akuzat për korrupsion, transmeton Anadolu Agency (AA). Zëdhënësi i FBI-së, Carlos Osorio, ka theksuar se senatori Abel Nazario akuzohet për përvetësim të fondeve federale gjatë periudhës kur ai ka qenë kryetar ba
          SERIOUSLY!? For MSNBC panelists, these unhinged messages left for GOP senator show the ‘passion of people’ opposed to Kavanaugh      Cache   Translate Page      

Shameless reaction.

The post SERIOUSLY!? For MSNBC panelists, these unhinged messages left for GOP senator show the ‘passion of people’ opposed to Kavanaugh appeared first on twitchy.com.


          Senate races like "a knife fight in an alley': McConnell      Cache   Translate Page      
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that the upcoming Senate races in places like Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee are "too close to call" and every one of them is like a "knife fight in an alley". Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
          Jerry Brown Is Right. Trump’s Methane-Rule Rollback “Borders on Criminality.”      Cache   Translate Page      
“This is insane – it borders on criminality,” said California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday about President Trump’s proposed revisions to Obama administration regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas wells. Brown has authority to speak, and not just because on Monday he signed SB (California Senate Bill) 100, which commits the Golden State to […]
          Comment on Primary Season's Last Lap by Michale      Cache   Translate Page      
That's Rasmussen the GOP polling outfit you've cited, and it still doesn't look good for your boy. Looks as good or better than yer messiah, Odumbo. :D For the record, my source was a Sept. 10 CNN Poll. CNN!!??? BBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Next you'll have a WaPoop or HuffPoop poll and call that FACT :D Rasmussen doesn't break down it's daily tracking poll by party affiliation, but it does break Trump's score down by enthusiasm, where the 'strongly approve' group is a mere 32% of the electorate. Yea, you can spin it all you want.. But what it all boils down to is Rasmussen doesn't say what you want to hear, so it's wrong.. Regardless.. Polls are shit.. They tell nothing but the bias of the poll takers.. I am saying let's wait until the FACTS are in (7 Nov 2018) and THEN we can discuss it, eh?? :D Scott will be the newest FL Senator and DeSantis will be the new FL Governor... :D
          Comment on Primary Season's Last Lap by Michale      Cache   Translate Page      
Getting to it (see below), doing some serious house cleaning in between posts... Fair enough.. I have a 50" vizio I have broken down to the bare LEDs and it is NOT cooperating.. So I feel for ya.. So far. Relatively speaking, they just got there. Uh no.. They got there almost a year ago.. PLENTY of time to register to vote if they were so inclined.. It's not just a matter of 'showing up', in other words. And yet, according to CW, it IS just a matter of showing up.. If you don't believe that, why didn't you point this out when CW had it in his commentary?? Silence Gives Assent, yunno.. :D COm'on.. I know you want to put a good spin on things.. But if the Puerto Ricans were there and ready to vote en masse, then the Senate Race polls would reflect that.. They ain't there and no amount of spin will change that fact.. But, I'll be happy to table this discussion until we see the results of the FL Races in Nov.. :D
          #VoteBlueNoMatterWho? #NoCanDo      Cache   Translate Page      
#AnyBlueJustWon'tDo for me.


As DWT posted a few weeks ago, it's almost nostril-pinching time for some.

Beto, as many of you know, is on Colbert tonight.  Panties and money will be thrown.

As I mentioned last week, he will have enough caysh to win.  Lack of name recognition should be no excuse for his losing, either.  That leaves only one thing: Latin@ turnoutSeveral media outlets have already mentioned it as key to Bob's victory, so I'll just refer you to Stace, who -- as referenced in Monday's Wrangle -- seems to be using the recent NALEO poll for excusing low turnout well in advance of the election.  Let's hope I'm just misunderstanding him, but ...

... frankly, if Trump and ICE and separating children from their parents and holding kids in cages, and policies like this, and Democrats like Lupe Valdez and Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar and Lina Hidalgo and Adrian Garcia and a shit-ton of others on the ballot aren't enough to motivate turnout, then maybe turnout is impervious to motivation.  Exactly how much fucking worse must it get for La Raza in this country before they do something about it?

If I remember history rightly, black people have been tortured, murdered, lynched, dragged, burned, and hanged just for trying to vote.  And then they were poll-taxed.  And they're still pretty well kept from voting by any means Republicans deem necessary to this day.  Maybe I have a blind spot, but I just don't recall Latinxs having to put up with as much bullshit through the years as that.

If Latin@s (and maybe this should be read as 'Mexicans') are waiting for their engraved invitation to a banquet where all of their wishes, hopes, and dreams will be granted ahead of their citizen participation in selecting our leaders ... then somebody needs to take them aside and explain that politics doesn't work that way.

Power concedes nothing without a demand, said Frederick Douglass.  And the way that looks, hermanos y hermanas, is: first you show up, then you demand.  Your demand correspondingly includes withholding your future support if your prior demands are not met.  Maybe try something different besides doing nothing this year, see what happens.

On the bright side for Beto, my shero Sema is on board.


She's made a pragmatic political calculation here, to Gadfly's irritation.  She plans on challenging Cornyn in 2020, and there's simply no way that her harsh criticisms of the Democratic Party establishment -- published as an op-ed in the Chronic in late July-- would be forgiven if she did what I'm doing and went "bah-fungoo" at O'Rourke.

I'm gonna cut her some slack.  Part of this is inherently being DSA; if you're running on their ballot line, you're inside their party.  You are expected to fall in line in November.  She may have simply given in to Beto's most obvious charm: his empathy.  He listens well.

Let's also be clear that Poop Cruz, whoever it is Tweeting for him, his comms team generally, and the Texas GOP at large are the gifts that keep on giving to O'Rourke.  They are doing everything they possibly can to lose this race for the Zodiac Killer.  Beto has also been blessed with the most favorable media coverage ever.  For the life of me I cannot understand how he dances through these continuously blooming meadows of lilies, gilded and not.


There's no reason he should get special recognition for this.  He's already sworn off corporate money and PAC money (allegedly), right?  I find plaudits from McKibben here the equivalent of whooping for a 7-year old who successfully completes his first unattended poop, or a 14-year old who has managed to tie both his shoelaces.  It's very typical of the Congressman's national media coverage.  Read all of this, with the excerpt being the last sentence.

If O’Rourke really does have a chance to win this November, then he’s going to have to prove to be the political rock star all those profiles keep making him out to be. 

No Beto for me, but Mrs. Diddie will give him a vote.  Same for Elizabeth Fletcher (why does a corporate attorney go by such a childish, childhood name?), whom I find charisma-impaired on top of her more recent Labor Day hypocrisy.


Wasn't exactly her firm's position in 2016.  (Your vehement protests against personal characterization as a janitors' union buster have been duly noted, Lizzie.)

Her vanquished primary opponent, Laura Moser, has been graceful and hard-working in support of Ds of all stripes since March.  Both Sema and Laura are just better Democrats than me. 

While Moser would be more accurately called a Berniecrat and Sema DSA, I personally am more of a hybrid when you consider my affinity for the Greens, or any independent candidate running to the left of the Donks.  I like DSA and their inside strategy, but I'm also more than willing to part company when certain right-leaning Democrats -- Henry Cuellar, anyone?  Bueller?  -- fall too far outside tolerance limits, as they do for me with Beto and Lizzie.  YMMV, and this is not what the vast majority of Texas Democrats are accustomed to doing, as we all know.

I have a few more Dems I won't be voting for, and a list of those that I will, which may surprise some of you reading this far.  I'll try to get that posted before the weekend.

          Rand Paul Must Reverse His Position On Judge Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination – Or Betray His Anti-War Legacy      Cache   Translate Page      
Via Take Care Blog By: Daniel Levine-Spound On July 30th, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced his support for Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Although he had initially voiced concerns regarding Kavanaugh’s “record on warrantless bulk collection of data and how that might apply to very important privacy cases,” Paul ultimately backed President Trump’s choice. Whatever one makes […]
          Comment on Primary Season's Last Lap by Michale      Cache   Translate Page      
Senate rankings: 10 seats most likely to flip http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/406121-senate-rankings-10-seats-most-likely-to-flip Dumbocrats get 1 seat, GOP gets 9 seats.. :D And there are people who STILL believe that Dumbocrats have a chance to take the Senate.. :D That's REALLY funny.. :D
          Scuola, Iannone (Fdi): "Gli insegnanti di religione vanno tutelati"      Cache   Translate Page      
Il senatore della destra presenta un'interrogazione al ministro dell'istruzione Marco Bussetti per avere delucidazioni anche...
          Comment on Primary Season's Last Lap by Michale      Cache   Translate Page      
One consensus has emerged during this process: A significant majority of Americans want the Senate to decide on this appointment one way or other -- and not, as Judiciary Committee Democrats insisted, delay things indefinitely. A poll done in July found that 62 percent of Americans wanted a vote on Trump’s nominee before the midterm elections. This finding suggests that Democrats might benefit by losing their Senate war of words against this nominee, especially if there is a blue wave already building. Bloodshed over the Supreme Court nominating process could turn that water red. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/09/12/kavanaugh_fight_has_red_state_dems_ducking_for_cover_138049.html Once again, a significant majority of patriotic Americans aren't on board with the Democrats and their playing politics.. Kavanaugh will be confirmed..
          Sodiq Safoyev boshchiligidagi O‘zbekiston delegatsiyasi Tokioda uchrashuvlar o‘tkazdi      Cache   Translate Page      
O‘zbekiston Respublikasi Oliy Majlisi Senati Raisining birinchi o‘rinbosari Sodiq Safoyev boshchiligidagi O‘zbekiston delegatsiyasining Yaponiyaga tashrifi doirasida Yaponiya parlamentida ikki tomonlama o‘zbek-yapon munosabatlariga...
          Deviating from McCain, Sen. Graham goes all in on Team Trump      Cache   Translate Page      
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — By the end, Sen. John McCain had rejected President Donald Trump. The president was so infuriated by McCain he put a biting reference to the dying Republican senator in his stump speech. Yet one man in Washington still had hope for bridging the gap between the two.
          Senate rejects House veto overrides      Cache   Translate Page      
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The constitutionally-mandated veto session for the Missouri General Assembly ended without any of Gov. Mike Parson’s vetoes being overridden.  The House voted to override four of Parson’s line-item budget vetoes. The Missouri Senate discussed the topics but did not bring them up for a vote.  Both chambers and the state’s chief […]
          Senate hopeful in Tenn. 'embarrassed' by Kavanaugh hearings      Cache   Translate Page      
LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen (BRED'-uh-sen) says he's "embarrassed by the circus" in the confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee — and he's pointing at both Democrats and Republicans.
          President Pro Tem Ron Richard’s official portrait unveiled at the Capitol      Cache   Translate Page      
JEFFERSON CITY— Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, was honored at the Capitol by former presidents pro tem, the governor and his Missouri Senate colleagues as the lieutenant governor unveiled his official portrait. For 16 years, Sen. Richard has served the people of Southwest Missouri, first as a representative, then as speaker of the […]
          EXIT SURVEY: Sen. Brian Munzlinger, 18th District      Cache   Translate Page      
Sen. Brian Munzlinger is terming out of the state legislature after serving in both the House and Senate, representing northeast Missouri and being a stalwart on agricultural policy.   Q: What’s the best lesson learned or advice you received as a legislator? A: Be truthful and respectful, have fun, and don’t take everything personally. Q: […]
          September 2018 Tip Sheet: Senate and House      Cache   Translate Page      
With the 30 day after the primary reports out, we decided to take a look at where the parties stand as the general election campaigns heat up coming out of veto session. In the Senate, the current state of play after Rep. Lauren Arthur’s win is 23-10 with one vacant seat that is reliably Republican […]
          $1 million pledged against Collins if she backs Kavanaugh      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON – A campaign urging Republican Sen. Susan Collins to vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has generated more than $1 million in pledges, money that would go to her opponent in 2020 if she decides to support the judge.

The senator and her Republican colleagues are decrying the effort in Maine as attempted bribery, as attention shifts from Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings to the question of how lawmakers will vote on his nomination.

The spotlight on Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski is particularly intense because they are viewed as the only two Republicans seen as potential “no” votes. With a 51-49 GOP majority, Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the court is virtually assured if either senator votes yes.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, came to Collins’ defense on Wednesday, tweeting through his office account that “every Democrat should be condemning these antics in Maine – attempting to bribe Senator Collins to vote against Judge Kavanaugh and threatening sexual violence against staffers if she votes for him is absolutely disgusting.”

The latter point stems from allegations Collins made to The Wall Street Journal that someone had left a voicemail with one of her state offices in which “they actually threatened to rape one of my young female staffers.” Her office also provided The Associated Press with other examples of calls and letters containing vulgar insults.

“Senator Collins will make up her mind based on the merits of the nomination. Threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision-making whatsoever,” said Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Collins.

In Maine, a trio of advocacy groups continued their fundraising efforts Wednesday with a running tally of pledges coming to about $1.1 million. Marie Follayttar, co-director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, described her organization as a grassroots movement borne out of frustration with President Donald Trump’s election and designed to give Maine residents a platform to engage elected officials. Members of the group have met with Collins over the past 18 months on issues such as protecting the state’s young immigrants known as Dreamers.

The groups states on the fundraising page that Kavanaugh is committed to “ending health care for people with pre-existing conditions. He is committed to overturning Roe v. Wade.” The groups then provide two scenarios:

– Collins votes no on Kavanaugh “and you will not be charged, and no money will go to fund her future opponent.”

– Collins votes yes on Kavanaugh “and your pledge will go to her opponent’s campaign, once that opponent has been identified.”

Collins’ spokeswoman said that amounts to a quid pro quo: “You vote the way we want and we will keep more than a million dollars away from your opponent,” she said. “Vote against us and we give her the money. It is basically a bribe.”

Follayttar described the effort as a grassroots mobilization made up of smaller-dollar pledges. She contrasted that with the nearly $2.8 million Collins’ campaign received in her 2014 election from various political action committees. She called Collins’ use of the term “bribery” a bogus legal threat.

“We won’t let it stifle us. We will continue to participate in our democracy,” she said.

Democrats and liberal advocacy groups contend that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would cement a right-leaning court for a generation. The stakes were on display throughout the confirmation hearings last week, with about 70 people arrested on the hearing’s first day and charged with disorderly conduct. The same shout-and-arrest pattern continued throughout the week.

Democrats accused Republicans of seeking to ram the confirmation through without a thorough vetting before the November midterm elections. The president during campaign stops in Montana and North Dakota ridiculed Democrats as “making fools out of themselves.”

A vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the full Senate is expected by the end of the month, in time for the first day of the court’s new term on Oct. 1.


          GOP senators slam activists protesting Collins ahead of Kavanaugh vote - CNN      Cache   Translate Page      

CNN

GOP senators slam activists protesting Collins ahead of Kavanaugh vote
CNN
Washington (CNN) A group of Republican senators are defending their GOP colleague Sen. Susan Collins on Wednesday from liberal protesters pushing the the Maine senator to vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Senate Majority Whip ...
The Evidence Is Clear: Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate Judiciary CommitteeSlate Magazine
$1 million pledged against Collins if she backs KavanaughABC News
Pressure Mounts On Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski To Block Brett KavanaughHuffPost
USA TODAY -Politico -Washington Examiner -Above the Law
all 577 news articles »

          Tennessee Senate hopeful 'embarrassed' by Kavanaugh hearings      Cache   Translate Page      
LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen said Wednesday that he's "embarrassed by the circus" in the confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee — and he's pointing at both Democrats and Republicans.
          Riattivazione voli dall’Aeroporto dello Stretto, Imbalzano: “bene, ma bisogna fare di più”      Cache   Translate Page      

"La battaglia parlamentare della deputazione reggina di Forza Italia per il rilancio dell'aeroporto di Ravagnese ha raggiunto i primi importanti obiettivi. Dopo l'interpellanza del deputato on. Francesco Cannizzaro presentata il 31 luglio e mirata a salvaguardare il futuro della struttura reggina e soprattutto a scongiurarne la paventata chiusura, il Ministro Toninelli ha ritenuto di annunciare la sua presenza venerdi prossimo 14 settembre alla Camera dei Deputati per rispondere alla iniziativa del parlamentare reggino con il ripristino dei 3 voli per Roma - Fiumicino ed un volo per Milano - Linate".
E' quanto afferma il Consigliere Comunale di Forza Italia Pasquale Imbalzano, che da tempo segue l'evolversi della drammatica condizione dell'Aeroporto di Reggio.
"Questi primi risultati – pur significativi – non possono ritenersi esaustivi per consentire una netta inversione di rotta del nostro Aeroporto, dopo lo sfascio dei mesi scorsi ed i malcelati tentativi di giungere alla sua chiusura, da parte di chi ne aveva la responsabilità.

--banner--

Per esempio, riteniamo inutile, e comunque scarsamente utilizzabile, il doppione del volo di altra compagnia low-cost, che fa scalo a Reggio, da e per Milano – Linate ad un orario anch'esso impossibile di metà giornata, ossia quello delle 11.00. Insomma, tra le 11.00 e le 11.45 ci sarebbero due voli per l'aeroporto milanese e nulla alla mattina, nè tantomeno al pomeriggio e alla sera!", continua Pasquale Imbalzano.
"Da questo punto di vista bene ha fatto l'altro parlamentare di F.I. sen. Marco Siclari a presentare al Senato una interrogazione sugli adempimenti che competono – strictu sensu – alla Sacal per agevolare la mobilità dall'aeroporto di Reggio e da quello di Crotone verso il resto del Paese. Interrogazione, rispetto alla quale il Ministro non potrà fare orecchio da mercante.
Come è sostenibile non istituire lo storico volo mattiniero per Milano- Linate?
A meno ché qualcuno non voglia prefigurare tra qualche mese una situazione tale che, stante la presenza quasi allo stesso orario ma con costi ridotti del biglietto di altro volo per Linate, si giustifichi l'eliminazione del medesimo volo per Milano vista la scarsa economicità dello stesso", aggiunge ancora Pasquale Imbalzano.
"Ed è quello che dovranno contestare nelle sedi competenti i nostri parlamentari che, siamo certi, sapranno far valere i legittimi interessi dell'utenza del nostro Aeroporto", conclude Pasquale Imbalzano.


          Wednesday PM      Cache   Translate Page      
On Wednesday's PM: the Government hits back at claims Senator Lucy Gichuhi was induced to backtrack on naming names over bullying; an Australian uni reverses its smoke-free campus policy; and Pauline Hanson wants a nine-year-old girl thrown out of school for refusing to stand for the national anthem.
          Duterte opponents sidelined, arrested or worse in Philippines      Cache   Translate Page      
Philippines President Duterte, notorious for his murderous war on drugs, has ordered the arrest and trial of a high-profile opposition senator, amid rumours of a possible coup. Social researcher Dr Steven Rood speaks with PM on the growing list of Duterte opponents being sidelined - or, in some cases, turning up dead.
          Liberal senator calls for private handling of bullying allegations      Cache   Translate Page      
After a fiery outburst over bullying behaviour during last month's leadership crisis, Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds is now calling for further discussions to happen behind closed doors.
          Fox News Poll: McCaskill up in Missouri Senate race by a whisker      Cache   Translate Page      
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a two-term incumbent, tops her Republican challenger Josh Hawley by a narrow 44-41 percent margin, according to a Fox News poll of Missouri likely voters. Her three-point edge is within the poll’s margin of sampling error. Third-party candidates get six percent.
          Fox News Poll: Republican ahead of incumbent Democrat in Indiana Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      
President Trump remains popular in Indiana, a state he won by 19 percentage points -- and that’s bad news for incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly.
          Fox News Poll: Women, GOP crossovers help Democrat in Arizona Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      
Women voters along with crossover Republicans put Democrat Kyrsten Sinema narrowly ahead of Republican Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race.
          Fox News Poll: Blackburn up by three points in Tennessee Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      
President Trump won Tennessee by 26 percentage points, and he remains popular in the Volunteer State.
          Fox News Poll: Republican challenger ahead in North Dakota Senate race      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican Kevin Cramer tops incumbent Democrat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp among North Dakota likely voters by 48-44 percent, in a Fox News poll released Wednesday. Cramer’s edge in the Senate race is within the poll’s margin of sampling error.
          The Test Facing Democratic Socialist Julia Salazar in New York      Cache   Translate Page      

For decades, the New York City Democratic machine has capitalized off of low-turnout elections to keep its members in power. However, a new generation of progressive New Yorkers is rejecting that model, arguing that mobilizing new voters can drive electoral success. As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s shocking victory in June highlighted, this “mobilize the base” strategy can upend the political establishment.

Like Ocasio-Cortez, Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old state senate candidate, is mounting a volunteer-driven challenge to a long-time incumbent, running as an open democratic socialist and rejecting corporate money. In a city that has been confronted with a systemic housing crisis and mass displacement, many candidates from the Left see machine-affiliated incumbents as complacent and vulnerable to populist criticisms. Salazar is no different. At the heart of her campaign is a critique of her opponent’s proximity to New York real estate interests and his role in propelling a rent crisis in the district. Rent stabilization laws in New York State are up for renewal in 2019, making this a decisive election year. Among Salazar’s chief platform planks are ending vacancy decontrol and instituting universal rent stabilization.

Salazar’s opponent is 16-year incumbent Martin Dilan in New York’s 18th Senate District, which includes parts of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick and Cypress Hill. Dilan is one of the last holdouts of the political machine of Vito Lopez, the now deceased former Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair. Lopez was a state assemblyman for 30 years. During his tenure, he turned his nonprofit, the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, into a formidable political operation. At its height in 2010, the RBSCC held $100 million in city and state contracts and engaged in classic quid-pro-quo politics. Lopez resigned as Brooklyn Democratic Chair and Assemblyman in 2013, after facing highly credible sexual harassment allegations. Dilan and his son, Councilman Erik Dilan, were among the largest beneficiaries of Lopez’s machine, funneling taxpayer money to RBSCC in exchange for political support.

But Lopez’s machine is no more, and there are strong reasons to see strength behind Salazar’s challenge. In 2014, and again in 2016, activist Debbie Medina mounted spirited challenges against Dilan’s proximity to real-estate interests and his failure to effectively respond to skyrocketing rents. However, the summer before the September 2016 primary, child abuse allegations surfaced against Medina. Despite losing critical endorsements and suffering from a crippling deficit of volunteers, Medina still won nearly 41 percent of the vote.

Clearly, voters in the 18th District are open to change. The question is whether Julia Salazar can capitalize on it.

Past under scrutiny

Salazar’s personal biography has come under scrutiny in recent weeks. Her identity as an immigrant, her assertions of growing up working-class and her Judaism have all been questioned, revealing a complex series of accounts from the candidate that could be characterized as everything from deliberately misleading statements to forgivable lapses of judgment. It was additionally revealed that she was previously a leader in right-wing activism at Columbia University, and that she was questioned over impersonating a family friend to access their financial information. As with many questions of personal identity, the story is not entirely black and white.

While Salazar’s website referred to the candidate as a “proud immigrant,” in August it was revealed that she was actually born in Miami, Fla., though she traveled back and forth between the United States and Colombia as a child. Salazar says she “never intended to misrepresent my personal narrative or my immigration status,” and that while several outlets, and even she herself, had made reference to her immigrant status, her statements were the product of imprecise early childhood memories and a strong identification with Colombia and her father’s family. She expressed regret that she hadn’t more thoroughly interrogated her memories as she began to run for public office, saying that “when I set out to run for State Senate I wasn’t critically thinking about my biography, specifically what has been challenged in my early childhood.”

Her early childhood has come under scrutiny from another angle: her class status. She has positioned herself as coming from a working-class background. The first time we talked she described how her economic conditions are foundational to her politics. However, her father worked as a pilot, and her brother has strongly contested her narrative of a working-class upbringing. Salazar admits that her early childhood, until age six, when her parents separated, was not one of economic uncertainty. However, she told me that after the separation, her father paid child support inconsistently at best, and the family relied on Social Security once he became disabled. She said that her mother had to return to college and made $17,000 dollars in one year while raising two children, and that her family’s “economic status varied greatly throughout my upbringing. The background that my parents came from, paired with the financial experience I had in elementary school or middle school are very safe to describe as working class.”

She says that “the lines aren’t fixed when it comes to class status. But when I talk about having working-class or middle-class experience, I mean that I understand the financial insecurity that people in my district face.” She says that “it’s not helpful or meaningful to debate whether I was poor,” but rather that her campaign is “about building solidarity with people who have to work for a living with families that know that if someone gets sick they could lose their home.” Salazar claims that class isn’t a rigid identity, but that it varies with economic status, and the combination of financial precarity and security in her upbringing complicates discussions of her class.

Ultimately, she believes that “voters are more concerned with my record as an advocate and my ability to fight for constituents.”

Which is why her history as a right-wing college activist bears addressing. After first registering as a Republican in Florida in 2008, Salazar says that after moving to New York she intended to register as an Independent but instead accidentally registering for the state’s Independence Party.

At Columbia University, she was involved with both pro-Israel and pro-life activism. Columbia is where she embraced the Jewish faith, which she says was spurred on by the death of her father, who “had made allusions to a Sephardic surname.” Her integration in Jewish life at Columbia, through organizations like Challah for Hunger and Hillel, encouraged her to visit Israel. The details of her trip have also been a source of controversy about her Jewish identity, as the trip was planned by Christians United for Israel rather than a Jewish organization. Nevertheless, she cites her visit to Israel, in 2012, and seeing the separation barrier particularly, as disabusing her of her firm pro-Israel stance. Being “very disturbed by the violence I saw there,” she says she made “a significant decision to reject pro-Israel advocacy.”

She described her experience in pro-life activism, with Columbia Right to Life, as echoing her other right-wing commitments. Her allegiance was shifted in the controversy around the creation of a Columbia abortion fund, which every student would pay into as part of their university-provided health plan. Salazar led the Support Pregnant Students Initiative, aiming to provide support for students who choose to keep their pregnancy. After she published an op-ed in the Columbia Spectator arguing her position, she was confronted by a number of close friends who, through a series of “very hard conversations,” led her to “realize I was deeply miseducated and wrong about abortion.”

Moving left

When asked whys he hadn’t made her political evolution part of her campaign story, Salazar says she was more focused on the community that had encouraged her to run for office, and that she “didn’t think about my own narrative so much and my own evolution.”

As an outgrowth of her political evolution, Salazar helped organize a rent strike against an abusive and absent landlord during her junior year at Columbia. She and her fellow tenants took their landlord to court and won. Her victory, though, was fleeting: when her lease ended a few months later, her landlord declined to renew it. Accordingly, the event holds two meanings for her: while “it was empowering to see how people without law degrees, without any institutional power were able to fight management and win,” she “was still being displaced. It was a very vivid example of the need to fight for systemic changes to systemic problems.”

Salazar says that experience helped propel her run for office.

When we spoke the first time, Salazar expressed how she was “tired of having to ask the same elected officials over and over again to do the right thing.” Her work in Albany and New York City, along with the support of her community and fellow organizers, convinced her that the solution wasn’t bird-dogging her representatives, but replacing them.

Changing landscape

Julia Salazar’s campaign is just one hint that change may be on the horizon in the New York State Senate. Members of the Independent Democratic Conference, (IDC) a group of Democratic senators who caucused with Republicans for the past eight years, are appearing increasingly weak in the face of strong primary challenges. And, if he wins reelection, Gov. Andrew Cuomo may find himself between a rock and a hard place come 2019.

According to Bill Lipton, the New York State Director of the Working Families Party, a progressive, or even a Democratic majority in the state senate is just what Cuomo has been trying to avoid. “Andrew Cuomo has spent the last eight years doing everything he can to keep progressives out of power in Albany—from allowing the Senate Republicans to gerrymander their own districts after promising repeatedly not to, to refusing to campaign for Senate Democrats, to helping the IDC steal the Democratic majority away in 2012, to fostering division between IDC and the Democratic caucus.” This arrangement has allowed Cuomo to act as the power broker in the state senate while both helping block progressive legislation and retaining his Democratic credentials.

Lipton claims Cuomo has utilized this arrangement to masquerade as a progressive while keeping legislative threats to his moneyed friends dead in the water, all the while joking to Senate Republicans about how little he supports Democratic candidates. That Cuomo has managed to build one of the largest campaign war chests in the country through corporate donations speaks to the immense wealth that this arrangement has granted. Lipton says real estate is among the chief interests that pay into this racket: “Real estate is to New York what coal is to West Virginia—the lifeblood of oligarchy.”

Housing crisis

It may be difficult for many residents of the 18th District to square their soaring rents with the $200,000 in real estate money Sen. Dilan has raised during his tenure in office, especially in a district ravaged by pro-real estate legislation and ensuing gentrification. Dilan’s vote has been instrumental in both implementing vacancy decontrol in 1994 as a city councilman, and defusing attempts to repeal the law in 2010 as a state senator. Vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to freely raise the rent on vacant rent-stabilized units, is at the center of the city-wide housing crisis. According to Salazar, the 18th District alone loses tens of thousands of rent stabilized and controlled units every year.

And considering the state of New York City’s rent laws, which are set on the state level, that isn’t surprising. Once rent on an apartment reaches $2,733.75, landlords can “free” a unit from its rent-stabilized status and instead charge market rates.

There are two main ways that landlords jack up the rent: when a renovation is made owners are allowed a commensurate increase in rent, and the rent can be raised when a tenant moves out. In practice, both of these regulations produce perverse incentives. In the first case, landlords are given very little oversight when reporting the added value of a renovation, meaning they often make small improvements while disproportionately increasing rent. As for the second, landlords are incentivized to rent to short-term tenants, like college students and young people who don’t have ties to the neighborhood, and to harass their rent-stabilized tenants.

The scale of tenant abuse is staggering: A New York Times investigation found stories of landlords who punched holes in the roofs and walls of occupied rent-controlled units, bombarded tenants with eviction suits and harassed them with loud construction. The investigation discovered that the agencies responsible for regulation were “fractionalized, divided among three city and state agencies” and “essentially passive.” This regulatory environment has had devastating impacts on the 18th District. In Bushwick, a family living on the median yearly income, just over $42,000, would have to spend more than 60 percent of their income to afford the average rent of a two-bedroom unit. In Williamsburg, that number is 65 percent.

While Dilan argues that he never thought his vote would come to harm his own constituents, Jennifer Lenow, a member of NYC-DSA’s organizing committee for the Brooklyn Housing Working Group, says that Dilan’s “thousands and thousands from real estate speaks louder than his rhetoric.”

Salazar has been endorsed by the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez and City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, as well as Cynthia Nixon and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Michael Kinnucan, Salazar’s Deputy Campaign Director, is optimistic about her chances, citing the broad dissatisfaction with the political status quo, the support of local activist groups Make the Road Action and New York Communities for Change, and “one of the largest volunteer ground-organizations in the city.”

Polling shows state-wide enthusiasm for large-scale investment in public housing, signaling that New Yorkers would look favorably upon a more proactive approach to confronting the state’s housing crisis.

As part of their New Progressive Agenda Project, Civis Analytics, a data analytics firm, and the think tank Data for Progress (where I am a fellow) have shown that 59 percent of likely 2018 voters in New York support billions of dollars in investment in public housing, even after hearing Republican arguments against it and being presented with an explicit tax pay-for through tax hikes. “These numbers are pretty consistent with the very high levels of support we’ve seen for public housing ballot measures in cities like Portland and Seattle,” says David Shor, head of data science at Civis Analytics’ political practice.

Persona and policy

Salazar’s controversies, meanwhile, have continued in recent days. On September 6, allegations of an affair with former New York Mets player Keith Hernandez and an attempt to impersonate his then-estranged, now divorced wife, Kai, have come to light. Salazar had been family friends with Hernandez, and was arrested for, but ultimately not charged with, the felony impersonation of Kai. According to Salazar’s statement, the lawsuit was entirely the product of a vengeful ex-wife who had gone so far as to impersonate Salazar on the phone in an attempt to frame her for illegally accessing her finances. Kai’s motive, according to Salazar, was that while house-sitting at Kai’s request Salazar had found “a lot of drugs, syringes, and several guns.” Salazar says that after calling Keith and describing the condition of the house, he, along with local police came to document the scene. The next year she was called by local police and interrogated for allegedly impersonating Kai. After not being charged, in 2013, Salazar sued Kai Hernandez for damages and the two parties reached a settlement in 2017.

When asked for comment about the controversies surrounding Salazar, Martin Dilan’s spokesman Bob Liff said that while “Marty has been a progressive and stable champion for residents of the 18th district, his opponent will have to speak for herself.”

A victory by Salazar’s insurgent campaign would offer even more proof that the future of the Democratic Party is multi-racial, decidedly left, community-driven and not beholden to corporate interests. However, the narrative surrounding her has become thick with controversy, misrepresentation and outright lies. While it is quite possible, as many of Salazar’s supporters claim, that the candidate has been victim to a right-wing smear campaign, there remain legitimate questions about how she has publicly presented herself throughout her campaign.

In a district whose neighborhoods are synonymous with gentrification, the question facing voters in the 18th is this: To what extent is representative politics about personality, and to what extent is it about policy? Thursday’s election will help provide an answer. 


          Wall Street Menguat Sambut Rencana Pertemuan AS-China      Cache   Translate Page      

Liputan6.com, New York - Indeks Dow Jones dan S&P 500 menguat tipis pada penutupan perdagangan Rabu (Kamis pagi WIB) menyusul rencana pertemuan perdagangan Amerika Serikat (AS) dan China. Sementara Nasdaq melemah dipicu penurunan saham Apple yang akan meluncurkan Iphone dengan ukuran terbesar yang pernah ada.

Dilansir dari Reuters, Kamis (13/9/2018), indeks Dow Jones Industrial Average naik 27,86 poin atau 0,11 persen menjadi 25.998,92, S&P 500 naik 1,03 poin atau 0,04 persen menjadi 2.888,92 dan Nasdaq turun 18,25 poin atau 0,23 persen menjadi 7.954,23.

AS membuka peluang kepada China melanjutkan kembali pembicaraan menyangkut rencana Pemerintahan Trump yang akan menerapkan tarif USD 200 miliar kepada Negeri Tirai Bambu tersebut.

Saham-saham  yang sensitif terhadap perdagangan naik, termasuk saham Boeing yang naik 2,4 persen. Saham Apple (AAPL.O) turun 1,2 persen. Perusahaan juga meluncurkan jam tangan yang berorientasi pada kesehatan dengan desain model saat ini.

Saham perangkat kebugaran saingan Fitbit Inc (FIT.N) jatuh 6,9 persen, sementara saham Garmin Ltd (GRMN.O) yang sebelumnya melemah, ditutup mendatar setelah peluncuran Apple Watch terbaru.

Indeks saham teknologi S&P turun 0,5 persen usai melemah pada perdagangan kemarin. Enam perusahaan internet dan layanan Web, termasuk Apple, harus merinci praktik privasi data konsumen mereka ke panel Senat AS pada 26 September, meningkatkan kemungkinan regulasi yang lebih ketat.

Di antara enam perusahaan yang akan bersaksi akhir bulan ini, saham Twitter turun 3,7 persen, sementara Alphabet turun 1,5 persen. Facebook, bukan di antara perusahaan-perusahaan yang bersaksi, turun 2,4 persen.

 


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The cousin of slain drug lord and Congressmen Pablo Escobar who is now senator for Colombia’s ruling party blasted a university professor after she affirmed using marijuana for fun. Senator Jose…

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          Pinned to ❁ Rabbit ❁ on Pinterest      Cache   Translate Page      

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          Hurricane Hell: Here Are 5 of the Most Recent Devastating Storms Linked to Climate Change      Cache   Translate Page      
The new normal is frightening.

Only two weeks after the government of Puerto Rico raised the official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975—making it the deadliest hurricane to occur last year—North and South Carolina residents are evacuating coastal areas in preparation for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver winds of 130 miles per hour and be the worst hurricane to hit the Carolinas since the 1980s. Hurricanes have been pounding the southeastern U.S. for centuries, but in the era of climate change, they are becoming more frequent and more devastating.

Meteorologists are seeing an increase in the what is known as “rapid intensification,” meaning that a storm’s maximum sustained winds increase by at least 35 mph within a 24-hour period. According to data from the National Hurricane Center, there were, on average, ten cases of rapid intensification per year between 1982 and 1994—whereas between 2005 and 2017, 20 cases per year was the average. In 2017, the National Hurricane Center reported 40 cases of rapid intensification.

Meteorologists have five separate categories for hurricanes, with Category 1 being the least severe and Category 5 being the most severe. Florence appears to be reaching the Carolinas as a Category 4, but it could intensify to Category 5. And when rapid intensification—a phenomenon encouraged by climate change—occurs and a hurricane goes from Category 1 to Category 4 or 5 in less than 24 hours, there is little time to prepare.  

Here are five of the most devastating hurricanes that occurred in recent years.

1. Hurricane Katrina

In August 2015, Hurricane Katrina originated in the Bahamas before making its way to the U.S. A hurricane varies in intensity, and at its worst, Katrina became a Category 5 storm. The National Hurricane Center attributed a total of 1836 deaths to Katrina, with up to 1577 deaths in Louisiana—and the flooding was so severe in New Orleans that 80% of the city was under water.

Veteran reporter Mark Schleifstein, who covered Katrina for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, witnessed Katrina first hand and has some grim advice for residents of the Carolinas who are refusing to evacuate for Hurricane Florence: “write your Social Security number on your arm, so officials can identify your body.”

2. Hurricane Harvey

2017 was a terrible year for hurricanes, and one of the worst was Hurricane Harvey—which affected parts of Latin America (including Nicaragua and Honduras) but was especially devastating around the Texas Gulf Coast. Of the 108 deaths caused by Harvey in late August/early September 2017, 103 were in Texas. Some weather stations in Texas reported more than four feet of rain, and Houston suffered some of the worst flooding in the city’s history. 

3. Hurricane Maria

Only a few weeks after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas Gulf Coast, the Caribbean was, in September 2017, pounded by Hurricane Maria—which reached Category 5 at its worst. Maria caused some deaths in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Guadalupe, but the worst damage by far occurred in Puerto Rico. Of the more than 3,050 people killed by Maria, most of the fatalities occurred in Puerto Rico—although 65 people were killed on the island of Dominica, which didn’t have time to adequately prepare thanks to rapid intensification. A year later, Puerto Rico is still recovering from Maria.

Maria is a perfect example of how bad climate change is making rapid intensification: the storm went from Category 1 to Category 5 in only about half a day.

4. Hurricane Sandy

In the U.S., hurricanes have been most likely to affect the southern states.

Floridians are more likely to experience hurricanes than residents of New Jersey or Massachusetts, but that doesn’t mean that residents of the northeastern U.S. are immune to them—not by a longshot. And in 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused billions of dollars in damage, pounding the New Jersey Shore and the coast of Maryland as well as New York City. Atlantic City was evacuated, parts of Manhattan suffered flooding, and the mass transit systems of NYC and Philadelphia (which is about 60 miles inland) were shut down.

When Kevin E. Trenberth (a senior climatologist for the National Center for Atmospheric Research) was asked whether or not Hurricane Sandy was affected by climate change, he responded that while the answer was yes, Sandy was hardly unique in that regard. In 2012, Trenberth asserted, “All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.”

