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          Comment on Modern American Civil War: A Clash Of Ideologies by Jack      Cache   Translate Page      
Hard core liberals who are now some of the top Democrats in power (including Obama) are very prone to violence. A liberal, left winger, communist or socialist of sorts has tried to or succeeded in assassination every president except President Reagan which Hinkley tried for love. They shot up the House in DC in the early 50s and of course the POS liberal Democrat who tried to kill the Republican ball players last year. They are the aggressive rioters in the streets and they are the yelling and screaming marchers and protestors which J.Edger Hoover warned of decades ago in his book. WWI was caused by one and let's not forget the Communist Party, and who can forget NAZIs (National Socialist German Workers Party) which liberals try to pass off as a right wing movement. Our country, Bill Of Rights in particular and Constitution in general is in great danger from these insanely violent people.
          It's The Enthusiasm That's Scary      Cache   Translate Page      
Even I was surprised when miserable failure George W. Bush's polls dropped down to the magic 27% level. Absent economic catastrophe, I don't really expect any president's approval numbers to fall below 35% ever again. Similarly, absent some rally around the flag event, I don't expect them to go above 55%. Republicans are going to like Republicans and Democrats are going to like Democrats, and while there's a bit of wiggle room, we're basically not going to get a super popular or super unpopular president.

I have no idea precisely why the press does all the tautological "people who like Trump like Trump" stories, but it isn't surprising that his approval numbers are around 40%. My point is in this era basically any president can have approval numbers around 40%. It didn't make Obama particularly unpopular (as he was portrayed) and it certainly doesn't make Trump particularly popular (as the focus on his fans portrays him).

That Trump is inspiring the worst people to be emboldened, and that the mainstream press helps to embolden them, is what's scary. Not that 40% approve.



          President Trump, Stop and Frisk Is Both Unconstitutional and Ineffective      Cache   Translate Page      
Whether in Chicago, New York, or any city, indiscriminate stop and frisk is riddled with racial disparities and is unconstitutional.

On Monday, President Trump gave a speech to the nation’s police chiefs. Like so many of his “law and order” speeches, it was fueled by bravado and falsehoods.  

In the speech, Trump defended stop-and-frisk policies that have been ruled unconstitutional and rejected by communities in numerous cities. He also urged the city of Chicago to “try to change the terrible deal the city of Chicago entered into with ACLU” on tracking the use of stop and frisk. Trump railed against “efforts from politicians to shackle local police departments” by limiting their cooperation with ICE, and he touted his record of providing surplus military equipment to local police departments.

Trump’s distortions must be called out one by one. Here is a breakdown of the most dangerous falsehoods in his speech:

Trump claim: “Before I took office less than two years ago, our nation was experiencing a historic surge in violent crime.”

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the U.S. violent crime rate peaked in 1991 and has remained stable at about half that rate for the past several years. In 2016 and 2017, the violent crime rate remained essentially stable at near the bottom of this three-decade downward trend, and preliminary indications are that these low crime rates are continuing to remain stable and low.

In other words, there was no historic surge in violent crime because crime was stable at historically low levels when Trump first took office.

Trump claim: Indiscriminate stop-and-frisk “works, and it was meant for problems like Chicago,” which is why he is asking Attorney General Sessions to “work with local authorities to try to change the terrible deal the city of Chicago entered into with ACLU, which ties law enforcement’s hands.”

Indiscriminate stop-and-frisk does not stop violent crime. Indeed, after New York City ended its stop-and-frisk policies under court supervision, the number of street stops by police fell dramatically — the number of stops in 2015 was less than 5 percent of the number of stops in 2011 — and as those stops fell, the homicide rate also continued to fall to record lows.

Aside from being ineffective in limiting crime, indiscriminate stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional, results in enormous racial disparities, erodes community trust in the police, and makes people of color less likely to report crimes. A 2013 study by the Vera Institute of Justice found that each time a young person is stopped and frisked by police, it makes them 8 percent less likely to report a future violent crime against them to police. Nearly 60 percent of the young people surveyed by the Vera Institute stated that they would not feel comfortable asking a police officer for help if they were in trouble.

That’s why the ACLU has repeatedly sued to end indiscriminate stop-and-frisk policies. We’ve reached settlements that require police to abide by constitutional limits in their stop-and-frisk activities in Milwaukee, New York City, and Philadelphia. Meanwhile, our 2015 settlement in Chicago required data collection and oversight of stop and frisk, and we are pushing for adoption of a broader consent decree there.

Notably, none of these lawsuits seek to prohibit all police stops and frisks. They simply require that these actions be supported by the reasonable suspicion required by the Fourth Amendment and prohibit racially biased patterns of enforcement that are patently unconstitutional.

Trump claim: “[S]anctuary city policies force the release of criminal aliens and gang members right back onto our streets, putting innocent civilians at grave risk — many people being killed.”

So-called “sanctuary city” policies are not targeted at people who have committed crimes, quite the contrary. They are intended to safeguard immigrant victims of crime — particularly survivors of sexual assault, trafficking survivors, and domestic violence survivors — by ensuring that they trust police enough to report these crimes to local authorities without being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This claim is not a one-off, but, in fact, part of Trump’s long-running campaign to bully local communities to become extensions of the federal deportation system. While the Trump administration claims that its continued harassment of these jurisdictions is driven by public safety concerns, we know that’s just an excuse. In fact, pro-immigrant jurisdictions have lower rates of crime than jurisdictions that actively assist federal immigration agents.

Trump claim: His administration’s new policies providing surplus military equipment to local police departments is just “making sure you have the equipment you need to do the job.”

Trump is referring here to the 1033 program, which came under heavy criticism from the ACLU and others for providing weapons of war — including bayonets, grenade launchers, and armored vehicles — to local police departments. After the nation expressed horror at these weapons of war being turned on protesters at Ferguson, President Obama imposed much-needed controls on the 1033 program, including prohibiting certain military-grade weapons altogether and requiring police departments to account for how armored vehicles and other war gear were being used.

President Trump rescinded all of these rules last year, leaving no controls or limits in place. Trump’s policies are not providing necessary equipment. Instead, they are ensuring that local law enforcement agencies will have a free hand to treat their communities like war zones, with zero oversight or accountability.

Once again President Trump has the facts wrong. And along with his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump is attempting to roll back recent reforms and promote the kind of race-based, unconstitutional police abuse that recently gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. Indiscriminate stop and frisk is just one of those practices, and it needs to end across the country, not get an endorsement from the White House.


          Trump’s Environmental Chief ‘Liked’ Racist Obama Meme      Cache   Translate Page      
Acting Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Andrew Wheeler - who has held the position since July after corruption allegations forced the resignation of Scott Pruitt - repeatedly “liked” racist memes and boosted known conspiracy theorists on social media.
           Comment on Final Thoughts on Nikki Haley… by Elizabeth Carter       Cache   Translate Page      
Nikki Haley did better than I expected at the UN. To think that would qualify her as President is a bridge too far. President Trump has spent his whole life preparing for this time. Planning and working every day. Pence is too weak. Pompeo is a good guy but he is not nearly as versatile. I giggle when I see how many people think that President Trump could easily be replaced. He is like the Olympics World Gold Medal winner who has practiced so long that when he does his routine it looks easy. Thinking Nikki could be President is like the Democrats thinking Obama was the Messiah. My belief is that by 2024 when President Trump must be replaced, he will have made it clear what a competent President who believes in God and loves America can do and what to look for in his successor. He will have trained "We the People" to pay attention, stand up, speak up and do our part so that we never get ourselves into this mess again. We barely got out alive this time. I sincerely believe that God sent us President Trump to act as His leader for us at this time and in this place. People keep saying that we were weak or asleep or stupid to allow this to happen. The fact is that as a Christian it is just very difficult to believe that there are people who will do anything to destroy us. It is just not who we are, it is not how we think and it is sickening when we realize who our enemies are and the lengths they will go to in order to destroy us. Jesus actually told us they were evil. They killed Him. He rose again. Right now, I believe we have been given this opportunity to rise up and restore America. We are One Nation Under God and as far as I know we are the only nation in the world who even makes that claim. We must always trust God, pray unceasingly, walk in the Spirit, be vigilant and teach our history so that we do not fall into their trap again. God Bless President Trump God Bless America MAGA
           Comment on October 9th – 2018 Presidential Politics – Trump Administration Day #628 by Henry       Cache   Translate Page      
Well now Obama Can choose his official gender
           Comment on Behold the Hairy Men. by JMS       Cache   Translate Page      
You have made many good points. I believe that the opprobrium directed at the justices for overturning the economic programs that were needed to bring the country out of the Great Depression may have played a part in the resignation of the justices over time. At the time FDR took office in 1933, at the worst part of the Great Depression, the Federal government was not a great presence in the lives of people. There was Congress, SCOTUS, the postal service and the armed forces. Efforts to relieve suffering were at the level of state government. It was perhaps novel that FDR was attempting to institute the nationwide programs and the justices did not see that it was constitutional for the Federal government to do this. I agree that Gorsuch, Alito, Thomas and Kavanaugh are partisans as was Scalia. I think that Roberts has the ability and the obligation to be less partisan as the Chief Justice. It is his reputation on the line in history if he cannot steer the court to moderation. FDR's plan to pack the court with additional justices may have worked as a threat and a message that the obstructionist justices would become irrelevant. I agree with you regarding the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as constituted now with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Reagan was the one who reached out to the evangelical voters because he saw it was a way to win elections. I believe the leaders in the Revolution and the effort to create the Constitution, who knew of the Glorious Revolution and Jacobite Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, put the prohibition of a state religion in the First Amendment to prevent religious strife. I do not want the country to be a religious oligarchy. I do not want to see students forced to pray or public meetings begin with a convocation. (Full disclosure-I became a Buddhist over 45 years ago.) I'm not sure that additing additional justices to the Supreme Court is the way to go. I think that if the House goes to a Democratic majority it should investigate Kavanaugh going back to the stolen documents during W's administration. If he resigns or is successfully impeached, then there is an open seat. If there is a sufficient Democratic majority in the Senate, then the Senate could reject any additional tRump appointment. In 1987, I remember reading in The Atlantic Monthly stories about whether the Democrats were doomed to be a minority party as they had lost the presidential elections in 1980 and 1984. The Rethuglicans won again in 1988. Part of the pushback on Bill Clinton was because the Rethuglicans had come to believe that they were entitled to the presidency. The Rethuglicans never wrote off parts of the country deeming any victory worthwhile, while the Democrats wrote off most of the red states especially during Obama's administration. The upcoming mid-terms are another battle to limit the damage the Rethuglicans can do. Increasing the number of justices on SCOTUS would be like the arms race. We do it so they do it. Democrats have started to realize the importance of winning at the state level. It will unfortunately take us time to catch up. It would help immensely if the Rethuglicans implode through because the public begins, through better civics education, to see through them.
           Comment on Last day to register by Catscatscats       Cache   Translate Page      
PM, more votes than any other presidential candidate in our history except for Obama in 2008. She even beat Obama's 2012 totals. Yeah, right, you Malignant Miasma of Malevolence, she doesn't get it because she was a "horrible candidate" who failed to see the power of corruption, hatred and fear. What Hillary didn't get is fair treatment from Russia, Comey, the FBI, the GOP. the SC (Citizen's United and gutting the VRA) and Sanders. She will always be a winner to me.
          HSBC to pay $765 million to settle crisis-era mortgage probe      Cache   Translate Page      
Unlike prior mortgage-related settlements with the Obama administration, this one doesn't impose consumer relief or payments to state or federal agencies.
          HSBC to pay $765 million to settle crisis-era mortgage probe      Cache   Translate Page      
Unlike prior mortgage-related settlements with the Obama administration, this one doesn't impose consumer relief or payments to state or federal agencies.
          Anthony Bourdain Reflects on "Hope in the World" in New Parts Unknown Tribute Trailer      Cache   Translate Page      

Four months after Anthony Bourdain's shocking death, CNN is paying tribute to the acclaimed chef with the Parts Unknown special "Bourdain's Impact."

On June 8, CNN confirmed Bourdain's passing, stating that his cause of death was suicide. "It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain," a spokesperson for the network said in a statement. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."

This weekend, the network will air the tribute special, in which Bourdain describes himself as a "lucky cook who gets to tell stories."

Inside Anthony Bourdain's First Posthumous Parts Unknown Episode

"There are places that snap you out of your comfortable world view, they lead you to believe that maybe there is hope in the world," Bourdain can be heard saying in the trailer for the special, airing Sunday evening.

The trailer also shows clips from previous episodes of Parts Unknown, including one where host Bourdain sat down and had a beer with President Barack Obama.

"He was funny and fearless, with a chef's swagger and the heart of a storyteller," the trailer states. "Anthony Bourdain was the ultimate guest, and his impact lives on."

On Monday, the four-month anniversary of Bourdain's passing, his wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain posted a throwback family photo to Instagram.

Parts Unknown special "Bourdain's Impact" airs Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Anthony Bourdain Reflects on "Hope in the World" in New Parts Unknown Tribute Trailer originally appeared on Eonline.com
          Re: Nikki Haley is a certified slack-ass accountant      Cache   Translate Page      
"Sounds like a winner."

Actually, it sounds like Michelle Obama getting a promotion, pay raise to a "no show" job after her husband (Big O) became an IL State Legislator.
Posted by Steve Cannell
          Why More Dictators Are Killing and Abducting Dissidents Abroad      Cache   Translate Page      

In Sheridan Circle on Washington’s Embassy Row lies a small plaque, little noticed by both tourists and locals, marking the spot where a car bomb killed Chilean diplomat-turned-think-tanker Orlando Letelier along with his American co-worker Ronni Moffitt in 1976. Letelier, since leaving Chile, had become a leading critic of Augusto Pinochet’s regime, and declassified documents later showed that the dictator had directly ordered the killing.

A dictatorship killing one of its citizens on the streets of a foreign capital is a brazen act but is by no means unheard of. Social scientists have traditionally defined a state as the entity that controls the use of physical force for domination within a given territory. But states, particularly those of an authoritarian bent, have frequently sought to project violence against dissidents and defectors far beyond their borders. An effective authoritarian state needs its most prominent critics to know that an ice ax in the back is still a possibility, even if they leave.

While it’s not exactly a new phenomenon, as Letelier and numerous other historical cases prove, the killing or abduction of foreign critics by authoritarian regimes appears to be alarmingly normalized today. Also alarming: Some of the countries where these crimes take place seem uninterested in doing anything to stop them.

Last week, Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and critic of its ruling royal family living in exile in the United States, visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document related to his upcoming wedding. He has not been heard from since then, and Turkish officials reportedly believe he was murdered by a special team sent from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s government has been brutal to dissidents and opponents, and technically speaking Khashoggi entered Saudi territory when he went inside the consulate building, but he had apparently been unconcerned, telling friends before his disappearance that he had been treated well during previous visits to Saudi embassies and consulates. His fiancée says he told her not to worry, since “they would not dare attempt anything within Turkey’s borders.”

Then again, perhaps no one should assume they are safe from a government that more or less took the prime minister of Lebanon hostage for several days last year. Ghanem al-Dosary, a London-based Saudi dissident, told the New York Times that Khashoggi’s disappearance was a message from the regime to its critics “that our hands can reach you wherever you are.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that the Saudi government prove its claim that Khashoggi walked out of the consulate unharmed. While a reasonable request, this umbrage is somewhat ironic given Turkey’s own pursuit of its critics abroad. Under Erdogan, the Turkish government has launched an aggressive crackdown on supporters of Fethullah Gülen, the influential and controversial cleric it accuses of orchestrating a failed 2016 coup. Thousands of accused Gülenists, including U.S. citizens, have been arrested, and the manhunt has gone global as well. Often, this is a matter of pushing foreign governments to extradite Gülenists back to Turkey, but sometimes the line between arrest and abduction has been blurred. In March, six Gülenists in Kosovo were shipped back to Turkey after being arrested over links to Gülenists schools, but Kosovo’s prime minister said he had not been aware of the operation, and local media dubbed it a “kidnapping.” In July, the government of Mongolia prevented what appeared to be an attempted abduction of a Gülenist school leader. Then there’s Gülen himself: Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into allegations, corroborated by former CIA Director James Woolsey, that Turkish officials had met with former U.S. National Security Adviser and unacknowledged Turkey lobbyist Michael Flynn to discuss a plan to abduct the cleric from his compound in Pennsylvania and deliver him back to Turkey. And that’s not to mention the beating of protesters in Washington by Erdogan’s own bodyguards in 2017.

Of course, the most prominent recent attack by an authoritarian government on an exiled critic was the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in March, an attack that Vladimir Putin’s government has only half-heartedly tried to deny. According to a BuzzFeed investigation last year, U.S. authorities believe that as many as 14 people, including billionaire Boris Berezovsky, whose death had been ruled a suicide in 2013, had been killed by Russian secret services in Britain in recent years. Dozens more opponents of the Putin regime have been killed under suspicious circumstances abroad.

China has also been reaching across borders to pursue its critics. Prominent dissidents have been reportedly abducted from Thailand and sent back to China for detention. As for foreign-residing Uighurs—the Muslim minority that Beijing has recently been repressing in a brutal campaign that’s been dubbed a “cultural genocide”—the authorities’ preferred tactic appears to be threatening their families living within China unless they return home.

Last week also saw the bizarre disappearance and resignation of Meng Hongwei, the Chinese official who led Interpol, in what appeared to be a highly unusual move by a state government against the leader of a major international organization, all the more troubling since the exact charges against Meng have not been made public.

Numerous other examples abound. Two women are currently on trial in Malaysia over the killing—likely in cooperation, willing or not, with North Korean operatives—of Kim Jong-nam, brother of the current North Korean leader. The government of Iran stands accused by French authorities of orchestrating the attempted bombing of a meeting of a prominent exile group in Paris.

The response of the governments of countries where these incidents happen has often been muted—and that’s a problem. The British government’s tepid reaction to the 2006 poisoning of former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko very well could have led Vladimir Putin to conclude there would be little consequence for pulling the same stunt there again.

Often diplomatic considerations are behind these muted reactions. France, for instance, is unlikely to press its case against Iran too hard, given that it’s currently trying to preserve what’s left of the 2015 nuclear deal.

It’s hard to make those sorts of excuses for President Donald Trump, who has spoken approvingly of how leaders like Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, and Erdogan conduct their business. When Putin suggested allowing Russian investigators to question 11 U.S. citizens he views as enemies, including former Ambassador Michael McFaul, in exchange for “cooperation” in the investigation of 2016 election interference, Trump called it an “incredible offer.” Trump was also reportedly reluctant and angry about the expulsion of Russian diplomats in response to the Skripal poisoning.

After days of silence over the alleged abduction and possible murder of Khashoggi, Trump, who often touts his close relationship with the Saudi royal family, finally acknowledged that there were some “pretty bad stories” going around about the journalist and U.S.
resident’s fate and said, “Hopefully that will sort itself out.” The Saudis are probably not too worried about a fierce U.S. response at this point.

But if we’re going to fault Trump’s rhetoric for contributing to the sense of impunity felt by authoritarian governments, we should also acknowledge Barack Obama’s covert drone campaign in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. This isn’t to draw any moral equivalence between the targeting of members of groups like al-Qaida, the Taliban, and ISIS and the murders and abductions of dissidents and journalists by dictatorships. But the targeted killing of a country’s enemies outside a declared battlefield was once considered exceptional, and the U.S. has helped make it routine.

More disturbing still may be the possibility that state violence is becoming globalized. The human rights community, more often than not, views the world in terms of distinct countries, classifying them as “free” or “unfree.” The much-maligned International Criminal Court is hamstrung by the fact that its jurisdiction is limited to only the countries that accept it.

Once upon a time, it was thought that globalization would undermine authoritarian systems in individual states as economic liberalization and new forms of communications overwhelm their defenses against outside influence. But the influence, of course, ended up going both ways. Today, we live in a world where China’s economic clout influences what classes are taught at U.S. universities and what movies are produced by Hollywood. The same internet that brings Western media into Russia allows the Russian state to influence elections around the world.

Authoritarian states clearly do not feel their authority is limited by state borders. So it’s no surprise they don’t feel their ability to inflict violence is limited either.


          Pruitt's Gone, But Wheeler Carries on Agenda      Cache   Translate Page      

Scott Pruitt’s 16-month tenure as EPA administrator turned out to be a mixed bag. When President-elect Trump nominated Pruitt, he thought he was getting exactly what he wanted: an ag­gressive outsider; an able public advocate; and, most importantly, someone who as Oklahoma’s attor­ney general had shown that he was just as opposed to Obama’s climate agenda and regulatory onslaught as was Trump.

Pruitt turned out to be suitably aggressive and an energetic promot­er of Trump’s policies. Most notably, he provided stalwart support inside the administration and in public of the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate treaty. But he also turned out not to be a hands-on administrator. Repeals of major rules were regularly announced, but the legal paperwork often turned out to be sloppy and the process of moving rulemakings forward often seemed stuck in neutral.

Pruitt came to the job without any experience of working inside the EPA or of managing a large organization. What he needed was a competent deputy administrator who had worked at EPA and knew how it operated and where the roadblocks were. That person was Andrew Wheeler, but the president’s dysfunctional personnel process didn’t manage to nominate Wheeler until October 2017 and the Senate didn’t confirm him until April.

By the time Wheeler was sworn in, Pruitt was under assault for ethi­cal lapses by environmental pres­sure groups and the mainstream media. The charges against him were mostly small potatoes, some were ridiculous, and even the seri­ous ones were hardly unusual. One of the most serious was that he rent­ed a bedroom in a condo on a $50 nightly basis from a K Street power couple. It does look improper, but it had been cleared by EPA’s ethics counsel. Compare the endless recy­cling of this story to the big news in 2010 that Treasury Secretary Timo­thy Geithner had lived rent-free for nine months in a $3.5 million house owned by a Wall Street executive. But the story of Geithner’s special deal (which also had been cleared by his agency’s ethics counsel) dis­appeared in a couple days.

Regardless of the magnitude of the offenses, Pruitt did a poor job defending himself. Time and again, he appeared arrogant and tone deaf. And he should have been prepared for the unrelenting attacks, but was not. In particular, in taking on the EPA bureaucracy, Pruitt seemed unaware of the magnitude of the chal­lenge. He would have done well to study what hap­pened to the only previous administrator who tried. Anne Gorsuch Burford was an outsider picked by Pres­ident Reagan in 1981 to reform what was already an out-of-control bureaucracy. She was run out of town in 1983.

Andrew Wheeler is now act­ing administrator and may be nominated after the election to be administrator. I have known and oc­casionally worked with Wheeler for two decades and can attest to his commitment to and competence in getting the job done. It is a high rec­ommendation that he has worked in his career for two great Americans — for Senator James M. Inhofe on the staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and for Bob Murray of Murray Energy as a lobbyist.

There is no doubt that Wheeler will continue to implement the de­regulatory agenda. That’s because it’s President Trump’s agenda, which is based on a coherent set of campaign promises. The Waters of the United States Rule will be replaced with something that is constitutional. The so-called Clean Power Plan will be replaced with something that is legal. And so on.

On whether Wheeler succeeds in his second main charge — reforming the worst aspects of the agency in terms of mismanagement, lack of accountability, and freelance regu­lating far beyond what Congress has authorized — history says no (see Pruitt and Burford). On the other hand, Pruitt hired an expert in man­agement and re-organization from Arizona state government, Henry Darwin, as chief operating officer. Darwin has now been named acting deputy administrator.

To reform one of the swampiest bureaucra­cies is a challenge. As a former official who served under Carol Browner in the Clinton EPA said to me at the height of the Pruitt furor, “We learned early on that you don’t ever want to cross senior EPA career staff.” To make progress, Wheeler and Darwin are going to need help from Con­gress. The signs are not good. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney requested a 31 percent cut in EPA’s budget for FY 2017. The Republican Congress pulled that back to 6 percent.

It’s not going to be possible to re­form EPA’s recalcitrant bureaucracy without deep staff cuts. Much of the agency’s work, especially in terms of monitoring and enforcement, has been turned over to state agencies. Having lots of spare regulators with time on their hands and mischief on their minds will always lead to free­lancing and over-regulation.

You can view this piece online at www.eli.org.

Image: 
Experts: 
Myron Ebell
Date: 
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Media appearance type: 
Teaser: 
Scott Pruitt’s 16-month tenure as EPA administrator turned out to be a mixed bag. When President-elect Trump nominated Pruitt, he thought he was getting exactly what he wanted: an ag¬gressive outsider; an able public advocate; and, most importantly, someone who as Oklahoma’s attor¬ney general had shown that he was just as opposed to Obama’s climate agenda and regulatory onslaught as was Trump.

          WHO GOES FIRST, TRUMP OR THE IRANIAN AYATOLLAHS?      Cache   Translate Page      

From an Israeli perspective, the race is now on. Will US President Donald Trump succeed in reigning in the fanatical regime in Iran that is bent on destroying Israel, or will he himself be toppled from power? At this point, it is impossible to predict. But for the vast majority of Israelis, there is no doubt that the current US President is a far better friend to Israel than his predecessor Barack Obama, who extended the Islamist regime a ten-year reprice (now down to seven) to start up again their nuclear weapons program. In return, Obama led a huge international bailout program for Iran that enables the regime to make more mischief throughout the Middle East and one day acquire nuclear weapons to attack the Jewish state. Can anyone in their right mind doubt that the Iranian regime, which persecutes its own people, is any less racist than Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cohorts? Yet, former US President Barack Obama and his sidekick, John Kerry, only reacted, when prodded several years ago by Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, to launch a preemptive strike against Iran if nothing was done to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. But Obama and his international partners took the easy way out by simply kicking the can down the road and leaving it to a future president, in this case, Donald Trump, to handle the threat.

Read More...



          Murder, Memory, and How People Learn      Cache   Translate Page      

I’ve been steeling myself all week for the articles that will be published on Friday, noting the twentieth anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. I knew Matt, although he was much younger than me. We grew up in the same church, where I remember watching him and his brother during services, teaching them in Sunday School. Matt was small then, and I moved away (and I believe his family moved away), so I never knew him as a grown man.

When Father Brown spoke at my father’s funeral a couple of years ago, he said it was one of the hardest services he’d ever led. Father Brown led the services for Matt’s funeral, and I felt sick to my stomach thinking of the comparison. I’ve strayed from the faith, I guess. My dad did too. But I think of Judy Shepard, Matt’s mom, so often, as she represents the epitome of Christian love and forgiveness. I think about what we do with loss and with trauma – what we do for ourselves and our communities.

Maybe I’ll write more about Matt. Maybe I won’t. I have been thinking this week about how he is remembered – by the LGBTQ community, by the residents of his home town, his home state. I have been thinking too about James Byrd Jr, who was murdered the same year. I don’t recall seeing any twentieth anniversary remembrances of his death this summer, even though both of their names are on the Hate Crimes Prevention Act that was signed into law by President Obama in 2009.

I have been thinking about erasure.

I didn’t expect to be jarred into thinking of another family member this morning, but I saw a friend note that a new edition of How People Learn has been released.

My dad’s cousin, Dr. Rodney Cocking, was one of the editors of the 2000 version. (I think that made Rod, who was one of my father’s best friends, my first cousin, once removed.) He was murdered in 2002 – it was no hate crime, but it was a grisly, violent death, one that shook everyone in my family (and I’d say as well in Rod’s professional circles).

I’ve long thought of How People Learn as his legacy of sorts, and I was a little sad, I confess, to see a new version without his name on the cover.

“Since HPL I was published, there has been a growing appreciation for the fundamental role that culture plays for every individual learner in every learning context, for every learning purpose,” the introduction to the new report reads. My god, I wish that there was some mention of Rod somewhere in this document. Maybe that’s selfish and unrealistic. Maybe the people at the National Research Council have forgotten; maybe they don’t want to remember.

What we know about learning, if we recognize it is bound up in culture, is that it must reflect both tradition and change. The “science of learning” wants to focus on the latter, to be sure – what’s new, what’s progressed. But the past matters.


          Comment on Taylor Swift Votes The GOP by George      Cache   Translate Page      
"If James Comey had indicted Hillary, he would have convicted Obama." - Andrew McCarthy _______________ The Obama Coup D'etat in America - the most prodigious abuse of power in American political history - soon to be adjudicated. Best of luck, Obama.
          Comment on Taylor Swift Votes The GOP by CAT      Cache   Translate Page      
Nothing about the Obamas was real.
          Comment on Google Staff about SCOTUS Justice Kavanaugh: ‘F—. YOU. ALL. TO. HELL.’ by Kathleen10      Cache   Translate Page      
We use Bing. We have used it for a few years and don't miss Google. Also Bing does not track you or sell your data. Obama's presidency was a miserable time for us. We really did not like his presidency or him personally, frankly. Too divisive. But at no time did we start lathering and foaming at the mouth and cursing people or wishing them dead. We carried on with life and hoped for better things. The demonic is being revealed right in front of our eyes. This is not about political differences, it is about the walking dead that are all around us. When you are so soul-dead you are screaming about SCOTUS confirmations and swearing or threatening about political appointments you are in zombie-land. There is a total breakdown in use of reason and logic at play here. It's all hatred, even violence. I've never seen so much hatred at any point in my life in these here United States. I don't recognize these crazed people as my fellow countrymen. A teacher somewhere just needed to resign, having tweeted the question "ok who is going to take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh?". I mean, kill Kavanaugh. And this is a teacher. I can tell you there is a visceral hatred of Donald Trump in educational circles. People have lost their minds. But it's so much more than that. All conservative justices will need to be extremely careful, especially if a Democrat president is elected, because then of course he or she would get to nominate who they want. I do believe these people are thinking along those lines, and murder for revenge or political gain is to them, reasonable. Scary times.
          Comment on CARNES: Picking Up the Pieces by Andrés Mojica      Cache   Translate Page      
Amidst the recent grand jury report which concludes more than 300 priests sexually abused over 1000 children since the 1950’s, Fr. Matthew Carnes, S.J. advises us to: “[continue doing] what you are doing.” For Georgetown, that means: “lets continue our silly pretense of a Catholic identity, despite the growing evidence of its burden.” Every semester at Georgetown University seemingly provokes new ire from continually bewildered archdioceses or religious groups that condemn Georgetown’s already secular culture. There is no shortage of these incidents, which are often provoked by the conduct of Georgetown’s administrative personnel! Such was the case upon Georgetown University’s recent approval of the Living Learning Community for “safely exploring issues of gender and sexuality”, an administrative decision seemingly denounced by all tabloids. The Washington Times headlined the story with “Shenanigans in sex at Georgetown U” and Lifesite News called the decision “a startling move for a university that claims to be Catholic”. Such was the case when Love Saxa, a pro-heterosexual marriage student group, risked defunding by Georgetown University for defending the Catholic Church’s traditional view of marriage, a debacle which culminated with legal action when Love Saxa alleged Georgetown University misappropriated donations intended for their group by depositing these funds into the accounts of other student groups. Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at the Catholic University of America, commented: “I suppose the question for Georgetown is whether they think Catholic kids can still be Catholic there.” Such was the case when the Georgetown Alumni Association conferred Senator Dick Durbin with the Timothy S. Healy, S.J. Award for “[rendering] outstanding and exemplary service to his/her profession or community” the day after he was banned from Holy Communion for supporting abortion rights. Bishop Thomas Paprocki called the proceedings “shameful” and further commented, “In a sense it’s nothing new [from Georgetown].” Such was the case when a student group invited former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, disliked by conservatives for supporting abortion rights and former President Obama’s contraception insurance mandate, to deliver a speech at Georgetown’s annual awards ceremony. An editorial in the District of Columbia’s archdiocesan newspaper called the decision “a disappointment but not a surprise” and reads, “Georgetown has undergone a secularization, due in no small part to the fact that much of its leadership and faculty find their inspiration in sources other than the Gospel and Catholic teaching.” Such was the case when Georgetown University covered the monogram “IHS”—symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—on a stage pediment before former President Obama delivered a speech at Georgetown in 2009. Patrick Reilly, then President of the Cardinal Newman Society, called the incident an “outrageous example of a Catholic university sacrificing principle for prestige.” How many more of these incidents will Georgetown endure before action is taken? It’s hard to imagine a platitude other than that offered by Matthew Carnes that is more tepid and stupid amidst the circumstances.
          It’s (still) on: SCOTUS upholds Kavanaugh ruling on Obama climate rule      Cache   Translate Page      
Oh, who are we kidding? It’s going to be “on” for opponents of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for at least through a midterms, & probably all a way to 2020. Kavanaugh hears his first arguments from a bench today, having salted away a traditional duties of cafeteria supervision befitting a tradition for SCOTUS newbies. […]
          Trung Quốc chỉ ‘vẫy cờ’ chứ không thủy chiến với Mỹ trên Biển Đông      Cache   Translate Page      

Tàu chiến Mỹ tăng cường hiện diện trên Biển Đông - Ảnh: National Interest


Theo nhận định của nhà nghiên cứu Colin Koh thuộc Viện Nghiên cứu Quốc tế Rajaratnam (Singapore), vụ tàu chiến Trung Quốc đối đầu thật sát với tàu chiến Mỹ ở Biển Đông có thể là một động tác “vẫy cờ” nhằm duy trì căng thẳng chứ không sa vào một cuộc xung đột vũ trang với Mỹ khi hai bên đều chưa sẵn sàng.