5. Hurricane Ike

In September 2008, Hurricane Ike caused at least 195 deaths and affected a wide area ranging from Cuba, Haiti (where at least 74 deaths occurred) and the Bahamas to the Florida Panhandle, the Mississippi Coast and the Texas Gulf Coast. Altogether, Ike is believed to have caused about $38 billion in damage.

 

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          A top Democrat just laid out their plan to probe Trump if they win back control — including looking at his personal finances      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in the Oval Office September 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump and Long warned coastal residents of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to adhere to evacuation orders as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Democrats plan to mount countless investigations into President Donald Trump if they take back the House majority in the November midterm elections.
  • The areas Democrats want to probe is vast, which could bring the Republican policy agenda to a grinding halt.
  • A top Democrat in the House also said probing Trump's personal finances is on the table.

WASHINGTON — Democrats plan to dramatically increase their oversight role if they take back the House majority in the midterm elections this November. The investigations into President Donald Trump's administration, which could bring the White House's policy agenda to a standstill, will cover a sizable amount of the executive branch.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer listed several of the areas Democrats would prioritize if they take back the House and mount a series of investigations, most of which involved the administration's economic and health care agendas.

The committees on the Budget, Ways and Means, and Financial Services would probe Trump's handling of the US economy and budgetary process, while others would look into botched natural disaster responses. Among the highest priorities for Democrats would be the Trump administration's dismantling of former President Barack Obama's signature policy, the Affordable Care Act.

"In terms of oversight, we’ll be looking at what they’re doing administratively to undermine the operations of the Affordable Care Act and what consequences they may have caused to literally millions of people," Hoyer said in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday.

The oversight would involve everything from records requests to hauling in administration officials to testify in committee hearings.

An area that could be particularly stressful for Trump is the probing of his personal finances and benefits his properties and companies may or may not be receiving during his presidency.

"I think we’ll try to focus on issues which undermine the American people," Hoyer added. "Also I think we want to focus on the integrity of the interests of the president in terms of what interests he has and is he pursuing policies that are in the public’s interest or in the Trump investment interest."

While Hoyer hammered in that they would not want any investigations to be politically motivated, the accusations would likely come no matter what. When Republicans constantly probed officials and agencies during the Obama administration, many were called political witch hunts.

During the first two years of the Trump administration, House Republicans have avoided many of the heavy-handed investigations like the ones they wielded during Obama's tenure.

The House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections concluded long before the Senate's similar probe, which is ongoing. House Intelligence Committee members, including some Republicans, condemned the process as a failure.

Republican Rep. Tom Rooney of Florida, who is retiring at the end of the year, said the investigation has "lost all credibility" and "gone completely off the rails."

And Democrats on the committee called the investigation incomplete, suggesting a Democratic-controlled Congress could renew such efforts.

"On a whole host of investigative threads, our work is fundamentally incomplete, some issues partially investigated, others, like that involving credible allegations of Russian money laundering, remain barely touched," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat. "If the Russians do have leverage over the president of the United States, the majority has simply decided it would rather not know."

The pledge by Democrats to pursue countless investigations into the Trump administration could put a serious hindrance on Republicans' agenda — and create dozens of nightmare scenarios for the president.

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By Annmarie Hordern and Jake Rudnitsky
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Russians with bank accounts in dollars may find they can only make withdrawals in other currencies if new sanctions proposed by U.S. lawmakers take effect.

"I am sure that all the clients of all banks should receive their money back. That's the principal approach," VTB Group Chief Executive Officer Andrey Kostin said today. "How, in which currency, is a different story."

... Dispatch continues below ...


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The U.S. Senate is considering punishing the Kremlin for alleged election meddling, including a fresh raft of measures dubbed the "bill from hell." This could bar Americans from buying new issues of Russian sovereign debt and ban Russia's largest state banks, such as VTB, from using dollars.

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          Durbin drops documents detailing how Kavanaugh misled the senate and therefore committed perjury [News]      Cache   Translate Page      
News [link] [149 comments]

          France: Ex-aide in taped beating will testify, grudgingly      Cache   Translate Page      
PARIS (AP) - A former security aide to French President Emmanuel Macron who was videotaped beating up a protester said Wednesday he would appear before a Senate commission examining the resulting political scandal - but only because he has no choice.
          How Puerto Rico Heard Trump's Rating Of Hurricane Maria Response      Cache   Translate Page      
NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Puerto Rico Senate Minority Leader Eduardo Bhatia Gautier about President Trump's claim that the federal response to Hurricane Maria was an incredible success.
           Democrats announce big online ad play for November       Cache   Translate Page      
Two major Democratic political groups on Wednesday announced a combined $21 million digital ad buy targeting Senate races in November, a sign the party is...
           Highlights of Democratic Senators' questions for Judge Kavanaugh        Cache   Translate Page      
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Connecticut:
          Lůza nebo parazit. Strany v kampani sází na boj proti nepřizpůsobivým      Cache   Translate Page      
Letošní komunální volební kampaň se přiostřuje. Hlavně ta na severu Čech. Termín nepřizpůsobiví už nestačí, kandidáti nyní mluví o havěti nebo parazitech. Například sdružení Mostečané Mostu navrhuje vybudování „vesnice pro lůzu“ za městem a kampaň na boji proti „parazitům“ postavilo i hnutí Čisté Ústí.
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Sign now to become a citizen co-sponsor of Senators Schumer and Heinrich's Measuring Real Income Growth Act.
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          Blogging the election      Cache   Translate Page      
This afternoon the Kevin Rudd will visit the Governor-General and request a dissolution and an election on 7 September. A proclamation will then have to be issued dissolving the House of Representatives. The writ initiating the 150 House elections and the Senate elections for the ACT and Northern Territory have...
          Armageddon Rides in the Balance      Cache   Translate Page      
SUBHEAD: Never before have irrationality and immorality had such a firm hold on the US government.

By Paul Craig Roberts on 10 September 2018 for PaulCraigRoberts.org -
(https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/09/10/armageddon-rides-in-the-balance/)


Image above: Many in this world inhabit Armageddon already. Damaged buildings are seen at the Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus, Syria. April 28, 2018. Photo by Omar Sanadiki. From (https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/syria-regime-and-rebels-agree-evacuation-deal-in-southern-damascus-1.725770).

IB Publisher's note: Yes Paul Craig Roberts is a nutcake. He is a Ronald Reagan Republican economist who sees clearly, but through a deeply colored filter. None the less, he does have an inkling of the dichotomy between the "Left" and the "Right". The "Left" with elements of the "Deep State" (intelligence complex, CIA, NSA, State Department, etc) and the "Right" with elements of the "Military-Industrial Complex" (Pentagon, Defense contractors, Mercenary operations, ICE, etc.). Both aspects of our government are hurtling towards a more repressive and garrulous America. As these aggressive and regressive forces gain influence, woe is us. America will conduct more war and experience more repression.] 

For some time I have pointed out the paradox of the American liberal/progressive/left being allied with the CIA, FBI, military/security complex and deep state. Now leftist Ann Garrison has noticed the paradox of this alliance. She concludes that the Left has lost its mind. https://www.globalresearch.ca/we-love-the-cia-or-how-the-left-lost-its-mind/5653450

Indeed, it has.

Out of its hatred of Trump the Left has united with the forces of evil and war that are leading to conflict with Russia. The Left’s hatred of Trump shows that the American Left has totally seperated from the interests of the working class, which elected Trump.

The American Left has abandoned the working class for the group victimizations and hatreds of Identity Politics. As Hillary put it, the working class comprises the “Trump deplorables.” The Democratic Party, like the Republicans, represents the ruling oligarchy.

I have explained that the leftwing lost its bearings when the Soviet Union collapsed and socialism gave way to neoliberal privatizations.

The moral fury of the leftwing movement had to go somewhere, and it found its home in Identity Politics in which the white heterosexual male takes the place of the capitalist, and his victim groups—blacks, women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants—take the place of the working class.

The consequences of the leftwing’s alliance with warmongers and liars is the leftwing’s loss of veracity. The Left has endorsed a CIA orchestration—“Russiagate”—for which there is no known evidence, but which the Left supports as proven truth.

The purpose of “Russiagate” is to prevent President Trump from normalizing relations with Russia. In these times when so many Americans are hard pressed, normal relations could adversely impact the budget and power of the military/security complex by reducing the “Russian threat.”

If there is no real Russian threat, only an orchestrated perceived one, the question arises: why does the military/security complex have a taxpayer-supported annual budget of $1,000 billion dollars?

The presstitutes have kept the truth from emerging that the “Russiagate” investigation has found no sign of a Trump/Putin plot to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary.

Indeed, it has been proven beyond all questioning that the Hillary emails were not hacked but were downloaded on a thumb drive. This proof collapses the entire premise of “Russiagate.”
Nevertheless, the hoax continues.

Muller’s indictments are for unrelated matters, such as income tax evasion in the distant past of Republican fund raisers and consultants. These charges have nothing whatsoever to do with Mueller’s mandate.

Indeed, as Andrew C. McCarthy, a former US attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has made clear, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller to head the “Russiagate” investigation is not in compliance with the regulations that govern the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The appointment of a special prosecutor requires evidence of a specific federal crime that is to be investigated. You only have a special prosecutor when there is factual basis for believing that a federal crime has been committed.

What is the federal crime? What is the factual basis? Mueller’s appointment does not say. Therefore, Mueller’s appointment is invalid. Rosenstein has violated the process.

In my opinion, this is grounds for Rosenstein to be removed from office. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/trump-russia-probe-robert-mueller-investigation/

At one time, Congress—both parties—would have been all over the invalid Mueller appointment.

However, after 16 years of Cheney/Bush and Obama regime lawlessness, even Republicans accept that the Constitution’s restraints on executive branch power, along with the laws and regulations Congress has established specifying the exercise of these powers, have been rendered meaningless by the “war on terror,” a hoax designed to further Israel’s interests in the Middle East and the neoonservative doctrine of US hegemony, while making billions of dollars for the military/security complex.

Charlie Savage’s book, Takeover, and David Ray Griffin’s book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, accurately document how 9/11 was used to destroy the Constitution’s balance of power within the government and to create unaccountable executive branch powers that over-ride the Constitution’s protection of civil liberty.

This demand for an unaccountable executive branch, pushed by VP—actually President in fact—Dick Cheney and his minions, such as Addington and John Yoo, was the agenda of the Republican Federalist Society.

An early book laying out the legally invalid and legally incompetent argument that the president had powers unchecked by Congress or the judiciary was Terry Eastland’s book, Energy in the Executive.

This collection of nonsense became Cheney’s bible as he proceeded in secret to remove constraints on executive branch power. The elevation of the executive branch above the law of the land is documented in Charlie Savage’s book. Read it and weep for your country destroyed by Dick Cheney.

On top of Cheney’s coup against accountable government, we have in America today another coup, organized by former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director Comey, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, the Democratic National Committee, the departed Republican senator John McCain, a coup fully supported by the entirety of the US presstitute media.

This coup is against the democratically elected President of the United States for the sole reason that he threatens the power and profit of the entrenched military/security complex, about which President Eisenhower warned us 57 years ago, by wanting to normalize relations with Russia, the world’s premier nuclear power.

The question is unavoidable: Why do the American people put up with this? Are they so insouciant that they have no realization that, if a president can be driven from office because he wants peace with Russia, the removed president’s successor will have to stand against Russia or also be driven from office. Trust and negotiation between the nuclear powers becomes impossible.

Why do Americans support conflict with a nuclear power that can completely destroy America?

During the entirety of the Cold War, in which I was a participant, the emphasis was on reducing tensions and creating trust. Today Washington’s interest is piling provocation after provocation on a country that can wipe us off the face of the earth.

The liberal/progressive/left, the Democratic National Committee, the CIA and the rest of the covert state, and the media whores all share this same commitment to the reckless and irresponsible provocation of a powerful nuclear power. As the US military itself acknowledges, Russia’s weapons are far beyond America’s defenses.

So what is going on? Is it the liberal/progressive/left’s desire that evil America be destroyed? Is this desired destruction of evil America the reason the Left has allied itself so tightly with the warmongers in Washington?

Is this the reason that the Left and the Democrats and a handful of Republicans want to impeach President Trump for attempting to make peace with Russia?

How can these crazed immoral people present themselves as some sort of moral arbiter when they are locked on a trajectory that will destroy Earth?

This destruction might be closer than anyone thinks. Here is the situation in Syria:

Russia and Syria, in cooperation with Iran and Turkey, have begun the assult on Iblid province, the last stronghold of Washington’s proxy army consisting of Al Qaeda, Al Nursra, and ISIS mercenaries hired by Washington.

According to reports, which might or might not be true considering the lack of veracity that is the defining characteristic of the Western media, the US and UK have troops among the mercenary forces, hoping apparently that this presence will deter the attack. As the attack has already begun, this is a false hope.

The Russians discovered Washington’s plot to explode a chemical weapon in Iblid province and exposed Washington’s plot to the UN. Washington had it set up that once its proxies created the appearance of a chemical weapon explosion, Washington would send Tomahawk missiles upon the Syrian forces, thus protecting its proxy army that it sent to overthrow Assad for Israel.

The Russian exposure of Washington’s conspiracy has denied Washington UN support. Moreover, Russia has sent a naval force armed with the new Russian hypersonic missiles to Syria and has announced that its aircraft in the area are also armed with these missiles.

As the US Navy and Air Force have no defense whatsoever against these missiles, if the US attacks the Syrian/Russian forces, it will be Putin’s decision whether any US ship or military aircraft in the area exists as anything but a smoldering ruin.

In other words, the entire power in the area lies in Russian hands. If Washington had any sense—and it doesn’t, Washington has hubris and arrogance in the place of sense—Washington would be nowhere close to Syria.

The question is this: Will the hotheads in Washington conclude that the Russian announcements and marshalling of forces is “just another Putin bluff.”

So far Putin has been loaded up with never-ending insults and provocation— blame for the crash of the Malaysian airliner, blame for poisoning a variety of people in England, blame for invading Ukraine, blame for interfering in US elections, blame for supporting the “dictator” Assad, a person democratically elected by a large vote who obviously has the support of the Syrian people as he liberates Syria from the forces Washington sent to put the country into the same chaos that exists in Iraq and Libya.

Have we reached the situation about which I have been worried, worries shared with my readers, in which Washington makes the miscalculation, based on the incorrect understanding of Russia’s resolve, to launch an attack on the Syrian/Russian forces that have begun the final liberation of Syria from Washington’s paid mercenaries?

Yesterday the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity sent a letter to President Trump advising him of the war danger that the Trump administration has created by its continued illegal interference in Syria’s internal affairs. https://www.globalresearch.ca/moscow-has-upped-the-ante-in-syria/5653571

The Russian government cannot accept Washington’s military intervention in behalf of Al Qaeda, Al Nursa, and ISIS without completely losing all credibility, not only in the world, but inside Russia itself.

A realistic alternative to military action would be for Washington to stand aside as Syria reconstitutes itself and use a propaganda war to blame Syria and Russia for civilian deaths and for destroying “democratic rebels” who rose against a “dictator.”

The fear could be expanded to the Baltics and Ukraine by reviving the propaganda that Putin intends to reconstruct the Soviet Empire.

Washington has long used an expertly manufactured fear of Russia to control Europe. Fear can keep Europe in line, whereas military action against Russia could scare Europe into taking refuge in a revival of its sovereignty.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported: “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has approved the use of chlorine gas in an offensive against the country’s last major rebel stronghold, U.S. officials said, raising the prospects for another retaliatory U.S. military strike as thousands try to escape what could be a decisive battle in the seven-year-old war.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US strikes could target Russian and Iranian forces as well as Syrian forces.

It is difficult to believe that Washington thinks attacks on Russian forces would go unanswered. Such a reckless and irresponsible act could initiate Armageddon.

The claim that Assad has approved the use of chlorine gas in the liberation of Iblid is propagandistic nonsense put out by Washington as an excuse for Washington’s effort to protect its proxy army in Syria with military strikes.

All Syrian chemical weapons were removed by Russia and turned over to the US during the Obama regime. Moreover, Russia would not permit Assad to use chemical weapons if he had them.

Life on earth is faced with a situation in which Washington is so determined to overthrow Assad and to leave Syria in the same chaos as Libya and Iraq that Washington is willing to risk war with Russia.

Never before have irrationality and immorality had such a firm hold on a government. The world should be scared to death of the recklessness and irresponsibility of the US government.

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          Rhode Island votes as the midterm primary season winds down      Cache   Translate Page      

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island's Democratic governor faced a spirited but poorly funded challenge in Wednesday's primary, while the mayor of the state's second-largest city was seeking the GOP nomination for another shot at the governor's seat in November. First, he had to defeat a state lawmaker making her first gubernatorial run.

Voters in Rhode Island were also selecting nominees for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, lieutenant governor and some key mayoral races in a rare Wednesday vote. Polls close at 8 p.m. EDT.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has been making the case for a second term by highlighting the state's improving economic fortunes, including a falling unemployment rate, as well as new job training programs and free community college tuition started during her tenure. Former Secretary of State Matt Brown, who last held office over a decade ago, has been pushing himself as the grassroots alternative, and has been hammering Raimondo for her close corporate ties.

Raimondo has raised $7.7 million, 20 times Brown's total.

In Providence, where there are a number of competitive primaries, turnout was steady throughout the day at several polling places. John O'Keeffe, who works in renewable energy development, said Raimondo has done a great job in her first term.

"She's made a lot of progress in this state, and the alternatives are not even close," he said.

Madrone Phoenix, 38, a school social worker who came to vote with her 1-year-old daughter in a carrier strapped to her chest, said Raimondo has done "an OK job," but she voted for Brown because he is unapologetic about standing up for working people and could shift the conversation.

"I like that he followed up with the Bernie Sanders campaign mission," she said.

On the Republican side, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has tried to keep a low profile in the primary, putting out few detailed policy proposals, dodging questions about where he stands on various issues and agreeing to just one debate on a small radio station with limited reach. His opponent, Rep. Patricia Morgan, leads the tiny House minority caucus in the overwhelmingly Democratic General Assembly.

Fung came in 4.5 points behind Raimondo in a three-way race in 2014.

Wednesday's winners are expected to face another three-way race Nov. 6, with former Republican lawmaker Joe Trillo, who chaired President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign in Rhode Island, running as an independent.

The most closely watched down-ticket race is for lieutenant governor, which pits incumbent Democrat Dan McKee against self-described progressive state lawmaker Aaron Regunberg. The position has few official duties, but officeholders have used it as a way to advance certain causes on a statewide level.

In congressional races, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. David Cicilline are not expected to face serious trouble in their primaries. Rep. Jim Langevin is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Nearly half of all 782,000 Rhode Island voters are unaffiliated with a party and may choose to vote in either primary. Around 308,000 voters are registered Democrats, while 92,000 are registered Republicans.

The secretary of state's office had no estimate of turnout for this year's primary, but the number in recent midterm primaries has hovered around 20 percent.

___

This story corrects the turnout of recent primaries, which was incorrect in earlier versions.

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FILE - This panel of 2018 photos shows former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown, left, and Gov. Gina Raimondo. Brown is Raimondo's top challenger in the Democratic gubernatorial primary on Wednesday, Sept. 12. (AP Photos/Steven Senne, File)

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FILE - This panel of photos shows Cranston, R.I., Mayor Allan Fung, left, in 2014 and Rhode Island House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan in 2018, who are the top candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. (AP Photos/Joe Giblin, Steven Senne, File)
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          Trump OKs sanctions for foreigners who meddle in elections      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday authorizing sanctions against foreigners who meddle in U.S. elections, acting amid criticism that he has not taken election security seriously enough.

"We felt it was important to demonstrate the president has taken command of this issue, that it's something he cares deeply about — that the integrity of our elections and our constitutional process are a high priority to him," said national security adviser John Bolton.

In the order, the president declared a national emergency, an action required under sanctions authority, to deal with the threat of foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

The order calls for sanctioning any individual, company or country that interferes with campaign infrastructure, such as voter registration databases, voting machines and equipment used for tabulating or transmitting results. It also authorizes sanctions for engaging in covert, fraudulent or deceptive activities, such as distributing disinformation or propaganda, to influence or undermine confidence in U.S. elections.

It requires the national intelligence director to make regular assessments about foreign interference and asks the Homeland Security and Justice departments to submit reports on meddling in campaign-related infrastructure. It also lays out how the Treasury and State departments will recommend what sanctions to impose.

With the midterm elections now two months away, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said the U.S. is not currently seeing the intensity of Russian intervention that was experienced in 2016, but he didn't rule it out. He said the U.S. is also worried about the cyber activities of China, North Korea and Iran.

Coats said Trump's order directs intelligence agencies to conduct an assessment within 45 days after an election to report any meddling to the attorney general and Department of Homeland Security. The attorney general and Department of Homeland Security then have another 45 days to assess whether sanctions should be imposed.

"This clearly is a process put in place to try to assure that we are doing every possible thing we can, first of all, to prevent any interference with our elections, to report on anything we see between now and the election, but then to do a full assessment after the election to assure the American people just exactly what may have happened or may not have happened," Coats said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., are pushing a bill that would prohibit foreign governments from purchasing election ads, using social media to spread false information or disrupting election infrastructure. They said Trump's order recognizes the threat, but doesn't go far enough.

The order gives the executive branch the discretion to impose sanctions for election meddling, but the bill would spell out sanctions on key economic sectors of a country that interferes. Those backing the legislation say that under the bill, a nation would know exactly what it would face if caught.

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said the order leaves the president with broad discretion to decide whether to impose tough sanctions. "Unfortunately, President Trump demonstrated in Helsinki and elsewhere that he simply cannot be counted upon to stand up to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin when it matters," said Warner, who is sponsoring the bill.

At a July 16 news conference with Putin in Helsinki, Trump was asked if he would denounce what happened in 2016 and warn Putin never to do it again. Trump did not directly answer the question. Instead, he delivered a rambling response, including demands for investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server and his description of Putin's "extremely strong and powerful" denial of meddling.

That drew outrage from both Republican and Democrats.

Trump has pushed back, saying that no other American president has been as tough on Russia. He has cited U.S. sanctions and the expulsion of alleged Russian spies from the U.S.

Mike Rogers, former director of the National Security Agency, said he thought Trump missed an opportunity in Helsinki to publicly scold Russia for meddling. Rogers said when he used to talk to Trump about the issue, Trump would often respond to him, saying "Mike, you know, I'm in a different place."

Rogers said he would tell Trump: "Mr. President, I understand that, but I'm paid by the citizens of the nation to tell you what we think. Sir, this is not about politics, it's not about parties. It's about a foreign state that is attempting to subvert the very tenets of our structure."

In his first public comments since he retired in June, Rogers said: "That should concern us as citizens. That should concern us leaders. And if we don't do something, they (the Russians) are not going to stop."

Rogers, who spoke Tuesday night at the Hayden Center at George Mason University in Virginia, also said earlier media reports claiming Trump had asked him to publicly deny any collusion between Moscow and Trump's campaign were inaccurate.

James Clapper, the former national intelligence director who appeared with Rogers and other former intelligence officials, said he personally believes that the Russian interference did influence the outcome of the 2016 election, but didn't elaborate.

"The Russians are still at it. They are committed to undermining our system," Clapper said. "One of the things that really disturbs me is — that for whatever reason, I don't know what it is — the president's failure to dime out Putin and dime out the Russians for what they are doing."

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President Donald Trump talks about Hurricane Florence following a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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          $1 million pledged against Collins if she backs Kavanaugh      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON — A campaign urging Republican Sen. Susan Collins to vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has generated more than $1 million in pledges, money that would go to her opponent in 2020 if she decides to support the judge.

The senator and her Republican colleagues are decrying the effort in Maine as attempted bribery, as attention shifts from Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings to the question of how lawmakers will vote on his nomination.

The spotlight on Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski is particularly intense because they are viewed as the only two Republicans seen as potential "no" votes. With a 51-49 GOP majority, Kavanaugh's confirmation to the court is virtually assured if either senator votes yes.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, came to Collins' defense on Wednesday, tweeting through his office account that "every Democrat should be condemning these antics in Maine — attempting to bribe Senator Collins to vote against Judge Kavanaugh and threatening sexual violence against staffers if she votes for him is absolutely disgusting."

The latter point stems from allegations Collins made to The Wall Street Journal that someone had left a voicemail with one of her state offices in which "they actually threatened to rape one of my young female staffers." Her office also provided The Associated Press with other examples of calls and letters containing vulgar insults.

"Senator Collins will make up her mind based on the merits of the nomination. Threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision-making whatsoever," said Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Collins.

In Maine, a trio of advocacy groups continued their fundraising efforts Wednesday with a running tally of pledges coming to about $1.1 million. Marie Follayttar, co-director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, described her organization as a grassroots movement borne out of frustration with President Donald Trump's election and designed to give Maine residents a platform to engage elected officials. Members of the group have met with Collins over the past 18 months on issues such as protecting the state's young immigrants known as Dreamers.

The groups states on the fundraising page that Kavanaugh is committed to "ending health care for people with pre-existing conditions. He is committed to overturning Roe v. Wade." The groups then provide two scenarios:

— Collins votes no on Kavanaugh "and you will not be charged, and no money will go to fund her future opponent."

— Collins votes yes on Kavanaugh "and your pledge will go to her opponent's campaign, once that opponent has been identified."

Collins' spokeswoman said that amounts to a quid pro quo: "You vote the way we want and we will keep more than a million dollars away from your opponent," she said. "Vote against us and we give her the money. It is basically a bribe."

Follayttar described the effort as a grassroots mobilization made up of smaller-dollar pledges. She contrasted that with the nearly $2.8 million Collins' campaign received in her 2014 election from various political action committees. She called Collins' use of the term "bribery" a bogus legal threat.

"We won't let it stifle us. We will continue to participate in our democracy," she said.

Democrats and liberal advocacy groups contend that Kavanaugh's confirmation would cement a right-leaning court for a generation. The stakes were on display throughout the confirmation hearings last week, with about 70 people arrested on the hearing's first day and charged with disorderly conduct. The same shout-and-arrest pattern continued throughout the week.

Democrats accused Republicans of seeking to ram the confirmation through without a thorough vetting before the November midterm elections. The president during campaign stops in Montana and North Dakota ridiculed Democrats as "making fools out of themselves."

A vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation by the full Senate is expected by the end of the month, in time for the first day of the court's new term on Oct. 1.

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WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 21: Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh meets with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in her office on Capitol Hill on August 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. The confirmation hearing for Judge Kavanaugh is set to begin September 4. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
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          Democrats Announce Big Online Ad Play for US Midterms      Cache   Translate Page      
Two major Democratic political groups on Wednesday announced a combined $21 million digital ad buy targeting Senate races in November, a sign the party is trying to learn from 2016, when Donald Trump's Republican presidential campaign was far more aggressive online. Priorities USA and Senate Majority PAC announced $18 million in joint spending in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Missouri and North Dakota. Senate Majority PAC also tacked on an additional $3 million in ads targeting Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and West Virginia. "For the last, really, six years, the Democrats have had their hats handed to them when it comes to digital,'' Guy Cecil, the chairman of Priorities USA, which is exclusively funding digital ads and outreach this election cycle, said in an interview. "We needed to close the gap.'' The move comes as Democrats and Republicans are fighting furiously over control of the Senate, where the GOP has a 51-49 edge. Although almost all competitive seats are in states Trump won in 2016, Republicans are increasingly alarmed about the strength of Democratic candidates in states including Tennessee, Texas and Arizona. GOP edge on Google The size of the campaign is significant. According to Priorities USA, $7 million has been spent on advertising for Senate races on Google since May 31, with Republicans outspending Democrats 60-40. Facebook did not have comparable data. And through the end of August, Senate Majority PAC, one of the biggest Democratic financial organizations in the battle over control of the upper chamber, spent $37 million in ads on television and radio, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. J.B. Poersch, president of Senate Majority PAC, said it's important to maintain a mix of traditional television and radio ads along with digital. But for years, he said, "I don't think we had digital at the adults' table.'' The conventional wisdom in politics is that Democrats dominated in digital during much of the Obama years because they were more advanced in gathering online data and using it to target voters. But that changed in 2016, when the Trump campaign outspent Hillary Clinton's Democratic campaign nearly 2-to-1 online, according to a Priorities USA presentation to donors obtained by The Associated Press. The outspending also stretched to various House races. Right-leaning groups, meanwhile, registered vastly more online domains through the beginning of 2017. Since 2016, Democrats have increasingly focused on digital as a way to strike back against the GOP, with liberal Silicon Valley entrepreneurs holding trainings for Democratic campaigns and some liberal insurgent candidates, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City and Ayanna Pressley in Boston, winning recent primaries with minimal television ads and instead relying mostly on digital ones. In-house agency The GOP continues to invest in both digital and traditional advertising, but no Republican organization of comparable prominence to Priorities has announced an all-digital strategy. Priorities has even formed its own in-house digital ad agency to build spots for its campaigns, including a previously announced $12 million buy targeting House races. Damon McCoy, a New York University professor who analyzed Facebook political ad spending data earlier this summer, said Democratic and Republican groups spend at comparable rates on the platform with one significant exception: Trump. The president's own re-election campaign was the biggest political ad spender in the analysis that McCoy and other academics conducted. Minus the president's campaign, "spending is fairly split between liberal and conservative candidates and political organizations,'' McCoy said. 
          US Seeks to Impose Cost for Election Meddling      Cache   Translate Page      
The United States is hoping to use the threat of calibrated sanctions to deter individuals, companies or countries from attempting to interfere with the midterm elections in November. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday authorizing automatic sanctions against actors or entities assessed to have meddled with elections, whether by attacking America's election infrastructure or through the use of propaganda and disinformation campaigns. "It's a further effort, among several that the administration has made, to protect the United States against foreign interference in our elections and really our political process more broadly," National Security Adviser John Bolton said Wednesday while briefing reporters. "We felt it was important to demonstrate the president has taken command of this issue, that it's something he cares deeply about," Bolton added. "This order, I think, is a further demonstration of that." Russian meddling attempts There have been ongoing concerns about possible attempts by Russia to meddle with the upcoming November vote as a follow-up to what intelligence officials have assessed to be a fairly successful effort to meddle with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But Bolton and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the new executive order is not country specific, citing evidence that China, Iran and North Korea may also be working to influence the midterm election in November. "We see attempts," Coats told reporters Wednesday, repeating previous assertions that the U.S. intelligence community has yet to see "the intensity of what happened back in 2016." "In terms of what the influence is and will be, we continue to analyze all that," Coats added. "This is an ongoing effort here, and it has been for a significant amount of time, and will continue on a, literally, 24-hour-a-day basis until the election." The new executive order gives U.S. intelligence agencies 45 days after an election to report any efforts to meddle with the outcome. The U.S. attorney general and the Department of Homeland Security will then have 45 days to review those findings. If they agree with the assessment, it would trigger automatic sanctions. Those sanctions could include blocking access to property and interests, restricting access to the U.S. financial system, prohibiting investment in companies found to be involved, and even prohibiting individuals from entering the U.S. Additionally, the order authorizes the State Department and the Treasury Department to impose further sanctions, if deemed necessary. Bolton denied that recent criticism of Trump, and his interactions with President Vladimir Putin during their summit in Helsinki, played any role in issuing the executive order. In Helsinki, Trump told reporters he accepted Putin's denial of Russian meddling in the 2016 election over the U.S. intelligence community's assessment and later tried to clarify his statement in a tweet affirming support for the intelligence community. "The president has said repeatedly that he is determined that there not be foreign interference in our political process," Bolton said. "Today he signed this executive order, so I think his actions speak for themselves." Additional measures possible Still, Bolton left open the possibility that the White House could work with U.S. lawmakers on additional measures. Already, members of Congress have introduced various pieces of legislation aimed at setting out stiff penalties for Russia and other countries who seek to meddle with the U.S. electoral process. And some lawmakers said Wednesday the Trump administration's latest effort does not go far enough. "An executive order that inevitably leaves the president broad discretion to decide whether to impose tough sanctions against those who attack our democracy is insufficient," Mark Warner, the Democratic ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. "If we are going to actually deter Russia and others from interfering in our elections in the future, we need to spell out strong, clear consequences, without ambiguity," Warner added. Republican Senator Marco Rubio said that while the order is a step in the right direction, it is not enough. "The @WhiteHouse & @POTUS deserve credit for taking this action. They did as much as they could do with an executive order but are limited from going further without legislation," he tweeted. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been critical of Trump for failing to fully enact a sanctions law that they passed over a year ago, even though the U.S. Treasury Department did impose major sanctions against 24 Russians as a result. But Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Republican Richard Burr expressed hope late Wednesday the new executive order will "send a clear message" to Russia, Iran and others. "[The executive order] strengthens our ability to quickly and appropriately hold responsible anyone who interferes in our elections," Burr said in a statement.
          In nome del padre (padrone)      Cache   Translate Page      
Si può criticare il senatore leghista Simone Pillon per le sue note posizioni ideologiche: vorrebbe abolire le unioni civili (manco a parlare dei matrimoni gay), vorrebbe il matrimonio indissolubile, vorrebbe «convincere ogni donna a non abortire», si definisce «papista». Ci dice tutte queste cose - non sorprendenti, lo conoscevamo già - in un'intervista alla Stampa di [...]
          Apple, Google, Amazon and Twitter to testify about data privacy on September 26th      Cache   Translate Page      
A couple of weeks from today, on September 26th, executives from a number of very important tech firms will appear in front of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The topic will be data privacy for consumers. The companies with representatives expected to attend include Apple, Google, Amazon and Twitter. AT&T and Charter Communications will also have executives on hand.

The committee hearing takes place three weeks after Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey appeared in front of two Congressional hearings. The pair ...
          U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley: FEMA funding ICE an 'evil partnership'       Cache   Translate Page      

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHenmtk5IP4

What would you expect from EL TROMPO.

Trump will do anything to remain in the White House, including a coup d' tat from his military buddies.


Related:


Breaking: President Trump Admin Took Millions From FEMA For ICE Detentions | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntb96PMvIHA

          Suffolk/RGJ poll: Nevadans split on Senate, governor races — not ready to impeach Trump      Cache   Translate Page      
Latest poll results show Trump has lost a few popularity points, but not Nevadans' faith
      
 
 

          Osun Guber Election: Davido Campaigns For Senator Adeleke      Cache   Translate Page      
Just few days to the Osun state gubernatorial elections, super star musician Davido whose uncle senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke is an aspirant under the people's democratic party, has started massive campaign on social media.
          Impeaching Kavanaugh      Cache   Translate Page      

With the Senate preparing to vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Cliff and I discuss what the Republicans would do if the Democrats stole a Supreme Court seat and then nominated a judge who perjured himself: They’d impeach him. In today’s episode, Cliff and I talk Kavanaugh, the increasing good signs for […]

The post Impeaching Kavanaugh appeared first on AMERICAblog News.


          GOP senator calls 2016 election a 'dumpster fire'      Cache   Translate Page      

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) discusses President Trump's tweet where he blamed his Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the indictments of two GOP lawmakers.


          You Can't Bribe Susan Collins      Cache   Translate Page      
A crowdfunding campaign threatens the Senator on Kavanaugh.

          Romania moves closer to ruling out same-sex marriage      Cache   Translate Page      

Romania's senate has overwhelmingly backed a citizens' initiative to change the definition of family in the constitution in a nationwide referendum. The move could make it impossible to legalise same-sex marriage. The initiative has backing from several religious groups.

Reuters


          Hester ressumes pitch to replace Arkansas statues in Washington      Cache   Translate Page      
Sen. Bart Hester issued a news release today urging a "conversation" on replacing the two statues representing Arkansas in the Hall of Statuary in the U.S. Capitol. He wants to replace Uriah Rose and James Paul Clarke with people "who embody the Arkansas values of courage and dignity for all."

Hester introduced legislation in 2017 to replace the statues, but the session ended without action.

The legislature can decide its representatives. Rose, a lawer, was placed in 1917, and Clarke, a former governor and U.S. Senator, was placed in 1921.

“Each honoree has represented Arkansas in the U.S. Capitol for almost 100 years,” Hester said. “That was one of the reasons why I filed legislation in 2017 to begin the discussion on replacing them.”

“I realized there would not be enough time for people to participate,” Hester said. “This is a process that needs to incorporate the shared traditions and values of the entire state of Arkansas.”
Letting Hester lead this charge is problematic. He himself embodies bigotry, with his devotion to limiting the rights of LGBT people. He embodies self-dealing, with legislation protecting his billboard property from higher taxes, with gifts of tax money to a preacher in his area and with gifts of tax money to the corruptly operated Ecclesia College. He embodies extortion, by threatening to cut University of Arkansas funding when its policies don't suit him. To name a few.

The Encyclopedia of Arkansas can fill you in on:

* Uriah M. Rose, a pioneer lawyer, founder of the American Bar Association and namesake of the Rose Law Firm.

* James Clarke, the state's 18th governor and a U.S. senator with a controversial history that included defending white supremacy as a doctrine of the Democratic Party of the day.

The latter isn't only about past history. The idea for booting Clarke arose with Stacy Hurst, director of the state Heritage Department. It so happens she was defeated for a race for state House in 2014 by Clarke Tucker, a descendant of James Clarke. Payback, in other words.

But, yes, other states have switched statues. I previously nominated Allen Sims and Charlotte Moorman should the day come.

But here's a serious idea: Have Hester get the crooks of Ecclesia to get the state's money back to pay for the new statues.
          Australia’s senate passes motion to tackle ‘conversion therapy’      Cache   Translate Page      

Australia's senate has passed a motion brought by the Greens to tackle the rise in LGBT+ conversion therapy in the country.

Gay Star News


          El PDECat retira la moció pactada amb el PSOE després que ERC hagi anunciat que s'absté      Cache   Translate Page      

El PDECat ha anunciat aquest vespre que retira la moció pactada amb el PSOE en què instava el govern espanyol a un diàleg "dins la legislació vigent". Ho ha fet després que els republicans anunciessin a través de Twitter que s'abstindrien perquè no estaven d'acord amb el text. Amb tot, en declaracions als mitjans de comunicació, Míriam Nogueras ha assegurat que han decidit retirar la moció perquè els socialistes, aquest matí, han votat al Senat una altra moció que negava explícitament la possibilitat de fer un referèndum d'autodeterminació, i ha desmentit, així, que el canvi de criteri del PDECat hagi tingut res a veure amb els republicans.


          9/13/2018: World: Marriage vote      Cache   Translate Page      
Romanian senators have approved a measure that would pave the way for the Constitution to be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Senators voted 107-13 with seven abstentions to allow a referendum that could change...
          Cele mai bune benzi desenate      Cache   Translate Page      
  Cea mai buna banda desenata – Recomandarile noastre pentru 2018   Vrei sa incerci pentru prima oara o banda desenata pentru a vedea de ce sunt acestea atat de populare la ora actuala? Nu mai stii ce titlu nou sa descoperi? Raspunsul intrebarilor tale este ghidul nostru pe aceasta tema, realizat in urma investigarii … Citeste tot articolul!
          High crime      Cache   Translate Page      
Since President Trump has been terrifying us about a huge national crime epidemic, it's time to mention that we have a doozy in Arkansas. There's been nothing like it in at least a hundred years.

Since President Trump has been terrifying us about a huge national crime epidemic, it's time to mention that we have a doozy in Arkansas. There's been nothing like it in at least a hundred years.

But the predators are the white-collar kind and they only corrupt government and empty the public purse. The politicians who are headed to prison are God-fearing Christians who were elected for their piety, and they and probably their criminal collaborators wouldn't harm a hair on your head. Friends and pastors testify at their sentencings about the good they do when they aren't conniving to steal from the public accounts or giving their friends and benefactors the pass code to tens of millions of dollars of Medicaid largesse and state general-improvement funds.

For three years, the prints have carried stories about the fraud at a little Bible college outside the Ozark hamlet of Elm Springs that no one had heard of outside the rural township where Ecclesia College trained a few dozen youngsters in Bible studies, Christian counseling or sports management. State Sen. Jon Woods set up a scheme to get a dozen or so fellow legislators from Northwest Arkansas to channel some $700,000 of your taxes to the college's president so he could buy real estate around the rural school and then kick back part of the money to Woods and his friend Rep. Micah Neal.

Woods got 18 years and four months in federal prison last week and was ordered to pay $1,626,500 in restitution. The judge listened to pleas to go easy on this wonderful Christian man, but the judge was unmoved, noting that it took nearly three weeks for prosecutors to put on the evidence of all his crimes. It seemed, the judge said, that Woods had nothing on his mind as a public servant but to make money for himself and his friends, including a big salary for his girlfriend from a Missouri corporation that was trying to get deeper into the Arkansas Medicaid trough.

So far, only six legislators have been convicted or charged with crimes in the investigation of a Northwest Arkansas planning district's distribution of lawmakers' pot of surplus state funds. Many other lawmakers have been implicated in the schemes, although most of them so far seem not to have criminal culpability — only ignorance or bad judgment. Lobbyists and consultants who collaborated with them are going to jail, along with the Ecclesia president.

Jon Woods was emblematic of a modern breed of legislator, one who, as observed last week by Rex Nelson, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist and Arkansas promoter, runs for the legislature just to make a good living. He looked for ways to monetize everything. A fellow Republican senator had reported a bribe offer from Woods in 2011, when there were fears that the three Democrats on the state Board of Apportionment would throw neighboring Republicans into the same district to get rid of a few of them and create more Democratic openings. Woods told his colleague that for $10,000 he would move into another district. But the Democrats didn't gerrymander them and both kept their seats. Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Sulphur Springs) was obliged to report the attempted bribery to the prosecutor, but he refused to wear a microphone and tape Woods, which would have exposed a rising Republican star. When Woods landed a swell apartment in the state building across the street from the Capitol, fellow Republican Sen. Denny Altes of Fort Smith was envious and paid Woods $5,000 to rent his taxpayer-subsidized apartment.

Last year, Mike Maggio, a Republican circuit judge, went to prison for 10 years for taking a bribe arranged by the former state Republican chairman and Republican leader of the state Senate to cut $4.2 million from the judgment against a nursing-home titan for the family of a woman who died from mistreatment in a nursing home. The bribe came through a series of sham political action committees.

You might remember Ted Suhl and Justin Harris, whose Arkansas misdeeds made the national news in 2015 and 2016. Suhl, a supporter and benefactor of Gov. Mike Huckabee, ran a behavioral residential facility in Northeast Arkansas called The Lord's Ranch, which operated with millions of federal and state dollars. Suhl flew Huckabee around the country on his plane. In 2016, he was convicted and sentenced to seven years in federal prison and fined $200,000 for bribing a state administrator and former legislator to get more tax money sent to The Lord's Ranch. Suhl transmitted the bribe through the politician's West Memphis church.

Harris was a state representative at West Fork who started a preschool and daycare called Growing God's Kingdom, which got 90 percent of its money from the state and special favors from the state Division of Children and Family Services. He used his legislative muscle to control the state office, including adopting two girls, age 3 and 5, for which social workers said the Harrises were not proper parents. Harris deemed the girls possessed by Satan and kept them locked in a room, even while claiming state payments for them daily at his preschool. He finally "rehomed" them to a friend, who was convicted of sexually abusing one of them. The legislature finally made Harris' actions criminal — in the future, not applying to him.

Nelson, the communications director for three Republican politicians and who does not go around badmouthing politicians, made another subtle observation: that the new breed of legislator, whether a member or not, tends to show up at every interim committee meeting, sign the sheet for his $150-or-so per diem and go about his business.

Just the other day they showed up in droves for a meeting of Governor Hutchinson's celebrated regulation-killing committee. Among other empty gestures, they abolished the lengthy rules adopted some 40 years ago on how to operate vehicle-safety inspection stations, which themselves were ended two decades ago. The rules were in a dusty file, not costing the state a dime or anyone inconvenience. It allowed the governor to brag about vast tax savings by ending corrosive regulations.

Modern state government at work.


          Woods sentenced      Cache   Translate Page      
And much more.

Quote of the week

"That's just bizarre." — Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View), the chair of the legislative Joint Performance Review Committee, responding to a representative from Everytown for Gun Safety's mention of statistics about youth suicide in a discussion of school safety. The response was that red flag laws — allowing judicial intervention on gun access for dangerous people — could have a positive effect on school shooting incidents and also on suicide rate. Irvin later suggested that efforts to address youth suicide with gun safety laws were targeting rural America.

Former senator, co-defendant sentenced

Federal Judge Timothy Brooks sentenced former state Sen. Jon Woods (R-Springdale) to 220 months, or more than 18 years, in prison and ordered him to make restitution of $1.6 million for masterminding kickback schemes from state money.

He must report to prison by 1 p.m. Sept. 26.

Woods' attorney has said he would appeal. He'll likely seek to postpone prison for Woods, but typically a defendant must show a chance of prevailing on appeal to avoid immediate imprisonment. Woods likely will focus on the fact that an FBI agent was not allowed to testify because of his mishandling of computer files. The government will say it wasn't relevant because the agent didn't testify and the material at issue wasn't prejudicial.

Brooks spoke at length about the severity of the crime. He called Woods' behavior "depraved." He said he'd received many letters from Woods' supporters, but they didn't overcome a record of habitual stealing of money. "Your entire way of thinking about what your job was, was to put money in your pocket, and I find that grotesque," Brooks said.

Defense lawyers tell the Arkansas Times they can't recall a stiffer white-collar crime sentence in Arkansas in years. There's scant "good time" in the federal system. If he isn't successful in a reversal or a reduction of the sentence (such as by contesting use of his participation in an unrelated crime in the sentencing), Woods could be facing 15 years in prison before release to a halfway house. He just turned 41.

Meanwhile, political consultant Randell Shelton, Woods' co-defendant, was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison. Under sentencing guidelines, he could have gotten more than 10 years.

Brooks set Shelton's restitution at $660,698, the loss in state money. He also imposed a civil forfeiture of $664,000, which allows the taking of any assets Shelton might have. His prison time will be followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to report to prison Oct. 8.

Brooks faulted Shelton for speaking with pride about his work for Ecclesia College, which paid kickbacks to Shelton, Woods and former Rep. Micah Neal (R-Springdale) for state money it received. Shelton was paid by Ecclesia through a firm he set up called Paradigm Strategic Consulting.

Issue 1 deemed unconstitutional

Circuit Judge Mackie Pierce has ruled that Issue 1, the proposed limit on lawsuits and legislative takeover of court-rulemaking, unconstitutionally rolled up multiple issues in one proposal and should be removed from the ballot.

The decision came in a lawsuit brought by retired Judge Marion Humphrey. A committee backed by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and major health interests intervened to keep it on the ballot.

The decision will be appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.

The amendment caps noneconomic damages in lawsuits at $500,000 and also caps punitive damages, limits attorney fees to a third of judgments and in a couple of ways effectively transfers court rule-making authority from the Arkansas Supreme Court to the legislature. It gives the legislature rule-making review and also reduces the legislative vote requirement to amend or annul court rules. Past legislative efforts to make corporate-friendly changes to court rules have been struck down by the court as unconstitutional.

Pierce said amendments may have multiple parts so long as they are "reasonably germane." He adopted the plaintiffs' view that these four provisions are not. The state said it was enough to be generally about courts.

Work requirement kicks thousands to curb

More than 4,500 recipients of Medicaid in Arkansas lost their health coverage last week for failing to report on their work hours for three months. Enrollees were required to visit a state website to detail spending 80 hours a month on work or other approved activities or an exemption. Those who lost coverage will be locked out of receiving coverage for the rest of the year. Some 26,000 Medicaid recipients are subject to the work requirement rules, approved by the Trump administration earlier this year after Governor Hutchinson requested the change. A federal lawsuit has been filed in Washington, D.C., to block the work requirements from continuing. The same court blocked a similar work requirement from taking effect in Kentucky.


          Throw the bums in the legislature out      Cache   Translate Page      
Jon Woods, the former state senator, got a whopping 18-year federal prison sentence last week from Judge Timothy Brooks, who described Woods' criminality as "grotesque" and "depraved."

Jon Woods, the former state senator, got a whopping 18-year federal prison sentence last week from Judge Timothy Brooks, who described Woods' criminality as "grotesque" and "depraved."

They are words suitable for a legislative culture that he encouraged and which argues persuasively for term limits.

So far, Woods, Micah Neal, Jake Files, Eddie Cooper, Hank Wilkins, Mickey Gates and Jeremy Hutchinson have been accused or convicted of recent crimes. But felonious corruption is only part of the story.

Nearly every Republican legislator in Northwest Arkansas pumped money into the criminal enterprise known as Ecclesia College. One of them, Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs), also sent money to a preacher pal from the unconstitutional General Improvement Fund handouts and his only regret seemed to be that he hadn't sent more.

Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Sulphur Springs), the governor's nephew and Jeremy Hutchinson's cousin, became an ethics crusader this year — after indictments started. But it turns out he'd gotten a bribe offer from Woods in 2012 and declined to cooperate with the FBI on snaring Woods. He spent four years working with him on big issues without a peep about the crook, guest of honor at a campaign fundraiser featuring Uncle Asa shortly before Woods abruptly withdrew from the race, expecting an indictment.

Big issues? Under the guise of "ethics reform," Woods engineered a constitutional amendment that has all but tripled legislative pay and extended the time they may serve in office. He also helped work out a mulligan system for ethics violations and protected a fat pay supplement through untaxed per diem. This has created a class of legislators, like Woods, who have no visible means of support outside of signing the attendance sheet for interim committee meetings.

If that's not enough money, another legislator described to the FBI how Woods had counseled him on creating a bogus job as paid "consultant" to nonprofit agencies that depend on state funding.

Jeremy Hutchinson and former Senate President Michael Lamoureux provide the template. They landed consultant and legal fees from private business, special interest lobbies and agencies that draw from the multibillion-dollar Medicaid budget.

There are other ways to make friends. Jake Files' proposal to limit lawsuits against nursing homes couldn't have hurt him in receiving an $80,000 advance from a nursing home executive. Bob Ballinger sent money to Ecclesia, which then hired him to do legal work on land deals financed with money he sent the college.

No telling how many lucrative favors Rusty Cranford, lobbyist and health company executive, passed out to legislators on his way to a multicount federal indictment. Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D-Little Rock), for example, was paid a fee by one of Cranford's employers to deliver a talk on diversity. It was duly reported as income by Chesterfield. But really. Is it a good idea, even if legal, for a company receiving Medicaid money to hire legislators for speech-making?

So much rot and so little space. After the Arkansas Supreme Court outlawed use of tax money to pay private chambers of commerce, Jon Woods worked up an amendment to legalize the payments. That money subsidizes salaries of people who favor lawsuit limits, low pay, poor unemployment and workers comp benefits and miserly health care. It should be no surprise that they don't want term limits to shorten the tenure of experienced public servants like Jon Woods.


          A “BLUE” TEXAS: Republicans’ Worst Fears Could Come True in November      Cache   Translate Page      

In 2002, Republicans took control of the Texas House of Representatives – breaking a 130-year string of Democratic dominance on the state. After taking control of the Texas House of Representatives, the first thing newly elected Texas Republicans did was engage in a major partisan redistricting effort that completely changed the course of Texas politics. As a result, Republicans gained six seats during the 2004 elections, which led to them having the majority in the Texas House for the first time since Reconstruction. As of 2018, Texas Republicans still control the House and Senate in Texas, as well as control of all the statewide offices. This has had an impact on federal elections also, in that Republicans have continued to have a stronghold on winning important U.S. Congressional and Senate races. Texas has also been a consistent and reliable state when it comes to the Republican nominee for president. Not since 1976, when Jimmy Carter defeated Republican Gerald Ford, has a Democratic candidate for president carried the state. There has been a lot of chatter over the past several months about whether Republicans may be losing their grip on Texas as a reliable “red state” and there are several candidates in Texas that have many Republicans worried. So could Texas really be in play for Democrats this November? Based on a recent letter sent to his supporters, 17-year incumbent U.S. Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) seems to think so. Rep. Culberson is in a dogfight here in Texas, against his Democratic opponent, attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher,read more

The post A “BLUE” TEXAS: Republicans’ Worst Fears Could Come True in November appeared first on Houston Forward Times.


          WAY BACK WEDNESDAY: Michael Bennet Sounds a Lot Like Mark Uterus      Cache   Translate Page      
Yesterday, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) formally announced his opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court, surprising absolutely nobody in the process. What struck us, however, was the tone of Bennet’s statement on the matter. It led with some hysterics: “After reviewing his writings, opinions, and testimony, I have concluded that Judge Kavanaugh […]
          How Puerto Rico Heard Trump's Rating Of Hurricane Maria Response      Cache   Translate Page      
NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Puerto Rico Senate Minority Leader Eduardo Bhatia Gautier about President Trump's claim that the federal response to Hurricane Maria was an incredible success.
          Cruz Steps Up Attacks on O’Rourke over Vote Against Harvey Tax Relief      Cache   Translate Page      
The measure, which Senator Ted Cruz co-authored, passed as a rider to a bill reauthorizing the FAA. Congressman Beto O’Rourke says he voted against it because it failed to reauthorize CHIP.
          Miss Cellania's Links      Cache   Translate Page      
The Untold Stories of Paul McCartney. An interviewer digs for Beatles tales we haven't heard before.

Kavanaugh’s toxic net neutrality record went mostly unnoticed during hearings. You still have time to call your senator about his Supreme Court confirmation. 

The Not-So-Secret Power of Fandom. Followers have gone from responding to pop culture to actively shaping it.

How a 1980s Michelangelo Found Fame on the Ceilings of Old Victorians. Larry Boyce traveled from town to town, more than 200,000 miles on his bicycle, decorating classic homes and making friends.

Centrists Don't Exist. To get anywhere in politics, state your beliefs simply and honestly, and run hard with them. 

A Life-Size Travel Trailer Built from 215,158 LEGO Blocks Has Set a World Record. It's fully functional, with electricity and running water!

6 Animals With Jobs More Impressive Than Yours. They happen to have unique talents.

Oversharing: Filming Your Wife Giving Birth, Instead of Helping Her. He should have pulled the car over, at least.

The Decline of the Civil War Re-Enactor. "We don't get tangled up in all the messy bits, which are the causes and outcomes, which are complicated and uncomfortable."

Americans Want to Believe Jobs Are the Solution to Poverty. They’re Not.

A Blast from the Past (2008): 6 Things that Resemble the Death Star.



          US says transfer from FEMA funds won’t harm hurricane relief      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump administration officials pushed back Wednesday against a Democratic senator’s claim that nearly $10 million from the government’s disaster relief agency was transferred to immigration enforcement. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s claim, which came as a monster hurricane barreled toward the Carolinas, was quickly branded by Homeland Security as “a sorry attempt to push a false agenda.” ...
          Heads up: Preventing Additional Printing of Electronic Records Act of 2018 or the PAPER Act of 2018      Cache   Translate Page      

[UPDATE 1:30pm 09122018: The bill going forward in the Senate is S. 2944, NOT 2673. And S.2944 includes reference to the depository library program! I’ve updated the link below to the correct Senate bill. JRJ] Heads up! There’s a bill at the beginning of the legislative process called “Preventing Additional Printing of Electronic Records Act … Continue reading

The post Heads up: Preventing Additional Printing of Electronic Records Act of 2018 or the PAPER Act of 2018 appeared first on Free Government Information (FGI).


          N.H. Legislators To Vote On Overriding Handful of Sununu Vetoes      Cache   Translate Page      
Thursday is veto day at the State House. Lawmakers will vote whether to override several controversial vetoes Gov. Chris Sununu handed down this year. Sununu vetoed six of the bills legislators passed in their 2018 session. Two, dealing with energy, have been especially high-profile. The vetoed bills would subsidize biomass power, and expand towns' and businesses' ability to sell renewable energy back to the grid. The timber industry has led the charge to overturn those vetoes, though it's not clear yet if they have the votes to do it. Sununu also vetoed a plan to abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire. And he rejected a handful of smaller policy changes. Legislators need a two-thirds majority vote in the state Senate and House to overturn a veto by the governor. They meet in session at 11 a.m. Thursday. Here’s a full list of the bills Sununu vetoed, and his veto messages: Veto message for SB 593 , on capital punishment. Veto message for SB 365 and SB 446 , on renewable energy.
          $1.2 million anti-Kavanaugh crowdfunding campaign tests federal bribery laws      Cache   Translate Page      
Liberal groups are testing a new crowdsourcing tactic in their battle against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — and are testing the limits of campaign finance laws with their attempt to force one GOP senator to vote “No.” The initiative has secured pledges of $1.2 million, which the groups say they’ll direct to an opponent of Sen. Susan Collins, should she vote to confirm Mr. Trump’s pick, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. If she votes for the nomination, the donors’ credit cards will be charged. Ms. Collins and her defenders say that sounds an awful lot like bribery, threatening her political future...
          #hockey - omg.rabbit      Cache   Translate Page      
#wcw #wce @briggsie3 I love getting lost with you #nyc #madisonsquaregarden #travel #tbt #ottawasenators #newyorkrangers #hockey
          Group scores Saraki high flays zoning arrangement      Cache   Translate Page      

AN Ibadan-based social-political group under the aegis of the Focus has ranked the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, as the only trump card the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) can lay on the table in the [...]

The post Group scores Saraki high flays zoning arrangement appeared first on Tribune.


          GOP senator offers law to require presidential candidates release tax returns      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican Senator Ben Sasse discusses an ethics reform package he plans to introduce Thursday.

          'Huge advantage': Senate extends equity crowdfunding legislation      Cache   Translate Page      
Small businesses across the country are getting to fast-track fundraising after the Senate extended equity crowdfunding to proprietary companies. 
          GOP senator on 2016 election: Dumpster fire      Cache   Translate Page      
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) discusses President Trump's tweet where he blamed his Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the indictments of two GOP lawmakers.

          Chairs Urge Commerce Secretary to Expand U.S. “Entity List” to Include Chinese Government and State Security Entities in Xinjiang       Cache   Translate Page      

September 12, 2018                                                           

(Washington D.C.)--U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chair and Cochair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China respectively, released today a letter urging U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to expand the U.S. Government’s “Entity List” (Supplement 4, Part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations) to include Chinese government and state security entities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), as well as any businesses profiting from the expansion of the region’s surge in security spending.  The Chairs conclude that the “abuses occurring in the XUAR are contrary to the national security interests of the United States. U.S. companies should not be assisting in the expansion of China’s systems for surveillance, detection, and detention, or be complicit in what are gross violations of internationally recognized human rights occurring daily in the XUAR.”

The letter’s recommendations stem from testimony provided by independent experts and U.S. government witnesses at a CECC hearing entitled “Surveillance, Suppression, and Mass Detention: Xinjiang’s Human Rights Crisis” and is the second recent initiative of the Chairs to press for a robust U.S. response to the human rights situation in the XUAR.  The Chairs sent a bipartisan letter in August urging “Global Magnitsky” sanctions against senior Chinese government and Communist Party officials engaged in the repression of ethnic minorities in the XUAR.    

Text of Commerce letter below:

  September 12, 2018   The Honorable Wilbur Ross Secretary of Commerce U.S. Department of Commerce 1401 Constitution Ave NW Washington, D.C. 20230   Dear Secretary Ross:   Thank you for your response to our May 15, 2018 letter regarding controls on the sale by U.S. companies of surveillance and crime control technology for use by Chinese security forces and police.  Our concerns are particularly acute as they relate to the Chinese government’s pervasive surveillance and internment system targeting Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).   We appreciated the Department making Mr. Anthony Christino, Director of the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Foreign Policy Division, available to testify at a recent Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) hearing focused on the grave and deteriorating human rights situation in the XUAR.     Joining Mr. Christino on the hearing’s government panel was Ambassador Kelley Currie, U.S. Representative to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, who characterized the scope of the campaign against Uyghur Muslims as “truly breathtaking” and described how “over the past year, hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Uighur citizens of China—men, women and even children—have disappeared into state custody…”  Ambassador Currie focused specifically on the “highly intrusive, high-tech surveillance system in Xinjiang,” which includes:   “thousands of surveillance cameras, including in mosques; facial recognition software; obligatory content-monitoring apps on smartphones and GPS devices on cars; widespread new police outposts with tens of thousands of newly-hired police and even Party personnel embedded in people’s homes; and compulsory collection of vast biometric datasets on ethnic and religious minorities throughout the region, including DNA and blood samples, 3-D photos, iris scans, and voiceprints.”   The testimony of Ambassador Currie and other expert witnesses further underscored that the abuses occurring in the XUAR are contrary to the national security interests of the United States. U.S. companies should not be assisting in the expansion of China’s systems for surveillance, detection, and detention, or be complicit in what are gross violations of internationally recognized human rights occurring daily in the XUAR.   While we believe that longstanding export restrictions on the sale of crime control or detection instruments or equipment to the People’s Republic of China should prohibit all U.S. companies from aiding efforts to expand China’s high-tech surveillance and detention of ethnic minority populations in China, we urge you to also add Chinese government and state security entities in the XUAR, and any businesses profiting from the expansion of the region’s surge in security spending, to the U.S. Government’s “Entity List” (Supplement 4, Part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations).   During the course of his testimony, Mr. Christino said the Commerce Department, as a result of information provided by the CECC, was reviewing whether there is sufficient evidence to justify additional end-user restrictions for XUAR police and security forces, among others.  This was a welcomed acknowledgement.  Given the national integration of China’s state security apparatus, we believe there should also be a presumption of denial for any sale of technology or equipment that would make a direct and significant contribution to the police surveillance and detection system, including dual-use technology sold or resold to any elements of the Ministry of Public Security.  In response to a question at the hearing, Mr. Christino assured the Commissioners that the Commerce Department possesses sufficient authority, within the interagency process, to make such determinations.  Therefore, we respectfully request an update as to the status and anticipated timeline of this interagency process.   The U.S. government has clearly acknowledged the severity of the abuses in Xinjiang.  Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both voiced public concern about these abuses and have specifically focused on the proliferation of “political reeducation” centers or camps throughout the region.  Our export policy must reflect this reality.     We look forward to your response.   Sincerely,     Senator Marco Rubio                                                              Chair        Representative Chris Smith Cochair
          Scharia-Islam zieht in Humboldt-Uni ein: Veto der Studentenvertreter abgewiesen      Cache   Translate Page      
Berlin –  Aller Protest gegen das fundamentalistische Islam-Institut an der Berliner Humboldt-Universität hat nichts genützt. Das Verwaltungsgericht lehnt den Einspruch formal ab. Das fadenscheinige Argument: Das Veto hätte sich gegen den Akademischen Senat richten müssen. Dieser erzkonservative Islam-Wahnsinn [weiter lesen]
          Senate OKs Trump choice for IRS head over Democrats' protest      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) " The Senate has approved President Donald Trump's choice to become the new head of the IRS over the protests of many Democrats. They opposed the nomination because of a new IRS policy allowing some groups involved in politics to hide their donors' identities.The Senate voted 64-33 on Wednesday evening to confirm Beverly Hills tax attorney Charles Rettig as Internal Revenue Service commissioner. Democrats who voted against him did so even though they considered him [...]
          Deviating from McCain, Sen. Graham goes all in on Team Trump      Cache   Translate Page      
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) " By the end, Sen. John McCain had rejected President Donald Trump. The president was so infuriated by McCain he put a biting reference to the dying Republican senator in his stump speech. Yet one man in Washington still had hope for bridging the gap between the two."I regret that he didn't have more time with President Trump," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told The Associated Press this week about McCain, his late friend and mentor. Graham noted McCain was able [...]
          This is the Terrifying Reality of America's 'Deadly, Dangerous and Destabilizing Role' in Global Arms Supply      Cache   Translate Page      
Want to be part of peace? Stop working for, and investing in, these Big 5 arms manufacturers.

Most Americans want peace—in the world, in their country, and in their own homes and communities.

Even the most committed Trump supporter might want peace in Latin America and the Middle East—if it means “illegal” refugees stop “pouring” in to the USA.

Yet, somehow, U.S. “commandos” were deployed to 149 countries in 2017 alone.

Worse, according to a 2016 International Criminal Court report, U.S. troops allegedly committed war crimes in Afghanistan, and the U.S. military and CIA allegedly tortured at least 88 people in Poland, Romania, and other countries as well.

So why is it then that so many Americans work for private, for-profit companies profiting from war? And why are so many Americans invested financially in the merchants of death profiting from war and manufactured terror around the globe?

Perhaps it’s out of simple ignorance of a) not knowing where their money is invested and b) not knowing the U.S. companies that are manufacturing the weapons of death used by the U.S. and their frenemies around the world.

Enter CodePink’s new report, War Profiteers: The U.S. War Machine and the Arming of Repressive Regimes, a handy guide to the companies that manufacture weapons, and who they are selling them to. The report is primarily focused on Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon—the largest military manufacturers in the U.S., and their deals with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt.

“The United States is the leading purveyor of arms sales, global war and militarism,” the report notes. “With 800 military bases in 80 countries around the world, the U.S. has a larger military budget than the next seven countries combined, as well as an arms industry that dominates the global arms trade.”

The report delves into each of the Big Five arms manufacturers and their role and involvement in the murders of civilians and children around the world. It seems what are heralded as symbols of freedom in the U.S. are viewed as symbols of absolute destruction and death to the children who bear witness to the violence inflicted upon their communities by, for example, Apache helicopters or Eagle fighters (Boeing-made combat aircraft supplied to Israel).

Of course, it doesn’t help when U.S. leaders make threats and brag about their military or economic power and their access to “the button.” For example, the ICC’s recent accusations inspired national security adviser John Bolton to threaten the ICC as “illegitimate” and that the U.S. “will respond against the ICC and its personnel.”

Current U.S. leadership actions weren’t without foreshadowing by America’s military leaders of ages past. “Those who measure security solely in terms of offensive capacity distort its meaning and mislead those who pay them heed,” President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared decades ago. “No modern nation has ever equaled the crushing offensive power attained by the German war machine in 1939,” he continued. “No modern nation was broken and smashed as was Germany six years later.”

It’s not just the arrogant language leaders use, but also the corruption of language. The report notes that, “Officially sanctioned terms like ‘defense’ and ‘security’ act as a subterfuge to diminish and camouflage the deadly, dangerous and destabilizing role that the United States is playing in the world.”

The cost of that coopting and corruption of language and perversion of justice and humanity resonates deeply throughout the world, on an emotional, economic, and even spiritual level. Even Eisenhower, the report also notes, said, “The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every State House, every office of the Federal government. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”

So why is it, then, that so many Americans continue to work for the companies profiting from heinous wars? It probably isn’t Raytheon’s corny “Forget Silicon Valley: Working for a defense contractor is surprisingly cool” campaign that is attracting people to military subcontractors.

The numbers of people working in this sector—nearly half a million officially in the Big Five mentioned in the report—is troublesome considering the number of EPA employees who have left under the Trump administration: an “exodus” of over 1,600 employees who are refusing to be a part of the problem rather than the solution.

As Eisenhower said, “Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.” That can start by moving your money—and your employment—to a different sector. But first, arm yourself with knowledge.

You can access the full CodePink report here.

This article was produced by Local Peace Economy, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

 

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          The MRC Loved McCain, Except When He Got in Its Way -- And Doesn't Particularly Love Him Now That He's Dead      Cache   Translate Page      

The Media Research Center was never going to miss John McCain upon his death. It has long despised McCain for being a frequent guest on Sunday morning news shows; for instance, Tim Graham ranted in 2013 about how those shows consider him a "dream guest" because he's a "squishy" Republican and has "done 60 Sunday shows just since 2010." Jeffrey Lord similarly huffed that "McCain has every reason to prefer the mainstream media to conservative media precisely because conservative media is more than willing and capable of holding him -- and other Republican ObamaCare supporters -- to task for their bold and deliberate hypocrisy."

The MRC particularly hated him for his decisive vote last year to stop a Republican effort to repeal Obamacare, and even having an incurable brain tumor didn't stop the hate. As one MRC writer put it (in boldface, no less), "Having an illness, no matter how serious, precludes neither the President nor the public from judging Senator McCain’s political acumen on its merits."

It clearly grated on the collective nerves of the MRC that McCain was lionized upon his death. But it had to publish something about it, so it focused on reliving the one time it consistently defended him: the 2008 presidential election, when it's contractually obligated to defend the Republican candidate no matter what -- and then only to defend the honor of McCain's vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.

Curtis Houck complained that Vox tweeted that "[y]ou can draw a straight line from John McCain to Donald Trump — through Sarah Palin" and freaked out over Vox misattributing Palin's hockey-mom joke to the wrong speech, then cheered how Vox was "ripped on Twitter" over the claims (meanwhile, the MRC's falsehood that Time Warner Cable was still a part of Time Warner at the time of its merger deal with AT&T remains live and uncorrected, and the MRC still hasn't told us which editors allowed the white nationalist hyperlinks in Tom Blumer's NewsBusters posts to stand).

Kyle Drennen huffed that "Amid glowing tributes to the life and career of Arizona Senator John McCain on Monday, MSNBC took time to use the Republican lawmaker’s passing to trash his 2008 vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin, labeling McCain’s selection of the then-Alaska governor as his 'biggest political mistake.'" Brad Wilmouth similarly whined that "several personalities on both CNN and MSNBC have lamented his selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee in 2008 as a 'mistake'."

You know who else that picking Palin was a mistake? John McCain. Drennen didn't mention that; Wilmouth did note it, though it didn't keep him from insisting on framing his piece as blaming folks on TV for calling it a mistake.

Scott Whitlock rehashed negative 2008 coverage of McCain's campaign as a counter to positive coverage of him after his death, claiming that "journalists weren’t so fond of McCain when he dared to stand in the way of Barack Obama." But can't both be true, that McCain was ultimately a decent person and that he ran a terrible campaign in 2008?

The MRC also worked Trump into it. Tim Graham complained that "Time.com published a glowing eulogy video of McCain above a typical expression of disgust at President Trump's failure to behave like a traditional politician and say glowing things about someone you didn't like one bit (and who banned the president from his funeral)." Houck, meanwhile, whined about CNN's alleged "obsession with tying McCain tributes to President Donald Trump, the latter’s attacks on the former, and how McCain was the anti-Trump."

The MRC's Geoffrey Dickens also wrote an unironic piece titled "Media Loved McCain EXCEPT When He Got in Their Way." He failed to point out that this more accurately describes his employer.


          If Sessions is fired, Trump could be stuck with no replacement      Cache   Translate Page      
The possible axing of Jeff Sessions is giving Republican senators a migraine.
          Senatorerna som röstar mot Trumps agenda mest      Cache   Translate Page      
Kan vi se ett mönster här kanske? Senatorerna som inte röstar som Trump vill i kongressen är så klart demokrater, men inte vilka som helst. Politikerna som det spekuleras mest kring inför presidentvalet 2020 finns som av en slump alla med på denna topplista; Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders och Elizabeth Warren. Och överst … Fortsätt läsa Senatorerna som röstar mot Trumps agenda mest
          Egan: New hope, but same owner — can Sens go young, go long?      Cache   Translate Page      
Lest there be any doubt, the Ottawa Senators made it official Wednesday: The team will be “blowed” up, but good, in a rebuild that will take years, require mountains of patience and rest on the fortunes of players untested in the NHL. The team invited a number a media outlets to a boardroom in the […]
          Procedural Clerk - Parliament of Canada, Senate - Ottawa, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
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          New York state Senate candidate Julia Salazar: Netanyahu aide sexually assaulted me      Cache   Translate Page      
New York state Senate candidate Julia Salazar: Netanyahu aide sexually assaulted me  NBCNews.comNew York state Senate candidate accuses Netanyahu spokesman of sexual assault  Fox News[UPDATE] Julia Salazar Says Daily Caller 'Outed' ...
          High crime      Cache   Translate Page      
Since President Trump has been terrifying us about a huge national crime epidemic, it's time to mention that we have a doozy in Arkansas. There's been nothing like it in at least a hundred years.

Since President Trump has been terrifying us about a huge national crime epidemic, it's time to mention that we have a doozy in Arkansas. There's been nothing like it in at least a hundred years.

But the predators are the white-collar kind and they only corrupt government and empty the public purse. The politicians who are headed to prison are God-fearing Christians who were elected for their piety, and they and probably their criminal collaborators wouldn't harm a hair on your head. Friends and pastors testify at their sentencings about the good they do when they aren't conniving to steal from the public accounts or giving their friends and benefactors the pass code to tens of millions of dollars of Medicaid largesse and state general-improvement funds.

For three years, the prints have carried stories about the fraud at a little Bible college outside the Ozark hamlet of Elm Springs that no one had heard of outside the rural township where Ecclesia College trained a few dozen youngsters in Bible studies, Christian counseling or sports management. State Sen. Jon Woods set up a scheme to get a dozen or so fellow legislators from Northwest Arkansas to channel some $700,000 of your taxes to the college's president so he could buy real estate around the rural school and then kick back part of the money to Woods and his friend Rep. Micah Neal.

Woods got 18 years and four months in federal prison last week and was ordered to pay $1,626,500 in restitution. The judge listened to pleas to go easy on this wonderful Christian man, but the judge was unmoved, noting that it took nearly three weeks for prosecutors to put on the evidence of all his crimes. It seemed, the judge said, that Woods had nothing on his mind as a public servant but to make money for himself and his friends, including a big salary for his girlfriend from a Missouri corporation that was trying to get deeper into the Arkansas Medicaid trough.

So far, only six legislators have been convicted or charged with crimes in the investigation of a Northwest Arkansas planning district's distribution of lawmakers' pot of surplus state funds. Many other lawmakers have been implicated in the schemes, although most of them so far seem not to have criminal culpability — only ignorance or bad judgment. Lobbyists and consultants who collaborated with them are going to jail, along with the Ecclesia president.

Jon Woods was emblematic of a modern breed of legislator, one who, as observed last week by Rex Nelson, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist and Arkansas promoter, runs for the legislature just to make a good living. He looked for ways to monetize everything. A fellow Republican senator had reported a bribe offer from Woods in 2011, when there were fears that the three Democrats on the state Board of Apportionment would throw neighboring Republicans into the same district to get rid of a few of them and create more Democratic openings. Woods told his colleague that for $10,000 he would move into another district. But the Democrats didn't gerrymander them and both kept their seats. Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Sulphur Springs) was obliged to report the attempted bribery to the prosecutor, but he refused to wear a microphone and tape Woods, which would have exposed a rising Republican star. When Woods landed a swell apartment in the state building across the street from the Capitol, fellow Republican Sen. Denny Altes of Fort Smith was envious and paid Woods $5,000 to rent his taxpayer-subsidized apartment.

Last year, Mike Maggio, a Republican circuit judge, went to prison for 10 years for taking a bribe arranged by the former state Republican chairman and Republican leader of the state Senate to cut $4.2 million from the judgment against a nursing-home titan for the family of a woman who died from mistreatment in a nursing home. The bribe came through a series of sham political action committees.

You might remember Ted Suhl and Justin Harris, whose Arkansas misdeeds made the national news in 2015 and 2016. Suhl, a supporter and benefactor of Gov. Mike Huckabee, ran a behavioral residential facility in Northeast Arkansas called The Lord's Ranch, which operated with millions of federal and state dollars. Suhl flew Huckabee around the country on his plane. In 2016, he was convicted and sentenced to seven years in federal prison and fined $200,000 for bribing a state administrator and former legislator to get more tax money sent to The Lord's Ranch. Suhl transmitted the bribe through the politician's West Memphis church.

Harris was a state representative at West Fork who started a preschool and daycare called Growing God's Kingdom, which got 90 percent of its money from the state and special favors from the state Division of Children and Family Services. He used his legislative muscle to control the state office, including adopting two girls, age 3 and 5, for which social workers said the Harrises were not proper parents. Harris deemed the girls possessed by Satan and kept them locked in a room, even while claiming state payments for them daily at his preschool. He finally "rehomed" them to a friend, who was convicted of sexually abusing one of them. The legislature finally made Harris' actions criminal — in the future, not applying to him.

Nelson, the communications director for three Republican politicians and who does not go around badmouthing politicians, made another subtle observation: that the new breed of legislator, whether a member or not, tends to show up at every interim committee meeting, sign the sheet for his $150-or-so per diem and go about his business.

Just the other day they showed up in droves for a meeting of Governor Hutchinson's celebrated regulation-killing committee. Among other empty gestures, they abolished the lengthy rules adopted some 40 years ago on how to operate vehicle-safety inspection stations, which themselves were ended two decades ago. The rules were in a dusty file, not costing the state a dime or anyone inconvenience. It allowed the governor to brag about vast tax savings by ending corrosive regulations.

Modern state government at work.


          Throw the bums in the legislature out      Cache   Translate Page      
Jon Woods, the former state senator, got a whopping 18-year federal prison sentence last week from Judge Timothy Brooks, who described Woods' criminality as "grotesque" and "depraved."

Jon Woods, the former state senator, got a whopping 18-year federal prison sentence last week from Judge Timothy Brooks, who described Woods' criminality as "grotesque" and "depraved."

They are words suitable for a legislative culture that he encouraged and which argues persuasively for term limits.

So far, Woods, Micah Neal, Jake Files, Eddie Cooper, Hank Wilkins, Mickey Gates and Jeremy Hutchinson have been accused or convicted of recent crimes. But felonious corruption is only part of the story.

Nearly every Republican legislator in Northwest Arkansas pumped money into the criminal enterprise known as Ecclesia College. One of them, Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs), also sent money to a preacher pal from the unconstitutional General Improvement Fund handouts and his only regret seemed to be that he hadn't sent more.

Sen. Jim Hendren (R-Sulphur Springs), the governor's nephew and Jeremy Hutchinson's cousin, became an ethics crusader this year — after indictments started. But it turns out he'd gotten a bribe offer from Woods in 2012 and declined to cooperate with the FBI on snaring Woods. He spent four years working with him on big issues without a peep about the crook, guest of honor at a campaign fundraiser featuring Uncle Asa shortly before Woods abruptly withdrew from the race, expecting an indictment.