Một Thế Giới lược dịch bài viết của ông Kok:


“Ngày 30.9 xảy ra vụ khu trục hạm Lan Châu của hải quân Trung Quốc đối đầu chỉ cách khu trục hạm Decatur của hải quân Mỹ 41m, khi tàu chiến Mỹ có cuộc tuần tra thực hiện quyền tự do hàng hải (FONOP) dài 10 giờ trong khu vực 12 hải lý quanh Đá Gaven và Đá Vành Khăn thuộc quần đảo Trường Sa của Việt Nam, bị Trung Quốc chiếm đóng trái phép.

Đó là diễn biến căng thẳng mới nhất giữa Mỹ - Trung, sau khi Mỹ trừng phạt Quân đội giải phóng nhân dân Trung Quốc (PLA) mua vũ khí Nga và duyệt bán vũ khí cho Đài Loan. Trung Quốc trả đũa bằng cách triệu hồi Tư lệnh hải quân từ Mỹ về nước, không chấp nhận cho tàu tấn công đổ bộ Wasp của Mỹ thăm Hồng Kông, và hủy một cuộc đối thoại an ninh cấp cao giữa hai bộ trưởng quốc phòng Trung - Mỹ.

Những diễn biến này xảy ra trong bối cảnh quan hệ Mỹ - Trung căng thẳng không chỉ vì cuộc chiến thương mại giữa hai nước. Tuy nhiên để phản đối Bắc Kinh quên lời hứa năm 2015 - Chủ tịch Trung QuốcTập Cận Bình hứa không quân sự hóa Biển Đông với Tổng thống Mỹ Barack Obama khi ông thăm Nhà Trắng -, Mỹ đã hủy lời mời hải quân Trung Quốc tham dự cuộc tập trận quốc tế Vành Đai Thái Bình Dương 2018 (RIMPAC) ở Hawaii.

Vụ đối đầu tàu chiến Mỹ ở Biển Đông có thể là động thái trả đũa để tỏ thái độ không hài lòng của Bắc Kinh, và cũng có thể là một nước cờ đủ để duy trì căng thẳng chứ không chuyển thành một cuộc xung đột vũ trang. Cả hai siêu cường chưa sẵn sàng để đánh nhau trên biển, vì những thiệt hại chính trị - kinh tế rất khổng lồ. Biển Đông hiện là một khu vực mà cộng đồng quốc tế thụ hưởng quyền tự do qua lại trên không và trên biển. Vì thế, chưa bên nào toan tính ngăn cản quyền đi lại dân sự này, còn nếu thực hiện điều đó thì có nghĩa một đòn tấn công nặng nề vào sức khỏe kinh tế toàn cầu, khi đã có ước tính 1/3 tàu chở hàng của thế giới đi qua Biển Đông.

Nhưng phương tiện quân sự nước ngoài đi qua Biển Đông thì bị Bắc Kinh cản trở, như đã thách thức máy bay quân sự nước ngoài bay gần các căn cứ quân sự mà Trung Quốc xây trái phép, hoặc như vụ chặn đầu chiếc Decatur.

Đối với Trung Quốc, không phản ứng có nghĩa từ bỏ tuyên bố chủ quyền Biển Đông vô lý và đòi các nước khác không can thiệp vào cuộc tranh chấp chủ quyền. Việc nhượng bộ sẽ gây ra một hậu quả chính trị không thể tưởng tượng được cho Đảng Cộng sản Trung Quốc, và cho uy tín cá nhân của ông Tập.

Đối với Mỹ, việc nhượng bộ sẽ làm hỏng điều họ đã đấu tranh: Quyền tự do đi lại cho cả phương tiện quân - dân sự, và nhất là gây nghi ngờ về việc Mỹ cam kết bảo vệ an ninh khu vực. Đó là những hậu quả lớn cho uy tín một siêu cường toàn cầu của Mỹ.

Vì thế, Mỹ - Trung sẽ không ngưng các hoạt động của mình. Mỹ sẽ tiếp tục thực hiện các chiến dịch “vẫy cờ” báo hiện diện, gồm tung tàu chiến, máy bay ném bom B-52 vào khu vực. Bắc Kinh sẽ tiếp tục quân sự hóa Biển Đông, thường xuyên tổ chức tập trận không - hải quân và đổ bộ, sẽ tiếp tục khẳng định đó là “phản ứng phòng thủ” trước các hoạt động quân sự của Mỹ và Anh, Pháp, Úc, Ấn Độ, Nhật Bản, là các nước đều đã tăng cường hiện diện quân sự ở Biển Đông.

Câu hỏi sẽ là liệu chiến tranh trên Biển Đông sẽ là một cuộc chơi không có hồi kết? Tranh chấp Biển Đông vừa là chuyện tự do qua lại, vừa là một cuộc tranh chấp ý chí. Mỹ, Trung Quốc và các nước đòi chủ quyền thuộc Hiệp hội các nước Đông Nam Á (ASEAN) đều nghiêm túc không muốn là bên nổ súng trước, không sẵn sàng với việc bị xem là nước gây mất hòa bình và gây bất ổn khu vực.

Các cuộc “vẫy cờ, phô trương sức mạnh” sẽ được Trung - Mỹ và các đồng minh, đối tác của Mỹ tiếp tục thực hiện, nhưng sẽ luôn cố gắng kiềm chế, không sử dụng vũ lực. Tàu chiến, máy bay PLA sẽ tiếp tục bám theo các phương tiện quân sự nước ngoài đi qua Biển Đông. Những tuyên bố thách thức từ các căn cứ Trung Quốc trên quần đảo Trường Sa sẽ tiếp tục, đi kèm việc triển khai chiến đấu cơ và các kiểu máy bay khác.

Trung Quốc sẽ không thể lập Vùng Nhận diện Phòng không (ADIZ) trên Biển Đông vì khu vực này sẽ phản đối, nhưng không điều gì có thể cản tàu chiến, chiến đấu cơ Trung Quốc phô trương sức mạnh mà bất chấp luật pháp như đã thực hiện với khu trục hạm Decatur.


Trung Trực (theo Bưu điện Hoa Nam buổi sáng)


Nguồn: https://motthegioi.vn/the-gioi-c-79/dien-bien-bien-dong-c-124/trung-quoc-chi-vay-co-chu-khong-thuy-chien-voi-my-tren-bien-dong-98404.html


          Civil lawsuit resolved between Florence hotel and music venue      Cache   Translate Page      
… resolved between Florence hotel and music venue FLORENCE, Ala. – A civil … Circuit Court. It alleged live music coming from FloBama was just … was kept awake by excessive music and noise coming from FloBama …
          Vukmir rolls out Trump-like Lie campaign against Baldwin!      Cache   Translate Page      
After last nights Senate candidates debate between incumbent Tammy Baldwin and Trumpian challenger Leah Vukmir, it seems more obvious than ever that Vukmir is an untrustworthy State Senator as well. 

Thanks to PolitiFact, we're able to see "lying" Leah's record of false statements. She's breathtakingly nuts on every issue. Why would anyone vote for someone this deceptive?

Oral Chemo: When it came to voting against requiring insurance coverage for oral chemotherapy, Vukmir made this completely nonsensical statement:
Vukmir: "I was very concerned that the unintended consequence of that bill would be that the very people who wanted that care would be restricted from that care."
Baldwin's simple comeback:
"A vote is a vote, and Leah Vukmir voted with insurance companies to prevent oral chemo from being covered. I don't know how you can run away from the vote."
Universal Health Care: Remember, Vukmir's Trump Party still don't have an alternative plan to replace the ACA or protect pre-existing conditions, so the following statement from Vukmir is an empty outright lie, that laughably plays off the GOP's successful branding of the ACA as ObamaCare:
Vukmir said she would "fall in front of a truck" before she let people with pre-existing conditions go without insurance coverage. Vukmir charged that Baldwin's support for a "Medicare for all" universal health care plan would upend the entire health care system. "I'm going to call it 'BaldwinCare,'" Vukmir said. "Because under her plan, the Affordable Care Act goes away. Medicare goes away. Everything we know about insurance goes away."
"Everything we know about insurance goes away" is a BAD thing? Gotta let insurers make obscene profits from sick people, right Leah?

Baldwin instead is already on this...


This is a pattern for Vukmir on every one of the biggest issues in the election. Vukmir's only option now is to lie:
Tomah VA: Says Tammy Baldwin was the only member of the Wisconsin congressional delegation "to have a report outlining that a doctor was overprescribing opioids" at the Tomah VA, "later a veteran died" and Baldwin "covered it up." Mostly False.

Capitol protests: Says "I have been through the gauntlet, when we had riots in that Capitol." Pants on Fire.

Donor: On conservative mega-donor Richard Uihlein. Full Flop.

Trump: "I have always been there with" Donald Trump. False.

Immigration: Says Mark Pocan’s proposal to eliminate the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would "eliminate border enforcement." Pants on Fire.

Immigration: On separating families at the border. Half Flip.

Patriotism: Says Tammy Baldwin "opposed displaying the flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or singing the National Anthem in our classrooms." Mostly False.

Terrorism: Says Tammy Baldwin is "more worried about the mastermind of 9/11" than supporting CIA director nominee Gina Haspel. Pants on Fire.

‘Buy America’: Says Sen. Tammy Baldwin "claims to support a 'Buy America' philosophy, but her actions speak louder than her empty words." False.

Attacks by others on Vukmir:

Open records: Club for Growth says Leah Vukmir "claimed the open records law didn't apply to her, got sued, lost and cost taxpayers $15,000 in legal fees." True.

'Leniency': Claim by Club for Growth says Leah Vukmir "wrote a letter seeking leniency for a fellow state legislator convicted of sexual assault." Mostly True.
Vukmir Sides with White Male Abusers: Vukmir even brought up the well documented State Supreme Court choking incident, saying it never really happened. Why even go there...?
Vukmir: "The state courts weren’t immune to these ridiculous and slanderous attacks. In 2011, during an election that was largely seen as a referendum on our reforms, extremely liberal state Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley accused Justice David Prosser of choking her. In the end, this was just another smear. No charges were filed, but sadly his legacy has been blemished."
Other Lies about Baldwin: Seriously conservative voters, are incrementally small tax cuts worth supporting candidates that aren't being honest with you? Note: Baldwin was even criticized for proposing a Department of Peace and Nonviolence...
Iran: Kevin Nicholson says the Iran deal "handed billions of dollars of cash on cargo planes, sent it to a state sponsor of terror, and Tammy Baldwin was one of the first U.S. senators to get on board and support that." Mostly False.

Peace: Kevin Nicholson: "Tammy Baldwin cosponsored legislation that wanted to establish the Department of Peace and Nonviolence." Mostly True.

Taxes: Freedom Partners: "Tammy Baldwin voted for $5 trillion in higher taxes." Half True.

Tomah VA: Americas PAC says Tammy Baldwin was told by a whistleblower about "overmedicated veterans," she made "deadly mistakes" and "three veterans died" at the Tomah VA hospital. False.

Defense funding: Restoration PAC says Tammy Baldwin "supported legislation allowing citizens to withhold funding for our troops." Mostly False.

Sex education: Restore American Freedom and Liberty says Tammy Baldwin "wants to require children starting at age 5 to learn about gay sex!" False.

          It is correct to call the Cuba embargo a Blockade. Why?      Cache   Translate Page      
Because the Cuban people are not willing to kiss the ass of the Yankee Imperialists.

Womanizer Kennedy did impose a blockade on Cuba, but the USSR came to help the island. Thank you Nikita.

The imperialists want to expand their commercial empire. They only care about $$$$$.

They have never said: "We are willing to live in peace with you."

They are PREDATORS.

Cuba says: "This is not your fucking country. Get the hell out of here."

Only President Obama was willing to sit down with the Cubans. He was smart. A very decent person.



Source: CPUSA

          Acting EPA head liked 'racist' photo of Obamas: report      Cache   Translate Page      
The acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency liked a controversial Facebook photo five years ago of then-President Barack Obama that a civil rights group called racist, the Huffington Post reported on Tuesday.

          Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Teases Obama Projects      Cache   Translate Page      
Barack and Michelle Obama’s Netflix production deal may see the former first couple become the streaming service’s next stars. “I hope so,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos when asked whether the Obamas would appear on camera in any of the projects they’re developing for the streaming giant. The Obamas in May signed a […]

          UNVEILED: OBAMA PORTRAITS BY KEHINDE WILEY AND AMY SHERALD, AND THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL      Cache   Translate Page      
The portraits of former President Barack Obama and former First Lady, Michelle Obama, were unveiled today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Two of my favorite artists, Kehinde Wiley (Barack Obama) and Amy Sherald (Michelle Obama) have delivered … Continue reading
          Civil lawsuit resolved between Florence hotel and music venue      Cache   Translate Page      
FLORENCE, Ala. – A civil lawsuit has been resolved between two of downtown Florence’s most thriving businesses. The original 21-page complaint was filed on July 20th in Lauderdale County Circuit Court. It alleged live music coming from FloBama was just too loud for guests to comfortably stay at the Stricklin Hotel next door. Attorneys for the Stricklin Hotel stated in the complaint, their first paying guest was kept awake by excessive music and noise coming from FloBama until 2 a.m. […]
          'Go Be a N----- Somewhere Else': ACLU Files Lawsuit Citing San Francisco Police's Documented History of Vile Racism      Cache   Translate Page      
The city by the bay has been a hotbed of illegal race-based policing. This is just the latest example.

San Francisco's Tenderloin is a heavily populated, racially mixed neighborhood in the heart of one of America's iconic progressive cities. Yet when the San Francisco Police Department and the DEA targeted the neighborhood to crack down on drug dealing between 2013 and 2015 as part of "Operation Safe Schools," the only people they managed to roll up were black.

When 37 black defendants—and no defendants of any other race—got hauled away, nobody noticed. That is until the defendants started showing up looking for federal public defenders. The federal public defenders noticed, and they began making noise about racial disparities and selective enforcement of the drug laws.

Their charges only grew louder with the posting in 2015 of undercover police surveillance video to YouTube revealing a police officer muttering "fucking BMs," police code for black males, as he monitored a group of young men on the street. The video also apparently showed an undercover informant turning down drugs being offered by an Asian woman to instead buy drugs from a black woman.

In January 2017, 12 of those charged in the operation won a discovery motion from a judge who found there was "substantial evidence suggestive of racially selective enforcement" in their arrests. Instead of allowing the proceedings to continue so a full accounting of police conduct could occur, prosecutors instead dropped the charges.

At the time, the presiding judge, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen, made clear that while he was granting the dismissals because they were in the best interest of the defendants, he was concerned that doing so would prevent the allegations of police bias from being aired.

"These are serious issues, serious allegations regarding claims of discriminatory enforcement patterns," Chen said. "I think the defendants in this case have raised a very substantial prima facie case that, at the very least, raises some serious questions that would warrant a response and a full airing of the issues."

Now, a year and a half later, the ACLU of Northern California on Thursday filed a federal civil lawsuit on behalf of six of those rolled up in the busts. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiffs were targeted because of their race and cites a survey of Tenderloin drug users to bolster its case. That survey found racial diversity among Tenderloin drug sellers. About half were black, but 20 percent were Latino and 17 percent were white.

The lawsuit is "an opportunity to hold the actors in the San Francisco Police Department and the city itself accountable for the police department’s longstanding practices of engaging in racially discriminatory law enforcement," said ACLU attorney Novella Coleman, who is representing the plaintiffs.

It's also about financial relief for the plaintiffs, Coleman allowed. "The court will determine how to monetize that," she said.

Not an Anomaly

Racially biased policing is nothing new in San Francisco. In fact, as Ezekiel Edwards, director of the national ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project, pointed out in a post announcing the lawsuit, the city has the dubious honor of setting precedent for the idea that law enforcement targeting people based on their race is unconstitutional. In an 1886 case, Yick Wo v. Hopkins, the city attempted to deny laundry permits to Chinese people while granting them to non-Chinese. Such an action could only be explained by the city's "hostility to the race and nationality" of the applicants, a violation of the 14th Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and the evidence that the city's penchant for targeting non-whites for harsher treatment remains intact just keeps piling up. Numerous studies in the past few years have documented racially biased policing practices, including a 2002 ACLU report on SFPD racial profiling and a city-commissioned study by a national expert on biased policing.