Big issues? Under the guise of "ethics reform," Woods engineered a constitutional amendment that has all but tripled legislative pay and extended the time they may serve in office. He also helped work out a mulligan system for ethics violations and protected a fat pay supplement through untaxed per diem. This has created a class of legislators, like Woods, who have no visible means of support outside of signing the attendance sheet for interim committee meetings.

If that's not enough money, another legislator described to the FBI how Woods had counseled him on creating a bogus job as paid "consultant" to nonprofit agencies that depend on state funding.

Jeremy Hutchinson and former Senate President Michael Lamoureux provide the template. They landed consultant and legal fees from private business, special interest lobbies and agencies that draw from the multibillion-dollar Medicaid budget.

There are other ways to make friends. Jake Files' proposal to limit lawsuits against nursing homes couldn't have hurt him in receiving an $80,000 advance from a nursing home executive. Bob Ballinger sent money to Ecclesia, which then hired him to do legal work on land deals financed with money he sent the college.

No telling how many lucrative favors Rusty Cranford, lobbyist and health company executive, passed out to legislators on his way to a multicount federal indictment. Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D-Little Rock), for example, was paid a fee by one of Cranford's employers to deliver a talk on diversity. It was duly reported as income by Chesterfield. But really. Is it a good idea, even if legal, for a company receiving Medicaid money to hire legislators for speech-making?

So much rot and so little space. After the Arkansas Supreme Court outlawed use of tax money to pay private chambers of commerce, Jon Woods worked up an amendment to legalize the payments. That money subsidizes salaries of people who favor lawsuit limits, low pay, poor unemployment and workers comp benefits and miserly health care. It should be no surprise that they don't want term limits to shorten the tenure of experienced public servants like Jon Woods.


          Aircraft Registration Fee Increase      Cache   Translate Page      

Aircraft registration fees increased on November 1, 2017 in accordance with Oklahoma Senate Bill 433, signed into law in May.  Aircrafts purchased on or after November 1, 2017 will be registered using the new rates.  All renewals beginning with the 2018 renewal period will be renewed with the new rate.  Any aircraft purchased on or before October 31, 2017 will be registered at the old rate and renewed for 2018 at the new rate.


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Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) discusses President Trump's tweet where he blamed his Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the indictments of two GOP lawmakers.

          Comment on After Nair Resignation, GUSA Senate Demands Rahman, Bennett Resign by Gtown Alum      Cache   Translate Page      
Why does the withholding of information automatically mean that there was a disregard for "the safety of sexual assault survivors and the work of student advocates at-large"? Unless it can be shown that any of these people either actively or passively participated in the alleged acts of misconduct, I have reservations about claiming that these people had an obligation to take action. If they knew the names of the alleged victims (who I believe have not come forward on their own) does this mean that they had an obligation to make those individuals' private matters public for the victims' own good and the good of others? Respectfully, I don't think so. The situation does not present any immunity from defamation for any individual who chooses to come forward. Coming forward is a brave act and not without its own consequences. First and foremost, the individuals involved are students who presumably have a right not to have their lives scarred by a witch hunt. The tenor of this article begs the question...if GUSA can function without an Executive Body until February, why is an executive body necessary in the first place?
          Comment on After Nair Resignation, GUSA Senate Demands Rahman, Bennett Resign by HoyAlum      Cache   Translate Page      
What is missing is a demand for not only students, but also university administration, to be investigated. Sahil Nair was disallowed from speaking at New Student Orientation--does anyone believe that Georgetown admin had no idea? Asking the students on senior exec to step down is all fine and good, but who is looking into the adults "in charge"--the forty year old men and women who may or may not have helped overlook a sexual assault.
          Avsnitt 151: Anonymt och inte så anonymt motstånd      Cache   Translate Page      
Den anonyma debattartikeln i New York Times fortsätter att skapa rubriker, Obama kampanjar för Demokraterna och Kavanaugh har överlevt senatsförhören. Dessutom: hur bra var egentligen Woodwards bok?

Medverkande: Anders Ask, utrikesredaktör på Ekot, Ivar Ekman, programledare för Konflikt i P1, Roland Poirier Martinsson, författare och konservativ skribent.  Programledare: Sara Stenholm Pihl Producent: Åsa Secher
          Mais où est donc passé le "grand démocrate" (à 7 209,74 € par mois) qui prétendait détruire les nationalistes ?      Cache   Translate Page      

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          Why the Legal Marijuana Industry Might Be More Responsible Than Silicon Valley      Cache   Translate Page      

This season on Slate’s podcast Working, host Jordan Weissmann is focusing in on an emerging industry: marijuana. In this Slate Plus members-only podcast, Chau Tu talks to Weissmann about what he’s learned, why the pot industry might be more responsible than tech, and whether we really can credit President Trump for improving the U.S. economy.

* * *

This transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Chau Tu: So since we last spoke, you’ve taken over as the new host of Slate’s podcast Working. You’re in your second season now—what are you trying to bring to listeners?

Jordan Weissmann: I am on my second season, it’s been a lot of fun hosting the show. The first round was me sort of getting my sea legs. It was just like a grab bag of Jordan’s various interests, that was Season 1. I talked to a tattoo artist and the guy who does Wes Anderson’s soundtracks and an art auctioneer and archaeologist at one point. It was sort of all over the place, but people who I would just personally want to have a chat with.

This season has a theme, and it’s a fun theme, I think. I went to Colorado to talk to people who work in the state’s legal cannabis industry, everyone from the CEO who runs the dispensary company to the guy who literally trims the marijuana buds before they go on sale. I’ve talked to a lawyer, a marijuana researcher at a university, a chef, a baker, all kinds of folks just kind of all over the business.

There are a few reasons I wanted to [do this theme]. I talked about the first one, I think, at the beginning of the first episode, so forgive me if you’ve heard this already, but the inspiration came at a wedding I went to recently. For some reason, every time I have gone to a wedding in the past couple of years, I’ve ended up in a conversation with somebody who is working in the marijuana industry. And I think it has to do with the fact that I keep going to weddings in Colorado and California—

That might be it!

Or it might be very specific to my circle of friends, I don’t know. But like, one person was a private equity guy who is working with marijuana startups. And another person works at a tech company that essentially provides point of sale systems to a dispensaries that also help them keep track of different regulations so they don’t accidentally break the law, which is kind of easy to do in this industry. And they were all just like really fun, interesting chats with people, which is kind of notoriously difficult at a wedding, where you’re kind of stuck eating canapes and making small talk. And I thought, if I can have this much fun talking to random folks about this I meet at a party, I think it’d be great to do a podcast about it. And so I got Slate’s permission, and I went and did it.

And just aside from what sparked it, I think it’s a really good time to talk to people in the business. Because it seems to be at this sort of inflection point where everyone realizes it’s probably going to be legal in the long term. Jeff Sessions is not going to come and stamp out all these dispensaries now. It looks like the Trump administration is going to let it just kind of do its thing. And a lot more money is starting to flow in and you’re beginning to see the green shoots of sort of the corporate marijuana business. So it seems like a good time to meet people and talk to them before things get too corporate. When it’s becoming more respectable, when it’s becoming more mainstream but hasn’t quite become big weed yet.

What are you finding about the people that are in the industry right now?

It was really a fun season to put together because of just the vast array of personalities I encountered. Some people traveled to Colorado to get into the industry, moved there because they wanted to work in marijuana. Some kind of fell into it. I talked to people about their backstories. And that’s kind of the fun thing about Working in general is not just finding out about the minutia of people’s days, but it’s finding out about their lives and who they are. It’s kind of a way to see the person. So it’s everyone from the corporate chef I met who actually doesn’t have any taste buds.

Oh wow.

Yeah, right? It’s a really great chat I had with her and learning how in some ways that may actually make her better at her job. Which kind of makes sense when you learn how you have to cook with marijuana and on a kind of mass production scale.

Talking to the trimmer I mentioned before, I wasn’t quite sure exactly what to expect going into that conversation because how much is there to say about sitting over a table and just cutting the leaves off marijuana and it actually may have been my favorite interview I’ve done in the course of doing this show. It was just a fun, fascinating conversation about his life and how he looks at his job and why he gets excited about that kind of work and labor and the things you learn in the course of it.

And you get a combination of sort of the slightly stereotypical stoners, but also some really just like business-minded motherfuckers. The last episode that went up was with the CEO and he basically got into the business through a series of acquisitions with family money. He convinced his family to go in on this business right as it was kind of gaining steam in Colorado and they’ve been successful. And he’s just very much about like, how do I get my energy costs down? And if you get him to talk about weed, his favorite weed, he will. But that’s really not where his focus is.

Another, I won’t say surprising thing, but I think a theme you’ll notice in the episodes that some people might not expect, is how—obsessed isn’t the right word—but how conscientious people are about regulations and not breaking the law and wanting to not seem like a bunch of irresponsible stoners. They want everyone to know this is a legit industry. And of course you talk to anybody in any business, they are going to try to present themselves in the best way possible for the most part. They are going to say, “Oh yeah, we care about the law and we’re careful about not breaking it,” but it wasn’t just when people were on tape or when I was interviewing them. It was also just like inside conversations when I was walking into dispensaries or walking into a greenhouse, just every little thing you could tell that was really the forefront of people’s minds. Yeah, I’m the media, but it seems like people, at least my impression, is that people are really determined to not step over the line and to do everything by the book so that they can convince people that this industry deserves to exist and thrive and grow.

It was funny because, when I was there, it was the week that there were some controversies over Facebook and Twitter and responsibility for fake news and Alex Jones and all of that. And I was having a conversation with a guy who was staying with, a friend who actually works in tech and had actually sort of been part of what you might call a socially responsible, social media startup at one point. And we were having a conversation about whether or not Twitter and Facebook even are capable of being responsible, right? Like if it’s in their DNA to be responsible or if it’s just like not in the business model. And I had this thought that, at the very least, the marijuana industry strikes me is a lot more responsible than tech. At the very least, these people all seem like they’re coming in and really care about doing everything by the book and they’ve sort of been trained to because they know all hell will come down on their heads if they don’t. Whereas you got these other industries where it’s sort of like, “eh, social business responsibility, legal responsibility, meh.”

That’s interesting. It’s like they’re more disciplined already.

Yeah, just because they are so highly regulated. Everything, they are walking on eggshells to some extent. There has at least been one kind of widely reported, well-known incident in Colorado where a dispensary was breaking the law and essentially selling people more marijuana than they were supposed to and those people were taking it across state lines and unloading it. And they got the death penalty, they got shut down. That’s kind of hanging over people’s heads is that they know, oh yeah, if you mess up, you’re out of business. It’s not a slap on the wrist. This is not to say that the people in this industry are saints, because obviously ...

And I expect that as it grows and becomes more corporate, you’re going to get bad actors and you’re going to get controversies and scandals and people doing things that they shouldn’t be purely for profit and you’re going to get them lobbying for things that, that may not be in the public’s best interest, but for now at least, my early impression is that the people getting into it really do have a sense of conscientiousness.

And it must be fascinating just to see like a new industry kind of at its infancy, right?

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, yeah, people already say it’s getting kind of crowded, right? But these are early days, it’s not even fully legalized. It’s not very often that you get to see an infant industry, like you said, sort of take its first steps.

Yeah, figure it out on their own.

It’s not quite a toddler anymore, it’s maybe like a 3- or 4-year-old, they’re learning to talk. But it’s really still early days and it’s fun to get a picture of it at that moment.

Although it’s funny, I talked with a guy who essentially heads cultivation for one of these dispensaries, he’s like a marijuana farmer. He works now in this 120,000-square-foot greenhouse, which is, it’s big for marijuana. It’s not big agriculture though. And he’s already talking about how he kind of misses the good old days working in the small, like converted warehouse, downtown—

In a closet.

Yeah, exactly, it wasn’t good for growing weed really. The environment and the production process is infinitely better now. But he’s already looking back at the old days and I’m like, you guys have barely begun. So there’s already a sense of nostalgia for some people for when it was really just getting started and they were all kind of pirates. And there definitely was a period clearly when everyone was kind of a pirate.

I talked to a marijuana lawyer. He co-leads the weed practice at this fairly large law firm with an office in Denver. And he said “Early on, my clients were basically drug dealers.” That’s effectively what they were. And now he spends all of his time doing M&A. Like that’s how it’s already changing. Now it’s all mergers and acquisitions because that’s where the industry has started to go. And he’s become totally corporate. But there was a few years back.

So how are you choosing the people that you’re talking to?

Some of it was just doing some research into the industry and saying, well, I need to talk to this kind of person, I need to talk to this kind of person. The trimmer, for instance, I had been reading about that job and thought, that seems like a person that no one thinks about. I should talk to a trimmer. Obviously you need to talk a dispensary manager, or a bud tender, as the cashiers are called—they’re the face, they’re the person you meet when you walk in. I wanted to meet someone who cooks with edibles, a baker or a corporate chef because I like to cook. So, what is it like when you’re doing it with a controlled substance? And some of it was just kind of you stumble into, you talk to one person, they say, oh, you should, chat with X person at this dispensary, and that leads you.

There’s gonna be a bunch of stuff on the cutting-room floor by the end, unfortunately. But we ended up doing about 14 interviews in the three days we were there. So we just met a lot of people and we tried to pick some of the best of it for our episodes.

So what do you think you were most surprised by in your reporting?

Everyone was extremely conscientious and I didn’t find that shocking. There were points where I was a bit surprised by just how corporate some of the folks seemed. In the episode that’s up right now, I talked to the CEO of one of the larger dispensary chains in Colorado, a guy named Alex Levine who owns and co-runs Green Dragon. And when I walked into their dispensary, one of their dispensaries, I looked over to the left and there was like a conference room right next to it. Like I guess it was sort of corporate headquarters, but it’s like, to the right, there’s the marijuana, to the left there are the PowerPoint presentations. And he’s admitted that sometimes they get compared to negatively to Starbucks.

But I was a little taken aback by how businesslike they were. In retrospect, probably I shouldn’t be because those are the businesses that are going to succeed. It’s not the guys who are running around wearing tie dye and kind of spaced out, it’s going to be the ones who treat it like a business. The way you treat beer like a business or anything else.

Is there anything else that you want to mention about this season or about the podcast?

Yeah, so I think that it’s going to be really fun for anyone to listen to, even if you’re not a stoner. Even if you’re not really into marijuana, which frankly, I’m not. My wife’s a prosecutor; I do not have marijuana in my house. But I do think it’s just as a portrait of an industry, it’s really interesting. I think it’s a great time just to talk to these people. And I think you’ll find some really great human stories in it if you give it a listen.

Great. Well you can find that at slate.com/working. And meanwhile you’re still reporting on business and the economy for Slate. And this week, the White House had a presentation about how the economy has supposedly improved under Trump. So what happened there, is that true?

I mean yeah, the economy’s gotten better under Trump, but the White House wants to make a very specific argument, which is not that Trump has improved the economy some or that the economy’s getting better under Donald Trump. It’s that things changed dramatically when Trump was elected. That’s the argument they’re making. It’s like, there was one trend. Things were kind of not going so well under Obama. And then things got better after November 2016.

And Kevin Hassett, who’s the chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, got up with a bunch of graphs and try to make this presentation. And I have a piece up on Slate about why it’s sort of lying with pictures. And I’m not going to bore you with a lot of the wonky stuff. Again, it’s online if you want to read it. But this is the thing to keep in mind: Again, Donald Trump probably deserves some credit for the state of the economy right now. Why? Well, among other things, he signed a giant fucking tax cut, and he increased government spending. And even if you don’t think tax cuts are going to have the long-term benefits for workers and the economy that Republicans suggest, that they’re not going to raise wages quite the way that conservatives have a predicted they will. It’s still just adds a bunch of money sloshing around the economy. Same with the increased government spending. Just like if you believe in the idea that the government can stimulate the economy, you got to believe there’s some stimulus going on right at this moment. So yeah, Donald Trump has probably given the economy a little bit of a boost just through being really loose with the budget.

Is it possible other things he has done may have helped the economy around the edges? Yeah, it’s possible. Small business optimism at least by some measures skyrocketed after the election because a lot of small business owners, at least the ones that get surveyed, tend to be Republicans. And so they were just like happy. And it’s possible that maybe they made some investment decisions based on being happy. Maybe having Donald Trump in the White House just like gave them a little boost and they decided to buy a little extra equipment for their business or something like that. Again, we’re talking about things around the edges.

So the idea is not to deny Donald Trump any credit whatsoever for what’s going on right now. In so far as things are good. It’s just, it’s how you need to push back, again, what you should be skeptical of is this idea that everything changed when Donald Trump became president. A lot of the things that we are experiencing now or just the continuation of trends that were happening under President Obama, and have to do with just sort of the natural healing of the economy after the great recession.

And so Trump also recently mentioned making that trade agreement with Mexico, which would basically rebrand NAFTA. So what’s going on there? What should we take away from this agreement and what he’s trying to do here?

Yeah, so this gets a little bit complicated, but a couple of weeks back, Donald Trump announced that he had come to a preliminary deal with Mexico. Obviously he has been trying to renegotiate all of NAFTA, which involves Mexico, United States, and Canada. They have not reached a preliminary deal with Canada yet. However, essentially the Trump administration needed to submit a notice to Congress with 90 days lead time saying that they were going to sign a new NAFTA. It’s for legal reasons, but they needed to do it that week because if they didn’t, that means that the next Mexican administration was going to come in before have a chance to sign it and they want to sign the deal with the current administration.

So that that’s like the technical reasons why it had to hit that deadline. It’s a little bit self-imposed. It wasn’t necessarily a hard deadline and you can see it wasn’t totally hard deadline because essentially they submitted the notice to Congress saying “We’ve got a deal with Mexico and we’re gonna sign one with Canada too, if they agree to participate. If Canada says they’re on board, they can sign as well.”

The Trump administration has worked out the two ways issues with Mexico, now they’re back to negotiating with Canada. And my take is generally that this is all eventually going to fall in line. There will probably be a three way NAFTA deal. NAFTA does not look like it’s going to be broken up. We’re not going to withdraw from NAFTA. Again, this is me predicting, who knows with Trump, things can always go wrong at the last minute. But in a lot of ways, yeah, it looks like he is going to put his stamp on this deal.

And some people have said it’s merely rebranding. I think that is actually a little bit unfair. In the end, if you’re going to renegotiate NAFTA, you’re not going to totally change the core of the deal because the core of the deal is like low tariffs, what he’s renegotiating are things like, the use of arbitration panels in investor and state disputes, which are a really hot topic on the left. He’s renegotiating how much of a car has to be made within North America for it to count for low tariffs. And the new deal would require that a certain amount of a car he produced by workers that make at least $16 an hour to qualify as tariff under NAFTA, which is a first. It’s sort of like a minimum wage for auto workers essentially, or like a kind of a loose minimum wage.

These are substantive changes. Again, it’s not totally changing the nature of the deal, but it’s more than a tweak. So, some things will make it better. Some things people might be less happy with. There are I think a lot of people in the left may be displeased with the new protections for intellectual property that are in there.

But we could end up with a new NAFTA under Trump and as I wrote a couple of weeks back, I think if this actually does happen, if he actually does sign a new version of the deal, his ultimate accomplishment might sort of be ending the NAFTA wars. For all these decades we’ve been fighting over this trade deal, which in a lot of ways was much less economically significant than say, trade with China. In terms of its effect on manufacturing and wages and workers. But it’s always been symbolically extremely important. And NAFTA has always been this rhetorical punching bag, people forget that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008 promised to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw and that didn’t really happen. But still, it’s always been just the target of so much ire. And if Donald Trump actually renegotiates it, it leaves us in this interesting situation where Democrats have kind of come to embrace free trade, partly as a reaction to Donald Trump and partly just because of who makes up the Democratic Party now, and Republicans are, I’m guessing, are going to kind of support the new NAFTA just because their guy negotiated it. It’s going to be Donald Trump’s big accomplishment.

So people might finally just stop arguing about this. It’s possible that NAFTA will no longer be controversial. I think. Anyway, that’s my guess. And so it’s weird, but I think—and this is what I’ve argued, and God help me if I turn out to be wrong—but I think it’s possible that Donald Trump is actually going to end up being the guy who saves NAFTA in the end. And who the fuck would have thought?

I guess we’ll see. What other stories do you think you’re going to be keeping your eye on for the rest of the year?

For the rest of the year? Oh, I mean, who knows? I’m really interested in what’s going to happen during the lame duck session, if anything, right? Like, if Republicans lose control of the House or Senate or both during the midterms, I am deeply interested in what they’re going to try to do at the last minute while they still have power. What kind of wacky shit they try to pass, if anything. So that’s one thing that I’m intrigued by and that’s like looking way forward. I don’t have an answer to that. Some people were wondering if they would try to take another stab at healthcare, but so far it looks like they’re not going to do that. So, cross your fingers. But I don’t know, that’s one thing that sort of in the back of my mind: What last minute hijinks will the Republican Party do if it loses last grasp on power on Capitol Hill?


          Changes to LNG Filings      Cache   Translate Page      

Effective January 1, 2014, in accordance with Senate Bill 519, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) will be taxed at five cents ($.05) per diesel gallon equivalent (dge).
The tax shall be collected upon the first sale of liquefied natural gas by a wholesaler to a retailer or end-user and the tax is imposed upon, and shall be the liability of any such wholesaler to remit the same to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Vehicles powered with Liquefied Natural Gas will no longer require a flat fee decal.


Helpful Links:
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          Senate OKs Trump choice for IRS head over Democrats' protest      Cache   Translate Page      
The Senate has approved President Donald Trump's choice to become the new head of the IRS over the protests of many Democrats.
          Julia Salazar Explains Why She's Running for New York State Senate       Cache   Translate Page      
Julia Salazar is a 27-year-old, Latina, a Democratic Socialist feminist, and first-time candidate for office, in New York's 18th District.
          John Kerry Accused Of Violating Logan Act After He Admits To Secret Iran Talks      Cache   Translate Page      

Though he previously denied it when allegations first surfaced last Spring, former Secretary of State John Kerry has now disclosed he's personally had semi-frequent face to face contact with top Iranian officials to discuss US-Iran relations since Trump entered office.

Kerry confirmed and explained in detail his recent meetings with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt to promote his new memoir, Every Day Is Extra.

During the interview Kerry disclosed that he met with Zarif "three or four times" and discussed political issues and challenges between the United States and Iran in what could constitute a significant and clear violation of the Logan Act

Back when Kerry was actually authorized to do this sort of thing as Secretary of State under Obama in 2015. Via the Iran Project

Though it's almost never been enforced, the 1799 Logan Act states that unauthorized diplomacy with foreign powers by private American citizens is a crime. Notably, two Trump-connected individuals that prominent Liberals and editorials demanded be prosecuted under the Logan Act include former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

When asked point blank during the radio show about his rumored meetings with top Iran officials, Kerry admitted, "I think I've seen him three or four times," but attempted to claim he was not trying to "coach" Iran on how to navigate President Trump's pullout of the Iran nuclear deal.

Kerry is of course now a private citizen out of government but holds significant clout and influence with the Iran FM as the two hammered out the details of the JCPOA brokered under President Obama in the first place. 

However, by Kerry's own explanation it looks precisely like he was doing this: "What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better," Kerry said. He also shared his belief that American policy in the Middle East would be much better off if the White House had stayed in the agreement, and that the global community would be more stable and secure. 

It sure sounds like unauthorized diplomacy behind Trump's back by a high ranking member of the former administration to us...

Soon after the interview, some Iran hawks in Congress took to Twitter to decry the hypocrisy of the whole thing. 

Here's a key part of the transcript via the Hugh Hewitt Show:

Hugh Hewitt: Okay, it’s been reported you’ve met with him a couple of times at least since leaving office as well. So you still…

John Kerry: Yes, I have. That’s accurate.

HH: And is it a half dozen times, a dozen times?

JK: No. No, no, no. I met with him at a conference in Norway. I think I saw him in a conference in Munich at the World Economic Forum. So I’ve probably seen him three or four times.

HH: Are you trying to coach him through the Trump administration’s rejection of the JCPOA?

JK: No, that’s not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that’s not how it works. What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better. You know, how does one resolve Yemen? What do you do to try to get peace in Syria? I mean, those are the things that really are preoccupying, because those are the impediments to people, to Iran’s ability to convince people that it’s ready to embrace something different. I mean, and I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif, and told him look, you guys need to recognize that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen. You’re supporting you know, an ongoing struggle there They say they’re prepared to negotiate and to resolve these issues. But the administration’s taken a very different tack. I don’t know as I talk to you today if there’s been any dialogue or sit down. I don’t think there has, which would open up any kind of diplomatic channel. And it appears right now as if the administration is hell bent for leather determined to pursue a regime change strategy to bring the economy down and try to isolate further. And I would simply caution that the United States historically has not had a great record in regime change strategies, number one. And number two, that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for any Iranian leader to sit down and negotiate anything, because they’re not going to do it in a capitulatory, you know, situation. It’s just not going to happen.

It certainly appears that Kerry by his own admission is indeed trying to "coach" the Iranian FM on how to deal with the current White House. And the discussions clearly included chiding the Trump administration over its Iran policy while in Kerry's own words the "open[ing] of diplomatic channels" was on his mind. 

Meanwhile some Republican lawmakers have already, hours after the interview, unleashed charges that Kerry is engaged in rogue diplomacy and is undermining the active, elected administration.  

It was only a matter of time before he put his foot in his mouth, and promoting his new book means we're likely about to hear a lot more self implicating details spilled. 


          100% Disabled Veterans Sales Tax Exemption Expanded       Cache   Translate Page      

As a result of Senate Bill 46 the sales tax exemption for 100% disabled veterans has been expanded to include sales to the surviving spouse of a deceased qualified veteran, if the surviving spouse has not remarried. Sales qualifying for exemption are limited to $1,000 per year for a qualifying surviving spouse.

Applicants for the exemption must obtain a qualification letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The VA may be reached at 1-800-827-1000. The letter should state the applicant is the unremarried surviving spouse of a deceased veteran who was determined to be honorably discharged, 100% service-connected, permanent and total disabled by the VA prior to his/her death.

After receiving the qualifying letter, applicants should submit the letter to the Oklahoma Tax Commission Taxpayer Assistance Division by mail to the following address:

Oklahoma

          The Real Contagion Threat Is Political      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Tom Luongo,

The real danger to the current institutional order was just demonstrated in Sweden. While I’ve talked at length about the potential financial contagion stemming from the implosion of multiple emerging market currencies it is the growing political crisis in Europe that will shape our future.

Sweden is The Land where Socialism Works, or so I keep getting told by ignorant leftists who cling to the power fantasy that central planning is the only way to make the trains run on time.

Central planning does do that, but only to deliver people into the nightmare of social disorder brought on by the disruption of the natural flow of capital.

Venezuela, South Africa, Soviet Union, post WWII Britain ... you get the idea.

But, the effects of the collectivist mindset are far more pernicious than those extreme examples.  And it is important we understand how little policies grow into big problems over time due to shaping people’s decisions through government edicts.

Corps Insanity

There is no better example for what I’m talking about than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  A completely useless organization which sucks up billions in tax money to straighten rivers, build dams and alter the landscape to fit the needs of whoever paid Congress the most in lobbying money that year.

They engage in projects that cannot easily be done in the free market, nor should be done. But their activity creates downstream effects from their meddling which multiply over years and lead to problems which are orders of magnitude larger than they would have ever become naturally.

The Red Tides occurring off the Florida coast now are a political cudgel being swung at Governor Rick Scott to prevent him from moving up to U.S. Senator over his ‘environmental record.’  Now I’m no fan of Skeletor, as we call him down here, but these charges are simply grandstanding.

Because anyone who has an ounce of decency, intellectual honesty or passing acquaintance with history knows that the seeds of South Florida’s environmental nightmares are a product of the Corps of Engineers altering the landscape to serve Big Sugar and Big Corn.

These are two crops we shouldn’t even be growing (along with Soy and rapeseed) no less subsidizing due to their horrific effects on human health and development.  And this is another downstream effect of government meddling.

The real epidemic in the U.S. sapping our national wealth is not the rise of opioid use (though terrible) or the trade deficit it is diabetes and auto-immune diseases brought on by two generations of bad diet and ruinous food.

Health care and Big Pharma cost us trillions in easily avoided health problems due to the erroneous idea that human dietary needs are well-served by eating like my goats.

They aren’t.  Hell, even my goats spend most of their lives in ketosis.

This, again, is a product of government meddling into our food choices by diverting capital via farm subsidies and other bureaucratic structures built through the collective action of the ballot box.

So, a $200 million river straightening project turns into a multi-generational multi-trillion dollar loss of productive capital trying to keep people alive a little longer after a lifetime of eating like pigs being fattened for slaughter.

Okay, maybe that was the plan overall.

Rising Tides, Falling Boats

But, back to Sweden.  The results from the Swedish elections are another data point that populism is, well, popular.  The surge in popularity of the Sweden Democrats was strong enough to throw into flux the formation of a new government as support for the ruling Social Democrats has collapsed.

Where have we heard this story before?  Oh, only like all over freaking Europe.

What started with Brexit, carried across the pond to Trump, and spread to the continent in Italy, France, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic and Germany which has now crossed back over the Baltic Sea to Sweden.

And still the political Left refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the concerns of voters, clinging desperately to the narrative that this is simply fringe ‘alt-right’ or ‘far-right Nazism’ rearing its head in an adolescent ab reaction to their very sensible and humanitarian policies.

They are supported in this delusion by the architects of the immigration nightmare in Europe who are quick to label anything vaguely sniffing of cultural pride as ‘extremism’ to shame apolitical and conscientious folks into staying within this failing paradigm of cultural suicide.

It is not working and thank the gods for it.

Whether the Sweden Democrats’ share of the vote is large enough for them to enter the government is irrelevant in the end.  Sweden’s political system is backward, but, hey, who am I to judge.

No one, actually, and that is the point.

The surge in popularity is what matters. And if they are excluded and things in Sweden continue as they are, then it will only serve up an even bigger voter backlash the next time they go to the polls if the government can even survive that long.

What’s is relevant is the contagion brought on by the downstream effects of one government intervention begetting a complete overhaul of the political landscape.

Europe is balkanizing.

Potential Post-EU map of Europe: Source @scottskingharry

Cultural Suicide Postponed

National cultures and community pride are sources of societal strength. The proponents of the Open Society and cultural homogenization are tone-deaf to the realities of forcing change because it is ‘the right thing to do’ or ‘the right thing to advocate.’

All it does is betray their totalitarian urge to force people they look down on to be better by first demonizing them for being racist and then acting out their own racism by forcing on their political opponents a life they do not want.

And the minute these long-suffering, abused people stand up for themselves and say, “No more” to their once peaceful communities being torn asunder by acid-throwing, gang-raping, rudderless immigrant males their reaction is to cry, “Racist!”

But that’s not working anymore.  What is working is the two-edged sword of political power.  Those that live by it will eventually hang from the rafters by it unless they willingly step aside and admit defeat with a modicum of grace and humility.

Given the reactions from the politically powerful all across Europe and the U.S. to this critical shift in the political landscape that is the last thing on their minds.

And that’s the most tragic irony of this entire period of history.  The very people who champion communitarianism and democracy as their highest ideal fear the power they have used so indiscriminately will be used against them when they lose it.

And their losses are mounting.

That’s what is inflaming their hatred and violence.  Abject terror of the backlash.  It is why this political contagion is the catalyst for global financial and economic collapse.  It’s already here in the form of emerging market upheaval. Faith in the institutions which circumscribe our lives is what props up currencies and, ultimately, asset values.

Politics got us into this mess.  It will not get us out of it.  The Great Reset is coming.  And you need to be prepared.

*  *  *

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          Baseball tickets? Gambling debts? Democrats dig for answers from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh - USA TODAY      Cache   Translate Page      

USA TODAY

Baseball tickets? Gambling debts? Democrats dig for answers from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats are demanding written answers from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to more than 1,000 questions following a four-day confirmation hearing last week that elicited more heat than light. The queries go beyond the ...
GOP senators slam activists protesting Collins ahead of Kavanaugh voteCNN
Susan Collins's Reputation as a Moderate Is On the LineThe Nation.
Did Brett Kavanaugh signal he supports 'going after birth control'?Washington Post
Crowdpac -Newsmax
all 602 news articles »

          Vela a votat PENTRU familia traditionala      Cache   Translate Page      
Senatorul liberal spune că, în acest caz, revizuirea Constituției nu înseamnă o polemică electorală, fiind vorba de viitorul națiunii române.
          Trebuie sa predam viitorului o Romanie morala, cu propria ei identitate!      Cache   Translate Page      
Senatorul PSD Ionuţ Chisăliţă şi-a respectat una din promisiunile făcute în 2016: a votat PENTRU revizuirea Constituției în sensul definirii căsătoriei ca fiind uniunea liber consimțită între un bărbat și o femeie!
          Deviating from McCain, Sen. Graham goes all in on Team Trump      Cache   Translate Page      
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — By the end, Sen. John McCain had rejected President Donald Trump. The president was so infuriated by McCain he put a biting reference to the dying Republican senator in his stump speech. Yet one man in Washington still had hope for bridging the gap between the two. “I regret that he [&hellip
          S. 2554, Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act      Cache   Translate Page      

As reported by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on July 31, 2018


          $1 million pledged against Collins if she backs Kavanaugh      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — A campaign urging Republican Sen. Susan Collins to vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has generated more than $1 million in pledges, money that would go to her opponent in 2020 if she decides to support the judge. The senator and her Republican colleagues are decrying the effort in Maine as [&hellip
          Senate hopeful in Tenn. ’embarrassed’ by Kavanaugh hearings      Cache   Translate Page      
LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) — Democratic U.S.Senate candidate Phil Bredesen (BRED’-uh-sen) says he’s “embarrassed by the circus” in the confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump’sSupreme Court nominee — and he’s pointing at both Democrats and Republicans. The former governor says Republicans are “running this thing through in a way that I don’t think was the founders’ [&hellip
          Senate approves 1st spending bill to avert partial shutdown      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a major hurricane menaces the East Coast, Congress is moving to avert a legislative disaster that could lead to a partial government shutdown just weeks before the November midterm elections. Senators approved a $147 billion package Wednesday night to fund the Energy Department, veterans’ programs and the legislative branch. The bill […]
          Senate OKs Trump choice for IRS head over Democrats’ protest      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved President Donald Trump’s choice to become the new head of the IRS over the protests of many Democrats. They opposed the nomination because of a new IRS policy allowing some groups involved in politics to hide their donors’ identities. The Senate voted 64-33 on Wednesday evening to confirm […]
          Military Pay Exclusion      Cache   Translate Page      

 

Effective July 1, 2010, Oklahoma Senate Bill 881 amended the Partial Military Pay exclusion through tax year 2014.  The current $1,500 exclusion increased to an exclusion of 100% of the active duty member’s military pay received after July 1, 2010.

For the months of January through June 2010, active duty military members should have continued to withhold Oklahoma income tax on military pay received during that time.  Active duty military members may go exempt from Oklahoma income tax withholding on military pay received after July 1, 2010.

Further information will be available in the 2010 income tax packets to assist individuals in calculating the exclusion amount.

Related Link:
FAQ: As an Oklahoma resident, can I exclude any of my military wages from Oklahoma income tax?


          The Paradox of Liberal Fascination with an Article V Convention      Cache   Translate Page      

     The drive to call a convention under Article V of the Constitution is being driven primarily by various groups positioning themselves on the Right.  They say they seek to add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, to impose term limits, or more broadly to curtail federal power.  Other groups on the Right have been deeply critical of these groups, wondering how one can claim to be a conservative and yet take such a cavalier approach toward opening up our Constitution. 

     But some groups on the Left are also seeking an Article V convention.  They generally frame their efforts as trying to strengthen democracy.  The most organized of them seeks to overturn Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United.  Occasionally progressives also call for an Article V convention to eliminate the Electoral College or to curtail the disproportionate power of small states through the U.S. Senate. 

     The notion of calling an Article V convention to improve democracy is deeply paradoxical.  Far from being the salvation of democracy, an Article V convention is one of the least democratic features of our Constitution.  Of all the means of achieving legal change in this country, it is one of the least affected by one-person-one-vote and perhaps the most vulnerable to the corrosive effects of corporate and foreign political money. 

     Consider first one-person-one-vote.  In Federalist No. 22, Alexander Hamilton wrote that “Every idea of proportion and every rule of fair representation conspire to condemn a principle, which gives to Rhode Island an equal weight in the scale of power with Massachusetts, or Connecticut, or New York; and to Delaware an equal voice in the national deliberations with Pennsylvania, or Virginia, or North Carolina. Its operation contradicts the fundamental maxim of republican government, which requires that the sense of the majority should prevail.”  Our Constitution represents a mix of arrangements distributing political power by population and ones giving that depart from this “fundamental maxim” by giving smaller states weight equal to that of larger ones.  The U.S. Supreme Court’s one-person-one-votedecisionsof the 1960s made our country more democratic by requiring districts of equal size where population is the basis for representation.

     Although the Electoral College gives smaller states power disproportionate to their populations, the effect is limited:  over eighty percent of electoral votes are apportioned by population.  Thus, although the winner of a thin plurality of the popular vote can lose the Electoral College – and did in 2000 and 2016 – a solid majority of the popular vote is all but assured of translating into the presidency. 

     Ordinary legislation requires a majority in the House of Representatives, whose seats are apportioned among the states by population, as well as the approval of a President elected on a basis that gives much more weight to the outcomes in more populous states.  The traditional route for amending the Constitu­tion through Article V requires that any proposed amendment garner two-thirds support in the House. 

     By contrast, one-person-one-vote plays very little role in amending the Constitution through an Article V convention.  Two-thirds of the states must ask Congress to call such a convention, but in that process Wyoming’s request counts just as much as California’s.  The Constitution does not tell us how votes will be allocated within a convention, but Article V proponents claiming to be on the Right are adamant that states will have equal votes, as they do in the Senate.  Only the dreamiest of optimists would believe that population-weighted voting will prevail in a convention with thirty-three states having below-average populations and thus weakened by such a system.  Even when it was much more liberal than it is today, the Supreme Court made clear that the process of amending the Constitution is a political question into which it will not intervene.  And, assuming the convention adheres to Article V, the ratification process, too, will give equal weight to the decisions of each state, regardless of population. 

     Concerns about the corrosive influence of money are even greater in an Article V convention.  As flawed as our campaign finance and lobbying laws are, we at least have somelaws regulating money’s role in elections and legislatures’ deliberations.  Because we have never had an Article V convention, many of those laws were not drafted with a thought to curbing corrupt efforts to influence the selection and decisions of delegates.  A convention will be a one-time event, tempting many shadowy players to decide that the benefits of going all-out to capture such a convention are worth the risk that laws may be interpreted to proscribe their actions – especially because any interpretive ambiguities will allow them to argue lack of criminal intent.  Even if Congress were inclined to try – which seems unlikely – regulating efforts to corrupt a one-time convention is vastly more difficult than regulating recurrent activity like political campaigns and lobbying.  Should the Supreme Court find unconstitutional any attempts at regulating money’s role in influencing a convention, Congress would have no time to try again. 