Those studies uncovered a range of bias-related problems and made concrete recommendations for reform. Those were ignored. As the rotten policing practices festered, more reports detailing racial and ethnic disparities across the criminal justice system came out in 2013 and 2015.

Then, in 2015, as "Operation Safe Schools" was winding down, SFPD was hit by a new scandal when officers were caught exchanging racist text messages. Some used the N-word, others referenced cross burnings. Officers were caught calling black residents "savages," "wild animals," and "barbarians," and one officer told his sergeant "All n------ must fucking hang." Another officer sent a text with an image of a white man spraying a black child with a hose above the caption "Go be a n----- somewhere else."

That finally got the attention of city fathers—as well as the Obama-era Justice Department. The city district attorney convened a Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement that documented SFPD's history of racially disparate enforcement and concluded that it was "in urgent need of important reforms." In 2016, the Justice Department weighed in with its own report finding that the department still engaged in racially biased policing, especially around traffic stops and police use of deadly force.

It's Not Just San Francisco

The ACLU's Edwards concisely makes the case that San Francisco is no exception when it comes to racially biased policing:

“Unequal treatment by race is commonplace among police departments large and small in cities across a range of ideological leanings. This is the reason for the racial profiling lawsuits filed in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Maricopa County, Arizona. This is the motivation, prior to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for Justice Department consent decrees seeking to end racially discriminatory police practices in Seattle; Los Angeles County; New Orleans; Baltimore; Newark; East Haven, Connecticut; and Ferguson, Missouri. This is why the ACLU has found racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests across the country, in drug possession arrests more broadly, in stops and frisks in Boston, in seatbelt enforcement in Florida, and in arrests for low-level offenses in Minneapolis.”

When will things ever change?

This article was produced by Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

 

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Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

And we recently discovered, if it was not known before, that no amount of power can withstand the hatred of the many.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero

Americans are brought up to believe all sorts of myths about the country we call home. We’re told our economy is a free market meritocracy governed by the rule of law. We’re told our civil liberties, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, are inviolable and protected by the most powerful military in the world. A fighting force entrusted with the admirable and monumental task of defending freedoms at home, and democracy and human rights abroad. We’re told we exist in a system of self-government, in which our votes matter and our voices heard. In practice, none of this is true.

The fact of the matter is American citizens in 2018 are just a nuisance for the real power players. Useful as consumers, but increasingly problematic as larger numbers start to ask questions about how things really work. For far too long, we’ve been ignorant and willing accomplices in our own bondage. This allowed the concentrated and unaccountable power that really calls the shots to go for broke in recent decades, with unsurprisingly tragic results.

Only recently have things started to shift. Increased levels of barbarism abroad and corruption at home during the 21st century — under both Republican and Democratic administrations — have shaken many Americans from a long stupor. Irrespective of where you sit on the political spectrum, most people know something’s not right. People don’t agree on the details of what’s wrong, and there’s certainly no consensus on solutions, but increasing numbers of us know something’s very broken.

I try to look at things from a big picture perspective, and from that angle I see too many people focused on the symptoms of cultural decay versus root causes. Not enough people seem to be taking a step back to see that at the core of today’s broken socioeconomic and political paradigm is an American citizenry fundamentally entangled in various abusive relationships with power. This post will highlight three of these relationships. The first with government itself, the second with central banking, and the third with the dominant political parties.

When it comes to the relationship of U.S. citizens to the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington D.C., there’s no indication that anything remotely resembling self-government is happening. Rather, the relationship is far more like that of a servant to a master. The powerful in this country have declared themselves above the law and beyond accountability on too many occasions for it to be an accident. Rather, it’s clearly unwritten public policy at this point. For starters, key players who pushed the Iraq war during the George W. Bush administration, such as John Bolton, are never held accountable. Instead, they’re promoted to even more influential roles many years later.

Equally troubling, leaders of intelligence agencies like John Brennan who supported torture during the Bush years, ran the CIA while it spied on a Senate investigation into torture and then lied about the spying, likewise face no consequences for their actions. Rather, Brennan ends up with a corporate media gig as an MSNBC/NBC “resistance” pundit. Same thing with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He lied under oath about domestic government surveillance, gets caught following the Snowden revelations, and then nothing at all happens to him. He leaves government many years later, joins a think tank, and becomes a CNN contributor.

Of course, this whole above the law thing extends well beyond government officials. We saw how bankers who tanked the global economy as a result of systemic and extremely lucrative fraud schemes received bailouts instead of jail sentences. We should never forget that not a single bank executive went to jail. When a class of powerful super predators are placed above the law, society dies.

Let’s now dig a little deeper into the economy. It’s still a relatively under appreciated fact that the most powerful players commandeering and influencing the U.S. economy, in a fashion similar to a communist politburo, are a collection of unelected central bankers. These people can bring an economy to its knees via interest rate hikes at a moments notice, or bail out powerful financiers should that need arise as we saw explicitly in 2008/09.

Moreover, what’s most instructive about central bank policy is that it always seems to help connected speculators and Wall Street hooligans versus the general public. One thing you’ll notice if you watch the Fed steer the economy over the course of its cycle, is it doesn’t really get going with rate hikes until wage pressures emerge. In other words, once your average worker starts to get some leverage in the labor market the Fed ends the party. The same thing’s happening again right now.

Then, after asset markets crash and the economy enters a recession, central banks will rapidly lower rates to start the cycle all over again. Naturally, the people who benefit most from all this are speculators and those investors with access to low rates who buy assets on the cheap. Meanwhile, you probably got kicked out of your home and continue to face double digit interest rates on your credit card balance. Then years down the road, as soon as the labor market tightens and you get a couple of raises, the Fed again will hike rates and end the expansion.

The Fed makes up all sorts of excuses for why it doesn’t care about asset inflation or commodity price inflation, but the moment wage pressures emerge it jacks up rates and ends the cycle. As I mentioned earlier, it’s happening right now all over again, and it’ll become increasingly clear over the next year or so. This economy isn’t a free market in any real sense, it’s largely a rigged oligarchy. Another abusive relationship designed to enrich a particular type of charlatan.

Finally, I want to touch on America’s dominant political parties. Two corrupt organizations that fully support and defend the pernicious, abusive relationships described above. While they certainly disagree on many things, when it comes to supporting the existing paradigm that empowers politicians while in office, and enriches them when they leave to become lobbyists, they are united. Basically, the two parties bicker about how to deal with the symptoms of a rigged and systemically corrupt government, but never confront or oppose the structural root causes of it all.

What’s most incredible to me is how we continue to put up with this scam as a people. If you look over at Europe, the old political parties have been getting decimated at the polls. Political parties that barely had any support, or didn’t even exist a few years ago, are surging ahead and in some cases taking power. Meanwhile, we Americans are still playing footsie with the Democrats and Republicans. At least Trump was able to overcome establishment opposition and get the GOP nomination. Bernie Sanders was not so lucky, as his response to being the victim of a rigged primary has been to shepherd his supporters into the arms of the corrupt Democratic establishment that hates his guts. It’s a genuine national embarrassment.

That being said, the fact we remain stuck in this pathetic two-party political dungeon tells me something important. It tells me we’re still very early in the populist wave here in the U.S. It tells me that while people are increasingly fed up, they aren’t nearly as fed up as they could be. When people have finally had enough, you’ll know it. We’re steadily building up to that moment, but not there yet. There’s no way to know exactly how this period of time will play out, but I do know what emerges on the other side won’t look like anything like what we have today.

Unfortunately, even if we intelligently deal with all the abusive relationships described above, I still think political power in the U.S. is far too centralized to be healthy. Outside of essential civil liberties, I don’t think it makes any sense to assume we need uniform ways of doing most things, and decision making should be far more localized. Nevertheless, even at the local level, the abusive relationships described above can become problematic, so it’s always important to be cognizant of them.

*  *  *

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          Georgia 7th: Woodall opponent homes in on Obamacare repeal vote in first ad       Cache   Translate Page      
Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux entered the 7th District congressional race last year with a health care-focused message that drew heavily from her family’s own experience with sky-high medical bills. Now U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall’s opponent is making clear she plans to double down on the subject in the weeks leading up to the election. 
          Hugh Hewitt and Sen. Tom Cotton go to the fever swamps in Kavanaugh nomination postmortem      Cache   Translate Page      

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

Conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) are pushing a conspiracy theory that professor Christine Blasey Ford’s decision to speak out about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was actually orchestrated by Democratic leaders in the Senate. The version of events proposed by Hewitt and Cotton is at odds with reports on how Ford decided to come forward, and it serves to undercut Ford’s bravery.

Cotton was a guest on the October 9 broadcast of Hewitt’s radio show, The Hugh Hewitt Show. Hewitt prompted the conspiracy theory by asking Cotton if he thought “that this was planned long before it was unveiled? And by that, I mean the leak of Dr. Ford’s letter. I don’t know who did it, but I believe it was part of a campaign that was set up to occur exactly when it did. Do you agree with me?”

Cotton did agree, and he wove an evidence-free conspiracy theory that as early as July, “the Schumer political operation” -- a reference to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) -- and possibly former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara were involved in a plan to leak the contents of a letter Ford had sent to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). In the letter, Ford gave an account of Kavanaugh sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school.
 

This conspiratorial timeline is at odds with reality. Ford sent a letter dated July 30 to Feinstein and asked that the California senator keep its contents confidential. The Intercept was the first to report on the letter, writing on September 12 that it “describes an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman while they were in high school” and that Feinstein was refusing to share its contents with other senators, which “created tension on the committee.” According to Politico, “The reporter behind that [Intercept] story later stated that Feinstein’s staff did not leak the letter.”

Ford came forward publicly in a September 16 Washington Post article. She said later during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the presence of reporters at her home and workplace made her realize her identity would be revealed in any case, so she decided to speak on the record with a reporter at the Post who she said had gained her trust.

Hewitt has a history of being dishonest while discussing federal judicial nominations, but political talk shows still treat him as a mainstream conservative commentator when they bring him on to talk about the topic. While previously his falsehoods served to provide cover for the GOP to radically change norms around the nomination process, he has now sunk to pushing a conspiracy theory.

Cotton, for his part, has his own history of underhanded behavior on executive branch nominations. In 2014, Cotton placed a hold on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Cassandra Butts to serve as ambassador to the Bahamas. More than two years after her nomination was announced, Butts, who Cotton acknowledged was not a controversial nominee, died of leukemia at age 50, with Cotton’s hold still in place. Before she died, Butts told The New York Times that she had visited Cotton to ask about the hold and he said he knew she was friends with Obama and the hold was a way to inflict personal pain on the president.


           Scott Pruitt's acting successor liked a racist meme of the Obamas and a banana on Facebook       Cache   Translate Page      
Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler 'liked' a racist Internet meme of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama depicted with a banana.
          Hikayat Nasi Goreng, Benarkah Hidangan Asli Indonesia?      Cache   Translate Page      

Liputan6.com, Yogyakarta - Selama ini orang mengenal nasi goreng sebagai kuliner yang berasal dari Indonesia. Popularitas nasi goreng bahkan sudah mendunia, Presiden ke-44 Amerika Serikat, Barack Obama pun selalu ingat dengan menu yang pernah disantapnya semasa kecil saat menetap di Indonesia.

Lembaga survei tingkat dunia seperti CNN telah melakukan survei sejak 2007 sampai 2017. Hasilnya, nasi goreng menempati tempat kedua makanan terenak di dunia setelah rendang.

Meskipun demikian, tidak banyak yang tahu asal mula nasi goreng di bumi nusantara.

"Nasi goreng berkaitan dengan kebudayaan atau asimilasi budaya," ujar Chef Wira Hardiyansyah dalam seminar Indonesia Culinary Conference And Creative Festival di Grha Sabha Pramana UGM, Selasa, 9 Oktober 2018.

Ia bercerita semula nasi goreng merupakan teknik mengawetkan makanan. Praktik itu diterapkan di Tiongkok berabad-abad lalu.

Teknik menghangatkan makanan yang menjadi cikal bakal nasi goreng di nusantara itu bertujuan untuk membuat daging babi lebih tahan lama. Nasi goreng di Tiongkok pada zaman itu hanya berupa nasi yang diberi kecap dan potongan daging babi.

Pada abad ke-10 nasi goreng sampai ke nusantara melalui saudagar yang berlabuh di Kerajaan Sriwijaya. Nasi goreng merupakan produk pertukaran budaya yang dimodifikasi dengan bumbu atau rempah-rempah.

"Rempah-rempah dari nusantara inilah yang memperkaya cita rasa nasi goreng sampai sekarang," ucap Wira.

 

* Update Terkini Asian Para Games 2018 Mulai dari Jadwal Pertandingan, Perolehan Medali hingga Informasi Terbaru di Sini.

Naik Kelas pada Masa Kolonial

Nasi goreng merupakan hidangan hasil asimilasi budaya dan kini merepresentasikan hidangan dari Indonesia (Liputan6.com/ Switzy Sabandar)#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Ketika masa pendudukan Belanda di tanah air, nasi goreng menjadi menu kelas atas. Mereka sangat senang dengan cita rasa nasi goreng dari Indonesia.

Menurut orang Belanda, nasi goreng dari Indonesia paling komplet. Mereka membandingkan dengan nasi goreng dari Jepang yang tidak komplet, hanya berisi nasi, kecap, dan sayuran.

Dalam tata cara makan mewah bangsa Belanda pada zaman Hindia Belanda, nasi goreng termasuk dalam menu Rijstaffell. Sampai sekarang, orang Belanda juga menyebut nasi goreng sesuai dengan bahasa Indonesia, yakni nasi goreng, bukan dalam bahasan Inggris fried rice.

"Saya pernah bekerja di Belanda dan mereka tidak kenal fried rice, tetapi nasi goreng," tuturnya.

Kiprah nasi goreng sampai mendunia juga diperkuat dengan lagu dari Wieteke van Dort yang berjudul Nasi Goreng.

Sebagian orang menambahkan mentega ketika memasak nasi goreng untuk menghasilkan aroma yang harum. Lainnya memilih mencampur dengan minyak jelantah atau minyak sisa untuk mendapatkan aroma dari percampuran beberapa gorengan sekaligus.

 

Lebih dari 100 Ragam Nasi Goreng di Indonesia

Nasi goreng merupakan hidangan hasil asimilasi budaya dan kini merepresentasikan hidangan dari Indonesia (Liputan6.com/ Switzy Sabandar)#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Peneliti Pusat Penelitian Pangan dan Gizi (PSPG) UGM Murdijati Gardjito memaparkan hasil penelitian tentang ragam nasi goreng Indonesia dengan program Database Kuliner Indonesia. Hasilnya, terdapat 104 ragam nasi goreng di Indonesia.

Sebanyak 36 ragam nasi goreng bisa ditelusuri asal usulnya dan 59 ragam merupakan resep pengembangan.

"Hal ini menunjukkan cita rasa nasi goreng merupakan cita rasa universal yang dapat diterima hampir seluruh masyarakat dan menunjukkan fleksibilitas bahan tidak terlalu banyak mengubah cita rasa nasi goreng," ujar Murdijati.

Sebaran nasi goreng didominasi wilayah Jawa dan Sumatera. Ragam nasi goreng terbanyak ada di Jawa, sekitar 20 jenis, yang tersebar di Sunda, Betawi, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surakarta, dan Jawa Timur bagian selatan serta utara.

Menurut Murdijati, penikmat nasi goreng sangat luas, tidak memandang status sosial ekonomi, sehingga nasi goreng yang merupakan bagian dari kuliner Indonesia pantas menjadi representasi hidangan Indonesia tingkat dunia.

Ia juga mengungkapkan nasi goreng sudah menjadi nama hidangan karena terdapat sembilan ragam nasi goreng yang tidak seluruhnya berbahan nasi. Misal, nasi goreng jewawut dari Palembang yang menggunakan jewawut, nasi goreng kagili dari Buton yang menggunakan jagung giling, dan magelangan dari Yogyakarta yang menggunakan campuran nasi dan mi.

 

Simak juga video menarik berikut ini:


          Collins top Dem target for 2020 over Kavanaugh vote      Cache   Translate Page      

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

Maybe Democrats and their activist groups should concentrate more on 2018 for the Senate, where the Kavanaugh Effect cuts the other way. The Hill reports this morning that they want to make Susan Collins pay a price for her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, even if they have to wait for 2020 to do it. Democrats have her at #1 on their target list:

The Maine Republican shot up the list over the weekend after providing her GOP colleagues the crucial 50th vote needed to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

In an increasingly partisan chamber, Collins has consistently been ranked as one of the Senate’s most moderate members. But her decision to support Kavanaugh outraged a coalition of progressives, activists and even some supporters who spent months urging her to vote against President Trump’s nominee.

Democrats are pledging to unseat her if she runs for reelection in 2020, comparing an almost hour-long floor speech that earned praise from fellow GOP senators to a “slap in the face.”

Is this really a surprise, however? Increasingly, both parties have to target moderates from purple states to make any Senate gains at all. This cycle gives Republicans a number of targets in red states, none of whom are strong progressives. They won’t win all of those seats this cycle — Joe Manchin’s looking pretty strong in West Virginia after his own aye on Kavanaugh, for instance — but those are the winnable seats for the GOP for the near-to-mid-future. As much as they’d like to do so, Republicans aren’t going to target Kamala Harris or Kirsten Gillibrand. Both parties are fighting for the scraps in the middle.

In 2020, the most likely flip for Democrats was always going to be Collins’ seat in Maine. Cory Gardner in Colorado and the seat currently held by Jon Kyl in Arizona are the next most likely wins for Democrats. The irony of this, of course, is that Collins is precisely the kind of Republican that Democrats insist they want to see — moderate, pro-choice, and a woman. Of course, the same can be said in reverse about the Democrats that Republicans are targeting in the Senate this time around. Manchin still faces a well-resourced challenger in three weeks, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is putting Chuck Schumer’s face on Manchin in the same way that Democrats will hang Donald Trump’s face on Collins in two years.

So who will step up to run against Collins? Democrats seem pretty stoked about Susan Rice, and she didn’t exactly sound a discouraging note over the last few days. First she put herself out as a candidate on Twitter:

Afterward she backed away a little, but still said she’d consider it:

Susan Rice, who was President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, said Sunday she’ll decide after next month’s midterm elections whether to run for the Senate from Maine in 2020 and try to unseat Republican Sen. Susan Collins. …

Speaking in New York during The New Yorker Festival, Rice said Collins “put party and politics over her own stated principles” of supporting equal rights and legalized abortion. “I think in a way that I really regret saying, she has betrayed women across this country,” Rice said.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation was stalled by accusations of sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college, but Collins and others said they were won over by his forceful denials and a supplemental FBI report they say produced no evidence corroborating the claims.

“What moved me … was a sense of outrage and frustration that somebody who fashions herself a moderate centrist, and somebody who cares for equal rights and LGBT rights and Roe v Wade and all of this stuff, could in a very political fashion not just decide to vote for Kavanaugh but do it in a fashion that was quite dismissive of the concerns of many Americans and many Mainers,” Rice said. “So it was on that basis that I decided I would think about it.”

That’s certainly music to the ears of activists. There are two problems with this, however. First, the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh simply isn’t going to be a potent political issue two years from now. There will be other issues that eclipse it, especially in the second half of Trump’s term. These kinds of flash issues have a short half-life. If Rice is running on Kavanaugh two years from now, it’ll be easy for Collins to run rings around her on numerous other policies and issues on which Rice has had little involvement.

Second, Rice’s issue specialty — foreign policy — really isn’t terribly compelling for Congressional races, not even in the Senate. Most politics is local, and Rice isn’t even a full-time resident of Maine, so she won’t know that political topography well. But to the extent that foreign policy might make a difference, Rice will have a tough time overcoming her promotion of the false narrative from the Obama administration about what happened in Benghazi six years ago:

Collins certainly could be vulnerable, but that’s because she’s a Republican in a purple-to-blue state. If Rice is their choice for challenger, that might be enough to keep Collins in the Senate for a fifth term.

The post Collins top Dem target for 2020 over Kavanaugh vote appeared first on Hot Air.


          It’s (still) on: SCOTUS upholds Kavanaugh ruling on Obama climate rule      Cache   Translate Page      

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

Oh, who are we kidding? It’s going to be “on” for opponents of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for at least through the midterms, and probably all the way to 2020. Kavanaugh hears his first arguments from the bench today, having salted away the traditional duties of cafeteria supervision befitting the tradition for SCOTUS newbies.

Despite the esoteric nature of the two cases being argued today — both involving mandatory sentencing enhancement policies — the New York Times is live-blogging the events at the courthouse and notes that long lines have developed to get in to see the action. Protesters, however, are in surprisingly short supply:

People hoping to see Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first day on the Supreme Court bench are waiting in long lines outside the court. Police barricades are up in front of the court, but the few protesters on hand are congregating near the garage where the justices enter.

Protesters held signs that said, “We will not forget” and “We do not consent,” following the acrimonious fight that culminated in Kavanaugh’s 50-48 confirmation by the Senate on Saturday. …

The scene Tuesday morning contrasted sharply with a loud demonstration on Saturday, when chanting protesters climbed the normally off-limits Supreme Court steps and plaza.

Don’t be surprised if a few protesters have gotten in line. If today’s two sessions end without an outburst from the gallery, it’d be a minor miracle. This being argument, today’s session is unlikely to produce any major news other than the novelty of it being Kavanaugh’s first day on the job; his family will be on hand in the chamber to share the day with him.

They weren’t alone, either:

The biggest news from today’s deliberations may have already taken place. The court denied cert on an appeal of a 2017 Kavanaugh ruling from the DC circuit that struck down a Barack Obama administration rule relating to greenhouse gases:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned aside appeals of a 2017 lower court ruling by its newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, that struck down an environmental rule imposed under former President Barack Obama regulating a potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change.

The appeals had been brought by an environmental group and companies that supported the 2015 rule that had limited hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in a variety of products including spray cans and air conditioners.

The ruling authored by Kavanaugh, confirmed by the Senate on Saturday after a contentious political battle, was made by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the court on which he formerly served. The 2-1 ruling threw out the rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during Obama’s presidency. …

Kavanaugh has a long history of skepticism toward environmental regulations, especially those concerning air pollution.

“However much we might sympathize or agree with EPA’s policy objectives, EPA may act only within the boundaries of its statutory authority,” Kavanaugh wrote in the ruling.

That will set off more hysteria over Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but it’s meaningless. It only takes four justices to grant cert, which means that Kavanaugh’s appointment didn’t force an end to the appeal. At least one of the liberal justices declined to vote for cert in this case, and perhaps more than one. The result is a tacit endorsement of Kavanaugh’s ruling on the limit of executive power in agency law, one that sets a precedent for future court cases unless the Supreme Court chooses to revisit it.

That sounds as though the skepticism Kavanaugh expressed is more widely shared than Reuters credits in this report. It should remind everyone that Kavanaugh was no judicial radical, but instead a mainstream jurist interested in institutional integrity rather than ideology. Kavanaugh has to feel gratified for the endorsement from his colleagues and from his mentor, as it’s not a bad way to start off his first day in his public role as associate justice.

The post It’s (still) on: SCOTUS upholds Kavanaugh ruling on Obama climate rule appeared first on Hot Air.


          Trump's EPA chief Andrew Wheeler caught 'liking' racist & conspiracy memes, yet again      Cache   Translate Page      

Acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler has been caught --yet again-- engaging with racist and conspiracy theory posts on social media. He pooh-poohed questions about online interactions he had with a Pizzagater, and tells a reporter he doesn’t remember liking a racist picture of the Obamas.

How long has his inflammatory online activity been going on? Over the past five years, reports HuffPo, including some new awful crap just in the past month.

Excerpt from a report today by HuffPo's Alexander Kaufman:

The previously-unreported interactions include liking a racist image of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Facebook and retweeting an infamous “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist.

The findings paint an embarrassing, if unsurprisingly partisan, picture of the 53-year-old former coal lobbyist and Republican aide. Wheeler has kept a significantly lower profile than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, the disgraced agency chief whose resignation in July amid mounting scandals cleared the way for Wheeler’s promotion. The most incendiary interactions occurred before Wheeler, whose past social media activity has drummed up controversy before, became acting administrator.

In an email to HuffPost on Tuesday, Wheeler said he didn’t recall liking the image of the Obamas and clicked on tweets from conspiracy theorists without reviewing the source.

“Over the years, I have been a prolific social media user and liked and inadvertently liked countless social media posts,” Wheeler said. “Specifically, I do not remember the post depicting President Obama and the First Lady. As for some of the other posts, I agreed with the content and was unaware of the sources.”

Well, there you go, he must not be a racist. Read the rest


          Hikayat Nasi Goreng, Benarkah Hidangan Asli Indonesia?      Cache   Translate Page      

Liputan6.com, Yogyakarta - Selama ini orang mengenal nasi goreng sebagai kuliner yang berasal dari Indonesia. Popularitas nasi goreng bahkan sudah mendunia, Presiden ke-44 Amerika Serikat, Barack Obama pun selalu ingat dengan menu yang pernah disantapnya semasa kecil saat menetap di Indonesia.

Lembaga survei tingkat dunia seperti CNN telah melakukan survei sejak 2007 sampai 2017. Hasilnya, nasi goreng menempati tempat kedua makanan terenak di dunia setelah rendang.

Meskipun demikian, tidak banyak yang tahu asal mula nasi goreng di bumi nusantara.

"Nasi goreng berkaitan dengan kebudayaan atau asimilasi budaya," ujar Chef Wira Hardiyansyah dalam seminar Indonesia Culinary Conference And Creative Festival di Grha Sabha Pramana UGM, Selasa, 9 Oktober 2018.

Ia bercerita semula nasi goreng merupakan teknik mengawetkan makanan. Praktik itu diterapkan di Tiongkok berabad-abad lalu.

Teknik menghangatkan makanan yang menjadi cikal bakal nasi goreng di nusantara itu bertujuan untuk membuat daging babi lebih tahan lama. Nasi goreng di Tiongkok pada zaman itu hanya berupa nasi yang diberi kecap dan potongan daging babi.

Pada abad ke-10 nasi goreng sampai ke nusantara melalui saudagar yang berlabuh di Kerajaan Sriwijaya. Nasi goreng merupakan produk pertukaran budaya yang dimodifikasi dengan bumbu atau rempah-rempah.

"Rempah-rempah dari nusantara inilah yang memperkaya cita rasa nasi goreng sampai sekarang," ucap Wira.

 

* Update Terkini Asian Para Games 2018 Mulai dari Jadwal Pertandingan, Perolehan Medali hingga Informasi Terbaru di Sini.

Naik Kelas pada Masa Kolonial

Nasi goreng merupakan hidangan hasil asimilasi budaya dan kini merepresentasikan hidangan dari Indonesia (Liputan6.com/ Switzy Sabandar)#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Ketika masa pendudukan Belanda di tanah air, nasi goreng menjadi menu kelas atas. Mereka sangat senang dengan cita rasa nasi goreng dari Indonesia.

Menurut orang Belanda, nasi goreng dari Indonesia paling komplet. Mereka membandingkan dengan nasi goreng dari Jepang yang tidak komplet, hanya berisi nasi, kecap, dan sayuran.

Dalam tata cara makan mewah bangsa Belanda pada zaman Hindia Belanda, nasi goreng termasuk dalam menu Rijstaffell. Sampai sekarang, orang Belanda juga menyebut nasi goreng sesuai dengan bahasa Indonesia, yakni nasi goreng, bukan dalam bahasan Inggris fried rice.

"Saya pernah bekerja di Belanda dan mereka tidak kenal fried rice, tetapi nasi goreng," tuturnya.

Kiprah nasi goreng sampai mendunia juga diperkuat dengan lagu dari Wieteke van Dort yang berjudul Nasi Goreng.

Sebagian orang menambahkan mentega ketika memasak nasi goreng untuk menghasilkan aroma yang harum. Lainnya memilih mencampur dengan minyak jelantah atau minyak sisa untuk mendapatkan aroma dari percampuran beberapa gorengan sekaligus.

 

Lebih dari 100 Ragam Nasi Goreng di Indonesia

Nasi goreng merupakan hidangan hasil asimilasi budaya dan kini merepresentasikan hidangan dari Indonesia (Liputan6.com/ Switzy Sabandar)#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

Peneliti Pusat Penelitian Pangan dan Gizi (PSPG) UGM Murdijati Gardjito memaparkan hasil penelitian tentang ragam nasi goreng Indonesia dengan program Database Kuliner Indonesia. Hasilnya, terdapat 104 ragam nasi goreng di Indonesia.

Sebanyak 36 ragam nasi goreng bisa ditelusuri asal usulnya dan 59 ragam merupakan resep pengembangan.

"Hal ini menunjukkan cita rasa nasi goreng merupakan cita rasa universal yang dapat diterima hampir seluruh masyarakat dan menunjukkan fleksibilitas bahan tidak terlalu banyak mengubah cita rasa nasi goreng," ujar Murdijati.

Sebaran nasi goreng didominasi wilayah Jawa dan Sumatera. Ragam nasi goreng terbanyak ada di Jawa, sekitar 20 jenis, yang tersebar di Sunda, Betawi, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Surakarta, dan Jawa Timur bagian selatan serta utara.

Menurut Murdijati, penikmat nasi goreng sangat luas, tidak memandang status sosial ekonomi, sehingga nasi goreng yang merupakan bagian dari kuliner Indonesia pantas menjadi representasi hidangan Indonesia tingkat dunia.

Ia juga mengungkapkan nasi goreng sudah menjadi nama hidangan karena terdapat sembilan ragam nasi goreng yang tidak seluruhnya berbahan nasi. Misal, nasi goreng jewawut dari Palembang yang menggunakan jewawut, nasi goreng kagili dari Buton yang menggunakan jagung giling, dan magelangan dari Yogyakarta yang menggunakan campuran nasi dan mi.

 

Simak juga video menarik berikut ini:


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          The American dream doesn’t exist in many neighbourhoods      Cache   Translate Page      

IT IS a bipartisan cliché in America that all children should have the opportunity to succeed. Last year, President Donald Trump said “we want every child in America to have the opportunity to climb the ladder to success” as he lauded school choice. Last month, while savaging Mr Trump’s economic policies, Barack Obama suggested that “every child should have opportunity”. But a new paper by Raj Chetty an economist at Harvard and his colleagues underlines how far the United States is from offering opportunity to all—and how much where a child is born can reinforce the inequalities that stem from to whom they are born. 

The researchers combine census and tax data covering 20.5m people born between 1978 and 1983—about 96% of the total number of children born in that period. They study the impact of both parental and neighborhood characteristics on the outcomes these children enjoyed as adults, focusing on America’s 74,000 “census tracts” subdivisions containing a few thousand people each.

Their data demonstrate...Continue reading

          'If they don't have the barrels, they don't have the barrels': Oil could soar to $100 as Trump shuts Iran out of the market      Cache   Translate Page      

iran oil

  • The State Department has ordered buyers to cut oil imports from Iran by November 4.
  • Against a backdrop of falling output from other key OPEC countries, analysts say barrels could hit $100.
  • Watch oil trade in real time here.

Less than a month before another round of US sanctions against Iran take effect, analysts say hundred-dollar oil could be on the horizon. 

The Trump administration has called on buyers to cut off oil imports from Iran in efforts to pressure the third-largest OPEC producer to change its behavior, a move that could squeeze global supply and pressure prices that are already at four-year highs. Brent, the international benchmark, is currently trading at around $85 a barrel. 

"Higher oil prices seem inevitable and, in our view, $100 per barrel is easily within reach," economists from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a recent research note, citing a looming dropoff in Iranian production.

Iran's crude exports have fallen more than expected ahead of the sanctions, even as the Islamic Republic offers Asian customers the cheapest prices in more than a decade versus Saudi grade. According to tanker data compiled by Bloomberg, shipments dropped by just over a quarter million barrels per day in September to the lowest level since 2016. 

In hopes of preventing Tehran from moving forward with its nuclear program, European officials have been working to protect Iranian oil sales from US sanctions. But the Trump administration has portrayed those efforts as implausible, threatening to penalize companies that try to circumvent its policy. 

"The European Union is strong on rhetoric and weak on follow-through," John Bolton, the national security adviser, said in a conference speech last month. "We do not intend to allow our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anybody else."

President Donald Trump has looked to other oil producers to pick up the slack ahead of midterm elections, but output disruptions in key OPEC countries present limits. Helima Croft, a former CIA analyst who is now head of commodities research at RBC, said plummeting production in Venezuela and Angola leaves little room to balance other supply risks in Libya, Nigeria and Iraq. 