     In Federalist No. 22, Hamilton also urged Americans to be ever-vigilant against “foreign corruption” of our democracy.  If we hold an Article V convention, we can be sure that Vladimir Putin is not throwing away his shot.  The problems with foreign financial and other intervention in an Article V convention would be orders of magnitude greater than anything we have experienced to date.  If Putin was willing to devote substantial resources, and take considerable risks, to undermine confidence in western democracy with polarizing social media posts and dirty tricks, we can only imagine how eager he would be to insert divisive poison pills into the U.S. Constitution.  Putin demonstrated his interest in constitutional questions with his intervention against the European Union in the Brexit referendum.  As troubling as it is to think of our country being governed by a Siberian Candidate, that is far better than living permanently under a Siberian Constitution. 

     But potential foreign intervention is not limited to Russia.  One can imagine China seeking amend­ments to the Constitution’s provisions on intellectual property or funneling money to domestic critics of the Federal Reserve to hobble U.S. monetary policy.  Countries critical of us for allowing parodies of the Prophet Muhammad might seek modifications to the First Amendment to remove protection for perceived blasphemy.  Multinational corporations already achieved many of their top priorities in December’s tax cut legislation, but they still could try to constitutionalize rules preventing the U.S. from reaching income artificially assigned to foreign tax havens. 

     Advocates of strengthening democracy through an Article V convention insist that this country’s problems are so severe that we must take the risk that a convention poses to civil rights and civil liberties.  But arguing that reforming our current electoral process is an emergency implies that we should maximize the chances that it gets done.  And an Article V convention is about the least likely means of achieving that. 

     Because Citizens United and other campaign finance decisions were the product of a closely divided Supreme Court, that Court can be changed by a series of presidential appointments over time.  This necessitates winning the presidency and (these days) maintaining a majority in the U.S. Senate.  Winning a majority in the Senate, obviously, requires carrying at least 25 states (or splitting two for every one short of 25 that is fully carried).  Winning the presidency requires even less:  President Obama won 26 states against Governor Romney.  Had his close wins in Florida and Ohio gone the other way – leaving him with only a minority of the states – he still would have had a solid Electoral College majority. 

     By contrast, if a convention follows the ratification process under Article V, any change would require approval of thirty-eight state legislatures or state conventions.  That means that just thirteen could block ratification.  Yet in eighteen states, Hillary Clinton received less than 40% of the vote.  Thus, not only would proponents of liberal constitutional change need to secure ratification from all states where she crossed the 40% mark – a group including states such as Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas – they also would have to pick up five states that voted more than three-to-two against Senator Clinton.  If any of the states where Senator Clinton reached 40% does not ratify, proponents would need even more deep-red states.  Advocates of these measures claim to be non-partisan, but they have demonstrated little support even in many light-blue and purple states she won, much less in states where she was buried.  Any re­forms to weaken the Senate would require ratification by more than twenty states that are proportionately better-represented there than in the House.

     Much of the rhetoric supporting an Article V convention from all of its advocates romanticizes the delegates as true representatives of The People whom we should expect to rescue us from the corrupt institutions of Washington.  Yet nothing in the Constitution requires that delegates to an Article V convention be selected by states’ voters.  Indeed, we have every reason to expect state legislators to appoint themselves to the prestigious, powerful and attention-getting role of convention delegates.  (Even if a few states did allow voters to choose their delegates, state politicians have the campaigning skills, the name recognition, the organization, and the ability to raise funds quickly that will be necessary to win a dele­gate election called on short notice.)  If you think you would like an assembly of ambitious state legisla­tors from around the country, you should adore Con­gress:  almost halfof its Members are former state legislators.  Those delegates hoping to leverage their positions to run for higher office will be particularly attentive to the wishes of potential donors to those campaigns.

     If election reform is crucial, then avoiding the doomed Article V convention process is crucial, too.  Put another way, the enormous risks of calling an Article V convention – including the possibility that it would entrench Citizens United in the Constitution’s text – must be compared with the extremely remote chance that a convention would accomplish anything positive. 

     Liberal enchantment with calling an Article V convention is the latest manifestation of an unfortunate preference for political get-rich-quick schemes over the hard work of organizing, persuading, and compromising through the electoral process.  Just as Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is awakening many people to the limited potential for overcoming hostile legislatures and executives through the courts, some are embracing an Article V convention as the new silver bullet.  (Recurrent fascination with impeachment and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment – always detached from an appreciation of how many Republican votes either approach would require even if Democrats sweep November’s elections – is another manifestation of this magical thinking.)  Unfortunately, our nation is in a very deep hole that we took a long time to dig.  Just as law reform litigation was never going to render irrelevant the electorate’s choice of leaders disinter­ested in poverty, civil rights, civil liberties, and the environment, an Article V convention will not cure the very real pathologies of our democracy.  Indeed, it is far more likely to make them worse. 

          John McCain appears in N.J. Democratic House candidate’s TV ad      Cache   Translate Page      
Tom Malinowski, a former Obama administration official, highlights comments the late Arizona senator made praising his work on ending torture.
          MSNBC’s Charlie Sykes mocks Mitch McConnell’s efforts to save the Senate: ‘you have a disruptive force named Donald Trump’      Cache   Translate Page      

MSNBC’s Charlie Sykes, a prominent never-Trump conservative, predicted an uphill battle for the GOP in the party’s fight to hold the Senate, and placed the blame squarely on President Trump while mocking Mitch MccConnell. McConnell is “sending up a flare because of the overall poli...

The post MSNBC’s Charlie Sykes mocks Mitch McConnell’s efforts to save the Senate: ‘you have a disruptive force named Donald Trump’ appeared first on Raw Story.


          U.S. Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.
          Presidency Reassures Workers Buhari Will Increase Minimum Wage      Cache   Translate Page      
Presidency Reassures Workers Buhari Will Increase Minimum Wage

The Presidency on Wednesday reassured workers of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to increase the minimum wage. Senator Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja. Enang spoke in response to alleged lack […]

The post Presidency Reassures Workers Buhari Will Increase Minimum Wage appeared first on SEPTIN911 Entertainment.


          The Weekly Standard’s Kavanaugh Fact Check Was Correct      Cache   Translate Page      

Can journalists on the right honestly fact-check journalists on the left? That question erupted this week in a fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The fight, as promised, has exposed media bias. But in this case, the bias is on the left.

The dispute centers on an article published on Sunday by ThinkProgress. The piece, written by Ian Millhiser, argues that Kavanaugh’s answers at his confirmation hearing last week, when combined with a speech Kavanaugh delivered last year, imply that he would overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s a smart and well-written piece. But the headline goes further. It claims that Kavanaugh “said he would kill Roe v. Wade.”

The Weekly Standard, in its “fact check,” said the headline wasn’t true. The author, Holmes Lybrand, wrote: “While ThinkProgress engages in an argument to suggest how Kavanaugh might vote in a Roe v. Wade redo, the article does not provide evidence that ‘Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade.’ ” Lybrand delivered the same verdict against MoveOn.org for claiming that Kavanaugh “stated he’d overturn” Roe. He reported that “TWS Fact Check could not find” such a statement from Kavanaugh.

Based on the Standard’s fact check, Facebook declared the ThinkProgress article “false.” This led to a warning label and an editorial demotion of the article on Facebook. Whether Facebook should issue such labels and demotions at all is worth debating. But ThinkProgress and its allies haven’t focused on that question. Their complaint is more specific: They want the Standard to be removed from Facebook’s list of approved fact-checking organizations, on the grounds that the magazine is biased.

Millhiser, in a follow-up article, dismisses the Standard’s fact-checking as “ideological” and accuses the magazine of “placing right-wing ideology before accurate reporting.” He warns: “If Facebook continues its partnership with The Weekly Standard, the consequences could be quite severe for left-leaning outlets generally—or potentially for any other outlet which publishes a news article that The Weekly Standard disagrees with.” Judd Legum, the founding editor of ThinkProgress, says Millhiser’s article was rated false only because “a hack at a right-wing magazine has decided he doesn’t like” it.

Other journalists have joined in this accusation. “@weeklystandard naturally wanted to censor it, because @weeklystandard is unscrupulous,” says one. “Facebook has given the Weekly Standard the power to drive liberal news outlets into the ground,” says another. “This is what happens,” says a third, “when you let non-reality-based organizations into the fact-checking community to achieve ‘balance.’ ” My Slate colleague Mark Joseph Stern presents the best version of the argument.By deferring to the Weekly Standard’s judgment, Facebook is picking sides in an ideological debate,” he writes. “Facebook should not let conservative editors police liberal outlets’ analysis under the guise of fact-checking.”

These writers have done a lot of good work. But in this case, they’re mistaken. This is a matter of fact, not ideology. On Facebook, headlines are far more visible and widely read than articles are. The headline on the ThinkProgress article was false. Kavanaugh didn’t say he would kill Roe. And the Standard was right to point this out.

The Standard has offered to withdraw the “false” rating if ThinkProgress changes its headline. But as of Wednesday, ThinkProgress hadn’t budged. Millhiser insists the headline is true. According to Merriam-Webster, he argues, “the verb ‘say’ or ‘said’ can mean to ‘indicate,’ ‘show,’ or ‘communicate’ an idea.” He maintains that Kavanaugh “indicated, showed, or communicated his intention to overrule Roe” by doing two things. First, a year ago, Kavanaugh said that a 1997 Supreme Court opinion, Washington v. Glucksberg, was “not consistent” with Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 opinion that reaffirmed Roe. Second, during last week’s hearings, Kavanaugh said “all roads lead to the Glucksberg test” as the Supreme Court’s rule for defining rights not enumerated in the Constitution.

This is an interesting argument. But it doesn’t show that Kavanaugh “said” he would kill Roe. Let’s start with the dictionary entry Millhiser cited. It defines “say” as “state,” “declare,” “utter,” or “recite.” The only cases in which the definition refers to softer interpretations—“indicate,” “show,” or “communicate”—are when the act is nonverbal. The dictionary gives two examples: “the clock says five minutes after twelve,” and “a glance that said all that was necessary.” Kavanaugh is a person, not a clock. He spoke in words, not glances. To prove he said something, you have to show he said it.

Second, at his hearings, Kavanaugh was asked several times what he thought of Roe. He refused to address the substance of the case. It’s misleading to report that he “said he would kill Roe” when in fact he declined explicit invitations to say he would kill Roe.

Third, Kavanaugh’s 2017 remark that Roe, Casey, and Glucksberg were “not consistent” in their “approach” wasn’t absolute. He noted that although a majority of the court voted in Glucksberg not to assert a specific constitutional right to bodily autonomy (in that case, the issue was assisted suicide), a majority hadn’t voted that way five years earlier in Casey. (In fact, the court explicitly reasoned that Glucksberg and Casey were compatible.) Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom Kavanaugh clerked—and whose seat Kavanaugh would fill—voted with the conservatives in Glucksberg but also voted in Casey to reaffirm Roe. So you can’t declare, as Millhiser does, that it’s a matter of simple logic to conclude that Kavanaugh “said he would kill Roe.”

Fourth, Kavanaugh repeatedly emphasized at his hearings that Roe could no longer be overturned on its merits alone. He said the court would now have to overcome the additional weight of Casey, which reaffirmed Roe based on stare decisis, a doctrine of deference to precedents. (Kavanaugh made the same point in his 2017 speech: that stare decisis might be why the court reaffirmed Roe, even as it voted the other way in Glucksberg.) In short, Kavanaugh explained why you can’t infer that a judge who believes Roe was wrongly decided would overturn Roe today.

So the Standard’s fact check is correct. By itself, that’s a small point. But ThinkProgress and its allies have made the dispute into something much bigger. By attacking the fact check as biased on the grounds that a conservative magazine published it, they’ve proved the opposite of what they intended. They’ve confirmed that the press is full of left-leaning journalists who sometimes can’t see or acknowledge congenial falsehoods, and they’ve demonstrated how these journalists unite, when challenged, in a tribal chorus to accuse conservatives of trying to “censor” them. In sum, they’ve demonstrated why we need conservative journalists to help check facts.

ThinkProgress does excellent fact-checking of lies on the right. In these cases, it applies the sensible rule that if a person didn’t say something, you can’t accuse him of saying it. Over the years, ThinkProgress has invoked this rule in defense of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, James Comey, and James Clapper, among others. But when the same rule is applied to ThinkProgress, it accuses the fact-checker of ideological hackery. And it calls for the Standard to be removed from Facebook’s panel of approved fact-checking organizations, even though other organizations on the panel, in assessing the Kavanaugh hearings, have applied the same rule.

Watching my colleagues rationalize the false headline, accuse the Standard of imposing ideological censorship under the guise of fact-checking, and castigate Facebook for allowing “non-reality-based organizations into the fact-checking community” is humbling. It’s a reminder that most of us, including me, are good at seeing other people’s biases but lousy at seeing our own. PolitiFact, in its initial report on the Kavanaugh hearings, said the nominee “raised a few eyebrows” when he “called birth control pills abortion-inducing drugs.” Days later, PolitiFact conceded that it had “repeated uncritically a Democratic talking point” and that Kavanaugh had actually been quoting a party in the case. I don’t see any of my colleagues on the left calling for PolitiFact to be removed from Facebook’s panel.

If progressives insist that anyone who challenges them is “non-reality-based”—and that the Weekly Standard’s name on a fact check “tells you all you need to know about how messed up Facebook’s notion of ‘fact-checking’ is”—they’ll seal themselves off in a bubble of mutual affirmation. David Roberts, a Vox blogger, made the key point in a tweet about Millhiser’s article. “A society can’t survive long without shared epistemic authorities and standards,” Roberts wrote. He was echoing Millhiser’s attack on the Standard. But in this case, it’s the Standard that is upholding shared epistemic rules. Said means said.

The Standard often gets things wrong. So does everybody else. We’re all fallible, but we can fact-check one another. In any industry where one group predominates—whites in the corporate elite, men in the entertainment business, liberals in the media—we need scrutiny from people who don’t share the prevailing biases. That’s why the Weekly Standard is on Facebook’s fact-checking panel. And it is doing its job.


          Rick Scott Is Preparing to Pack the State Supreme Court After His Term Ends      Cache   Translate Page      

On Jan. 8, 2019, a new governor of Florida will be sworn in. On that same day, three of the Florida Supreme Court’s seven justices will complete their final terms. Based on those facts alone, you might assume that the new Florida governor will have the opportunity to select these justices’ replacements. That, however, is not at all clear—because current Republican Gov. Rick Scott has declared his intent to replace them hours before his term concludes. He is now moving forward with this plan to pack the court. And the only people who can stop him are the current justices themselves.

To carry out this scheme, Scott has seized upon language in the Florida Constitution which, he asserts, gives him to power to make “midnight appointments” (as one Scott ally has described them). Under the state constitution, a new governor’s term begins “on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January.” Meanwhile, a retiring justice’s term ends “on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January.” Due to mandatory age limits, three justices—all left-leaning—face mandatory retirement on this date. The question is when, precisely, their retirement takes effect.

Scott insists that the justices’ terms expire at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 8, but that his own term does not end until his successor is sworn in on that day, typically at noon. Thus, he believes he will have about 12 hours to name three new justices, shifting the court to the right for a generation. Scott announced this plan when he appointed his first justice in 2016, declaring: “I will appoint three more justices on the morning I finish my term.”

Alarmed by this prospect, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit urging the Florida Supreme Court to rule that the next governor, not Scott, is constitutionally authorized to make the appointments. Their arguments are difficult to contest. The suit cites a slew of cases in which Florida courts determined that, when “a period of time expires on a date,” it expires at the end of that date. On matters ranging from the terms of a contract to the length of a legislative session, the courts have found that the clock runs out “at midnight” at the end of the final day. For instance, one case found that “when a contract requires payment by June 1, there can be no default until the clock strikes midnight on June 2.” Applied here, this rule means the retiring justices’ term runs through Jan. 8 and expires when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 9.

Strong as this claim may be, the Florida Supreme Court has refused to entertain it. In December, the court tossed the lawsuit, holding that “the issue presented is not ripe for consideration.” Then, in a rather cryptic passage, it clarified that it could not resolve the dispute “until some action is taken by the Governor” to fill the three seats. This caveat left open the possibility that the court might reconsider the matter once Scott takes some concrete “action” to replace the retiring justices.

That time is now. On Tuesday, Scott asked Florida’s Judicial Nominating Commission to begin accepting and reviewing applications for the court. Under state law, this nine-member body will have 60 days to nominate three to six candidates for each vacancy. This means the names will be finalized shortly after the November election. Scott has stated that he will let the winner of that election interview the finalists, in the hopes that he and the governor can jointly select the justices. Incoming Republican Gov. Jeb Bush and outgoing Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles did exactly that in 1998. But there’s virtually no chance that, if Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum wins, he and Scott will agree on the selections.

There are three further wrinkles here. First, Scott is running for Senate, and if he wins, he will be sworn in on Jan. 3, 2019, and forced to step down as governor at that time. His Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera would therefore have to make the midnight appointments—lending them an even stronger whiff of illegitimacy, since he would serve as governor for less than five days. Second, the Judicial Nominating Commission is dominated by Scott appointees. Although the board has traditionally put forth candidates across the ideological spectrum, Democrats are worried that Scott’s allies will only select conservatives. As a result, even if Gillum won and secured the right to fill the three vacancies, he might have to choose from a right-leaning list.

Third—and perhaps most ominously for Florida’s democracy—Scott’s plan could lead to a bona fide constitutional crisis in which two people claim to be governor at once. Although Florida’s governors are usually sworn in around noon, their terms begin at midnight by the plain language of the state constitution. So, theoretically, if Gillum won, he would become governor at 12 a.m. on Jan. 8. But is a governor really governor until he’s sworn in? No one seems to know, and so Gillum could demand a midnight swearing-in ceremony, as past governors have, to avoid appointments chicanery.

But what if Scott (or López-Cantera) refuses to acknowledge the validity of this swearing-in? What if he insists that he remains governor until noon, and both men attempt to make dueling appointments? The only proper mediator of this dispute would be the Florida Supreme Court—the very cause of the quarrel. So the three justices in question could be asked to rule on who is governor, and whether or not it’s their final day in office on their disputed final day in office. This farcical nightmare scenario is not at all far-fetched.

It’s easy to see why Scott is so desperate to make these three appointments. Throughout his nearly eight years as governor, the Florida Supreme Court has been a thorn in his side, blocking abortion restrictions and GOP-drawn gerrymanders. If Scott can flip the court, he will leave Florida susceptible to draconian anti-abortion laws and Republican-friendly partisan districts. It’s fundamentally undemocratic for an outgoing governor to install a court on his way out the door that will neuter his successor’s agenda. Voting rights advocates should take their case back to the court now that Scott has formally triggered the replacement process. As the governor knows as well as anyone, the countdown to a crisis has begun.


          California Gov. Jerry Brown Convenes Climate Summit to Keep U.S. on Track for Greenhouse Gas Goals      Cache   Translate Page      

California Gov. Jerry Brown is hosting a climate action conference starting Wednesday in hopes of tackling global warming, while the Trump administration continues to push U.S. environmental policy in the opposite direction.

The three-day Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco will bring together hundreds of scientists, political figures, and business leaders to discuss topics like reducing greenhouse gas. Guest speakers include former Vice President Al Gore and actor and environmental activist Harrison Ford.

“We’re running out of time,” Brown said on the summit website. “There’s been some backsliding since Paris and our summit… aims to increase the commitments that have already been made in Paris,” he wrote in reference to the Paris climate accord, the 2015 international agreement to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases among United Nations members.

The summit’s timing became especially relevant with the approach of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm exacerbated by warming ocean temperatures. California experienced its own deadly effect of global warming with its record-breaking wildfire this summer.

Ever since Trump decided last year to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, Brown has been one of America’s leading figures in combatting climate change. Along with political and business leaders like Michael Bloomberg, Brown formed a coalition called We Are Still In to pursue the goals of the Paris accord in spite of the Trump administration’s resistance.

On Monday, Brown signed Senate Bill 100, a measure requiring California to get 100 percent of its electricity from zero-carbon sources such as wind and solar by 2045. California currently derives 44 percent of its power from renewables and hydropower. Brown’s move got a full-throated endorsement from the state’s former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Brown is also pushing for carbon neutrality by tackling the largest source of greenhouse gas emission—transportation. He aims to have 5 million electric cars on the road by 2030 (right now California has 369,000) and kill all production of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035.

But will these efforts be enough?

The United States is falling behind its Paris accord pledge, the New York Times reported. Under Obama, the U.S. originally promised a 26-28 percent reduction from its 2005 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2025. At its current rate, the country will only get about halfway there, achieving a 12 to 20 percent decrease in that time frame.

To make matters worse, the federal government pursuing policies that would hasten, not slow, global warming.

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to roll back the Obama-era methane limits. The new proposal will ease restrictions on methane emissions, giving energy companies 60 days instead of 30 to fix leaks of the greenhouse gas. Methane, which can leak during the extraction or transportation of natural gas, oil, or even coal, is a super pollutant more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the planet. The proposal will also allow companies to conduct leak inspections once a year rather than every six months.

Brown called the proposal “insane.” In a tweet this week he said, “It borders on criminality. It perhaps is the most obvious and dangerous and irresponsible action by Mr. Trump. And that’s saying quite a lot, because he has a whole list of them.”

Brown’s anger and the work of We Are Still In will likely earn positive coverage and perhaps inspire activists and business leaders. But the question is whether it will lead to swift enough action to counteract the federal government’s retrogressive policies.


          The Evidence Is Clear: Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee      Cache   Translate Page      

Last week, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of repeatedly misleading the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings. “Brett Kavanaugh used materials stolen from Democratic senators to advance President Bush’s judicial nominees,” the committee’s ranking member tweeted. “He was asked about this in 2004, 2006 and this week. His answers were not true.”

Citing an essay in Slate by Lisa Graves, a former staffer for Sen. Patrick Leahy, Feinstein presented a line of argument that’s gaining currency among Democratic senators: that Kavanaugh’s lack of honesty makes him unfit to serve on the Supreme Court. In this case, Kavanaugh has repeatedly sworn that he never received documents stolen by Republican Senate aide Manny Miranda—documents that he did, in fact, receive.

For the most part, Senate Republicans have ignored this line of attack. Since they seem to have the votes to confirm Kavanaugh, there is apparently little reason for them to respond to any criticism of the nominee. One exception is Sen. Orrin Hatch, who called the allegations that Kavanaugh lied a “desperate“ attempt to torpedo his nomination. The Utah Republican cited an editorial by National Review, which described the charges against Kavanaugh as a Democratic “smear” campaign. The arguments regarding the stolen documents in that editorial, though, are flimsy at best.

National Review describes the key portions of Kavanaugh’s testimony correctly:

During Kavanaugh’s Senate testimony in 2004, Orrin Hatch asked him if he had received “any documents that appeared to you to have been drafted or prepared by Democratic staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.” Kavanaugh said no. In 2006, Ted Kennedy asked him about the same documents, and Kavanaugh issued another denial, saying, “I don’t know what the universe of memos might be, but I do know that I never received any memos, was not aware of any such memos.”

From there, National Review’s case quickly falls apart.

“At the same time, however, Kavanaugh was careful to say that he might have unknowingly seen information ‘derived’ from the memos,” the editorial continues. “So, to be clear, to demonstrate perjury the Democrats would have to show clearly and unequivocally that Kavanaugh didn’t just see information taken from the memos but that he clearly and knowingly viewed the actual memos themselves.” The essay then asserts, “There is not a single email or document showing that he actually received a stolen memo, much less that he did so knowingly.”

National Review both misstates the standard for demonstrating that Kavanaugh lied and misstates the facts of the case. First, Kavanaugh said that he never received any memos or any documents that appeared to him to be prepared by Democrats. He repeated this throughout his testimony in 2004 and 2006. He didn’t say, “I didn’t knowingly receive memos or stolen documents.” He didn’t say, “I may have received memos or stolen documents but only realized this after the fact.” Rather, he flatly denied this possibility.

Kavanaugh said to Hatch in 2004 that he didn’t receive “documents that appeared to [me] to have been drafted or prepared by Democratic staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.” He said to Sen. Chuck Schumer in 2004 that “Mr. Miranda never provided these documents” and that he had never “come across memos from internal files of any Democratic members.” And Kavanaugh said to Kennedy in 2006, “I do know that I never received any memos.”

The bar for a lie here is to demonstrate that Kavanaugh had received any memos from Democratic staff or documents from Miranda that appeared drafted or prepared by Democratic judiciary staffers. By the plainest meaning of those words, Kavanaugh received both things.

Documents released last week reveal that in early 2003, Miranda sent Kavanaugh an email with the subject line “Judiciary Dems obstruct on reorganization.” That email contained a draft letter from Democratic Judiciary Committee members to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle laying out their desired negotiating position over a new process for judicial confirmations. Miranda indicated to Kavanaugh that the document was not public at the time he sent it, saying, “I am told that all [Democrats] on the [Judiciary Committee]” were signing on to the document.

Another email released last week included a bullet-pointed memo written by Graves for Democratic staff. The memo contains a laundry list of research Graves put together for Judiciary Committee staff laying out legal arguments Democrats planned to make regarding a controversial Bush judicial nominee. As Graves noted in her Slate piece, it would have made no logical sense for Democrats to surrender their legal research in these highly combative proceedings. But you don’t have to take her at her word that the material clearly came from Democratic staff and was clearly confidential. Miranda’s email to Kavanaugh describes this memo as “confidential information” from “Dem staffers.”

In its editorial, National Review cites legal scholar and Above the Law founder David Lat to bolster its pro-Kavanaugh argument. On Twitter, Lat made a legalistic, Clintonian argument about what the meaning of the word memo is.

Given that Kavanaugh, who worked for Kenneth Starr’s independent counsel’s Office, accused Bill Clinton of perjury because he “parse[d] the meaning of the words ‘is’ and ‘sex’ and on and on,” this would not seem to be an ideal defense.

Graves, who wrote the stolen memo, noted that there were many ways for Kavanaugh to know he had verbatim content including the common sense that Democrats would never have revealed this confidential information to political rivals and the fact Miranda said the email included “confidential information” from “Dem Staffers.” But even if Kavanaugh didn’t suspect at the time that this was a stolen memo, it should have been obvious after Miranda’s theft became a major news story. And yet he insisted under oath that nothing that Miranda stole ever crossed his desk.

Other former staffers whose material was stolen argue it’s absurd to contend that Kavanaugh would not have known that this detailed information wasn’t ripped off directly from the Democrats themselves. “These were the most contentious, contested things that came before the judiciary committee,” Seth Bloom, the nominations counsel for Sen. Herb Kohl at the time of the episode, said during a conference call with reporters on Monday. “I think Judge Kavanaugh’s description of how common that was [to receive this information] is completely untrue.”

“Judicial nominations were not something that was a bipartisan effort,” Bob Schiff, former chief counsel for Sen. Russ Feingold, added. “To hear Judge Kavanaugh testify recently that this was kind of common for there to be information shared across the aisle as his way of explaining why key Democratic arguments and plans [were not suspicious to him] does not ring true.”

If the documents that have been released in recent weeks had come to light in 2006, they could have easily torpedoed Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Even without those documents, which clearly demonstrate that Kavanaugh has misled the Senate, his appointment was incredibly controversial. The vote fell just four short of the margin needed for a filibuster, with seven senators abstaining. “Mr. Kavanaugh is a political operative,” said Kennedy at the time. “I can say with confidence that Mr. Kavanaugh would be the youngest, least experienced and most partisan appointee to the court in decades.”

Kristine Lucius, who worked for Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2002 through 2017, argued that these revelations would have stopped Kavanaugh’s judicial career cold. “I sincerely believe that if this information had been out at the time of his lower court confirmation hearing, he would not have been confirmed,” she argued. Lucius noted that Kavanaugh’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit occurred just after a sergeant-at-arms report was released detailing Miranda’s theft, when feelings on the subject were “still quite raw.”

Indeed, even Hatch himself at the time equated Miranda’s behavior to stealing documents from a Senate office. “None of us would walk into another person’s office and take papers from their desk, and this is, in a sense, exactly that,” Hatch said after the revelation. “I am mortified that this improper, unethical and simply unacceptable breach of confidential files occurred,” the Republican from Utah added. “There is no excuse to justify these improper actions.”

Kavanaugh has been given chance after chance after chance to tell the truth about what Miranda gave him, and he has continually declined to do so.

“Kavanaugh basically used these stolen documents during his time in the White House Counsel’s office and he repeatedly misled the committee,” Lucius said. “He didn’t just mislead the Judiciary Committee last week, he misled the Judiciary Committee in 2004 and 2006 when he was asked about this very dark chapter, and he did so, I believe, for personal and partisan gain.”

There is no indication that Kavanaugh will face any consequences for misleading the committee. Instead, he’ll get rewarded with a seat on the Supreme Court.


          Susan Collins Complains of “Bribery” After Nonbillionaires Try to Influence Her Kavanaugh Vote      Cache   Translate Page      

On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins accused political opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh of attempted “bribery.” The charge itself is without any legal merit whatsoever. That complaints about the campaign finance effort came from Collins, Republican election lawyer Cleta Mitchell, and an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell make the episode almost too rich to be believed. Their cries of bribery, illegality, and lack of principle lay bare the bankrupt campaign finance system that Mitchell and McConnell helped create and that Collins has contributed to with previous Supreme Court votes and will supersize with her likely vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

Collins labeled as a “bribe” a fundraising plan by two progressive Maine groups, aided by the company Crowdpac, to raise funds for Collins’ eventual opponent in 2020. People are pledging to give money via Crowdpac to that unknown future opponent, but donors will only be charged for the donation if Collins votes “yes” on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. As of Tuesday night, the groups reported pledged donations of more than $1 million, with a $1.3 million goal. There were more than 39,000 individual pledges ranging from $1 to the maximum allowable donation to a candidate of $2,700.

Now we can argue about whether the political threat to Collins funded by tens of thousands of small donations should be illegal. But claims by Mitchell and others that the fundraising effort is illegal are wrong, in part thanks to the deregulated campaign finance system that Mitchell and others have helped to create through litigation and a sympathetic Supreme Court.

Mitchell pointed Newsmax to a federal bribery statute, Title 18, Section 201 of the U.S. Code, which makes it a crime when someone “directly or indirectly gives, offers, or promises anything of value to any public official … for or because of any official act performed or to be performed by such public official.” Mitchell said: “These people have conspired to do just that—they are dangling a fairly substantial ‘thing of value’—namely, $1 million to be given or not given to Sen. Collins’ opponent, in exchange for her vote on a specific matter before the Congress.”

But the Maine groups did not violate section 201. The groups are not promising anything of value to Collins to vote in a particular way; nor are they promising anything to Collins’ (now unknown) opponent for the opponent to vote in a certain way. This behavior does not come close to violating the federal bribery statute. And it’s not the first time Mitchell has made wholly unsubstantiated claims of campaign finance violations against political opponents.

And what about reading this statute or other federal statutes to prevent what might look like extortion of Collins to vote in a particular way? Well, the Supreme Court has told us in cases like 2010’s Citizens United that large amounts of money sloshing around the system are just fine so long as they are not given by an individual directly to candidates. So long as there is no direct quid pro quo—dollars for political favors—all is fine.

And the behavior of the two Maine progressive groups is not unusual, expect for the fact that it is funded by small donors. This is demonstrated easily by looking at the behavior of those shouting bribery the loudest. As Adam Smith noted, although Sen. John Cornyn boosted Collins’ bribery complaints, back in January he was urging the Koch brothers to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to reward the Republican Party for tax cuts benefiting wealthy donors. This came after big donors threatened to withhold money until Republicans got that tax bill passed. That’s closer to Mitchell’s claims of “bribery” than what the Maine groups are doing. Indeed, a 2014 report by Ohio State University law professors Dan Tokaji and Renata Strause found that threats by super PACs to spend against incumbents if they don’t vote the way the super PAC donors want is an everyday Washington occurrence.

Perhaps the chutzpah award, though, should go to Sen. McConnell’s deputy chief of staff Don Stewart, who urged “every Maine Democrat … to refuse to accept this tainted funding” as the “principled” thing to do.

Not only has McConnell been one of the most ardent opponents of campaign finance regulation, arguing that people should be able to give unlimited contributions directly to candidates as a matter of the First Amendment, he’s also been the key to keeping the Supreme Court in a position to strike down these laws with his blockade two years ago of Judge Merrick Garland. Garland would have been a key vote to uphold many campaign finance limits, had he been confirmed to the Supreme Court. Thanks to McConnell’s unprecedented obstruction, the judge didn’t even get a hearing.

Now with the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch last year, and the likely confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh in the coming weeks thanks to Collins’ key vote, things are going to get much worse. As I explained recently in Slate, Judge Kavanaugh is a self-professed outlier when it comes to the First Amendment, agreeing with McConnell that there are constitutional problems with limiting the amount of money that candidates can directly accept.

If the Maine story has a silver lining, it is this: So long as the Supreme Court is going to keep the money spigot open for wealthy donors, some of the rest of us appear to be at least trying to pool together resources to attempt to fight back. An arms race between the superrich and everyone else to try to influence legislative outcomes is far from ideal, but it is better than wholly ceding the ground to the plutocrats.


          Veterans Legislation Goes into Effect Today       Cache   Translate Page      

 

Legislation passed during the 2006 legislative session helped to expand and clarify the intent of tax exemptions provided for 100% disabled veterans went into effect on August 25, 2006.

Senate Bill 1084 made the following clarifications on sales made to those veterans in receipt of a sales tax exemption card by the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

  • The exemption has been expanded to include sales for the benefit of the disabled veteran to a spouse of such veteran or to a member of the household in which the veteran resides and who is authorized to make purchases on the veterans’ behalf, when such veteran is not present at the sale. The purchaser is required to furnish the vendor proof of eligibility issued by the Oklahoma Tax Commission in order to claim the sales tax exemption.
  • Vendors who have actual knowledge that a consumer is entitled to the sales tax exemption provided
          Withholding Tax Filing and Payment Date Extended to the 20th of the Month       Cache   Translate Page      

 

Senate Bill 905 from the 2005 Legislative Session extended the filing and remittance deadline for Oklahoma Employee Withholding Tax from the 15th of the month to the 20th. This change was effective July 1, 2006.

Withholding tax can be filed and paid online through the Oklahoma Tax Commission's QuickTax system. Witholding forms can be downloaded from the Agency's website at www.ok.gov/tax.


          Republicans admit Ted Cruz has ‘a dogfight on his hands’ in Texas      Cache   Translate Page      

Cruz’s Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso congressman, has been making the talk-show rounds, outraising Cruz and reviving the long-suffering spirits of Democrats in one of the reddest states in America.
           Consob, Lega e M5s all'attacco: "Nava si deve dimettere"       Cache   Translate Page      

Lettera congiunta dei capigruppo di Camera e Senato dei due partiti azionisti del governo: "Soggetto alla Commissione europea, non può presiedere una Autorità indipendente italiana"...


          Wall Street Menguat Sambut Rencana Pertemuan AS-China      Cache   Translate Page      

Liputan6.com, New York - Indeks Dow Jones dan S&P 500 menguat tipis pada penutupan perdagangan Rabu (Kamis pagi WIB) menyusul rencana pertemuan perdagangan Amerika Serikat (AS) dan China. Sementara Nasdaq melemah dipicu penurunan saham Apple yang akan meluncurkan Iphone dengan ukuran terbesar yang pernah ada.

Dilansir dari Reuters, Kamis (13/9/2018), indeks Dow Jones Industrial Average naik 27,86 poin atau 0,11 persen menjadi 25.998,92, S&P 500 naik 1,03 poin atau 0,04 persen menjadi 2.888,92 dan Nasdaq turun 18,25 poin atau 0,23 persen menjadi 7.954,23.

AS membuka peluang kepada China melanjutkan kembali pembicaraan menyangkut rencana Pemerintahan Trump yang akan menerapkan tarif USD 200 miliar kepada Negeri Tirai Bambu tersebut.

Saham-saham  yang sensitif terhadap perdagangan naik, termasuk saham Boeing yang naik 2,4 persen. Saham Apple (AAPL.O) turun 1,2 persen. Perusahaan juga meluncurkan jam tangan yang berorientasi pada kesehatan dengan desain model saat ini.

Saham perangkat kebugaran saingan Fitbit Inc (FIT.N) jatuh 6,9 persen, sementara saham Garmin Ltd (GRMN.O) yang sebelumnya melemah, ditutup mendatar setelah peluncuran Apple Watch terbaru.

Indeks saham teknologi S&P turun 0,5 persen usai melemah pada perdagangan kemarin. Enam perusahaan internet dan layanan Web, termasuk Apple, harus merinci praktik privasi data konsumen mereka ke panel Senat AS pada 26 September, meningkatkan kemungkinan regulasi yang lebih ketat.

Di antara enam perusahaan yang akan bersaksi akhir bulan ini, saham Twitter turun 3,7 persen, sementara Alphabet turun 1,5 persen. Facebook, bukan di antara perusahaan-perusahaan yang bersaksi, turun 2,4 persen.

 


          9/12/2018: WORLD: SENATORS VOTE FOR HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE ONLY      Cache   Translate Page      
BUCHAREST Romanian Senators on Tuesday approved a measure that would pave the way for the constitution to be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Senators voted 107-13 with seven abstentions to allow a referendum...
           Scuola, Governo chiede fiducia su Decreto Milleproroghe e ignora i precari       Cache   Translate Page      

(Teleborsa) – Il Governo giallo-verde pone la fiducia al decreto Milleproroghe e decide in questo modo di ignorare le richieste dei precari della scuola. Dopo aver cancellato l’emendamento salva-supplenti abilitati approvato in Senato, attraverso il diktat imposto dalle Commissioni della Camera, si consuma il primo strappo con gli insegnanti, come al tempo della Buona Scuola, i quali si ...


          BWorld 248, Inflation, energy prices and mini-greed      Cache   Translate Page      
* This is my column in BusinessWorld on September 06, 2018.


INFLATION has further jumped to high levels. Only 2.9% in December 2017 (no TRAIN law yet), it became 3.4% by January 2018 (first month of TRAIN law), 3.8% in February, 5.7% in July, and now 6.4% in August 2018.

While high world oil prices and peso depreciation against the US dollar were among the important factors, it was the energy tax hikes in the TRAIN law — oil, LPG, coal, plus coverage of VAT in electricity transmission charge — that triggered and sustained the inflationary pressure.

And talking about inflation and energy prices, the recent Pulse Asia Research’s “Ulat ng Bayan Survey,” June 15-21, 2018 is among the misleading surveys that will indirectly justify higher electricity prices. How?

See two of their three questions, loaded and leading:

1. How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the price of your electricity?

3. Are you in favor or not in favor of increasing the use of renewable energy in the Philippines such as energy from the sun or solar energy?

On #1, Pulse Asia did not explain to respondents that there are nine different charges in our monthly electricity bill that contribute to higher overall rate: generation charge, transmission charge, distribution charge, supply charge, system loss charge, metering charge, universal charge, feed-in-tariff (FIT) subsidies, taxes. Loaded question with an expected high answer of Dissatisfied.

On #3, another loaded question as it does not clarify that even with more solar energy, the eight different charges will remain and worse, the FIT subsidy for solar will further rise.