"The countries that can increase are very small in number," she said, adding that there are questions about how long Russia can keep raising output. "It's really only Saudi Arabia at this point." 

Following requests from the White House, Riyadh said earlier this year it could increase output by a "measurable amount." While Saudi Arabia accounts for the lion's share of OPEC production, some analysts are skeptical it has enough spare capacity to fill the gap while maintaining adequate reserves. 

Trump has repeatedly taken aim at OPEC for rising energy prices, even after it came to a rare agreement to ease production restrictions in June. The 15-member group has been coordinating output levels since 2016 in efforts to tackle a global oil glut.

"We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices!" the president said in a recent tweet. "We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!"

That strategy may have encouraged member countries to increase production in the past, Croft said, but will likely become less effective as the global oil cushion shrinks. Output from the 12 countries bound by the supply-cutting agreement actually fell by 70,000 barrels per day in September, a Reuters survey found. 

"With Trump and these tweets, I think there are diminishing returns," she said. "In terms of going forward, we're looking at an ever-shrinking pool of OPEC barrels. You can yell at them. But if they don't have the barrels, they don't have the barrels."

While the administration has said it may grant sanction waivers to avoid supply shocks, a tactic used in the Obama era, it has still maintained an objective of sending Iranian oil exports to zero. The White House did not respond to an email requesting comment.

At $100 a barrel, the Bank of America economists said oil costs would dampen consumer demand not only for gasoline but also for other goods and services. That level of energy prices is expected to shave two basis points from global growth in 2019. 

"This is not a major impact, but it isn’t trivial either," they said. "Moreover, with oil supplies so tight any further disruption could mean a major spike in oil prices, creating more nonlinear impacts on confidence and growth."

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund lowered its global economic growth forecast for this year and next. The international lender cited in its report "rising trade barriers and a reversal of capital flows to emerging market economies with weaker fundamentals, and higher political risk."

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          Key witness: Obama-targeted congressman is innocent      Cache   Translate Page      
One thing President Trump has done is to expose ardent leftists working for our government who believe anything goes to attain a leftist utopia. Some call them the “Deep State”; others call them the “resistance.” Their radical agenda is to destroy anyone they view as standing in their way. We see it in their attacks […]
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          Trump's EPA chief Andrew Wheeler caught 'liking' racist & conspiracy memes, yet again      Cache   Translate Page      

Acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler has been caught --yet again-- engaging with racist and conspiracy theory posts on social media. He pooh-poohed questions about online interactions he had with a Pizzagater, and tells a reporter he doesn’t remember liking a racist picture of the Obamas.

How long has his inflammatory online activity been going on? Over the past five years, reports HuffPo, including some new awful crap just in the past month.

Excerpt from a report today by HuffPo's Alexander Kaufman:

The previously-unreported interactions include liking a racist image of former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Facebook and retweeting an infamous “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist.

The findings paint an embarrassing, if unsurprisingly partisan, picture of the 53-year-old former coal lobbyist and Republican aide. Wheeler has kept a significantly lower profile than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, the disgraced agency chief whose resignation in July amid mounting scandals cleared the way for Wheeler’s promotion. The most incendiary interactions occurred before Wheeler, whose past social media activity has drummed up controversy before, became acting administrator.

In an email to HuffPost on Tuesday, Wheeler said he didn’t recall liking the image of the Obamas and clicked on tweets from conspiracy theorists without reviewing the source.

“Over the years, I have been a prolific social media user and liked and inadvertently liked countless social media posts,” Wheeler said. “Specifically, I do not remember the post depicting President Obama and the First Lady. As for some of the other posts, I agreed with the content and was unaware of the sources.”

Well, there you go, he must not be a racist. Read the rest


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Imagine uma eleição onde Santa Jadwiga da Polônia está empatada com Obama seria um dever moral votar na Santa Jadwiga, da mesma forma que, numa guerra da ONU contra o Ancapistão, seria um dever moral destruir um silo de mísseis nucleares da ONU mesmo se um pelotão de infantaria do Ancapistão perecer durante o ataque
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Obama was putting us on the path of Europe. Trump changed the course of this country for the better. In the UK, If Brexit means you get to decide who comes in and who comes out of your country, then BREXIT is the first step in the right direction.
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          Commentaires sur Trump protectionniste face aux adversaires… du libre échange par commando      Cache   Translate Page      
@Gérard9 : Non, il relate ce qu'une dame qu'il connait croit savoir qu'il se passe. Elle croit que Trump « fait des miracles », que si le chômage baisse aux USA c'est grâce à lui. La réalité, c'est que, premièrement, le chômage a commencé à baissé depuis 2010 (après avoir spectaculairement augmenté entre 2008 et 2010.) Deuxièmement, le chômage baisse <B>malgré</B> les politiques à la con d'Obama et de Trump, et non pas <B>grâce</B> à leurs politiques à la con. Les seules bonnes politiques menée par Trump sont : sa réduction des impôts (comme expliqué dans l'article), ses quelques déréglementations, son septicisme à l’égard des écolos (retrait de l’accord de paris), et sa position initiale au sujet du droit au port d’arme. Toutes les autres politiques de Trump sont de la pure anarque. Cela peut éventuellement marcher à court terme mais à long terme (quand Trump ne sera plus au pouvoir) cela va assurément se fracasser la figure.
          Ike Barinholtz      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Comment on Mojo Teahouse Brings a Piece of Home to Isla Vista by Juju      Cache   Translate Page      
Boba tea after school was a daily ritual for me as well. It's great to see high quality shop like Mojo becoming a local favorite. Every campus should have a quality boba tea place! #bobamade made for boba people
          Kal Penn to Star in Mike Schur–Produced Immigrant Comedy in Development at NBC      Cache   Translate Page      

The Good Place’s Mike Schur has teamed up with actor and former Obama White House staffer Kal Penn for a new comedy in the works at NBC. According to Deadline, the network has given a put-pilot commitment to an untitled comedy Penn would also star in that follows “a disgraced ... More »

           Comment on Brett Kavanaugh is now on the Supreme Court by biff       Cache   Translate Page      
So you guys really believe that Judge Kavanaugh was guilty of gang rape? Most people on the right thought this was a farce for a number of reasons including: --This guy never had any accusations coming from his professional career of nearly 30 years, when he had plenty of opportunities with attractive young interns. --He said he was a virgin throughout HS and college. This would be super easy to disprove, and women who dated him could have come forward and said so (and gotten hundred of thousands in GoFundMe dollars no doubt in the process the way Ford did). None did. --Ford lied about the reason she constructed an extra door in her house. She did this in 2008 (photos prove), so she could rent out an extra room in pricy Palo Alto. She doesn't deny that she rented out the room and more than half a dozen people listed their address there during that time. When local authorities cracked down on this illegal activity, she needed an excuse (e.g., some psychological need to have another door)--and the same shrink she purportedly confessed to actually rented this space for some time. --Ford lied about ever coaching for lie detector tests, and never mentioned any sexual assault to her long time boyfriend, who was interviewed under oath by the FBI. --Ford lied about her fear of flying. --Also, in 2012 Judge K was discussed as the #1 likely SC appointment if Romney won that election. Ford's first mention to her husband was around this time and her husband recalls that she mentioned it because he could be appointed to SC. Interesting timing and reason. --None of the 4 people Ford mentioned as being at the party even recalled that the party described took place. Even her best friend. --Ford couldn't recall the location of the house, when it happened or how she got home. --None of Ford's blood family stood by her during this, and they distanced themselves in fact as if they didn't trust Ford. --Ford had very strong connections to Democratic operatives and had a history of being an activist since before 2012. --Dems could have moved on this story very quickly if they found it to be credible (even just by having private communications with Ford). They did not. They saved it (and the gang rape accusation from a serial liar) for the last minute so Trump wouldn't have time to nominate someone else before the midterm elections. ---Kavanaugh was considered a "safe" pick. Trump could have picked someone more radically conservative. The dems just didn't want a conservative on the court. None of them particularly disliked Kavanaugh as compared to anyone else. Their stated goal was to sabotage the process and leave the seat open for several years. --Yes, Kavanaugh drank in HS. Obama used cocaine regularly in college and beyond, but somehow it was never an issue. Anyway, it's interesting to read this article and the comments, because the facts don't matter to you guys, even though I'm 100% sure if the situation were reversed and a nerdy liberal judge were subject to last minute accusation of a conservative operative who brought up completely unsubstantiated claims from HS that you would be the first to jump to their defense.
          Acting EPA head liked 'racist' photo of Obamas: report      Cache   Translate Page      
The acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency liked a controversial Facebook photo five years ago of then-President Barack Obama that a civil rights group called racist, the Huffington Post reported on Tuesday.

          #198 Antonio R. Estrada (sinazucar.org): "Se puede vivir perfectamente sin azúcar"      Cache   Translate Page      

#6 Te podría decir montones de cosas.

Primero, en casi todas las pirámides alimenticias que conozco los dulces suelen estar en la cúspide, es decir, lo que menos debes comer. Suelen representarse con pasteles, tartas, bollería...

Segundo, la pirámide es algo desfasado, de los años 50 creo, y que no es muy correcto. Ahora se estila más el llamado MyPlate
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyPlate
o Plato de Harvard o Plato saludable.
(o "Plato del buen comer" o del "bien comer" en México)
Creado en 2011 y popularizado por personas como Michelle Obama.
(por eso #17 te dijo "saludos desde el siglo XXI" )
Este plato se resume en: 30% semillas (¿cereales? ¿frutos secos?), 40% 'vegetales' (verduras y hortalizas), 10% frutas y 20% proteina. Así como una pequeña cantidad de lácteos (leche, yogur o queso). La imagen más bien sugiere: 35% de verduras, 25% de semillas, 20% proteína, 15% fruta, 5% lácteos.
Una de las diferencias es que en la pirámide la parte más ancha, más abundante son cereales, mientras que aquí son verduras y hortalizas (espinacas, brócoli, cebolla, calabaza, calabacín, tomate, pepino, repollo, zanahoria, puerro, etc). Otra diferencia es que habla de semillas en lugar de cereales.
Otra de las diferencias es que antes la fruta se recomendaba en mayor cantidad y muchas veces se ponía en el mismo escalón que las verduras. Ahora se recomienda menos fruta que "proteína".
Quizá es un poco confuso lo de "proteína" ... quizá para no decir huevos, carne y pescado que no sería adecuado para veganos.

Tercero, algunas grasas son imprescindibles... son las llamadas "esenciales", que el cuerpo las necesita pero es incapaz de producirlas.
es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ácido_graso_esencial
Son el Omega-3 y el Omega-6
Por eso #24 dijo que son imprescindibles... que seguro que se refería a que sin ninguna grasa enfermas, pero no todas son imprescindibles.
Aparte de eso, decir "lo malo son las grasas" es una idea incorrecta. Y no solamente porque algunas son imprescindibles, sino porque las que son prescindibles tampoco son muy malas.
Según los estudios científicos, la mayoría de grasas producen mejor perfil de colesterol que los carbohidratos. Sí, aunque no lo creas, las únicas grasas peores que carbohidratos son el palmítico (ácido graso saturado de cadena larga presente en el aceite de palma, de origen vegetal) y las grasas trans (las que suelen abundar en bollería y en la mayoría de margarinas).
Con las grasas suele haber una idea errónea: que como estar gordo es tener grasa en el cuerpo, mucha gente piensa que si no come grasas no engordará. Entonces ¿por qué las vacas están tan gordas comiendo pienso (carbohidratos)? Además, alguien llamado Ancel Keys difundió esa idea incorrecta.

Importante: esto son reglas generales, en especial para la vida moderna que suele ser sedentaria... No todas las personas son iguales ni todos realizan la misma actividad física.
Lógicamente, un deportista olímpico como un corredor de larga distancia necesitará muchos carbohidratos, bebida isotónica, etc... pero si un señor que pasa el día en la oficina y va a trabajar en coche comiese tanto carbohidrato engorda mucho. Este señor no creo que tenga bajones de glucosa si come verduras, semillas, fruta y lacteos, ya que estos tienen carbohidratos que el cuerpo transforma en la glucosa necesaria y de una forma lenta. Sin embargo, si toma mucho azúcar se genera glucosa rápidamente y eso da subidones de glucosa en sangre (alto Índice Glucémico) que a la larga lleva a engordar, riesgo de diabetes, síndrome metabólico y enfermedad cardiovascular.

Creo que no es difícil de entender. Pondré un ejemplo con herramientas, porque los alimentos son eso, herramientas, que pueden ser necesarias o peligrosas dependiendo de la situación. Por ejemplo, un destornillador sirve para atornillar, un martillo para clavar, una llave inglesa se suele usar en fontanería, una grua en construcción, una sierra mecánica para talar árboles... Sería incorrecto que si eres fontanero no tengas la llave inglesa, porque tendrás problemas (eso es lo que le pasa al deportista profesional con los carbohidratos). Pero sería absurdo decir que como esas herramientas son útiles en algunos casos todos deberíamos llevar encima siempre una llave inglesa, una sierra mecánica, etc... porque esto nos produciría lesiones en la espalda y muchos problemas. Y esto es lo que está pasando con el azúcar, que una grandísima parte de la población consume un gran exceso sin necesitarlo y le da problemas.