So the result of their survey was: Question #1, 64% dissatisfied and only 27% satisfied, 14% undecided. Question #3, 89% in favor, 9% not in favor and 2% volunteered/undecided.

Having more intermittent, unstable and unreliable solar and wind power in the national grid can lead to higher prices because of the higher need for backup power, ancillary services that are mostly oil-based, and huge batteries. This is shown in both Europe and the US where in many cases, countries and states with high reliance on wind + solar also have higher electricity prices.


Then two House bills sprang up out of nowhere. HBs 8013 and 8015 entitled “An Act Granting Solar Para sa Bayan Corporation a Franchise to Construct, Install, Establish, Operate and Maintain Distributable Power Technologies and Minigrid Systems throughout the Philippines to Improve Access to Sustainable Energy” were filed only last month, Aug. 6, and were quickly approved by the House committee on legislative franchise on Aug. 29. The committee report was approved last Sept. 3 and will go to plenary this week or next week.

This is a very anti-EPIRA bill and, hence, an attempt to legalize many illegal provisions. While all players in the generation, distribution and supply sectors comply with specific requirements of the EPIRA law, this newbie, no track record corporation wants to do anything they want — can connect anywhere, can build their own grid anywhere, can carve out to DUs franchise areas, will pay only 3% franchise tax in lieu of all taxes, exemption to universal charges, COC and local taxes.

In a position paper by the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (PhilRECA), some parts reported in BusinessWorld last Sept. 4, PhilRECA observed that:

“Solar para sa Bayan Corp. said that it could offer electricity at an equal or much lower cost compared with the ERC approved rates of ECs… Paluan was cited as an example with P8.00 per kWh. However… the company is actually charging more at P10.37 to P15.29 per kWh… such misrepresentation… that corporation could not afford to offer lower rates.”

This newbie corporation whose franchise is all ready for a congressional plenary is owned by a son of a sitting “environmentalist” senator.

To have cheaper and more stable electricity, we need more competition, less government cronyism and favoritism, and less energy taxation.
--------------

See also:  

          9/12/2018: SPORTS: LIGHTS, CAMERA AND ... AWKWARD      Cache   Translate Page      

It was about this time last year when the Ottawa Senators announced they would cover about 1,500 seats in their arena with tarps as a novel solution to the problem of selling them to patrons. I think they are going to need bigger tarps. With the Sens...
          Jersey Jazzman Defends New Jersey’s Decision to Reduce PARCC Testing to Only 5% of Teachers’ Ratings      Cache   Translate Page      
Mark Weber aka blogger Jersey Jazzman is a veteran teacher and a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University. He wrote an open letter to a state senator in New Jersey who was angry that Governor Phil Murphy reduced the stakes attached to PARCC testing in relation to teacher evaluation. State Senator Ruiz mistakenly believes that evaluating […]
          Legal abortion, Yucca Mountain among concerns about Kavanaugh      Cache   Translate Page      
For Senate Democrats, including Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto, the calls last week to delay the Senate judiciary committee hearing to question the potential newest member of the Supreme Court were t ... - Source: lasvegassun.com
          Senate approves Rettig to head Internal Revenue Service - Reuters      Cache   Translate Page      

Reuters

Senate approves Rettig to head Internal Revenue Service
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Donald Trump's choice of Beverly Hills, California, tax lawyer Charles Rettig to be commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, the federal agency that implements tax laws.

and more »

          ASI At a Glance: New priorities made for the school year      Cache   Translate Page      

Hello Fellow Students, Last week, ASI had our second Senate meeting of the school year and a lot was accomplished. To begin, Christopher Rodriguez was appointed as the new Senator for Parking and Safety. Knowing how important both of those topics are, we are very excited to get moving forward with new projects to improve […]

The post ASI At a Glance: New priorities made for the school year appeared first on The Collegian.


          Missouri Senate candidates release tax returns      Cache   Translate Page      
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Josh Hawley have released their 2017 tax returns. The candidates released their taxes Wednesday. McCaskill filed separately from her husband, wealthy businessman Joseph Shepard. McCaskill’s return shows she brought in a roughly $86,000 pension on top of her $174,000 salary. She […]
          Kansas wheat growers honor Bob Dole with lifetime award      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON —The Kansas Association of Wheat Growers presented Senator Bob Dole  with a Lifetime Friend of Wheat Award Wednesday Dole was recognized for his steadfast dedication to Kansas farmers. “Thank you for your lifetime of public service, Senator Dole. Kansas First District Congressman Roger Marshall also participated in the presentation. Ken and Kyler (KAWG Directors) […]
          Missouri House votes to override Parson’s budget vetoes      Cache   Translate Page      
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has voted to override Gov. Mike Parson’s vetoes of about $785,000 of budgeted expenditures for services benefiting hospitals, youth and the deaf. The votes Wednesday marked the first step in the process of overriding vetoes. The Senate also would need to approve the veto overrides by a […]
          CNN Panel Criticizes Trump's 'Uber Inappropriate' Behavior on 9/11: 'It's Like He's Missing a Human Screw'      Cache   Translate Page      
During Tuesday's edition of The Lead With Jake Tapper, the panel engaged in a discussion about the President's behavior on the seventeenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  After Former Chief of Staff to Senator Mitch McConnell Josh Holmes criticized MSNBC's Joe Scarborough for writing an op-ed suggesting President Trump presented a greater threat to the country than "any terrorist attack ever could," CNN Political Commentator Angela Rye accused Holmes of holding Scarborough to a higher standard than the President; whose behavior she described as "uber inappropriate."  Rye specificially took issue with his "fist-pumping going to Shanksville" and his "thumbs-upping reporters getting ready to tour a national site."  Former State Department Official Jen Psaki also weighed in, suggesting "It's not even about like the Commander in Chief and what's appropriate. It's like he's missing a human screw."  When Psaki praised Twitter statements made by President Trump's three predecessors in honor of 9/11, Rye jumped in: "Maybe there's something he can do. How about copy and paste? Maybe copy and paste Barack Obama's tweet or George W. Bush's..."  Anti-Trump Republican Amanda Carpenter could not resist taking a jab at the First Lady, reacting to Rye's proposal by saying "Only Melania plagiarizes." 
          Comment on Nixon backpedals on letter saluting ‘courageous’ artists who boycotted ‘clearly illegal’ Israeli settlement by Kay24      Cache   Translate Page      
There are a few who must be at least taking a neutral stance on this, and not totally worshipping the occupier, like most Congress people do. Ted Cruz for instance has been criticizing Beto O'Rourke for not showing his unwavering love for Cruz's masters....remember Ted Cruz was present at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. He must have wanted to kiss that large butt personally. Unfortunately I have this terrible senator who has been in the pockets of the zionists for some years, Menendez, who I will not be voting for. Most probably he will win anyway.
          McCaskill releases tax return but not including rich husband      Cache   Translate Page      

Missouri's U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Josh Hawley have released their 2017 tax returns

The post McCaskill releases tax return but not including rich husband appeared first on FederalNewsRadio.com.


          Dem super PACs launch $21 million digital ad buy in top Senate races      Cache   Translate Page      
Two major Democratic super PACs are launching a joint $21 million digital ad campaign that’ll back Democratic incumbents and candidates in nine competitive Senate races. Priorities USA Action and Senate Majority PAC (SMP) will spend nearly $18 million on top races in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota. Senate Majority PAC will separately spend $3 million on ads in Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and West Virginia. The digital ads will run on social media platforms like Facebook as well as on audio streaming services like YouTube, Hulu and Spotify. The majority of the digital spots are focusing on taking aim...
          Senate OKs Trump choice for IRS head over Democrats’ protest      Cache   Translate Page      

The Senate has approved President Donald Trump's choice to become the new head of the IRS over the protests of many Democrats

The post Senate OKs Trump choice for IRS head over Democrats’ protest appeared first on FederalNewsRadio.com.


          Romania Moves Closer to Ruling Out Same-Sex Marriage      Cache   Translate Page      
BUCHAREST — Romania's senate overwhelmingly backed a citizens' initiative on Tuesday to change the definition of family in the constitution in a nationwide referendum, a move that could make it impossible to legalize same-sex unions in the future.
The Coalition for Family civil groups, gathered 3 million signatures in 2016, seeking to hold a referendum to amend the constitutional wording to an union strictly between "a man and a woman", from the existing, gender neutral, "spouses".
A referendum could be held as early as on Oct. 7, the ruling party has said. The government is expected to set a date for the ballot over the coming days.
The lower house of parliament voted to support the referendum last year. That move was slammed by LGBT and rights groups locally and internationally, and dozens of European parliament members, who fear an erosion of democratic rights.
Same sex marriage is legal or about to be legal in half of the European Union's 28 countries, with some others recognizing same-sex civil partners…
          Here's Even More Evidence Brett Kavanaugh Committed Perjury      Cache   Translate Page      
"This is a theme that we see emerge with Judge Kavanaugh time and time again—he says one thing under oath, and then the documents tell a different story."

By releasing new documents (pdf) previously marked "committee confidential" late on Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) doubled down on accusations that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury in his 2006 confirmation hearing for his seat on a federal appeals court.

We continue to find more evidence that Judge Kavanaugh misled me and the Judiciary Committee under oath. I’m posting important documents that Senate Republicans didn’t want the American people to see. We deserve transparency about this nominee.

— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) September 11, 2018

In defiance of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Durbin shared with the public two pages of emails showing that Kavanaugh was involved in discussions regarding the nomination of William Haynes for a judicial seat in 2002.

Four years later, Durbin said, Kavanaugh misled the Judiciary Committee about his involvement while under oath.

"It is clear now that not only did Judge Kavanaugh mislead me when it came to his involvement in the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies, but also regarding his role in the controversial Haynes nomination," Durbin said.

In an email dated November 15, 2002, Kavanaugh asked other White House officials whether Haynes, who helped form the Bush administration's torture policy while working as general counsel for the Pentagon, would be a sufficiently conservative judge.

In his confirmation hearing in 2006, Kavanaugh told senators that Haynes' nomination "was not one of the nominations that I handled" while working in the Bush White House.

"This is a theme that we see emerge with Judge Kavanaugh time and time again—he says one thing under oath, and then the documents tell a different story," said Durbin. "It is no wonder the White House and Senate Republicans are rushing through this nomination and hiding much of Judge Kavanaugh's record—the questions about this nominee's credibility are growing every day."

Last week, Kavanaugh told the Judiciary Committee that he had not been involved in the nomination of another judge with far right-wing views, claiming in an exchange with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that he didn't "believe" he had interviewed anti-choice Judge William Pryor for his nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court.

At a 2004 hearing Kavanaugh had also denied that he had "personally handled" the nomination, but emails from 2002 and 2003 showed that he had been included in meetings to "coordinate plans and efforts” regarding Pryor.

Following Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings last week, which drew widespread protests from the public—only 38 percent of whom approve of his nomination—progressives have called not only for senators to reject him for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court but also for him to be disqualified from any federal judicial seat.


          Mitch McConnell Braces Republicans for 'Unthinkable’ Prospect of Losing the Senate: Report      Cache   Translate Page      
Once thought indestructible, the GOP Senate majority is in play this fall.

Democrats pose a grave threat to the Republican House majority for the fall. The latest Quinnipiac poll shows Democrats leading the generic congressional ballot by 14 points, with a 15 point lead among independents and a 20 point lead with women.

But less attention has been devoted to the possibility that Democrats could retake the Senate, and for good reason: the map is stacked against them. 24 Democratic seats are up for election, versus only 9 Republican seats. And 10 of those Democratic seats are in states President Donald Trump carried.

But according to the Washington Post, one person is now taking seriously the chance of a Democratic takeover of the Senate: Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday sounded some of the most doubtful notes of Trump's presidency that Republicans will keep the upper chamber of Congress, telling reporters, "I hope when the smoke clears, we'll still have a majority."

His comments came as Republican strategists and officials fretted over a fresh round of private polling on the Senate races, while public polls registered further erosion in Americans' approval of Trump. "Shipwreck" was how one leading strategist described the situation, adding an expletive to underscore the severity of the party's problems.

As the Post notes, such an outcome was once considered "unthinkable." But the problem for Senate Republicans is that, while they started out with a massive geographical advantage, the map keeps shrinking for them, and growing for Democrats.

Numerous states where Republicans hoped to compete against Democratic incumbents are now looking out of reach due to poor recruiting and Trump's unpopularity, like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and especially Virginia, where the GOP immolated their chances against Sen. Tim Kaine by nominating Corey Stewart, a Confederate sympathizer with ties to white nationalists.

Republicans are still credibly in play against Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida, Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, and possibly Sen. Jon Tester in Montana. But they are not consistently ahead in any of these races. Some of the candidates, like Kevin Cramer in North Dakota, are struggling to justify Trump's policy decisions like tariffs. Others face scrutiny for their own records, like Josh Hawley in Missouri, who is currently part of a lawsuit to strike down protections for pre-existing conditions.

Meanwhile, some other Senate races in deep red states where everyone assumed Democratic incumbents would be in danger seem to simply be fizzling, like West Virginia, where Sen. Joe Manchin is comfortably ahead of state attorney general Patrick Morrisey.

On the flip side, Democrats are expanding their offensive efforts. Originally, the only states thought to be serious candidates for Democratic flips were Arizona, where Sen. Jeff Flake is retiring, and Nevada, where Sen. Dean Heller is the only GOP incumbent defending a state Hillary Clinton won. But polls now also show Democrats competitive in Tennessee, where popular former Democratic governor Phil Bredesen is facing far-right firebrand Rep. Marsha Blackburn, and Texas, where El Paso Rep. Beto O'Rourke has built a gigantic grassroots operation against infamous Sen. Ted Cruz. This last race in particular seems to worry McConnell, because even if Senate Republicans manage to defend Texas, doing so will cost them tens of millions that they wanted to spend against Democratic incumbents.

Some polls even show that depending on what happens in the first round, Democrats could win Mississippi, where they have a star recruit in former Rep. Mike Espy.

If a Democratic takeover of the House would be a nightmare for Trump, a Democratic takeover of the Senate would be an absolute disaster. It would mean his opponents chair every single investigative committee in Congress, and would also put an end to his unchecked confirmations of far-right judges.

It is little wonder that Republicans are desperate to ram through the Supreme Court confirmation before the elections are held.


          Conservatives Rail About Free Speech on College Campuses — But This Is the Real Threat to Our First Amendment      Cache   Translate Page      
The wealthier party "can basically win a breath-holding contest fighting in the courts."

It's a sign of the idiocy of Donald Trump-era politics that hundreds of thousands of words have been spent pushing what amounts to a hoax about "campus censorship," while genuine assaults on free speech -- especially by Trump himself, just don't attract the same amount of attention. But while the New York Times prefers to lavish attention on conservatives whose feelings are easily bruised might get, there are activists fighting genuine threats to free speech and pushing back against censorship that's far more serious than having someone scold you that racist thing you said.

Last week, a coalition of mostly left-leaning organizations — including the ACLU, Greenpeace and Human Rights Watch — joined under the banner Protect the Protest to speak out against an increasingly worrisome tactic that wealthy private interests use to squelch free speech: SLAPP suits. "SLAPP" is short for "strategic lawsuits against public participation." While there are many variations, most SLAPP actions use defamation lawsuits — or even just the threat of them — to scare journalists, activists and even private citizens from speaking out against injustice. While these lawsuits are rarely on solid legal grounds, they are nonetheless highly effective at the goal of keeping critics silent.

The typical SLAPP suit, as Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., explained last week on a press call, is filed by a wealthy corporation or individual and aimed at a smaller organization or less wealthy person. The wealthy party's suit is "designed primarily to outlast and outspend" those who are speaking out, Whitehouse said, "to go at their funding, to make them burn their resources in litigation."

The wealthier party, he added, "can basically win a breath-holding contest fighting in the courts."

No doubt the most famous of these cases was the 2016 lawsuit by former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan against the website Gawker, alleging that the site had invaded his privacy by publishing a leaked sex tape in which he allegedly appeared. While Hogan arguably had a sympathetic case on human grounds, it soon emerged that his lawsuit was the result of a multi-year SLAPP campaign waged by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who was bitter that Gawker had published unflattering articles about him in the past. Thiel's efforts led to a case that was winnable — he appeared determined to destroy Gawker — but much of the time SLAPP plaintiffs aren't really interested in the legal soundness of their cases. 

"In almost all these cases, these lawsuits were never going to win," explained Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. "But the problem is these powerful people and corporations don’t actually care about winning. They care about inflicting damage."

What free speech activists want is laws making it harder to sue someone for defamation without just cause. It gives the person who is being sued a chance to file a special motion for dismissal before the case can really get underway. That could help stop frivolous lawsuits before the defendant has spent too much money and could also, in many cases, discourage litigious, censorious people from bothering to sue in the first place.

The Public Participation Project has a map of the state laws protecting free speech from frivolous lawsuits, but what activists really want is a federal law. As Jeremy Rosen of the Public Participation Project argued in The Hill in 2016, "not all of the existing laws provide sufficient protection, and SLAPP plaintiffs have the ability to 'forum shop' for a state without adequate free speech protections in which to file their lawsuit," which means "legal fees from SLAPP suits can bankrupt individuals simply for exercising their First Amendment rights."

Typically, the discourse around SLAPP policy is focused on journalists and activists, who are often intimidated out of raising public awareness with lawsuits or even just the threat of lawsuit. But there's another group of people who need protection: Survivors who wish to speak out about their experiences.

“In light of the MeToo movement, when more and more women are speaking, we need to protect their rights to tell their stories," Bridget Mahoney, a former Youngstown, Ohio, news anchor who has become an advocate for survivors of domestic violence, told Salon. 

Mahoney has been outspoken about her previous marriage, which she says was abusive, and her extensive and costly efforts to get out of it. After all that, she and her daughter helped join a campaign to pass the Tina Croucher Act, an Ohio law mandating that public schools make education and resources related to "dating violence" available to students. As part of their activism, they testified in front of the Ohio state legislature and, Mahoney said, her ex-husband sued both her and their daughter for defamation based on what they shared in the testimony.

“I simply ran out of money," Mahoney said. "It created a whole level of additional trauma. We had progressed so far in healing our wounds from the past, and this just added new ones.”

Mahoney's experience is all too common. As Tyler Kingkade of Buzzfeed reported in 2017, defamation lawsuits are "a new tool in the battle over Title IX enforcement and are proving to be serious obstacles to students filing sexual misconduct complaints."

"Sometimes the mere threat of a defamation suit is enough to deter a student from going ahead with a sexual assault claim," Kingkade wrote.

Mahoney said that after she does speaking events, "women come up to me and say they’re afraid to even speak publicly, for fear of getting sued."

These lawsuits don't just affect women speaking in public, to be clear. In many cases, they are triggered simply by a woman filing a complaint with police or with an educational institution. Anti-SLAPP legislation has already been used successfully to get defamation lawsuits dismissed that were filed in response to the victim doing nothing more than calling the police.

“It’s literally re-victimization, these retaliatory lawsuits," Mahoney said. 

In defense of free speech, the Protect the Protest coalition held events early last week in multiple cities, in which activists picketed the front doors of some of the most SLAPP-friendly law firms in the country. With so much chatter in the press about "free speech," the hope is that attention can be diverted away from right-wing hoaxes and scare tactics and towards this genuine, systematic threat to free speech.

"There is no such thing as progress without protest," May Boeve, executive director of the environmental group 350.org, said in a statement. "Our climate and communities depend upon people making their voices heard."


          Vilipendio a Giorgio Napolitano Confermata la condanna per Bossi      Cache   Translate Page      
È stato condannato ad un anno e 15 giorni di reclusione l’ex leader della Lega Umberto Bossi per aver definito «terrone» Giorgio Napolitano e avergli fatto il gesto delle corna durante un comizio del Carroccio svoltosi ad Albino, nella bergamasca, il 29 dicembre 2011 quando Napolitano era il capo dello stato.

A deciderlo è stata la I Sezione Penale della Cassazione che dichiarato «inammissibile» il ricorso presentato dalla difesa di Bossi. Anche il Sostituto Procuratore Generale della Cassazione, Alfredo Viola, aveva chiesto che il ricorso del Senatur fosse dichiarato inammissibile. Bossi, alle prese a Genova anche sulla vicenda dei fondi della Lega, è stato condannato dagli Ermellini anche a pagare le spese legali e ha versare 2.000 euro alla Cassa delle Ammende. In I Grado il ’padrè della Lega era stato condannato a una pena più pesante, per vilipendio al presidente della repubblica, pari a 18 mesi di reclusione, con decisione emessa dal tribunale di Bergamo il 22 settembre 2015. In seguito, la Corte d’Appello di Brescia, l’11 gennaio 2017 aveva ridotto la condanna a un anno e 15 giorni, una decisione adesso ratificata anche dai magistrati di legittimità. L’udienza svoltasi stamani in Cassazione era stata aggiornata a nuovo ruolo in seguito al rinvio chiesto dalla difesa di Bossi lo scorso 9 aprile per motivi di salute dell’avvocato Domenico Mariani. L’udienza era stata fissata per oggi, ma anche in caso di nuovo rinvio non c’erano rischi di prescrizione che sarebbe maturata solo il 28 giugno 2019. A denunciare Bossi per vilipendio erano stati dei privati cittadini che si erano indignati per le parole e il gesto indirizzate all’allora inquilino del Quirinale.


          Republican Candidate: Joe Lieberman Only Supported Iraq War Because He’s Jewish      Cache   Translate Page      
Hagedorn also called Washington state’s U.S. senators “undeserving bimbos in tennis shoes” and referred to a disabled veteran as a “half-soldier.”
          Unions join fight against Kavanaugh nomination      Cache   Translate Page      

Campaign Action

The Judiciary Democrats' tough questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh exposed his absolute contempt for workers' rights and immigrants' rights. Organized labor is marshaling forces to put the pressure on.

They're using a successful playbook, says Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union. "We intend to make it the same thing as repealing [Obamacare]. … We are going to organize the three votes that are required to block this nomination." Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, adds "We cannot let this court continue to swing to the extreme right. It's out of step with what America believes."

The unions will target Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) this election, but promise this vote on Kavanaugh will have legs. They're "staffing phone banks, unions are mobilizing to target vulnerable Republican senators in their home states." Henry told Politco that "We've added organizers collectively … with our partners in Alaska, Nevada and Maine." That's you Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

"We think that we can put up a fight like you've never seen because that's what we do best in the labor movement," added Shuler. And boy, do folks in Nevada know that. Enjoy this SCOTUS vote, Sen. Heller. It's going to be your last.


          Hypocrisy, thy name is Susan Collins, Super PAC sweetheart      Cache   Translate Page      

Campaign Action

Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins is rallying the right wing to push back against people-powered democracy in her home state. Mainers for Accountable Leadership, the Maine People's Alliance, and Be A Hero, founded by national health care advocate and ALS patient Ady Barkan, have teamed together to crowd-source small-dollar donations in pledges.

If Collins goes against the wishes of her constituents and votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, those pledges—which now total over $1 million!—will be released to her opponent.

Collins has gotten the right-wing wurlitzer engaged on her behalf, screaming that a bunch of small-dollar donors working together is—get this—bribery. Ady Barkan has the perfect response to that:

"Senator Collins took over $5 million from PACs and large donors like the Koch brothers. In exchange, she voted to cut their taxes and take healthcare away from people like me. Senator Collins may not really know what small dollar donations are, because during her last election campaign less than 3% of her money came from small dollar donors, while 44% came from PACs, but that still doesn't excuse smearing a grassroots effort from regular people pleading with someone in a position of power to do the right thing."

Meanwhile, the pledges raised so far for a future opponent to Collins come from "more than 39,000 individual pledges ranging from $1 to the maximum allowable donation to a candidate of $2,700." That information, by the way, is from totally not a dirty-fucking-hippy elections blogger Rick Hasen, who also says that Republican "cries of bribery, illegality, and lack of principle lay bare the bankrupt campaign finance system that […] McConnell helped create and that Collins has contributed to with previous Supreme Court votes and will supersize with her likely vote to confirm Kavanaugh."

If money equals free speech, as McConnell and the Supreme Court and Collins insist that it does, then that's about 40,000 people exercising their First Amendment right to ask Susan Collins to do the right thing. This is Collins telling her constituents that plutocrats have a better chance of getting her ear than they do.

The people of Maine need to call her on this. Directly. Every day. At her office numbers: (207) 622-8414, (207) 945-0417, (207) 283-1101, (207) 493-7873, (207) 784-6969, (207) 780-3575, (202) 224-2523. But be polite. And maybe record your messages to show how polite you are, and provide those to the local media.


          9/13/2018: THE NATION: Burston a waste of space: Ashby      Cache   Translate Page      
Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff, James Ashby, claims to have achieved more for the Australian people as an unelected adviser than former One Nation senator Brian Burston, dismissing him yesterday as “jealous” of his accomplishments and a “waste of...
          Senate approves 1st spending bill to avert partial shutdown      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Senate OKs Trump choice for IRS head over Democrats' protest      Cache   Translate Page      
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          9/13/2018: INQUIRER SPECIAL: Biff sandwich      Cache   Translate Page      
In a reminder there’s no animosity quite as powerful as one that festers between former comrades, erstwhile One Nation senator Brian Burston stood in the upper house yesterday and bucketed his ex-leader, Pauline Hanson. The flavour is captured in these...
          Senate approves first 2018 spending package      Cache   Translate Page      
The Senate on Wednesday approved the first spending package for the 2019 fiscal year in its final form, pushing ahead a spending process that has been more productive than any in a decade. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the so-...
          9/13/2018: COMMENTARY: Red-hot Greens in Facebook stews and legal blues over hairy legs and power pussies      Cache   Translate Page      
Shagging men is Green for slutshaming. Nick O’Malley, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 9: (Greens) senator Sarah HansonYoung has offered to settle her defamation case against senator David Leyonhjelm for … $75,000 … a verdict in her favour and...
          Song of the Day: 'It's All Gone Horribly Wrong' by Saint Etienne      Cache   Translate Page      

I don't really want to be part of this society anymore ... even the smart people are stupid now.





          Page 1 Roundup (09/12)      Cache   Translate Page      


Towleroad: Puerto Rico governor blasts Trump over claiming his Hurricane Maria response was 'unsung success'


Auburn Pub: If you're voting in tomorrow's New York primary, please consider Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney for attorney general. Not only is he New York's first openly gay member of Congress -- with a hot husband and adorable kids -- he is also fully prepared to hold Trump accountable















          Trump Fumes Over Senate Democrats’ Stalling Tactics on Nominees      Cache   Translate Page      
On 09.11.18 01:25 PM posted by Fred Lucas Senate Democrats have President Donald Trump’s attention with their historic level of procedural delays to stall the seating of judges and start dates for nominees to key executive branch posts. Trump fired off a tweet Monday aimed at Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., complaining about 193 nominees awaiting consideration by Senate committees, while 127 others await a vote on the Senate floor. Chuck Schumer is holding up 320 appointments (Ambassadors, Executives, etc.) of great people who have left jobs and given up so much in order to come into Government. Schumer and the Democrats continue to OBSTRUCT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2018 (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1039261826318524417?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw)
          Osun 2018: Abuja Court orders WAEC to present Senator Adeleke’s result in 5 days      Cache   Translate Page      
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has given an order mandating the West African Examination Council (WAEC), through its Director General or any other designated officer of the council to depose to an affidavit confirming or denying that the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Osun State, […]
          DHS Says FEMA Money Transfer Won’t Harm Hurricane Relief      Cache   Translate Page      
(AP) – The Homeland Security Department is pushing back against a Democratic U.S. senator’s claim that the Trump administration transferred nearly $10 million from the government’s disaster relief agency to immigration enforcement. Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon said the administration was taking money from FEMA’s “response and recovery” to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency […]
          How Did Julia Salazar's State Senate Campaign Become a National News Story?      Cache   Translate Page      
First-time candidate Julia Salazar's bid to unseat a New York state senator snowballed into a series of national stories about her personal history.
          Le Dr Jean-Pierre Cousteau, écrivain, interviendra dimanche 16 septembre lors de la 6e Journée régionale de Synthèse nationale à Nieppe (59)      Cache   Translate Page      

2018 07 NIEPPE JPC.jpg

En savoir plus cliquez ici


          Nigeria needs “digital” president in 2019 – Saraki      Cache   Translate Page      

Senate President and PDP presidential aspirant Bukola Saraki says Nigeria needs a president that is “mobile, digital and has the capacity to plan for its people”. Saraki made this known in Calabar while paying a [...]

The post Nigeria needs “digital” president in 2019 – Saraki appeared first on AdeLove.com|Best Nigerian Blog.


Nigeria needs “digital” president in 2019 – Saraki was first posted on September 12, 2018 at 5:42 pm.
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          Jeff Griffith, Senate District 38 | Candidate Profiles for the November 2018 Ballot      Cache   Translate Page      
Public service has always been a major part of my life.  My father was a firefighter; I followed in his footsteps.  I began my career 30 years ago in Ramona and am now a Fire Captain and a Paramedic. I am not a career politician.  My progressive beliefs developed early in my career as I saw the need for quality healthcare and came to see it as a right.  I saw the power of unions to responsibly protect workers and working families. As a firefighter, it was easy to become an environmentalist and believer in climate change because of the lengthening fire season.  That is why I am a Democrat, because the majority of Democratic Party values match my own orientation to the issues that are facing us.   [Read more...]

          President Trump Admin Took Millions From FEMA For ICE Detentions | Video Worth Watching      Cache   Translate Page      
From the MSNBC YouTube website:

Senator Jeff Merkley talks with Rachel Maddow about a document showing that the Trump administration took ten million dollars from FEMA's budget ahead of the 2018 hurricane season and gave it to ICE to pay for detentions.

  [Read more...]

          Senate OKs Trump choice for IRS head over Democrats' protest      Cache   Translate Page      
Congress_IRS_Chief_90206Over the protests of many Democrats, the Senate on Wednesday evening approved President Donald Trump's choice to become the new head of the IRS. Democrats opposed the nomination because of a new Trump administration policy allowing some groups involved in politics to hide their donors' identities.
          Medical Marijuana Update      Cache   Translate Page      

The Justice Department is sitting on marijuana research applications, Congress refuses again to let VA docs recommend medical marijuana to vets, a bizarre Arizona appeals court ruling gets appealed, and more.

[image:1 align:left]National

Senate Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana For Military Veterans. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Brian Schatz (D-HA) last Wednesday filed the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, under which Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors could issue medical cannabis recommendations to veterans in states where it is legal. The bill is not yet available on the congressional website.

Marijuana Research Applications Go Nowhere at Justice Department. The DEA began accepting applications from researchers seeking to grow marijuana two years ago, but as of this week, none of the applications have been responded to. Some two dozen applications have been left in limbo by the Justice Department, the DEA's parent agency, during the tenure of anti-marijuana Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Marijuana Research Bill Scheduled For Congressional Vote This Week. The House Judiciary Committee will vote Thursday on HR 5634, Rep. Matt Gaetz's Medical Cannabis Research Act. Gaetz says the bill will expand the amount of research-grade marijuana available to researchers, but drug reformers are calling foul over some provisions, including one that bars people with a felony or drug-related misdemeanor conviction from any affiliation with research cultivation operations and another that requires cultivators to get a letter of good standing from a local law enforcement agency. They argued that those provisions should be removed, but Gaetz doesn't look likely to do that.

Congress Removes Military Veteran Medical Marijuana Provision From Funding Bill. A conference committee working on final details for the Veterans Affairs appropriations bill has decided not to include a provision allowing VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana to veterans. The Senate bill included the provision, but the House version did not. Two years ago, both houses passed VA spending bills that included versions of the provision, but that, too, was excised in conference committee.

Arizona

Arizona Patient Appeals Ruling That Edibles Are Illegal. Rodney Jones, who was convicted of possessing 0.05 ounces of hashish and sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison, is appealing a state Court of Appeals ruling that upholds his conviction. In that ruling, the appeals court held that hashish and edibles made from marijuana extracts are not covered by the state's medical marijuana law and their possession remains a crime. Jones spent a year behind bars awaiting trial and has since been released, but he still wants the conviction overturned and the appeals court's interpretation of the law thrown out.

Connecticut

Connecticut Federal Court Holds That Refusing To Hire Medical Marijuana User Constitutes Employment Discrimination. A federal court in Hartford held last Wednesday that refusing to hire a medical marijuana user who tested positive on a pre-employment drug test violates the state's medical marijuana law. Under the state's law, "[n]o employer may refuse to hire a person or may discharge, penalize or threaten an employee solely on the basis of such person’s or employee’s status as a qualifying patient."

Mississipi

Mississippi 2020 Initiative Drive Gets Underway. A group called Medical Marijuana 2020 plans to start collecting signatures for a medical marijuana constitutional amendment next week, according to state Rep. Joel Bomgar, a Republican who is on the group’s steering committee. The initial draft of the initiative appears very business-friendly, with no caps on the number of dispensaries or processors. 

New Mexico

New Mexico Health Secretary Rejects Medical Marijuana for Opioid Addiction. Department of Public Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher has rejected the idea of treating opioid addiction with medical marijuana, saying there isn't enough research to justify using it for addiction treatment. Her decision overrides the state's Cannabis Advisory Board, which recommended 5-1 that it be approved.

Utah

New Utah Poll Shows Continuing Support for Medical Marijuana Initiative. Despite the Church of Latter Day Saints coming out against the Proposition 2 medical marijuana initiative, support for the measure remains strong, a new poll finds. The poll had 64% either "somewhat" or "strongly" in support of the measure.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]


          Remember when people used to think businessmen should run the government?      Cache   Translate Page      
Remember when people used to think businessmen should run the government?

by digby





They were always wrong and this proves it:

“I think I could beat Trump” in an election, the Wall Street executive said at an event Wednesday morning that was supposed to celebrate his firm’s philanthropy. “I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is.”

By noon, the bank sent out a statement from its chairman and chief executive officer backtracking completely: “I should not have said it. I’m not running for president. Proves I wouldn’t make a good politician. I get frustrated because I want all sides to come together to help solve big problems.”

Dimon is renowned for speaking bluntly, but he vacillates on Trump.

After the inauguration, he said Trump had reawakened “animal spirits” in the U.S. Dimon has also praised the president’s softer regulation and a tax policy that’s generous to rich companies and people.

Dimon was a member of the president’s strategy and policy forum -- a council of U.S. business leaders -- but it disbanded last year in the backlash to Trump’s response to a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville. And this year, Dimon said the administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the U.S. border with Mexico was cruel.

Dimon has taken shots at others in Washington without swiftly reversing himself. In 2015, he said he doubts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a critic of large banks, “fully understands” the global financial system.

Trump has had his own ups and downs with the financial world, even though he’s surrounded himself with some of its leaders. He campaigned as someone who would stand up to the industry, and his closing ad flashed a Wall Street sign, Federal Reserve logos, and the New York Stock Exchange over eerie music and a speech.

“It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class,” he said, “stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations.”

When previously disavowing any intent of running for the U.S. presidency, Dimon has said he’s not sure being a corporate leader translates well into the political arena. His bravado landed him in trouble on Wednesday.

“And by the way, this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money,” Dimon said before apologizing. “It wasn’t a gift from daddy.”


Honestly, I don't see much of a difference between them. Dimon is probably smarter (who isn't?) but he's obviously got the same character flaws.

Maybe one upside to Trump is that we can throw him in the face of anyone who even thinks of telling us that the government should be run like a business.

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          Stuck with Sessions      Cache   Translate Page      
Stuck with Sessions

by digby



This may be the best illustration of how upside down our politics are right now:

President Donald Trump has scrambled many of Washington’s standard operating assumptions. Among his most head-scratching accomplishments, however, may be making Democratic voters oppose the idea of an unemployed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

As a staunchly conservative senator from Alabama who was especially hawkish on immigration policy, Sessions’ ideas were reviled in Democratic Party circles. Now, as leader of the Department of Justice, he’s used his power to enact measures he was only able to dream about as a lawmaker.

HuffPost’s Ryan J. Reilly recently dubbed him Trump’s “most effective” cabinet member:

He’s stepped up prosecutions for illegal border crossing, implemented the “zero tolerance” policy that led to family separations, put pressure on immigration judges to speed up cases with new precedents and a quota system, and restricted asylum for victims of domestic violence. He’s renewed a “tough on crime” approach, rolling back Obama-era sentencing changes, opposing broader sentencing reforms that had bipartisan support, and reversing course on an effort to reduce DOJ’s use of private prisons. He’s had DOJ back away from investigations of policing practices.

One might assume that record would cause Democrats to view the prospect of his ouster from Trump’s Cabinet as a good idea. But according to a poll released by Quinnipiac University on Monday, the opposite holds true ― Democratic voters disapproved of Trump firing Sessions, 69 percent to 16 percent, while Republicans approved of the scenario, 49 percent to 23 percent.

The news in the poll gets even worse for Sessions. Among the entire survey sample, only 17 percent give him favorable marks, with 43 percent having an unfavorable view of him and 33 percent saying they haven’t heard enough to pass judgment.

There’s no partisan silver lining in these figures, either. Only 19 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the GOP stalwart ― barely more than the 13 percent of Democrats who approve of him (21 percent of independents view him favorably).

The mixed attitude toward Sessions among Democrats ― a widespread disapproval of him combined with a desire he stay on as the nation’s chief law enforcement official ― no doubt stems from Trump’s repeated attacks on the man he picked to be attorney general.

Much of the president’s anger toward him has been caused by Sessions’ refusal to interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia led by special counsel Robert Mueller ― a probe Trump frequently berates as a “witch hunt.”

Senate Republicans have repeatedly warned that ousting Sessions wouldn’t be a good idea politically for Trump, and there is fresh evidence to support their claim. In the Quinnipiac poll, voters said that Mueller is conducting a fair investigation, 55 percent to 32 percent.

Nobody can stand Sessions. And while he's being a very good soldier by fulfilling the Trump base's
most fervent desire to harass and persecute people of color and immigrants, Republicans know they can count on their president to appoint someone else to carry out that agenda and also fire the hated Mueller.

Sessions isn't indispensable to the Trumpies. Racist right-wingers are a dime a dozen. But getting another Trump loyalist who is also recused from the Russia investigation isn't possible.

This is a terrible choice. But until this freakshow is over one way or another there isn't a better one.


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          Another "A" poll shows Trump slippage      Cache   Translate Page      
Another "A" poll shows Trump slippage

by digby




... and his rating wasn't that high to begin with. Also, a majority believe he's a lying idiot:
American voters believe 55 - 28 percent anonymous allegations that senior aides to President Donald Trump work behind his back to keep him from making what the aides believe are bad decisions, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today.

Republicans don't believe these accounts 52 - 27 percent, the only listed party, gender, education, age or racial group which does not believe that aides are working behind the president's back, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University National Poll finds.

But American voters say 51 - 39 percent that the person who wrote the allegations did the wrong thing by submitting them to the media to be published anonymously.

American voters disapprove 54 - 38 percent of the job President Trump is doing, compared to a 54 - 41 percent disapproval August 14.


The only listed groups approving of the president are Republicans, 84 - 7 percent and white voters with no college degree, 51 - 40 percent.

A total of 70 percent of American voters say the nation's economy is "excellent" or "good," matching the all-time high rating for the economy. Another 28 percent say the economy is "not so good" or "poor."