» autor: Acido


          US influence in Middle East fades      Cache   Translate Page      
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          JUDICIAL WATCH: Tom Fitton Reveals Obama State Dept. Worked Hand in Glove with Soros Operatives — Spent $9 Million Tax Dollars on Albania      Cache   Translate Page      
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          El embrollo de los aranceles a China      Cache   Translate Page      
L as preguntas más frecuentes que recibo cuando hablo con gente que no es economista tienen que ver con los aranceles que Estados Unidos está aplicando a las importaciones de China. ¿Por qué la administración del presidente Donald Trump está haciendo esto? ¿Acaso los aranceles no son un impuesto a los bienes comprados por los consumidores norteamericanos? ¿Por qué Trump piensa que Estados Unidos puede “ganar” una guerra comercial con China? ¿Cómo responden los chinos a los aranceles actuales y a las amenazas de más en el futuro? Y así sucesivamente. Por lo general comienzo mi respuesta acentuando que, al igual que todos los economistas, en general me opongo a los aranceles. Yo también prefiero un entorno en el que los gobiernos no interfieran con las importaciones y exportaciones, y en el que las empresas estadounidenses puedan operar libremente en países extranjeros. Reconozco que tenemos un enorme déficit comercial con el resto del mundo (unos 800.000 millones de dólares este año, o 4% del PIB de EE.UU.) y que nuestro déficit comercial con China es alrededor de la mitad de ese total (unos 400.000 millones). Pero siempre destaco que nuestro déficit comercial general refleja el hecho de que Estados Unidos gasta más de lo que produce, lo que nos exige obtener la diferencia a través de importaciones netas. Es difícil saber por qué Estados Unidos está imponiendo aranceles porque la administración no ha dicho claramente qué intenta lograr con esta medida. Una razón para la ambigüedad es que varios funcionarios de alto rango compiten para influir en la política comercial de Estados Unidos para China: el secretario del Tesoro, Steven Mnuchin, el representante de Comercio de Estados Unidos, Robert Lighthizer, el director de Política Comercial e Industrial de la Casa Blanca, Peter Navarro, y el secretario de Comercio, Wilbur Ross. Es difícil saber por qué Estados Unidos está imponiendo aranceles porque la administración no ha dicho claramente qué intenta lograr con esta medida EE.UU. presentó una reclamación ante la Organización Mundial del Comercio (OMC) a comienzos de este año después de que una investigación extensiva confirmara que los chinos violan sus obligaciones con la OMC al exigir que las empresas extranjeras que hacen negocios en China tengan un socio doméstico y transfieran tecnología a esa empresa. Pero Estados Unidos no esperó que un fallo de la OMC confirmara su petición y autorizara la imposición de aranceles como una penalidad por la violación de las reglas por parte de China. Estados Unidos tampoco ha dicho que pondría fin a los aranceles si los chinos rescindieran su requisito ilegal de transferencia de tecnología. Las autoridades chinas dicen que su política es clara: las empresas norteamericanas pueden tener acceso al mercado chino solamente si aportan su tecnología a cambio. Pero esta política está explícitamente prohibida por la OMC y no es una política que apliquen otros países. Y el presidente Xi Jinping recientemente confirmó la estrategia de China al anunciar que empresas extranjeras podían ingresar a la industria automotriz sin tener que compartir tecnología. Cuando Mnuchin fue a Beijing hace unos meses para negociar con los chinos llevó una larga lista de cambios en la política económica china que Estados Unidos querría ver implementados, incluido el fin no sólo del requisito de transferencia de tecnología sino también de los subsidios del gobierno chino a varias industrias. Los negociadores chinos rechazaron la lista de Mnuchin, con el argumento de que era demasiado extensa y pretendía cambiar la naturaleza de la política económica de China. Pienso que los responsables de las políticas deberían dejarles en claro a los chinos que Estados Unidos pondría fin a sus aranceles si los chinos dejaran de robar tecnología de las empresas norteamericanas. Esto incluiría la política china de exigirles a las empresas norteamericanas que transfieran tecnología a sus socios chinos como condición para hacer negocios en China, así como la práctica china de tomar tecnología directamente de empresas estadounidenses a través del espionaje cibernético y otros métodos ilegales. El coste de los aranceles no es grande en relación al beneficio que se obtendría si Estados Unidos lograra convencer a China de dejar de tomar ilegalmente tecnología de empresas norteamericanas El gobierno chino aceptó terminar con el robo cibernético por parte del gobierno de tecnología industrial cuando el entonces presidente Barack Obama se reunió con el presidente chino, Xi Jinping, en 2013 y presentó pruebas de esa actividad por parte del Ejército Popular de Liberación. Pero ese acuerdo no cubría el robo por parte de empresas estatales y firmas privadas. Las negociaciones deberían cubrir todas las formas de robo de tecnología. Trump y otros funcionarios de Estados Unidos piensan que una guerra arancelaria con China se puede ganar porque China exporta alrededor de cuatro veces más a Estados Unidos de lo que ellos exportan a China. Estados Unidos puede entonces imponer una carga mucho mayor a los exportadores chinos de lo que los chinos pueden imponer a los exportadores estadounidenses. La economía china también es mucho más dependiente de las exportaciones que la economía de Estados Unidos. Los aranceles son, en efecto, un impuesto a los consumidores y a las empresas de Estados Unidos que utilizan productos chinos en sus procesos de producción. Pero el alza de precios que los norteamericanos pagan por las importaciones chinas y la resultante pérdida de ingreso real es muy pequeña. Las importaciones anuales de China totalizan unos 500.000 millones de dólares. Si Estados Unidos impone un arancel general del 25%, el aumento en el costo para los compradores norteamericanos -suponiendo que no haya un cambio en los precios cobrados por los exportadores chinos- sería de 125.000 millones de dólares. El ingreso nacional de Estados Unidos supera los 20.000 millones de dólares, de modo que el mayor coste sería poco más del 0,5% del gasto total de Estados Unidos. Y, como los exportadores chinos probablemente reducirían los precios de algunos de sus productos, el mayor coste para los compradores norteamericanos sería inferior a 125.000 millones de dólares. Es más, los compradores norteamericanos trasladarían parte de sus compras a productos producidos por empresas estadounidenses o a importaciones de otros países, reduciendo aún más el coste neto. En resumen, el coste de los aranceles no es grande en relación al beneficio que se obtendría si Estados Unidos lograra convencer a China de dejar de tomar ilegalmente tecnología de empresas norteamericanas. La Casa Blanca debería dejar en claro que éste es el objetivo de la política de EE.UU., y que los aranceles se eliminarán desde el momento en que los chinos cumplan sus obligaciones con la OMC.
          Children’s Hospital Confirms 3 Cases Of Mysterious Polio-Like Illness In Pittsburgh      Cache   Translate Page      
obamacare A mysterious illness that partially paralyzes children has now been confirmed in Pittsburgh.
          It’s (still) on: SCOTUS upholds Kavanaugh ruling on Obama climate rule      Cache   Translate Page      

Endorsement.

The post It’s (still) on: SCOTUS upholds Kavanaugh ruling on Obama climate rule appeared first on Hot Air.


          Senate Candidate Jim Renacci Speaks to Akron Press Club      Cache   Translate Page      
Congressman Jim Renacci is running for the U.S. Senate. Addressing the Akron Press Club he said he wanted voters to understand how and why he is very different from his opponent, incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. Renacci pointed to his support for what he sees as the forward-looking agenda of Donald Trump. He called Sherrod Brown’s support for policies of the Obama years going backward. He also talked about his qualifications and how his experience in business gives him perspective on healthcare costs.“T hat’s one of the things that makes me different from Sherrod Brown and other people I’ve run against. Here’s the big issue. There needs to be transparency. There needs to be buy-in. There needs to be people who see the cost of these different programs and then make their decisions.” The press club audience had some tough questions, but the last one put him on the spot. Renacci, who was born in Pennsylvania was asked if he is a Steelers fan. He said he was once asked that by a
          GOP Tax Cuts Abolished Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax       Cache   Translate Page      

          CHEGA DE BANDEIRAS DOBRADAS: FAMÍLIAS MILITARES FALAM CONTRA A GUERRA NO AFEGANISTÃO      Cache   Translate Page      
Você dificilmente saberia das notícias, mas estamos continuamente em guerra no Afeganistão desde 2001. A guerra silenciou 17 no dia 7 de outubro.
Infelizmente, a amnésia americana não impediu que o sargento major Tim Bolyard fosse morto no Afeganistão no início de setembro, durante sua oitava viagem de combate e 13º deslocamento .
Oito turnês de combate - que deveriam ser ilegais - mandaram Bolyard para baixo repetidamente em uma guerra que o presidente Obama supostamente acabou há três anos. Uma guerra que este país esqueceu muito antes disso.
Uma nação que não se lembra dos homens e mulheres enviados para lutar em seu nome não tem nada a fazer. E uma democracia que gasta mais tempo debatendo-se ajoelhada diante da bandeira do que a justificativa para emitir os dobrados precisa desesperadamente de se familiarizar com a Constituição - e sua bússola moral.
Nossos entes queridos não se inscreveram para servir um presidente. Eles se inscreveram para servir o povo americano, a maioria dos quais não tem idéia do que estão lutando.
Eu também não sei. Nem nenhum dos outros mais de 4.000 membros da Military Families Speak Out (MFSO).
Todos nós temos cônjuges, pais, parceiros, irmãos e filhos que serviram na era pós 11 de setembro. Fundada em 2002 por duas famílias de militares para se opor à invasão do Iraque, nossos entes queridos continuam servindo lá e no Afeganistão.
Passamos mais de uma década e meia enterrando crianças, pais enlutados, cônjuges e irmãos de luto, e cuidando de guerreiros feridos. Não temos mais ninguém querido para dar.
Vergonha em um país que continua a levar nossas tropas a guerras há muito declaradas, desperdiçando seu serviço e absolvendo a consciência coletiva com duas palavras: “Eles se voluntariaram”. 
O fato de os soldados usarem o uniforme por opção não deveria permitir que "o povo americano e seus representantes eleitos sejam indiferentes sobre a guerra no Afeganistão", disse o tenente-general Karl Eikenberry, do  New York Times .
O ex-comandante das tropas dos EUA no Afeganistão acrescentou: "Continuamos a lutar simplesmente porque estamos lá".
Esse "nós"  é um minúsculo 1 por cento da população que está pagando o custo humano do cheque de guerra deste país - o equivalente democrático de um jantar e uma corrida. contagem de corpos das tropas dos EUA no Afeganistão é de 2.414, além de mais de 20.000 feridos. Esses números chegam a centenas de milhares de soldados e civis afegãos.
Depois, há o custo financeiro: mais de US $ 1 trilhão, de acordo com TheBalance.com.
Mesmo assim, o Congresso reduziu repetidamente os impostos, especialmente para os ricos, desde o início das guerras. Nossa política fiscal é a de chutar a lata no caminho para as gerações futuras, que já estão pagando o suficiente por mudanças climáticas movidas a combustíveis fósseis.
Dezesseis dos 17 anos mais quentes registrados ocorreram desde 2001. A pegada de carbono maciça gerada pelas forças armadas em zonas de combate, um dos principais impulsionadores institucionais do aquecimento global , garante que essas guerras intermináveis ​​acabarão custando a todos.
Nossas tropas e famílias de veteranos pagam o preço todos os dias. Antes de nossos entes queridos retornarem de suas primeiras turnês, nos disseram: "O combate é uma porta de mão única: uma vez que você passe por ela, você nunca poderá voltar."
Eu costumava pensar que só se aplicava aos veteranos. Eu sei melhor agora.
"É hora de esta guerra no Afeganistão acabar", disse o general John W. Nicholson recentemente, enquanto se preparava para deixar o país pela última vez. Nicholson passara um total de 31 meses - quatro turnos - no Afeganistão como comandante encarregado de uma missão de mudança de forma.
Apoie as tropas, América: Traga-as para casa agora. Chega de bandeiras dobradas.
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stacy-bannermanPor 
Stacy Bannerman é o autor do Homefront 911  (2015). Ela está liderando a Heart2Heart Tour (heart2hearttour.org ) com a Military Families Speak Out , que está pedindo o fim da mais longa guerra da América. Distribuído por OtherWords.org.
https://otherwords.org/enough-folded-flags-military-families-speak-out-against-the-afghanistan-war/

tradução literal via computador.

          University of Illinois offering Trumpaganda course      Cache   Translate Page      
Quad of the U of I
My alma mater, which gets none of my money except by way of taxes, continues its leftward lurch.

From One Illinois:
Students at the state’s flagship public university are going to get a chance to study how President Trump uses the media for propaganda purposes.

Trumpaganda: The War on Facts, Press and Democracy is an advanced eight-week Journalism 460 course launching Oct. 22 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Taught by Associate Professor Mira Sotirovic, the weekly class “examines the Trump administration’s disinformation campaign, its ‘running war’ with the mainstream news media, and their implications for American democracy and a free press,” according to the course description.
Didn't Barack Obama have a war with Fox News? Didn't his Justice Department spy on a Fox News reporter, James Rosen?

Yes. And yes.

Hat tip to Chicago Public Square.
          Goodies fron Ol' Remus      Cache   Translate Page      
The "Dust Bowl" drought of the 'thirties hit northwestern Oklahoma hard. By 1940 about 60,000 had left, mostly marginal farmers driven from the land by bankruptcy or despair. The outflow continued into the 1940s when stay behinds learned of employment opportunities elsewhere from relatives and friends, totaling over 162,500 by 1950.  

Ol' Remus
Military Dot Com reports the Marine Corps' accelerated progress in becoming properly feminized:
The most male-dominated military service in the Department of Defense has embarked on an ambitious initiative to strip unnecessary masculine pronouns and other indicators of gender bias out of its foundational publications within the next 24 months...
Meanwhile, the service has institutionalized training on the phenomenon of unconscious bias, with courses now offered at Marine Corps boot camp and all schoolhouses, including commanders' courses.
It isn't the training that should be institutionalized, it's the leadership. Can't have Marines running around acting like, um, Marines. Next is a series of well publicized demotions for an ill-considered word, a careless gesture. This is more evidence feminists "succeed" in combat outfits by paralyzing honchos with fear and extorting preferences, not by performing to standard as-is.
"Unnecessary masculine pronouns"—gag. Meanwhile, Spetsnaz trains their warriors by putting them in a room with an entrenching tool and a rabid dog. You can bet our enemies pass this stuff around for laughs.
  PJ Media, Roger Simon - Kanye's Not Alone: Blacks Are Deserting the Dems ... today’s @realDonaldTrump approval ratings among black voters: 35%. This day last year: 23%.

  WND - Obama AR-15 gun-ban plan under investigation ... Judicial Watch demands details of strategy to call ammo 'armor-piercing'

 art-remus-ident-04.jpg Z Man says it more tactfully than I would. Like many people my age, I've known survivors of Nazi extermination camps and nameless slave labor camps, of Iwo Jima and Khe San, of captivity by the Soviets and of much else. Using the word "survive" as feminists choose to use it reveals more about feminism than the victim.
          JUDICIAL WATCH: Tom Fitton Reveals Obama State Dept. Worked Hand in Glove with Soros Operatives — Spent $9 Million Tax Dollars on Albania      Cache   Translate Page      
Via Billy

 Image result for JUDICIAL WATCH: Tom Fitton Reveals Obama State Dept. Worked Hand in Glove with Soros Operatives — Spent $9 Million Tax Dollars on Albania

Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch announced on Monday the Obama State Department was working hand in glove with Soros operatives.

Fitton said the US State Department spent $9 million in taxpayer dollars to fund Soros operations in Albania.
Tom Fitton, “I don’t know about you but I don’t want any George Soros anywhere near our State Department or our United States Agency for International Development.”

Fitton also reminded his audience that Soros operatives were harassing and stalking US Senators last week on Capitol Hill.

More with video at The Gateway Pundit

          He voted for Obama, Trump and now ...      Cache   Translate Page      
A critical swing district in Iowa could turn from red to blue, giving hope to Democrats on the ballot. CNN's Kyung Lah has the story.

          Costos, exembajador de EEUU en España, aplaude los avances en derechos LGTBI: "Este país está más avanzado que el mío"      Cache   Translate Page      
James Costos fue el primer embajador abiertamente gay de EEUU en España en la época de Obama y explica Thais que admira lo avanzada que está España en materia LGTBI. Además confiesa lo que le dijo Rajoy en su último día: "¡Eres un crack!"
          Tribute to Burt Bacharach at the White House      Cache   Translate Page      
Filmed during the Obama administration
          Trump Acting EPA head liked ‘racist’ photo of Obamas: report      Cache   Translate Page      
The acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency liked a controversial Facebook photo five years ago of then-President Barack Obama that a civil rights group called racist, the Huffington Post reported on Tuesday.
          Cultivating BOLD HUMILITY - Hope, Democracy and Rethinking Fear and Courage      Cache   Translate Page      

Aired Tuesday, 9 October 2018, 5:00 PM EST

Cultivating BOLD HUMILITY Hope, Democracy and Rethinking Fear and Courage

An Interview with Author and “Daring Democracy” Advocate Frances Moore Lappé

“Of course love is more powerful than fear. Otherwise we’d be singing ‘All You Need is Fear’.” — Swami Beyondananda

Ever since the disillusionment of Obama’s failed promise, hope has been given a bad rap. Hope has been considered a form of passivity, as a substitute for intention, activism, hard choices. Our guest this week, noted author Frances Moore Lappé believes that cultivating hope also cultivates grace and possibility.

Frances Moore Lappé first gained worldwide fame with the release of her three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet, which the Smithsonian has described as “one of the most influential political tracts of the times.” Her nineteenth book, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, coauthored with Adam Eichen, “extends concrete hope to those who feel politically helpless,” notes the American Library Association’s Booklist. She speaks widely on campuses from Harvard to UC Berkeley, as well as to professional organizations.

Frances enables us to shift our “mental maps” so we can each experience a sense of agency, meaning and connection with others, as together we bring democratic values to life. She offers hope by sharing solution stories in which regular citizens are helping to meet our biggest social and environmental challenges.

In 1987, Frances became the fourth American to receive the international Right Livelihood Award, often called the “Alternative Nobel”; and Gourmet Magazine named her one of 25 people, including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child, whose work has changed the way America eats. Frances’ books have been translated into 15 languages and are used widely in university courses. Her visiting-scholar positions include those at MIT, UC Berkeley, Suffolk University, and Colby College.

Her writings have appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, People, and more. She is a contributing editor at Yes! Magazine, and Solutions Journal. Her blogs have appeared in Huffington Post, AlterNet, Common Dreams, and more.

Frances currently leads the Small Planet Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, founded in 2002 with her daughter Anna Lappé. The two also cofounded the Small Planet Fund.

Please join us for this lively, informative and encouraging conversation that will have you thinking differently about hope, fear, courage and humility. “Frankie” will be talking about her recent book, Daring Democracy, and the tools people have been developing and cultivating “under the radar” … as well as the hidden energy in fear and how to use it constructively. At a time when we as individuals and a species face the unknown, she offers compelling evidence of how “not knowing” may be the key to our survival.