"American voters believe those tales of intrigue coming from the Trump White House, but they think it's wrong to tell those tales anonymously," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"The economy booms, but President Donald Trump's numbers are a bust. An anemic 38 percent approval rating is compounded by lows on honesty, strength and intelligence.

"But Trump's base remains loyal."

American voters give President Trump his lowest grade for honesty since he was elected, saying

60 - 32 percent that he is not honest. Trump gets low grades on most character traits:
57 - 38 percent that he does not have good leadership skills;
55 - 41 percent that he does not care about average Americans;
65 - 30 percent that he is not level-headed;
57 - 39 percent that he is a strong person;
51 - 42 percent that he is intelligent;
60 - 33 percent that he does not share voters' values;
55 - 41 percent that he is not fit to serve as president;
48 - 42 percent that he is mentally stable.

Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

Wide gender, racial and partisan gaps leave American voters divided on whether the U.S. Senate should confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court as 41 percent say yes and 42 percent say no.

Support for confirmation is 81 - 3 percent among Republicans and 45 - 39 percent among independent voters, with Democrats opposed 76 - 9 percent;

Men support confirmation 46 - 37 percent, with women opposed 47 - 36 percent;

White voters support confirmation 49 - 37 percent, with opposition at 66 - 13 percent among black voters and 53 - 33 percent among Hispanic voters.

Jeff Sessions, Robert Mueller

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gets a negative 17 - 43 percent favorability rating, with no listed group giving him a positive rating.

But American voters would disapprove 50 - 29 percent if Trump fired Sessions. Republicans are the only listed group who would approve, 49 - 23 percent.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is conducting a fair investigation into possible coordination between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government, voters say 55 - 32 percent, compared to 51 - 33 percent August 14.
Historian Jon Meachum noted on MSNBC today that Nixon held 50% of voters all the way until the very end.  34% of the public stuck with Joseph McCarthy even after the "at long last sir have you no decency" moment.

This racist, conspiratorial, authoritarian wingnut faction is always with us. But it appears to be reducing down to its bare essence which is about a third of the country.

That would be many tens of millions of people, by the way.

Update: Uh oh, here's another one.

President Donald Trump's approval rating has fallen 6 points in the last month and stands at a new low among political independents, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

Overall, just 36% approve of the way the President is handling his job, down from 42% in August. Among independents, the drop has been sharper, from 47% approval last month to 31% now. That's 4 points below his previous 2018 low of 35% approval among political independents in CNN polling, and 1 point below his previous all-time low among independents in CNN polling, reached in November 2017.
[...]
The President's favorability rating -- a measure of whether people like him, rather than approve of his job performance -- has also taken a hit in this poll, with 61% saying they have unfavorable views of Trump, up from 55% in June. That unfavorable number is the worst since he won the presidency, and it matches the worst level seen during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has also lost ground on several personal attributes, most notably perceptions of his honesty:

Just 32% say they see the President as honest and trustworthy, the worst read in CNN polling. About a third, 32%, say he's someone they are proud to have as President, down 6 points since March and the lowest since Trump took office. Only 36% say he "cares about people like you," another new low. Just 30% say he'll unite the country and not divide it, matching his previous low on that measure from November 2017. Four in 10 say the President can bring the kind of change the country needs, down 5 points from March and matching a November 2017 low. And 60% say the President does not respect the rule of law, not significantly changed since March.

As on the President's approval rating, the shifts in Trump's favorability rating and attributes are driven largely by movement among independents. The share saying they have an unfavorable view of the President is up 10 points since June (from 55% to 65%), and there have been 10-point declines since March among independents in the share who say Trump is someone they are proud to have as President (from 36% to 26%), who cares about people like them (from 42% to 32%) and who can bring needed change (from 46% to 36%).

.


          That monkey comment wasn't an accident      Cache   Translate Page      
That monkey comment wasn't an accident

by digby




Recall that President's Trump's poodle Ron DeSantis was widely condemned for saying that he didn't think his African American opponent for the governorship of Florida should be allowed to "monkey up" the state.

If you lie down with racist dogs you get racist fleas
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a gubernatorial nominee who recently was accused of using racially tinged language, spoke four times at conferences organized by a conservative activist who has said that African Americans owe their freedom to white people and that the country’s “only serious race war” is against whites.

DeSantis, elected to represent north-central Florida in 2012, appeared at the David Horowitz Freedom Center conferences in Palm Beach, Fla., and Charleston, S.C., in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, said Michael Finch, president of the organization. At the group’s annual Restoration Weekend conferences, hundreds of people gather to hear right-wing provocateurs such as Stephen K. Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos and Sebastian Gorka sound off on multiculturalism, radical Islam, free speech on college campuses and other issues.

“I just want to say what an honor it’s been to be here to speak,” DeSantis said in a ­27-minute speech at the 2015 event in Charleston, a video shows. “David has done such great work and I’ve been an admirer. I’ve been to these conferences in the past but I’ve been a big admirer of an organization that shoots straight, tells the American people the truth and is standing up for the right thing.”

The Florida gubernatorial campaign is one of the marquee races of 2018, pitting DeSantis, a Trump acolyte and lawyer in the Navy Reserve, against Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, who would become the state’s first African American governor. President Trump has endorsed DeSantis, and Gillum is backed by progressive leader Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont. In less than two weeks since the primary, race has become a central issue in the nation’s largest battleground state.

The Freedom Center covered DeSantis’s expenses for the 2017 conference at a luxury resort in Palm Beach, according to disclosure forms he filed as a member of Congress.

Fellow speakers included a former Google engineer who was fired after arguing that “biological causes” in part explain why there are relatively few women working in tech and leadership; a critic of multiculturalism who has written that “,Europe is committing suicide” by welcoming large numbers of refugees and immigrants; and a British media personality who urged the audience to keep the United States from becoming like the United Kingdom, where “discrimination against whites is institutionalized and systemic.”

Requests to the campaign and the congressional office to interview DeSantis was declined. A spokeswoman for the congressman, Elizabeth Fusick, provided a statement that described DeSantis as “a leader in standing up for truth and American strength.”

“He appreciates those who support his efforts and is happy to be judged on his record,” Fusick said. “He does not, though, buy into this ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ notion that he is responsible for the views and speeches of others.”

Yeah, well:

Last May, after DeSantis lamented the “four liberals” on the Florida Supreme Court who overturned the death sentence of a man convicted of raping and murdering a child because the decision had not been unanimous, a DeSantis supporter suggested “bring[ing] back the hanging tree.”

When the Tampa Bay Times asked for clarification on DeSantis’s position on the issue, the campaign said it stood by the “hanging tree” comment.

“Ron thinks that Floridians should be forgiven for having some pretty strong and not at all politically correct feelings about what should happen to this animal. Let’s be clear; we’re talking about someone who kidnapped, raped and murdered an 11-year-old girl,” the campaign said in a statement. “The Florida Supreme Court’s decision was appalling and demonstrates once again why we need someone like Ron DeSantis, who stared down terrorists while serving in the Navy in Iraq and at the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, to appoint constitutionalists who will apply the law correctly.”

DeSantis was also recently outed as the former moderator of a Facebook groupthat was a hotbed for racist memes and posts.

That last is really the put-away shot. He and the GOP Senate candidate in Virginia were both moderators of this racist Facebook group. You don't join such a group much less help run it if you are not a stone cold racist. That is what he is.

By the way, he's very close to Trump, defending him against the Russia investigation as if he is personally implicated. That's because he is.

.
          Tens of Thousands of People Raising Money to Defeat Collins If She Votes for Kavanaugh Is Not "Bribery," Say Her Opponents, It's Democracy      Cache   Translate Page      
Julia Conley, staff writer
"The idea of Susan Collins attacking an effort by 35,000 small dollar donors as bribery is politics at its worst...Unlike Supreme Court judges, senators do not enjoy a lifetime guarantee of their seat; they are accountable to the people."

          Bannon's latest play      Cache   Translate Page      
Bannon's latest play

by digby



My Salon column this morning:

Here's a story that won't merit a lot of discussion in the American press because our political circus and culture war is so loud and raucous that we can't hear much else:
Sweden headed for a hung parliament after an election on Sunday that saw the popularity of the nationalist Sweden Democrats surge, as one of Europe’s most liberal nations turns right amid fears over immigration.
Sweden is a social-democratic nation with excellent services, benefits and a very high standard of living. Most Swedish citizens have traditionally held very liberal views on just about everything. But the far right made big gains in this year's election because of immigration and, frankly, race. That's what right-wing "nationalism" in 2018 comes down to. Welcome to our world.

Sweden isn't the first European country to go this way in recent years. Hungary, Austria, Italy and (in its own manner) Britain have taken rightward turns, and those political movements are picking up steam all over the world. I won't try to analyze the reasons for this. There are hundreds of people trying to sort out where all this is coming from. Let's just say there are tectonic forces at play, from migration caused by war, economic dislocation and climate change to income inequality, corruption and God knows what else. But regardless of the reasons, there is no doubt that something is afoot and it's gaining ground.

Here in the United States, our version of this phenomenon is Trumpism, an especially cartoonish form of the right-wing nationalism we see elsewhere. Donald Trump is a ridiculous celebrity with a simple-minded set of talking points he's been spouting for decades, along with some recently acquired hate-radio tropes deployed to get his followers excited. Nonetheless, Trumpism is best understood as a variant of the global "alt-right" movement devoted to martial chauvinism, authoritarianism, anti-liberalism, nativism and racism. Perhaps the primary exponent of the current U.S. iteration is former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who is also the former chairman of Breitbart News and now a propaganda filmmaker.

Bannon's last foray into electoral politics didn't end well when he went down to Alabama to stump for Judge Roy Moore in his ill-fated Senate race. You may recall that his pitch was almost entirely a series of attacks on the Republican leadership:




Bannon has been traveling all over Europe the past few months, making contacts and forming alliances with the various right-wing movements across the Atlantic, observing how they become dominant in their respective conservative coalitions and forming a new organization he calls "the Movement." Now he has rushed back to the U.S. to join the midterm fray, hoping to foment the paranoia and grievance that defines both Trump and his followers and to reframe the November election as a war for survival.

This weekend saw the release date of Bannon's new film, "Trump@War." It portrays the Democrats and the media as allied against Donald Trump and, by association, his followers. This strategy goes hand in hand with Bannon's recent proclamation that the Republicans need to run on impeachment.



There's good reason to believe Bannon is doing at least some of this in order to get back in Trump's good graces, but according to Jonathan Swan at Axios, it isn't working. Or at least it hasn't up until now. However, the second front in Trump's war may prove to be more fruitful. In an interview with Reuters over the weekend, Bannon described the New York Times' recent anonymous op-ed by a senior administration official as an attempted "coup" and compared Trump to Abraham Lincoln, which he knows the president loves:
“What you saw the other day was as serious as it can get. This is a direct attack on the institutions,” Bannon said during a flying visit to Italy. “This is a coup, okay ... This is a crisis. The country has only ever had such a crisis in the summer of 1862 when General McClellan and the senior generals, all Democrats in the Union Army, deemed that Abraham Lincoln was not fit and not competent to be commander in chief,” Bannon said. “There is a cabal of Republican establishment figures who believe Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. This is a crisis."

He also claimed that he's not a "conspiracy guy," which will come as a surprise to anyone who's read his writings or watched his films.

Bannon is a white nationalist propagandist who has openly proclaimed that he wants to create chaos and blow up the existing world order and start over. If he had never been involved with the Trump campaign and hired into the White House he would probably be dismissed as a pseudo-intellectual Alex Jones. But the imprimatur of his association with the president gives him credibility in foreign capitals and could very well be influential in the Trump White House once again if this spirited defense against virtually everyone -- the Democrats, the media and the GOP establishment -- convinces Trump that he's a loyal soldier after all.

The fight between Trump and the Democrats is a natural political battle, and Trump has repeatedly insisted that he views the media as his enemy. But the ongoing leaking from Trump insiders and the anonymous op-ed could represent a tremendous opportunity for Bannon to flog his crusade against the Republican establishment, which he has considered to be Job One since his Breitbart days.

But he may have been spending too much time in Europe lately. Bannon has apparently failed to notice that if at one point there was a civil war within the Republican Party, the establishment has unconditionally surrendered. No Republican with any institutional power has done a thing to stop Trump. Some insiders have leaked self-serving stories to the press in order to reassure waffling suburban Republicans that they needn't worry about Trump blowing up the world. That looks a lot like an effort to help the party keep control and further empower his administration.

Sure, Trump is a crude demagogue. But Republicans have been priming the resentments of their white racist base for decades. How much of a surprise can this really be? The program he's enacting is their program, which they can't bring themselves to oppose no matter how crazy he sounds. They're just worried about losing those voters who find Trump to be too boorish. He doesn't understand that you're supposed to dog-whistle this stuff so you don't humiliate the nice suburban Republicans in front of the neighbors.

Bannon has said that the far-right European parties are about a year ahead of the United States. He's got that wrong. The European right may be getting its mojo back after a long hiatus, but the American right has been pushing a racist, nationalist politics for decades. It's just talking about it more openly now.



          Raw material by @BloggersRUs      Cache   Translate Page      

Raw material

by Tom Sullivan

Now that you have dispatched your morning texts, calls, e-faxes, whatevs to your senators demanding they stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh from ascending to the highest court in the land, consider another reason for doing it. Besides what he's likely to do to women's rights. (Should you require more motivation, I echo Michael Tomasky's recommendation that if you haven't read the Slate post by Lisa Graves, a Democratic Senate staffer who wrote some of those stolen emails, take a couple of minutes.)

Grover Norquist in his heyday dreamed of rolling back the 20th century and returning America not to the 1950s, but to the McKinley era. William Grieder wrote about Norquist's vision:

Governing authority and resources are dispersed from Washington, returned to local levels and also to individuals and private institutions, most notably corporations and religious organizations. The primacy of private property rights is re-established over the shared public priorities expressed in government regulation. Above all, private wealth–both enterprises and individuals with higher incomes–are permanently insulated from the progressive claims of the graduated income tax.
Industrial giants would be free at last (again) to strip-mine the economy, plunder natural resources, and re-establish the natural order of land barons and serfs.

With Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, new Gilded Age corporate behemoths will have the protection of the Supreme Court for another generation, as they have for the last. Valued at $1 trillion, Amazon is one, writes Kelly Weill for Daily Beast. The one-time online bookstore is now everywhere. After acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon now sells groceries its employees cannot afford to eat:
“In the last three years we have experienced layoffs, job consolidations, reduced labor budgets, poor wage growth, and constantly being asked to do more with less resources and now with less compensation,” Whole Foods workers in a pro-union group wrote in a letter to colleagues, which was shared with The Daily Beast.

The letter took aim at Amazon CEO Bezos, describing “majority of his workers” as living “paycheck to paycheck.”
More than one in ten of Amazon's fulfillment center employees in Ohio are eligible for SNAP benefits. (Amazon argues those employees work part-time.) Ohio celebrated the center as a boon for job creation and handed Amazon over $17 million in tax breaks, with $125 million more on the way.

West Licking Fire Station 3 makes runs to the Amazon.com Inc. warehouse 20 miles east of Columbus about once a day to treat employees (more often during the holiday season). "Shortness of breath. Chest pains. Myriad minor injuries," the fire district administrator told Bloomberg last fall. The company pays no property taxes to support the service. Locals do.

via GIPHY

The drive for profit über alles gets better, Weill writes:
Workers at Amazon fulfillment centers elsewhere have complained of dangerously hot facilities and impossible deadlines that left employees peeing into garbage cans and water bottles to avoid taking bathroom breaks. White-collar Amazon workers complained of a similar ethos at their desk jobs. In a 2015 New York Times report, corporate employees complained of punishing workloads and saw “nearly every person” crying at their desk, 80-hour work weeks, and a competitive work environment that encouraged employees to sabotage their colleagues.
The American Dream, baby.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act (Stop BEZOS Act) to tax such employers for every dollar of public subsidy their employees receive. Sen. Elizabeth Warren's solution seems less like a band-aid, but neither seems viable in the short term.

“Amazon is raising a generation of precarious workers and that is against everything our union stands for,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU, told The Daily Beast in a statement. “We will not back down until Amazon workers are treated with dignity and respect.”

Whole Foods said it was receptive to employee concerns—but emphasized those rights on an individual, not a collective basis.
Fodder. Grist. Raw material. Inputs. Human "resources" is the worst.

* * * * * * * * *

For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.


          Innovation Should Not Ignore Privacy or Security Risks      Cache   Translate Page      
Will new laws ignore privacy dangers inherent in self-driving cars? Even as the country still reels from revelations that almost 2.5 million more people were affected by the recent Equifax than previously thought (bringing the current total up to 145.5 million), the senate has introduced legislation regarding advanced testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles without ...
          Senate Confirms Charles Rettig as IRS Commissioner - Wall Street Journal      Cache   Translate Page      

Wall Street Journal

Senate Confirms Charles Rettig as IRS Commissioner
Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—The Senate confirmed Charles Rettig to run the Internal Revenue Service, giving the veteran California tax lawyer one of the toughest, most thankless jobs in the federal government. Mr. Rettig, who spent his career representing wealthy ...
Senate approves Rettig to head Internal Revenue ServiceReuters

all 17 news articles »

          Senate Approves President Trump’s Pick to Head the IRS      Cache   Translate Page      
Charles Rettig is a tax attorney from Beverly Hills
          9/12/2018: WORLD: SENATORS VOTE FOR HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE ONLY      Cache   Translate Page      
BUCHAREST Romanian Senators on Tuesday approved a measure that would pave the way for the constitution to be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Senators voted 107-13 with seven abstentions to allow a referendum...
          Sen. Brown on Ohio Senate race: I fight for people      Cache   Translate Page      
While Democrats are hopeful for a blue wave this November, they still face a challenge in Ohio, a state that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, then swung to Donald Trump in 2016. Senator Sherrod Brown, who’s up for re-election in Ohio, plays
          Senate-Approved Garbage      Cache   Translate Page      
Senate-Approved Garbage
          LGBTQ community may be the deciding factor of the Blue Wave midterm success      Cache   Translate Page      

As the midterms approach, the one thing becoming increasingly clear is the importance of the LGBTQ voter. We rejoiced over the progress made in the Obama years and watched in horror as Trump, with the anti-LGBTQ industry whispering in his ear like that Lord of the Rings character Wormtongue, proceeded to take away from us as much as he could. Now certain groups are hoping that we took mental notes about Trump's behavior and are motivated to wreak a rainbow tsunami at the ballot box which will help take control away from him, his anti-LGBTQ unofficial cabinet, and the GOP in general.

According to NBC News, our vote could count tremendously in key areas:

LGBTQ people make up an estimated 4.5 percent of the adult population in the U.S., according to Gallup, and lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals comprise approximately 5 percent of voters across the country. While LGBTQ voters are a relatively small portion of the electorate, a number of political experts and advocates say these approximately 10 million eligible voters could prove critical in several close races.

The LGBTQ vote could be particularly important in states with close races that have sizable LGBTQ populations, according to Patrick Egan, a political science professor at New York University. 
He cited Florida, which has an estimated 700,000 LGBTQ people, as an example. The state’s races for senate and governor are close, and the Republican and Democratic candidates have “dramatically different positions.” 
. . . Egan also mentioned Vermont, where Democrat Christine Hallquist could become the country’s first transgender governor. LGBTQ people comprise an estimated 5.3 percent of the state’s adult population. “That’s a place where we expect not just turnout, but also campaign volunteering and donations, to potentially be quite important,” Egan said of Vermont.

And the Democratic National Committee has not only noticed, but encouraged this:

 Democrats have invested millions of dollars in state parties across the country in order to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, including a record number of LGBTQ candidates, according to a Democratic National Committee official who spoke to NBC News on background.
These LGBTQ candidates, according to the official, include Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, Christine Hallquist of Vermont and Josh Boschee of North Dakota. The DNC has also put out an LGBTQ Voting Rights Toolkit, which offers specific advice for LGBTQ voters — especially transgender individuals — who may encounter trouble at the polls because of voter identification laws.

The article in general underscores the fact that the progress made in the Obama years could have possibly created an LGBTQ constituency vote with potency for future elections. The key is unification. Unfortunately, some of us do tend to bend over backwards in order to demonstrate how we are supposedly not "one-issue" voters, when such a notion is absolutely self-defeating. Particularly when that "one issue" encompasses marriage, adoption rights, protection from discrimination, family rights, military rights, etc. etc.

That "one issue" is the survival of the LGBTQ community in general. Seems to be that would be a perfect time for us to vote selfishly and pragmatically. It will either be the GOP or the Democrats who have control. Our best bet is to vote for those who we can work. And for God's sake, do not sit this out. That behavior amongst some folks is how we got into the mess we are in now.



          The Circus of Resistance      Cache   Translate Page      
Victor Davis Hanson // National Review The resistance to Donald Trump was warring on all fronts last week. Democratic senators vied with pop-up protestors in the U.S. Senate gallery to disrupt and, if possible, to derail the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) Read more →
          Senate approves Rettig to head Internal Revenue Service      Cache   Translate Page      
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed President Donald Trump's choice of Beverly Hills, California, tax lawyer Charles Rettig to be commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, the federal agency that implements tax laws.

          U.S. Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          Judicial Watch Files Senate Ethics Complaint Against Sen. Cory Booker for Purposely Violating Rules in Releasing Confidential Documents      Cache   Translate Page      
Contact: Jill Farrell, Judicial Watch, 202-646-5188 WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2018 /Standard Newswire/ -- Judicial Watch announced today that it hand-delivered a letter to the chairman and co-chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics calling for an investigation into Sen Cory Booker's (D-NJ) admitted violation of Senate rules by releasing confidential records through his social media accounts. Senator Booker faces expulsion from the Senate for his violation of the rules. Sen. Bo Source: Judicial Watch, Inc.
          Senate approves 1st spending bill to avert partial shutdown      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — As a major hurricane menaces the East Coast, Congress is moving to avert a legislative disaster that could lead to a partial government shutdown just weeks before the November midterm elections.Senators approved...
          Senate OKs Trump choice for IRS head over Democrats' protest      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON (AP) — Over the protests of many Democrats, the Senate on Wednesday evening approved President Donald Trump's choice to become the new head of the IRS. Democrats opposed the nomination because of a new Trump administration...
          Trump 38% Approval; GOP To Lose House, Possibly Senate, Cruz In Danger      Cache   Translate Page      
none
          New York Primaries      Cache   Translate Page      
Zephyr and Bernie

The polls close in New York at 9 tomorrow... so there's nothing left to do but vote if you can-- and to sit back and watch the returns come in. I'll update this post as they do. Remember, these are state races, not federal primaries, which already happened.

The big ones tomorrow night night are the gubernatorial and lieutenant  gubernatorial races, the AG race and the state Senate races. The first two are very clear. The villains are Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul. He's corrupt beyond reason-- basically a conservative-- and she's basically a Republican with a "D" next to her name. Progressives Cynthia Nixon and New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams are running on full-bore progressive planks. The whole panoply of garbage status quo politicians has come out to back Cuomo, from Schumer, Gillibrand and Biden to Hillary and DNC chair Tom Perez. Bernie didn't endorse in that race but he did endorse Jumaane. The NY Times, the Working Families Party, Our Revolution, and all the state reform organizations endorsed him as well. Everyone in politics for corruption endorsed Hochul.

Who endorsed Nixon? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Working Familes Party, DFA, Justice Democrats, PCCC, The Nation and all the reform groups. Don't expect any miracles tomorrow-- or it would actually take a miracle. The last poll I saw had Cuomo beating her 63-22%; probably not accurate. Maybe voters think he's his father. Cuomo has blanketed the sate with close to $10 million in TV ads-- in just the final 3 weeks.




The race where Blue America attempted to concentrate our efforts was for Attorney General, where progressive champion Zephyr Teachout-- also endorsed by Bernie-- is running against a couple of worthless status quo galoots, conservaDem Sean Patrick Maloney and Cuomo candidate (Cuomo doesn't want to be investigated by Teachout) Letitia James. Besides Cuomo she is being backed by the wretched EMILY's List and a gaggle of establishment politicians, including Crowley and outright crooks like Greg Meeks. Zephyr was endorsed by both the NY Times and the Daily News, Alexandria, Cynthia Nixon, Shaun King, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick, Our Revolution, The Nation, and the Buffalo News-- but by no one who fears the wrath of Cuomo.

No one endorsed Maloney-- not a single one of his congressional colleagues... just one national gay organization, a gay version of EMILY's List.

And then there's the state Senate and the progressive hopes of ousting right-wing IDC creeps who caucus with the Republicans and prevent progressive legislation from moving forward. There are 9 key challenges tomorrow. These (incumbent villains first, good guys afterwards):
11th (Queens)- Tony Avella, John Liu
13th (Queens)- José Peralta, Jessica Ramos
17th (Brooklyn)- Simcha Felder, Blake Morris
20th (Brooklyn)- Jesse Hamilton, Zellnor Myrie
23rd (north State Island, Brooklyn)- Diane Savino, Jasmine Robinson
31st (Manhattan- West Side)- Marisol Alcantara, Robert Jackson
34th (Bronx)- Jeff Klein, Alessandra Biaggi
38th (Rockland Co)- David Carlucci, Julie Goldberg
53rd (Syracuse)- David Valesky, Rachel May
I bolded the candidates endorsed by Blue America. Below is a last minute plea from Alexandria to her New York supporters:
We already knew that New York machine politics were toxic-- every day, they prevent working class folks from participating in our democratic system, stifle public input, and dash people’s faith in the power of our democracy to answer their concerns.

But their toxicity and divisiveness has reached new levels, just days before the New York State Primary.


'Here’s the situation: Just a few days ago, the New York State Democratic Party sent out a mailer for Andrew Cuomo-- a mailer that claimed Cynthia Nixon was anti-semitic based on policy positions she does not hold.

A public outcry ensued. Party leaders claimed that no one had authorized the mailer, and still refuse to tell voters who authored the mailer, or explain why they received it in the first place. But that doesn’t matter, because the damage is done-- it doesn't matter how blatantly false they are, those attacks are going to be the last thing in many voters minds as they head to the polls on Thursday.

...Instead of using these party resources to help register new voters, or hosting events to engage the community, the resources of the New York State Democratic Party went towards helping one Democrat attack another Democrat in a contested primary. Does that sound right to you?

All of this just goes to show that despite our incredible primary win, the corrupt New York political machine is still alive and kicking. That’s why we need to continue to fight, and help elect progressive champions that buck establishment politics, and focus on running grassroots, people-powered campaigns.

...A future where machine politics are gone for good is possible-- but no one is going to hand it to us. If we want a progressive future where candidates stand for the interests of working class communities, then we have to build it ourselves.

I’m ready.

Are you?

Pa'lante,
Alexandria

          Romania’s senate backs new marriage law on religious grounds      Cache   Translate Page      
Wed 12 Sep 2018 By Press Association Romania’s senators have approved a law that would pave the way for the constitution to be changed to explicitly state that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Senators voted … Continuă lectura
          Bredesen, Blackburn Differ on Plans to Deal With Federal Budget      Cache   Translate Page      
U.S. Senate candidates, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and former Gov. Phil Bredesen, are proposing two very different paths to rein in the nation&rsq...
          Some Tennessee Lawmakers Living the Life      Cache   Translate Page      
Early in his U.S. Senate campaign, former governor Phil Bredesen shied away from talking about his opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, pr...
          Comment on 2:00PM Water Cooler 9/12/2018 by audrey jr      Cache   Translate Page      
Every time I call Feinstein's office I mention the privatization efforts of USPS by her husband. The person on the other end of the phone always says that there is no truth to these stories of Blum's attempt to privatize the federal p.o. - I can see their eyes rolling each time I mention it - and I'm sure they hate that I do call them when I have something to discuss with them. She's gonna have a hard time hanging onto that U.S. Senate seat this time around, I believe. That said, this is just my personal opinion. Now that I'm gainfully employed I no longer have time to find out what the "man on the street" is thinking regarding the dual - and dueling - Dem's Senate race in November. I like neither of the choices. May have to write in "Giant Meteor" again.
          Zimbabwe elections and the aftermath      Cache   Translate Page      
President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his inauguration

On 30 July 2018, Zimbabweans went for the much-awaited harmonised elections after the removal of Robert Mugabe from power by the 18 November 2017 revolution. For the first time in the history of the country, there were 23 candidates for the presidential race and for the first time many people registered to vote especially the youths who constituted 60 percent of the registered voters.

The major contenders were Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)’s Emmerson Mnangagwa (75) and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa (40). Emmerson Mnangagwa of ZANU-PF was declared the presidential winner by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with 50.8 percent of the vote and Nelson Chamisa 44.3 percent. Other smaller parties combined made up the remaining 4.9 percent.

This election saw Mnangagwa winning mostly in rural areas where more than 67 percent of the population stays according to 2012 census statistics. The reasons for his support is attributed mostly to the ZANU-PF redistributive policies to rural based farming and peasant communities in the countryside. They get free farming inputs for their subsistence farming from the government. Most of them are the major beneficiaries of the land revolution, which decongested them from arid, dry and disease infested reserve regions where they were forced to settle by the settler colonialists. Most of them suffered the brunt of the liberation struggle against colonial bondage and they gave sanctuary to the freedom fighters during the protracted struggle for Zimbabwe. Most of them have sentimental and emotional attachment to the former liberation movement.

Nelson Chamisa got most of his votes from cities and towns where most of the youths are jobless because of the mismanagement of the economy by the ousted Robert Mugabe regime and principally due to the impact of the economic sanctions by Western imperialism. There are almost no workers to talk about in Zimbabwe because of the massive closure of the industries. The effects of the draconian embargo are mostly felt in the cities and towns via capital flight, companies closure, high cost of living, poor and stagnant salaries, cash shortages in banks, poor service delivery, unemployment, lack of health care facilities and drugs and high cost of education.

For the parliamentary seats, ZANU-PF pocketed two-thirds majority of the 210 contested seats, meaning ZANU-PF won 144 seats and MDC Alliance 61. Mnangagwa’s narrow victory has been vehemently rejected by Nelson Chamisa and his party the MDC Alliance who filed a petition with the Zimbabwe Constitutional Court to nullify the results or to declare him the winner. Chamisa had earlier been quoted as saying that if “the verdict is not in his favour he is going to take to the streets”. On 24 August 2018, the Court gave their verdict and upheld Mnangagwa’s victory.

Just before the results were announced, the MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa had declared himself the winner and his supporters took to the streets to violently demonstrate smashing windows of ZANU-PF offices and setting fire on property and vehicles. In the process, six people were shot dead, as riot police were trying to contain the situation. These riots were triggered by the MDC Alliance leadership in order to cast aspersions on ZANU-PF, taint the whole electoral process and provide a rationale and grounds for the continued embargo by the Western governments against Zimbabwe. MDC Alliance got protests votes and the hungrier and poorer of our people; the more votes they get hence the demands for sanctions to stay. MDC Alliance leadership that has been globetrotting lobbying for sanctions just before the elections and even after they were held, have started concocting propaganda about the alleged violence and imaginary human rights abuses by the ruling elite.

United States President, Donald Trump signed into law the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act (ZIDERA) of 2018, which is an amendment of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic recovery Act of 2001.This was done soon after the announcement of ZANU-PF victory. The United States of America wants to force and facilitate a government of national unity that is why they are renewing the sanctions game plan. The United States of America, via their Central Intelligence Agency, wants to effect a regime change in Zimbabwe.

Many people are misguided to think that if Zimbabwe complied with the so-called democratic and economic reforms, ZIDERA would be lifted. At the core of the law is a more controversial issue – land reform. In a recent meeting between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the new United States Ambassador Brian Nichols, the latter mentioned, “land tenure” as one of the areas on which the Americans want change. Land has been the fundamental issue, which necessitated the enactment of this punitive law.

A central demand of the updated ZIDERA is that Zimbabwe must enforce the rulings of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) tribunal on land reform. The SADC tribunal made several important rulings in favour of the white farmers, which the US senators behind the new amended ZIDERA now want enforced, as a precondition for re-engagement with the US.

As socialists, we are against agricultural counter-reforms serving the interest of the white settlers. The land belongs to the black poor peasants not to capitalists. We do not support compensation of white farmers, as a pre-condition to lift economic sanctions.

The Labour Member of Parliament from United Kingdom, Kate Hoey, an extremist from Britain who campaigned for the Zimbabwean sanctions before, is now calling for further isolation of Zimbabwe. It is time that the imposition of economic sanctions should be seen as a war crime against humanity since it involves the collective punishment of millions of innocent civilians who die and are reduced to living off scraps from the garbage dumps. They kill more people than bombs because they go on for years and their effect is cumulative.

As socialists, we demand the unconditional removal of the economic sanctions and we lobby the international working class and other progressives to escalate and amplify its global campaign to save Zimbabwe from the bully and tyranny of the United States of America.

We feel it is the duty of the international proletariat to assist the oppressed countries in their war against the imperialists. According to the Leon Trotsky Transitional Programme, the central issues of the colonial and semi colonial countries are agrarian revolution i.e. the elimination of the feudal legacy and national independence, i.e. the overthrow of the imperialist yoke. Both tasks are closely interconnected.

The elections were declared free and fair by non-governmental organisation, governments and multilateral bourgeoisie institutions that were invited to come and observe the elections including the African Union, SADC, the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa, the United Nations, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, China and the United States of America.

Mnangagwa has promised to renew the country by implementing neoliberal reforms and austerity programmes and other reforms aimed at the lifting of the punitive economic sanctions slapped on the country 20 years ago.

It is yet to be seen if the “Zimbabwe is open to business” mantra by President Mnangagwa is to benefit the poor and the working class because it looks like the major global powers are warming up to Mnangagwa’s administration. But to us socialists, opening up the country to global powers and the free world means opening up to rapacious exploitation of the natural resources for the benefit of white monopoly capital.

The 2018 elections in Zimbabwe were largely non beneficial to the poor and the working class in general. The ideas purported by the two protagonists in their election manifestos largely betray socialist ideas; it was a titanic battle of capitalists’ interests in form of neo-imperialism. Indigenous economic growth is better than foreign aid. We should be wary of being enticed by the West into believing that they are genuinely willing to assist us, they have permanent interests not permanent friends. ZANU-PF is orientated towards Chinese imperialism and the MDC Alliance leans towards United States and European Union imperialism.

We must fight for the poor, peasants and the working class taking over and controlling the means of production. As we mark the 78th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s assassination, the fight for Trotsky’s ideas remain as relevant as ever as we commemorate the life and ideas of this inspiring revolutionary, theoretician and leader.

More than ever it is necessary to have a strong independent international centre to help the vanguard of the working class worldwide to orientate independently.

 

*Mafa Kwanisai Mafa writes of Zimbabwean affairs.

Issue Number: 
Article Image Caption | Source: 
Source: Deutsche Welle

          Republican Robert Flanders wins US Senate primary in Rhode Island, will face Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in November.      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican Robert Flanders wins US Senate primary in Rhode Island, will face Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in November. .
          Comment on Streetsblog’s Guide to Thursday’s Senate and Assembly Primaries by Ian Turner      Cache   Translate Page      
Yes, Brian Barnwell vs Melissa Sklarz. A bit interesting considering Brian Barnwell just ousted 18-year incumbent Margaret Markey two years ago.
          Comment on Streetsblog’s Guide to Thursday’s Senate and Assembly Primaries by Gersh Kuntzman      Cache   Translate Page      
Not everyone responds to our requests for comment!
          Comment on Streetsblog’s Guide to Thursday’s Senate and Assembly Primaries by Daphna      Cache   Translate Page      
Is 30 also having a primary?
          Generally Disclosing Pretty Rapidly: GDPR strapped a jet engine on hacked Britis ...      Cache   Translate Page      

AnalysisIf Equifax's mother-of-all-security-disasters last year underlined one thing, it was that big companies think they can weather just about anything cybercriminals and regulators can throw at them.

One unpatched web server, 147 million mostly US customer records swiped, and a political beating that should pulverise a company’s reputation for good (“one of the most egregious examples of corporate malfeasance since Enron,” said US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer), and yet Equifax is not only still standing but perhaps even thriving.

While it’s true the full financial consequences yet to unfold, it’s hard not to notice that its shares last week rode back to within spitting distance of where they were before the breach was made public.

It all stands in fascinating contrast to what is happening in the UK and Europe, where the mood over database security breaches is darkening. It’s not that there are necessarily more of them so much as the speed with which they are being revealed.

Last week’sBritish Airways hack makes an interesting case study, not simply because of the technically embarrassing fact cybercriminals were able to skim up to 380,000 transactions in real time but the speed with which the company owned up to the calamity.

Confessions

According to BA, the attack began at 22.58 BST on August 21, and was stopped at 21:45 BTS on September 5. This meant BA had taken 15 days to notice hackers were grabbing its customers’ card numbers, but under 24 hours to tell the world via Twitter and email a contender for a world record for computer security breach confessions.

Security analysts RiskIQ have speculated that the same gang was behind June’s Ticketmaster web breach , which took a still fairly rapid five days to surface after being discovered on June 23. Perhaps the best example of how the security breach atmosphere is changing is T-Mobile US, which uncovered miscreants slurping account records of 2.2 million customers on August 20 and revealed that fact only four days later.

Compare this haste to Equifax, which detected its breach on July 29 last year, but only told the world months later on September 7.

Why the sudden hurry? In the case of BA, officially, the answer is Article 33 of Europe's GDPR , under which cyber-break-ins involving personal data must be reported within 72 hours. Security breaches are now understood as having their own lifecycle. At the user end, a recent report from EMW Law LLP found that complaints to the UK's Information Commissioner after May’s GDPR launch reached 6,281, a doubling compared to the same period in 2017.


Generally Disclosing Pretty Rapidly: GDPR strapped a jet engine on hacked Britis ...
British Airways hack: Infosec experts finger third-party scripts on payment pages READ MORE

“This is definitely due to the awareness and the run up to the GDPR,” agreed Falanx Group senior data protection and privacy consultant Lillian Tsang. But there’s more to it than that. “Reporting a breach shows awareness, the notion of “doing” something even if the breach cannot be mitigated quick enough. It does show pragmatism, rather than a reactive stance of yesteryears.”

Breaches will never become just another battle scar to be marked up to experience they are too serious and expensive for that no matter what the shareholders think when share prices recover. What is becoming stressful is the speed of disclosure.

“Crisis management is a relatively new yet vitally important area to focus on. As more chief staff realise that it’s a case of when rather than if a breach occurs, it is highly possible that more businesses have a ready-made crisis procedure waiting for a potential strike,” said ESET security specialist, Jake Moore.

As the breaches keep coming however, he believes an example will eventually be made of someone. “The ICO are likely to want to stick the GDPR message to a high-profile company to show its magnitude and therefore companies are ready to show that they are more compliant than ever before.”

It could be that BA’s rapid breach disclosure has set the benchmark at the sort of uncomfortable standard many, including its competitors, will struggle to match.

Sponsored: Following Bottomline’s journey to the Hybrid Cloud


          Almeria, Spain (SportsNetwork. [url=http://www.shoptheraidersonline.com/Elite-Kyle-Wi      Cache   Translate Page      
Almeria, Spain (SportsNetwork. Kyle Wilber Jersey .com) - Barcelona snapped a two-game slide in La Liga play by rallying for a 2-1 victory over Almeria at the Estadio Mediterraneo on Saturday. The Catalans entered the contest in poor form after dropping back-to-back matches in league play to slip from their perch atop the table, and things appeared to heading further south after Thievy Bifouma handed Almeria a 37th- minute lead by slotting a shot past Claudio Bravo on the counter. The hosts held the advantage until the 73rd minute when Neymar got on the end of Luis Suarezs square pass and tucked home the equalizer with a nifty finish. Barcelona ultimately found a winner eight minutes from time and it was Suarez again playing the role of the architect. The Uruguayan delivered an inch- perfect cross to the back post where Jordi Alba was arriving to guide the pass into the back of the net with a first-time finish. It wasnt a vintage Barcelona performance, but it was enough for the fabled club to stop the rot and climb to 25 points on the season. The Catalans climb to second place in the table after Real Madrid cruised to a 5-1 demolition of Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu later on Saturday. Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos put the hosts in good stead with first-half goals, though Alberto Bueno managed to pull one back for Rayo before the intermission. The second half, though, belonged to Madrid as Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo notched a goal apiece to put the club back atop the table on 27 points. Malaga claimed a 2-1 home win over Eibar on Saturday to improve to 21 points on the season. The visitors took the lead through Mikel Arruabarrenas opener in the 42nd minute, but Juanmi leveled the score in the 53rd before a 90th-minute penalty from Nordin Amrabat handed Malaga the vital victory. Also on Saturday, Celta Vigo was held to a 0-0 home draw by Granada while Elche claimed a point from a 0-0 draw at Getafe. Kolton Miller Jersey . -- Its been 21 years since Joe Gibbs Racing celebrated its only Daytona 500 victory. Doug Martin Jersey . According to TSN Edmonton reporter Ryan Rishaug, agent Rick Valette met with Oilers senior VP of hockey operations Scott Howson and general manager Craig MacTavish on Monday to kick off the talks. http://www.shoptheraidersonline.com/Elit...rs-Jersey/ . The San Angelo, Texas product, who was a high school and college quarterback sensation in the Lone Star State, will start his first CFL game with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-4) on Friday at Mosaic Stadium against the leagues top team, the Calgary Stampeders (11-2). OTTAWA -- Already all but eliminated from playoff contention, the Ottawa Senators will now play the remainder of the season without their leading goal scorer. The Senators announced forward Bobby Ryan would undergo surgery in Montreal Thursday to repair a sports hernia. He will miss the final ten games of the regular season. "Bobby has been dealing with the discomfort of this injury since it was sustained in November," said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. "Both Bobby and our medical staff were hopeful that we could hold off from having surgery until the completion of the season, but he aggravated the condition last Saturday in Dallas to the point that surgery is now the only option." Ryan, who was acquired last July from the Anaheim Ducks, scored a team-leading 23 goals and had 48 points in 70 games. Ryan scored 18 of his 23 goals by Dec. 31 and there was much speculation as to what was the cause of his recent lack of productivity. It now appears the injury played a big factor. "Well he certainly started very, very well," said Murray on the Senators team website. "He shoots the puck awfully well, he scored some goals, his line obviously carried the team early on. He was a big part of that. "I think after the hernia started to get aggravated a little bit he seemed to shoot the puck a bit less. Overall, very happy and satisfied with his overall play and we know hell be a real contributor going forward." Ryans teammates were aware of the discomfort the winger was dealing with and offered their support. "He battled through it and tried to work through it and it was something they were trying to give him help and he played well through it," said linemate Kyle Turris. "It will be nice when hes healthy and feeling better and able to get back at it. "We knew it had been nagging him for a while and for him to battle through it and continue to try playing is something that we all respect him for." Ryans injury has created an opportunity for Mark Stone, who was recalled from Binghamton in the American Hockey League after Ryan aggravated the injury last weekend. "Theres still lots of hockey to be played and I want to make an impression and I want to stay up here," ssaid Stone, who has a goal and an assist in his last two games. Brandon Parker Jersey. "I want to continue to play consistent hockey and stay up here for those ten games and hopefully make a good audition for next year." While the Senators will have to host the Chicago Blackhawks without Ryan on Friday, they will likely have Craig Anderson back in goal against the defending Stanley Cup champions. Anderson missed the last seven games after suffering an upper body injury due to a collision with teammate Milan Michalek in a game against the Nashville Predators March 10. Andersons injury came at a terrible time for the Senators, who were still within reach of one of the final wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. The Senators lost their next five games without Anderson and saw any playoff hope disappear. Anderson has served as Robin Lehners backup for the past two games and says hes ready to face the Blackhawks if called upon. Senators head coach Paul MacLean wouldnt name his starter for Fridays game. "If called upon Ill be the guy that gets in there, but well wait to see what the coach says," said Anderson. "Its been a while. I want to make sure when I get back in there that physically I feel 100 per cent and am able to help the team achieve victory that night." Defenceman Chris Phillips should also return to the lineup after missing the last game. Tampas Ryan Malone hit Phillips in a game Monday, and the two crashed hard into the boards. Phillips missed Tuesdays game against the Florida Panthers, but says he feels good and is ready to return. While the Senators are no longer in playoff contention Phillips says theres numerous reasons for the players to be at their best. "We still have games to play," said Phillips. "Everybodys fighting for a job, a contract, trying to prove to coaches and management that you should be here as well as the pride of wearing these jerseys. Were going to go out until the seasons over, whenever that may be, and we want to go out and play as good as we can on a nightly basis." Notes: C Mika Zibanejad says he should be ready to play Friday after missing the last game. Tomorrows game marks the start of a five-game home stand for the Senators. Cheap Chargers Jerseys Cheap Browns Jerseys Cheap Texans Jerseys Cheap Ravens Jerseys Cheap Panthers Jerseys Cheap Jets Jerseys Cheap Titans Jerseys Cheap Chiefs Jerseys Cheap Bills Jerseys Cheap Colts Jerseys Cheap Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Rams Jerseys Cheap Jaguars Jerseys Cheap Falcons Jerseys Cheap Bengals Jerseys ' ' '
          U.S. Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          PREOKRET U EU, NE SMETAJU IM NOVE ČLANICE: Poručili da čekaju Srbiju, a sve više zemalja će poštovati dogovor o KiM      Cache   Translate Page      

Proširenje Iako je predsednik Francuske rekao da nema proširenja, francuski senator poručio da Unija čeka Srbiju. Sve veći broj zemalja EU najavio da će poštovati dogovor Beograda i Prištine


          How Puerto Rico Heard Trump's Rating Of Hurricane Maria Response      Cache   Translate Page      
NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Puerto Rico Senate Minority Leader Eduardo Bhatia Gautier about President Trump's claim that the federal response to Hurricane Maria was an incredible success.
          URGENT: Tell Your Reps to Reinstate CFSAC      Cache   Translate Page      
A week ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made a startling and unexpected announcement: the charter for the CFS Advisory Committee had expired and would not be renewed. This was news to EVERYONE, including the committee's Chairman, Dr. Faith Newton (a close friend of mine and educational specialist whose son has ME/CFS) and the rest of the committee members. CFSAC had been in place since 2002, and its charter had been renewed every two years, as required, since then.

Further investigation revealed that CFSAC was the ONLY HHS Advisory Committee shut down, and its operating costs were less than $200k per year - this was not part of some big cost-cutting move. Pushed for a reason, the next day the HHS added that "The Department feels that the committee accomplished the duties outlined in its charter." That statement is so far from true as to be laughable. All members of the committee agree that it had many open items that either hadn't even been started yet or were in process.

For more details and history on CFSAC and this sudden closure, see Jennie Spotila's blog post at Occupy M.E., Rest in Power, CFSAC. As always, Jennie has explained it all clearly and thoroughly.

What Can You Do?
So glad you asked! Solve ME/CFS has put together a quick and simple form for writing to your Congressional reps to ask them to reinstate the committee - I did it earlier this week, and it only takes a few moments.  All the pertinent information is already written for you, though you can add a brief description about your personal situation if you like.

This is such an important issue - without that committee ME/CFS patients, doctors, caregivers, and researchers have no voice in how the HHS approaches ME/CFS.

Many of us - including myself and my entire family - have participated in past CFSAC meetings and given testimony to the committee. This meeting summary from 2011 includes a photo of the teens that came to the meeting and a video of our own testimony on pediatric ME/CFS and will give you an idea of the important role this committee played.

PLEASE, act today and fill in that quick form to let your Senators and Representatives know how important CFSAC is to us.


          U.S. Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          John Kerry Accused Of Violating Logan Act After He Admits To Secret Iran Talks      Cache   Translate Page      

Though he previously denied it when allegations first surfaced last Spring, former Secretary of State John Kerry has now disclosed he's personally had semi-frequent face to face contact with top Iranian officials to discuss US-Iran relations since Trump entered office.

Kerry confirmed and explained in detail his recent meetings with Iranian Former Minister Javad Zarif in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt to promote his new memoir, Every Day Is Extra.

During the interview Kerry disclosed that he met with Zarif "three or four times" and discussed political issues and challenges between the United States and Iran in what could constitute a significant and clear violation of the Logan Act

Back when Kerry was actually authorized to do this sort of thing as Secretary of State under Obama in 2015. Via the Iran Project

Though it's almost never been enforced, the 1799 Logan Act states that unauthorized diplomacy with foreign powers by private American citizens is a crime. Notably, two Trump-connected individuals that prominent Liberals and editorials demanded be prosecuted under the Logan Act include former national security advisor Michael Flynn and Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

When asked point blank during the radio show about his rumored meetings with top Iran officials, Kerry admitted, "I think I've seen him three or four times," but attempted to claim he was not trying to "coach" Iran on how to navigate President Trump's pullout of the Iran nuclear deal.

Kerry is of course now a private citizen out of government but holds significant clout and influence with the Iran FM as the two hammered out the details of the JCPOA brokered under President Obama in the first place. 

However, by Kerry's own explanation it looks precisely like he was doing this: "What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better," Kerry said. He also shared his belief that American policy in the Middle East would be much better off if the White House had stayed in the agreement, and that the global community would be more stable and secure. 

It sure sounds like unauthorized diplomacy behind Trump's back by a high ranking member of the former administration to us...

Soon after the interview, some Iran hawks in Congress took to Twitter to decry the hypocrisy of the whole thing. 

Here's a key part of the transcript via the Hugh Hewitt Show:

Hugh Hewitt: Okay, it’s been reported you’ve met with him a couple of times at least since leaving office as well. So you still…

John Kerry: Yes, I have. That’s accurate.

HH: And is it a half dozen times, a dozen times?

JK: No. No, no, no. I met with him at a conference in Norway. I think I saw him in a conference in Munich at the World Economic Forum. So I’ve probably seen him three or four times.

HH: Are you trying to coach him through the Trump administration’s rejection of the JCPOA?

JK: No, that’s not my job, and my coaching him would not, you know, that’s not how it works. What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better. You know, how does one resolve Yemen? What do you do to try to get peace in Syria? I mean, those are the things that really are preoccupying, because those are the impediments to people, to Iran’s ability to convince people that it’s ready to embrace something different. I mean, and I’ve been very blunt to Foreign Minister Zarif, and told him look, you guys need to recognize that the world does not appreciate what’s happening with missiles, what’s happening with Hezbollah, what’s happening with Yemen. You’re supporting you know, an ongoing struggle there They say they’re prepared to negotiate and to resolve these issues. But the administration’s taken a very different tack. I don’t know as I talk to you today if there’s been any dialogue or sit down. I don’t think there has, which would open up any kind of diplomatic channel. And it appears right now as if the administration is hell bent for leather determined to pursue a regime change strategy to bring the economy down and try to isolate further. And I would simply caution that the United States historically has not had a great record in regime change strategies, number one. And number two, that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for any Iranian leader to sit down and negotiate anything, because they’re not going to do it in a capitulatory, you know, situation. It’s just not going to happen.

It certainly appears that Kerry by his own admission is indeed trying to "coach" the Iranian FM on how to deal with the current White House. And the discussions clearly included chiding the Trump administration over its Iran policy while in Kerry's own words the "open[ing] of diplomatic channels" was on his mind. 

Meanwhile some Republican lawmakers have already, hours after the interview, unleashed charges that Kerry is engaged in rogue diplomacy and is undermining the active, elected administration.  

It was only a matter of time before he put his foot in his mouth, and promoting his new book means we're likely about to hear a lot more self implicating details spilled. 


          The Real Contagion Threat Is Political      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Tom Luongo,

The real danger to the current institutional order was just demonstrated in Sweden. While I’ve talked at length about the potential financial contagion stemming from the implosion of multiple emerging market currencies it is the growing political crisis in Europe that will shape our future.

Sweden is The Land where Socialism Works, or so I keep getting told by ignorant leftists who cling to the power fantasy that central planning is the only way to make the trains run on time.

Central planning does do that, but only to deliver people into the nightmare of social disorder brought on by the disruption of the natural flow of capital.

Venezuela, South Africa, Soviet Union, post WWII Britain ... you get the idea.

But, the effects of the collectivist mindset are far more pernicious than those extreme examples.  And it is important we understand how little policies grow into big problems over time due to shaping people’s decisions through government edicts.

Corps Insanity

There is no better example for what I’m talking about than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  A completely useless organization which sucks up billions in tax money to straighten rivers, build dams and alter the landscape to fit the needs of whoever paid Congress the most in lobbying money that year.

They engage in projects that cannot easily be done in the free market, nor should be done. But their activity creates downstream effects from their meddling which multiply over years and lead to problems which are orders of magnitude larger than they would have ever become naturally.

The Red Tides occurring off the Florida coast now are a political cudgel being swung at Governor Rick Scott to prevent him from moving up to U.S. Senator over his ‘environmental record.’  Now I’m no fan of Skeletor, as we call him down here, but these charges are simply grandstanding.

Because anyone who has an ounce of decency, intellectual honesty or passing acquaintance with history knows that the seeds of South Florida’s environmental nightmares are a product of the Corps of Engineers altering the landscape to serve Big Sugar and Big Corn.

These are two crops we shouldn’t even be growing (along with Soy and rapeseed) no less subsidizing due to their horrific effects on human health and development.  And this is another downstream effect of government meddling.

The real epidemic in the U.S. sapping our national wealth is not the rise of opioid use (though terrible) or the trade deficit it is diabetes and auto-immune diseases brought on by two generations of bad diet and ruinous food.

Health care and Big Pharma cost us trillions in easily avoided health problems due to the erroneous idea that human dietary needs are well-served by eating like my goats.

They aren’t.  Hell, even my goats spend most of their lives in ketosis.

This, again, is a product of government meddling into our food choices by diverting capital via farm subsidies and other bureaucratic structures built through the collective action of the ballot box.

So, a $200 million river straightening project turns into a multi-generational multi-trillion dollar loss of productive capital trying to keep people alive a little longer after a lifetime of eating like pigs being fattened for slaughter.

Okay, maybe that was the plan overall.

Rising Tides, Falling Boats

But, back to Sweden.  The results from the Swedish elections are another data point that populism is, well, popular.  The surge in popularity of the Sweden Democrats was strong enough to throw into flux the formation of a new government as support for the ruling Social Democrats has collapsed.

Where have we heard this story before?  Oh, only like all over freaking Europe.

What started with Brexit, carried across the pond to Trump, and spread to the continent in Italy, France, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic and Germany which has now crossed back over the Baltic Sea to Sweden.

And still the political Left refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the concerns of voters, clinging desperately to the narrative that this is simply fringe ‘alt-right’ or ‘far-right Nazism’ rearing its head in an adolescent ab reaction to their very sensible and humanitarian policies.

They are supported in this delusion by the architects of the immigration nightmare in Europe who are quick to label anything vaguely sniffing of cultural pride as ‘extremism’ to shame apolitical and conscientious folks into staying within this failing paradigm of cultural suicide.

It is not working and thank the gods for it.

Whether the Sweden Democrats’ share of the vote is large enough for them to enter the government is irrelevant in the end.  Sweden’s political system is backward, but, hey, who am I to judge.

No one, actually, and that is the point.

The surge in popularity is what matters. And if they are excluded and things in Sweden continue as they are, then it will only serve up an even bigger voter backlash the next time they go to the polls if the government can even survive that long.

What’s is relevant is the contagion brought on by the downstream effects of one government intervention begetting a complete overhaul of the political landscape.

Europe is balkanizing.

Potential Post-EU map of Europe: Source @scottskingharry

Cultural Suicide Postponed

National cultures and community pride are sources of societal strength. The proponents of the Open Society and cultural homogenization are tone-deaf to the realities of forcing change because it is ‘the right thing to do’ or ‘the right thing to advocate.’

All it does is betray their totalitarian urge to force people they look down on to be better by first demonizing them for being racist and then acting out their own racism by forcing on their political opponents a life they do not want.

And the minute these long-suffering, abused people stand up for themselves and say, “No more” to their once peaceful communities being torn asunder by acid-throwing, gang-raping, rudderless immigrant males their reaction is to cry, “Racist!”

But that’s not working anymore.  What is working is the two-edged sword of political power.  Those that live by it will eventually hang from the rafters by it unless they willingly step aside and admit defeat with a modicum of grace and humility.

Given the reactions from the politically powerful all across Europe and the U.S. to this critical shift in the political landscape that is the last thing on their minds.

And that’s the most tragic irony of this entire period of history.  The very people who champion communitarianism and democracy as their highest ideal fear the power they have used so indiscriminately will be used against them when they lose it.

And their losses are mounting.

That’s what is inflaming their hatred and violence.  Abject terror of the backlash.  It is why this political contagion is the catalyst for global financial and economic collapse.  It’s already here in the form of emerging market upheaval. Faith in the institutions which circumscribe our lives is what props up currencies and, ultimately, asset values.

Politics got us into this mess.  It will not get us out of it.  The Great Reset is coming.  And you need to be prepared.

*  *  *

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          9月12日(水)のつぶやき その2      Cache   Translate Page      

“大使館が点在する東京都渋谷区の高級住宅街”…松濤は外れるから広尾かな。 / “渋谷の高級住宅街に金塊工場 5カ月で利益4億円か:朝日新聞デジタル” htn.to/6TZviLxho

— 齊藤貴義@サイバーメガネ (@miraihack) 2018年9月12日 - 18:50

小飼「腐った情報が上がって来ちゃったら、民主制だろうが独裁制だろうが、どんなに明晰な人でも正しい判断を下せなくなる。偽情報は、人類社会の危機なんです」 @dankogai buff.ly/2Ja7Emc #小飼弾の論弾

— 山路達也 (@Tats_y) 2018年9月12日 - 19:03

スタニスワフ・レムの書斎です。本の惑星ですね。 #あの人の書斎 pic.twitter.com/a3b4AjWt3m

— 愛書家日誌 (@aishokyo) 2018年9月12日 - 19:10

「100分de石ノ森章太郎」本日12日深夜0時からの再放送になります(日付は13日)。ぜひお見逃しなく。二度目をみても楽しめると思いますのでぜひ。 twitter.com/nhk_meicho/sta…

— 秋満吉彦 (@akiman55) 2018年9月12日 - 18:51

【世代分析】日本はもともと農村の地域共同体をベースにします。ところが日露戦争を境に重工業化を背景とした都市化で共同体がバラける。それを埋め合わせたのが「崇高な精神共同体としての国家」と「会社共同体」でした。 miyadai.com/index.php?item…

— 宮台真司ボット (@miyadai_bot) 2018年9月12日 - 20:01

不断の努力を続けて旧国鉄というインフラの現場を支えながら(一定の政治的立場から、ではあるが)社会正義を訴えて運動もやった国労の人たちは、文字どおり「ゴミ」のように捨てられました。 twitter.com/tadataru/statu…

— Shin Hori (@ShinHori1) 2018年9月12日 - 19:47

今日はこのあと22時から川口駅周辺の夜回り活動です。JR川口駅改札前集合です。途中での参加や帰宅でも構いませんので、皆様のご参加をお待ちしております。いま小林哲彦弁護士たちと腹ごしらえ中です。… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 藤田孝典 (@fujitatakanori) 2018年9月12日 - 19:37

国語と国民とは頭脳的につながってなぞいない。文章の魅力を合点するには、だれでも、いわば内部にある或る感覚のごときものに頼るほかはない。この感受力には、文体の在りかを感じとる緩慢だが着実な智慧が宿っている。 (国語という大河)

— 小林秀雄 botcast (@hideKoba_bot) 2018年9月12日 - 20:05

都道府県別の専業主婦希望意識を男女賛成意見の差分でみると、きれいに半々に分かれた。専業主婦を求めているのは地域差がある。注目したいのは東京で女より男の方が専業主婦意識高い。これ東京だと共働きじゃないと辛いからだろうなあ。内閣府調査… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 荒川和久@「超ソロ社会」著者 (@wildriverpeace) 2018年9月12日 - 20:53

俺のことディスってる先生の下にいる学生さんは「先生も明日から給料全額返納して社会貢献してくださいよ〜」って言ってみてください.

— 🤩🤩おちあいよういち🤩🤩 (@ochyai) 2018年9月12日 - 21:18

英国のMI6がシリアに対する化学兵器攻撃を計画しているんだよ―米議員ブラック
presstv.com/Detail/2018/09…

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2018年9月12日 - 20:24

それが全く分からないみたいなんだよね。

「穴掘り経済」と「国債無限論」のコラボが、我が国の自称保守の主張だからね。

— greenwich (@bobbygetshome) 2018年9月12日 - 20:55

現在36〜38歳の女性が何を思ってこのオッサン解雇したろうと19年後に名乗り出たんだろうか。まあ書けない話があるわな。
19年前に教え子と性的関係 高校教諭を懲戒免職 東京 | NHKニュース www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2018…

— たにやん (@t_taniyan) 2018年9月12日 - 19:03

大学の給与ゼロにして,あとは他所で稼いでくれて,今まで通りの仕事と責任を無給で続けていいよ! 自分の会社から研究費入れてくれれば大学さらに儲かるし,働きたい放題だよ! ってことだからさ. twitter.com/ochyai/status/…

— 🤩🤩おちあいよういち🤩🤩 (@ochyai) 2018年9月12日 - 21:02

冬の6,000発!?夏に中止になった昭和記念公園の花火大会が11月23日に開催決定! | いいね!立川 iine-tachikawa.net/topics/10956/

#昭和記念公園 #花火大会 #冬の花火 #いいね立川 #立川 #立川市… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 『いいね!立川』編集部 (@iinetachikawa) 2018年9月12日 - 16:49

今日発売の美人百花10月号に
Her lip toが掲載されています。
こちらのアイテムはオンラインストアにて金曜日18時発売開始です☺️💜 pic.twitter.com/IIWOrczWy9

— 小嶋 陽菜 (@kojiharunyan) 2018年9月12日 - 20:18

銀河衝突の結末をNASAがとらえた、3億光年先
2つの渦巻銀河が衝突し、ブラックホールや中性子星が散らばる明るいリング状の銀河が生まれました。 #ナショジオニュース #ナショジオ #銀河 #NASA #宇宙 ow.ly/fASx30lMIs3

— ナショナルジオグラフィック日本版 (@NatGeoMagJP) 2018年9月12日 - 20:35

「誰もモノを言わないのはおかしい」 自民 石破氏 #nhk_news www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2018…

— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) 2018年9月12日 - 18:57

世界史の中で、国民国家がどういう発展過程を経て生まれてきて、今後、どういうふうに動いていくのか ー 国民国家というものは歴史的存在にすぎず、けっして固定的なものではないということについての考察が、この人たちには不足しているんです。(#吉本隆明『超「戦争論<上>』)#国民国家論

— みんくま草 (@greenminkuma) 2018年9月12日 - 22:12

今年度はバブル期並みか、それを超える税収が見込まれるほか、消費税をさらに引き上げですからね。 twitter.com/call_me_nots/s…

— 本石町日記 (@hongokucho) 2018年9月12日 - 22:07

KV-1の前線修理
#大祖国戦争
#戦車 pic.twitter.com/rYSwFJnySo

— それでもソ連bot+ (@cccp2017) 2018年9月12日 - 22:04

これはいけません。先に平和条約を締結してしまうと、それを口実として北方領土返還への道が事実上閉ざされてしまいます。

プーチン大統領「条件なしで平和条約を」安倍首相を前に:朝日新聞デジタル asahi.com/articles/ASL9D…

— 日本共産党 (@jcp_cc) 2018年9月12日 - 17:57

これは違法なのでは? twitter.com/I_hate_camp/st…

— 本田由紀 (@hahaguma) 2018年9月12日 - 10:47

日米安保は軍事同盟だから、それを無くしたら平和条約を結んで全千島を返すというブレジネフ以来の政策。後継でソ連保守派最期の大物チェルネンコは全千島だけではなくサハリンの返還あるいは共同での何かを訴えた書簡を死の前日に送ってきていた。すべて夢になりそというか、夢にしちゃったのか?w

— 大江昇 (@TKDOMO) 2018年9月12日 - 23:17
          Republicans seek sanctions on Iraqi militias with Iran ties      Cache   Translate Page      
Republican U.S. senators plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday seeking to counteract what they see as Iran's increasing influence in Iraq, amid concern about attacks in Iraq by groups U.S. officials consider Iranian proxies, a Senate aide said on Wednesday.

          Progressives Take On New York's Democratic Machine In Historic Primary - HuffPost      Cache   Translate Page      

HuffPost

Progressives Take On New York's Democratic Machine In Historic Primary
HuffPost
The Resistance is coming ― for New York's Democrats. The blue bastion, which nominates Democrats for state office on Thursday, has a liberal reputation. In practice, however, its state government is corrupt, undemocratic and beholden to a handful of ...
Who Can Save the Subway?New York Times
Mailer linking Nixon to anti-Semitism was approved by top Cuomo aidesNew York Post
Christian Siriano's Collection Was Inspired By a Holiday & The High-Powered Women Who Need OneHollywood Life
Albany Times Union -The Nation. -Crain's New York Business -The Root
all 190 news articles »

          Farm Bill Extension Not Ruled Out      Cache   Translate Page      

Getting a farm bill done before current law expires at the end of this month may not happen, as congressional leaders have not ruled out an extension. The 2014 farm bill expires on September 30th, and lawmakers have few days this week to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions of the new farm bill. Politico reports leaders ...

Read More

The post Farm Bill Extension Not Ruled Out appeared first on Southeast AgNET.


          Supreme Court Appointment Process: Senate Debate and Confirmation Vote      Cache   Translate Page      
EveryCRSReport.com – Supreme Court Appointment Process: Senate Debate and Confirmation Vote. September 7, 2018 “The procedure for appointing a Justice to the Supreme Court is provided for in the U.S. Constitution in only a few words. The “Appointments Clause” in the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, clause 2) states that the President “shall nominate, and […]
          Former President George W. Bush to help raise cash for Rick Scott's Senate bid      Cache   Translate Page      
Former President George W. Bush will stump for Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday as Scott revs up for what's expected to be a close race for the Senate seat.
           Kentucky Secretary Of State’s Father Pleads Not Guilty       Cache   Translate Page      
The father of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has pleaded not guilty in federal court to making illegal contributions to his daughter’s 2014 U.S. Senate campaign against Republican Mitch McConnell. Jerry Lundergan spoke little during a brief hearing in Lexington. His co-defendant, veteran Democratic political consultant Dale Emmons, also pleaded not guilty.
          Maine media undercut the narrative that opposition to Susan Collins' Kavanaugh vote is all harassment      Cache   Translate Page      


Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has been under pressure to vote against President Donald Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh -- but if you were to listen only to national media, you’d be missing the big picture. Major media outlets are reporting that Collins has been harassed, but they’re sharing little about what local Maine media and Collins’ own constituents are saying.

Kavanaugh is the least popular Supreme Court nominee in decades. Even before his largely uninspiring performance in last week’s confirmation hearings (which Collins herself remarked could be “a major problem”), Maine outlets were frequently highlighting the stakes involved in Collins’ confirmation vote, as well as the serious concerns of her constituents about Kavanaugh. Indeed, several polls reported that Collins’ refusal to reject Kavanaugh could cost her re-election.

There have been numerous stories from Maine outlets focusing on the opposition from Collins’ constituents to Kavanaugh’s confirmation. As Maine Public Radio reported, over “230 Maine lawyers are urging Senator Susan Collins to vote against Brett Kavanaugh's appointment” because of their concerns about his “record on reproductive rights, the affordable care act, and his partisan record.” Multiple women have written letters to local papers to share their abortion stories and implore Collins to vote no. As Mollie Barnathan wrote for the Bangor Daily News: “Maine’s women and families need leaders who understand it isn’t their place to play judge and jury for women. Ensuring every woman has access to family planning services requires every U.S. senator, and especially Susan Collins, to stand up and vote no on Kavanaugh’s nomination.”

However, rather than talking about any of this, national media have tuned out the voices of Collins’ own constituents in favor of an overgeneralized narrative about harassment. On September 11, NBC News reported that Collins’ office has received a number of threatening and angry messages. The New York Times noted that even Collins’ staff has been on the receiving end of this harassment.

I want to be very clear: Nobody should be threatening Susan Collins or her staff. This behavior is unacceptable and nobody should endorse it. However, for media to suggest that these comments alone are somehow representative of what the vast majority of activists and constituents are doing to persuade Collins before this essential vote is irresponsible. As NARAL Pro-Choice America noted in a statement, there are many Mainers “peacefully participating in the democratic process and urging Senator Susan Collins to vote against Brett Kavanaugh.”

National media have struggled to cover the fight over Kavanaugh’s potential confirmation from the beginning. As activists across the country consistently worked to oppose Kavanaugh, many outlets reported that his confirmation was inevitable, or that few, if any, activists were involved in the fight against him. This narrative was false. Additionally, nightly broadcast news programs devoted only 10 minutes each to conversations about Kavanaugh in the days after his nomination was announced. And many outlets downplayed the hearings despite their many newsworthy moments.

And now, as right-wing media begin to seize on Collins’ legitimate worries about harassment, the very real energy and voices of her constituents will be further obfuscated.

This seemingly savvy messaging tactic -- running to national media to share stories of harassment -- may work. But her constituents know the difference. And they, along with Maine media, don’t appear ready to let Susan Collins off the hook if she votes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.


          2018 Senate Forecast      Cache   Translate Page      

If the Senate is split 50-50, Republicans maintain majority control because Vice President Mike Pence has the tiebreaking vote. This analysis treats independent Sens. Bernie Sanders and Angus King as Democrats because they caucus with that party. Nate Silver explains the methodology behind our 2018 midterm forecasts. Read more ...

(projects.fivethirtyeight.com)


          Mexican bishops publish 'plan for building peace'      Cache   Translate Page      

Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 12, 2018 / 05:52 pm (ACI Prensa).- The Mexican bishops' conference published Tuesday the “Catholic Church's Plan for Building Peace,” in an effort to “redouble efforts and united action” against corruption and violence racking the country.

The goal of this plan, the bishops explained Sept. 11, is to “make known and assist in the coordination of all peace building efforts” undertaken by both Catholic and civil society organizations.

The bishops stated that building peace in Mexico will be a “pivotal axis” in their work of pastoral social ministry.

The plan will thus promote continuity in the work of caring for victims, the “workshops for forgiveness and reconciliation” will be reactivated, and strategies will be developed to care for the victims of human trafficking throughout the country.

The plan includes pastoral accompaniment and oversight for the work of the migrant centers and shelters spread throughout Mexico, working with prisoners, the care of orphans, preserving green spaces as common areas, and working with the media to get out messages that foster peace in the country.

The Mexican bishops also emphasized the importance  of “collaboration with the new administration elected in our nation in 2018.”

To that end, the Mexican bishops met Sept. 4 with president-elect Andres Manuel López Obrador and had a “fraternal and proactive” dialogue.

In statement released Sept. 5, the bishops indicated “the main items” covered in their meeting with López.

The first item was the president-elect's “presentation of the administration's program” for the country.

The second item discussed at the meeting was “mutual concern for attention to the pressing issues: poverty, migration, violence, corruption, impunity, life and religious liberty for all confessions.”
The possibility of establishing an ongoing open channel for dialogue with the government was also addressed.
Additionally, the apostolic nuncio Archbishop Franco Coppola met with López Sept. 10. Afterwards, foreign minister designate Marcelo Ebrard emphasized that one of the points in common with the incoming administration and the Catholic Church is “the search for peace in Mexico” as well as the effort to reduce inequality in the country.

Ebrard also noted that López “has met or will meet with almost all” the religious communities in Mexico “to invite them to participate in the peace process,” seeking to bring about “a conversation and common reflection on how we can achieve peace in Mexico.”

The next Mexican foreign minister also said regarding the position of the Vatican on the peace forums in Mexico “we are not expecting from the Holy Father more than his message and point of view. The Holy Father gives important messages every day.”

The Mexican bishops' conference has agreed to participate in these forums intended to lead to a National Reconciliation Pact.

In an Aug. 16 statement, the bishops said proposals coming out of these forums will provide input “to develop public policies that will allow progress in overcoming violence, building peace and national reconciliation.”

The “Catholic Church's Plan  for Building Peace” comes in the context of the July 1 presidential elections in Mexico. López won with 53 percent of the vote and his National Regeneration Movement party obtained majorities in both the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

López campaigned against corruption and violence, but he or his party have also expressed support for abortion, gay marriage, and assisted suicide.


          Chronicles of Chill: The Oponimousity of Ogbenyssius      Cache   Translate Page      
After the defecation of Abushola to Padipalia, Gah Rah of the junior senateens also defecated and the stench was encapsulated upon the land. Not to be outdone in the shittery at hand, the Apicureans went ambushing the Padipalians and swung the Damoclean sword of the Everly Failing at Convictions Commission over the head of Godsswag, … Continue reading Chronicles of Chill: The Oponimousity of Ogbenyssius
          How Puerto Rico Heard Trump's Rating Of Hurricane Maria Response      Cache   Translate Page      
NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Puerto Rico Senate Minority Leader Eduardo Bhatia Gautier about President Trump's claim that the federal response to Hurricane Maria was an incredible success.
          News Interview: A Date with the Senator      Cache   Translate Page      
Senator Martin Heinrich talks about education, renewable energy and frustration in Washington.
          Odds & Ends      Cache   Translate Page      
Funny because senatorial noogies happen to someone else.
          The Wall Street Journal: Charles Rettig wins confirmation as IRS commissioner      Cache   Translate Page      
The Senate confirmed Charles Rettig to run the Internal Revenue Service, giving the veteran California tax lawyer one of the toughest, most thankless jobs in the federal government.

          What Ben Sasse Got Right and Wrong at the Kavanaugh Hearings      Cache   Translate Page      
It is a good thing a U.S. Senator raised the delegation issue in a high-visibility venue, but it should have a hearing of its own.
          Tillis Statement on Executive Order Protecting Election Security      Cache   Translate Page      
Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement on the Executive Order signed by President Trump to impose sanctions against foreign individuals, entities, or governments that meddle in future U.S. elections
( Published Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 @ 9:03 pm )

          Hurricane Hell: Here Are 5 of the Most Recent Devastating Storms Linked to Climate Change      Cache   Translate Page      
The new normal is frightening.

Only two weeks after the government of Puerto Rico raised the official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975—making it the deadliest hurricane to occur last year—North and South Carolina residents are evacuating coastal areas in preparation for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to deliver winds of 130 miles per hour and be the worst hurricane to hit the Carolinas since the 1980s. Hurricanes have been pounding the southeastern U.S. for centuries, but in the era of climate change, they are becoming more frequent and more devastating.

Meteorologists are seeing an increase in the what is known as “rapid intensification,” meaning that a storm’s maximum sustained winds increase by at least 35 mph within a 24-hour period. According to data from the National Hurricane Center, there were, on average, ten cases of rapid intensification per year between 1982 and 1994—whereas between 2005 and 2017, 20 cases per year was the average. In 2017, the National Hurricane Center reported 40 cases of rapid intensification.

Meteorologists have five separate categories for hurricanes, with Category 1 being the least severe and Category 5 being the most severe. Florence appears to be reaching the Carolinas as a Category 4, but it could intensify to Category 5. And when rapid intensification—a phenomenon encouraged by climate change—occurs and a hurricane goes from Category 1 to Category 4 or 5 in less than 24 hours, there is little time to prepare.  

Here are five of the most devastating hurricanes that occurred in recent years.

1. Hurricane Katrina

In August 2015, Hurricane Katrina originated in the Bahamas before making its way to the U.S. A hurricane varies in intensity, and at its worst, Katrina became a Category 5 storm. The National Hurricane Center attributed a total of 1836 deaths to Katrina, with up to 1577 deaths in Louisiana—and the flooding was so severe in New Orleans that 80% of the city was under water.

Veteran reporter Mark Schleifstein, who covered Katrina for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, witnessed Katrina first hand and has some grim advice for residents of the Carolinas who are refusing to evacuate for Hurricane Florence: “write your Social Security number on your arm, so officials can identify your body.”

2. Hurricane Harvey

2017 was a terrible year for hurricanes, and one of the worst was Hurricane Harvey—which affected parts of Latin America (including Nicaragua and Honduras) but was especially devastating around the Texas Gulf Coast. Of the 108 deaths caused by Harvey in late August/early September 2017, 103 were in Texas. Some weather stations in Texas reported more than four feet of rain, and Houston suffered some of the worst flooding in the city’s history. 

3. Hurricane Maria

Only a few weeks after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas Gulf Coast, the Caribbean was, in September 2017, pounded by Hurricane Maria—which reached Category 5 at its worst. Maria caused some deaths in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Guadalupe, but the worst damage by far occurred in Puerto Rico. Of the more than 3,050 people killed by Maria, most of the fatalities occurred in Puerto Rico—although 65 people were killed on the island of Dominica, which didn’t have time to adequately prepare thanks to rapid intensification. A year later, Puerto Rico is still recovering from Maria.

Maria is a perfect example of how bad climate change is making rapid intensification: the storm went from Category 1 to Category 5 in only about half a day.

4. Hurricane Sandy

In the U.S., hurricanes have been most likely to affect the southern states.

Floridians are more likely to experience hurricanes than residents of New Jersey or Massachusetts, but that doesn’t mean that residents of the northeastern U.S. are immune to them—not by a longshot. And in 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused billions of dollars in damage, pounding the New Jersey Shore and the coast of Maryland as well as New York City. Atlantic City was evacuated, parts of Manhattan suffered flooding, and the mass transit systems of NYC and Philadelphia (which is about 60 miles inland) were shut down.

When Kevin E. Trenberth (a senior climatologist for the National Center for Atmospheric Research) was asked whether or not Hurricane Sandy was affected by climate change, he responded that while the answer was yes, Sandy was hardly unique in that regard. In 2012, Trenberth asserted, “All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.”

5. Hurricane Ike

In September 2008, Hurricane Ike caused at least 195 deaths and affected a wide area ranging from Cuba, Haiti (where at least 74 deaths occurred) and the Bahamas to the Florida Panhandle, the Mississippi Coast and the Texas Gulf Coast. Altogether, Ike is believed to have caused about $38 billion in damage.