If you were inspired by Diet For A Small Planet, and want more nourishing “food for thought” from its author, please join us this Tuesday, October 9th at 2 pm PT / 5 pm ET. http://omtimes.com/iom/shows/wiki-politiki-radio-show/

Or, find us on the Wiki archives on Wednesday: http://wikipolitiki.com/archives/

Frances Moore Lappé can be found online at: https://www.smallplanet.org/frances-moore-lappe

Support Wiki Politiki — A Clear Voice In The “Bewilderness”

If you LOVE what you hear, and appreciate the mission of Wiki Politiki, “put your money where your mouse is” … Join the “upwising” — join the conversation, and become a Wiki Politiki supporter: http://wikipolitiki.com/join-the-upwising/

Make a contribution in any amount via PayPal (https://tinyurl.com/y8fe9dks)

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          Citizens put #renewable energy on this year’s ballots — @HighCountryNews #ActOnClimate      Cache   Translate Page      
From The High Country News (Jessica Kutz): The fossil fuel-friendly Trump administration has been busy rolling back environmental regulations and opening millions of acres of public land to oil and gas drilling. Just last week, the Interior Department announced plans to gut an Obama-era methane pollution rule, giving natural gas producers more leeway to emit … Continue reading Citizens put #renewable energy on this year’s ballots — @HighCountryNews #ActOnClimate
          Netflix content chief says Obama projects won't necessarily be political       Cache   Translate Page      
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos didn't have a lot of details to offer on the projects being prepped by Barack and Michelle Obama for his streaming service but indicated that the content won't necessarily be "political."
          Obama Đua Xe      Cache   Translate Page      
Chơi game  Obama Đua Xe    thú vị ! Giới thiệu game : Obama rất thích khám phá những chặng đường đua nguy hiểm và bây giờ obama sẽ tham gia một màn đua xe địa hình vô cùng hấp dẫn. Với chiếc moto đua xe của obama , bạn hãy giúp ông ấy có thể […]
          Comment on What was behind the Kavanaugh attack? by AesopFan      Cache   Translate Page      
MikeK - that's a minimum of 3 people who know the story you propose, plus: police, witnesses, judge, court staff, jail staff. I would like to think you are right that information would surface if it is true, but think how many people know what grades Obama made in school, and how many have leaked so far. Zilch. If the family is Democrat, we will never hear from them, and you can bet most of the non-family are Dems.
          Comment on The Kavanaugh hearing has united the GOP for now. But why? by neo      Cache   Translate Page      
Reformed Trombonist: Your comments indicate your perfectionism in the sense I meant it and continue to mean it: "the perfect is the enemy of the good." Anyone who wrote the comment you wrote at 12:23 PM, and who says the two parties have "one political philosophy: both parties are all in for big government" is perfectionistic in that sense, as well as reductionist. I've been polite to you. So I wonder where your tone of supercilious snark comes from. One single Republican---John McCain---voted against the Obamacare repeal, and he apparently blindsided the other Republicans in order to do it. You can blame all the Republicans for the act of one man, and you can probably rationalize doing so in some way. Perhaps you'd say they all knew he would do it and approved. Or perhaps you have some other rationalization for blaming all Republicans for what John McCain did. But I don't think it represents reality. I think that <a href="https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/28/john-mccain-traitor-conservative-cause/" rel="nofollow">this does</a>, as well as <a href="https://www.mediaite.com/online/john-mccain-betrays-republicans-and-his-own-legacy/" rel="nofollow">this</a>.
          Comment on The Kavanaugh hearing has united the GOP for now. But why? by Ritchie The Riveter      Cache   Translate Page      
You can take heart in one thing, RT ... January will bring us a Senate without McCain, Corker, or Flake. McCain, in particular, was the obstruction that kept the Obamacare repeal from happening. Let's keep pushing them to do the right thing, and avoid disdaining allies/potential allies in that effort as long as they are pushing in the same direction as you and I. Neo, I guess no one expected this level of the Progressive Inquisition. But we do now ... and the squishes are learning that civility in response to intellectual dishonesty is counterproductive in the defense of liberty.
          USA on track for 4% GDP in the Third Quarter. @StephenMoore @Heritage      Cache   Translate Page      
AUTHOR. (Photo:  More details Aeneas, whom the Romans believed Romulus and Remus descended from, fleeing from the burning city of Troy Federico Barocci - Web Gallery of Art, Uploaded to en.wikipedia 03:45 28 Jul 2004 by en:User:Wetman. Public Domain) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow USA on track for 4% GDP in the Third Quarter. @StephenMoore @Heritage [](https://www.amazon.com/Trumponomics-Inside-America-Revive-Economy/dp/1250193710) [https://www.amazon.com/Trumponomics-Inside-America-Revive-Economy/dp/1250193710](https://www.amazon.com/Trumponomics-Inside-America-Revive-Economy/dp/1250193710) Donald Trump promised the American people a transformative change in economic policy after eight years of stagnation under Obama. But he didn’t adopt a conventional left or right economic agenda. His is a new economic populism that combines some conventional Republican ideas–tax cuts, deregulation, more power to the states–with more traditional Democratic issues such as trade protectionism and infrastructure spending. It also mixes in important populist issues such as immigration reform, pressuring the Europeans to pay for more of their own defense, and keeping America first.
          Sorry to Bother You, Comrade: a primal anarchist at the theaters      Cache   Translate Page      

From Anarchist Agency by Kevin Tucker

Warning: this entire review is a spoiler. See the movie first. Please and thank you.

By this point, you’ve probably heard a lot about Boots Riley’s excellent film, Sorry to Bother You. Heed my spoiler warning, because we’re jumping right in.

Director Boots Riley

I’m a huge fan of Boots. His hip-hop group, The Coup, is a long-standing personal favorite and few have a way with words like Boots does. He’s got that excellent combination of wit, insight, and provocation. I’m not now, nor ever will be, fond of his communism, but I’m always willing to hear him out. His perspective is unique and his critique runs deep. Beyond the art, to put it simply, he can really back it up.

All I needed to hear to get excited was that he had made a movie. Then that it was based around telemarketing. Bound to be excellent. Being last in line to see it, I can say that on the whole it is excellent.

But there’s always a catch, right? This is no different.

It’s hard to distill ours views of a movie like this from what any of us in the radical world have likely heard from others. Most of the film is pretty damn hilarious satire and cutting critique. Those are the parts that have got the most attention, and rightfully so. I’ve had bosses like Steve Lift. I’ve dealt with organizers like Squeeze. I think we’ve all seen some version of the cringe-worthy racism in the party scene. You have the awkwardly pointless nature of the crap we buy, sell, and promote. And then there are the “code switching” aspects that demand the light Boots has put on them.

When I heard the film teeters into science fiction, it didn’t seem like a stretch considering how Boots works best: story telling. He’s smart, and he’s also entertaining. But most of the film could hardly be considered science fiction. Nothing, from the prison-slave corporation, WorryFree, to the caricatures of today’s reality game shows, is really too far off from our reality. You hear corporate-speak and it’s not hard to imagine CEOs toeing those waters.

The first three quarters or so of the film works well because the satire cuts close to home. It’s a fantastical mirror of our sad reality. But the failure of the uprising, the co-optation of rage into entertainment, and the bleak results the unions achieve are genuine.

As social media takes over our lives, we live increasingly in a world where flagrant outrage is counterbalanced by dismal attention span. Lest viewers think this something unique to the world of candidate or President Trump, it’s worth reminded ourselves that this script was completed in 2012. Boots rightfully hasn’t spared Obama or liberals his well-honed, weaponized wit.

What was true in 2012 is only truer now. It is the sickening reality of our increasingly warped and insulated world, constantly boiling over with rage, that when (not if) politicians iterate ideas in this film, such as saying slavery wasn’t such a bad deal, it’s like a firework: explosive, bright, and loud, but gone as quickly as it comes.

Where things shift seems to come down to one question, and again, heed my spoiler warning: is the film over before or after Cash begins the Equisapien process?

A number of anarchists and radicals have told me they felt that the narrative spirals down into the lackluster faux-conclusion. The workers go back to work, they commit to union organizing, and meaning is granted in the resistance, or the idea thereof; all is taken in stride. Boots has proclaimed elsewhere that the real power of strikes comes from removing your body from the production apparatus. As an anarcho-primitivist, I place more long-term hope in that prospect. Ostensibly, in Boots’ view, I trust there’s a point where strike yields results and the machine runs again, but I doubt his ideal society would have much room left for telemarketing.

Protest movements, as Boots has articulated, were an outgrowth of a much longer and deeper history in which our relationship to the functioning of the machine wasn’t just an existential idea, but a more visceral reality. The post-industrial reshuffling of the world ensured that feeling of separation, and to great effect. I share Boots’s concerns about what protest is capable of without taking into account the means of production, reproduction, and distribution innate to the State–or  further, as I’m constantly going to push, innate to civilization itself.

If you accept that as the true ending and intellectual conclusion of the film, you can take a lot of the nearly universally-faulted characters on all sides of the story in stride and ignore the fact that nothing is truly resolved. You can live with a world where all of us radicals can see a film like this as a pat on the back. Keep trying, champ, you’ll get there.

But that isn’t the true ending. The more fantastical ending is that the uprising did nothing to stop what was already well underway. Cassius didn’t beat the system; he was beat before he raised his fist against it. The false sense of security is gone immediately and there is only one appropriate response: complete and utter revolt.

Boots is smart enough not to fill in all the blanks. I expect my views of the ending are vastly different from his own; I also know that this is intentional. So perhaps the Equisapien thing falling further into an anarcho-primitivist critique is merely incidental. Fantastical? Sure. And yet, it’s also not a huge stretch for an allegory.

I might be one of the few people to leave the theater with Paul Shepard’s warning in mind that the first steps to genetic engineering began with the act of domestication. Or Lewis Mumford’s long-ago proclamation that the first components of the Megamachine were comprised of human flesh, in the organization of bodies for the production of surplus. Equisapiens are the confluence of both critiques–and totally fitting for our globalized world, where labor itself is split between slavish factory, field, and mine conditions and the sterilized sales and service economy.

Horses once pulled the plows that fed a growing civilization and its hierarchy. Bred for docility and strength, both to subjugate the earth and yet remain subjugated themselves, they’re not a far cry for our own conditioning and the realities of a colonized world. If you want to sound the alarm about what capitalists might do, it helps to remind ourselves of what their agrarian predecessors had already done.

That ending is vengeful, but it isn’t as comfortable.

And for a communist, it might further blur the line between fantasy and release. Will there be a sequel in which proletarian Equisapiens try to craft a new order with the ceased means of production? I doubt it. And the fantasy might leave more room to go beyond the lukewarm potential for unions or organizing.

My goal isn’t to solve the issues Boots raises here. I believe that is his intent: to inspire instead of dictate. But there are a lot of aspects of the film that could be elaborated on at length. I’m sure others have and will go in many directions I’ve left untouched. But considering, for example, Boots’ take down of Spike Lee’s white-washing new movie, Black KKKlansman, we are reminded that Boots isn’t likely to be bought.

The film entertains, but it doesn’t let you roam too far from the reminder that there is a breaking point where we stop trying to get by and start resisting, without delusion and without restraint.

In terms of radical agit-prop: is this “the film” that might incite people to real revolt? I’m not sure. To me, a lot of this is clear, but I have seen other radicals and anarchists get lost in a rabbit hole of dissection as well. The fantastical elements might obscure the radical undertones for any audience, but I’m not faulting Boots for his choices.

I’m not sure where that bar really sits. Fight Club and The Matrix seemed like a fitting backdrop for the anti-globalization uprisings in 1999, but may have been more responsible for neo-fascist Werewolves-style groups and EDM raves than smashed out windows and burnt banks. I don’t fear that this film could have that kind of outcome, but that’s why it’s more important to me to rehash two points: that the feel good ending isn’t the ending and that Boots isn’t trying to hand you everything.

It isn’t the filmmakers intent that you walk away as a Rileyist, but that the film inspire you. More importantly, that it incites you. On that front, I’d say it’s a solid offering, even if it isn’t likely to be the film that convinces your aunt or uncle to resist. At the very least, it’ll spark some conversations. Hopefully it’ll spark some fires too.

* * *

Kevin Tucker lives in the Ozarks of Missouri and is an anarcho-primitivist writer, rewilding advocate, and publisher. He founded Black and Green Press in 2000, was the editor of Species Traitor journal, hosts the Black and Green Podcast, and is the founding editor of Black and Green Review. His books include Gathered Remains and For Wildness and Anarchy.

category: 

          Church Politics | What Kavanaugh Means for the Midterms      Cache   Translate Page      
The Church Politics Podcast is hosted by former Obama White House staffer Michael Wear and AND Campaign co-founder Justin Giboney. These two seasoned politicos will analyze political events and policy based on their Christian values and their experience in the civic arena. The podcast will provide guidance to Christians seeking to transcend partisanship and political ideology and find discipleship in the public square. It will also include interviews with a diverse group of public figures, music and more. On this episode, Justin and Michael discuss the aftermath of the Kavanaugh Confirmation. They also cover bipartisan legislation headed to the President’s desk to combat the opioid crisis. In the last segment, Michael gives Justin the details on Banksy, and they discuss their reaction to Liz Bruenig’s much-discussed column.   
          Comment on President Trump to hold MAGA rally in Pennsylvania Wednesday by Douglas John bobb      Cache   Translate Page      
A program within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence had technology that could have determined that possibly 100% of US Senators secretly believed that the Honorable Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh was being honest in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings and that Christine Ford was not truthful, is based on interpersonal trust, neurophysiology, behavioral science, advanced data analytics and social science. That program: Tools for Recognizing Unconscious Signals of Trustworthiness (TRUST) https://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/working-with-iarpa/requests-for-information/tools-for-recognizing-unconscious-signals-of-trustworthiness-trust has been terminated and replaced with a new program: Tools for Recognizing Useful Signals of Trustworthiness (TRUST) https://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/working-with-iarpa/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=104&Itemid=195 After the nonstop critic of the Trump administration, Obama's CIA director John Brennan had his security clearance taken away, Fox news then broadcast that he was a communist in the 1970's. Judge Jeanine Pirro said on Fox news that the left that was so critical of President Trump was anti-capitalist. Therefore I decided to take a look at the website of the American Communist Party and was shocked that it contained exactly the same messages, themes, and positions as that of the Democratic Party, leading me to believe that while the Democratic Party was obsessed with being anti-President Trump, the American Communist Party seized control over the Democratic Party messaging of their viewpoints. Science, as an enabler of truth, in this age of quantum artificial intelligence, is rapidly making the conventional lawyers and politicians "tools and tricks of deception and schemes" obsolete. In this 21st century America, even wily political "correctness" will soon have to give way to the businesslike disruptive innovation of the promises made and promises kept and within promised deadlines and promised due dates. Finally, in spite of calls by Democrats in Congress, there will be no abolition of ICE. US Marshals are inextricably intertwined with ICE under the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS).
          Ike Barinholtz      Cache   Translate Page      
Zach talks to actor and comedian Ike Barinholtz about his new movie "The Oath," being a lifelong Bulls fan, comedy inspirations, hooping with Barack Obama, and much more.
          Kuatkan pergantungan kepada Allah, itu yang paling penting      Cache   Translate Page      
Assalamualaikum,

Pjg sket.. tp bila baca sket terasa nk baca sampai habis... silalah ..

Terbaca satu tazkirah yang sangat baik untuk dikongsikan kpd kita semua sbg tazkirah dan muhasabah diri...

Dalam dunia ni, semua benda bergerak dalam zon masa masing-masing.

Ada yang masih single.
Ada kahwin 20 ribu belanja, sebulan dah berpisah.
Ada yang dah kahwin 10 tahun tapi masih belum ada anak.
Ada yang baru kahwin bulan lepas, hari ni dah mengandung.

Ada yang grad umur 23 tapi terpaksa tunggu 5 tahun sebelum dapat kerja tetap.
Ada juga yang grad umur 29 tapi lepas grad terus dapat kerja jawatan tetap.

Ada yang muda lagi umur 25 jadi CEO tapi umur 50 dah meninggal.
Ada juga yang umur 50 baru jadi CEO dan hidup sampai umur 90.

Zon masa kita semua tak sama.
Jadi tak perlu merasa kita 'tertinggal' hanya bila nampak orang lain lebih berjaya.
Masa kita belum sampai.
Obama retired at 55, tapi Trump 'bermula' pada umur 70.
Hanya zon masa mereka saja yang berbeza.
Tapi sama-sama dapat jadi Presiden.

Ada yang dipanggil Datuk pada usia 47 tahun, dan ada yang dah ada cucu di umur yang sama.
Malah ada yang baru menimang cahaya mata pertama di umur yang sama.

Ada yang 'depan' dari kita.
Tapi ada juga yang 'belakang' kita.
Semua orang bergerak dalam laluan yang berbeza pada zon masa yang berlainan.

Allah ada perancangan berbeza untuk kita semua.
Jangan dengki, jangan sakit hati, jangan sedih.
Mereka bergerak dengan zon masa mereka dan kita pun ada zon masa sendiri.

You are not late.
You are not early.

You are just on time.
Jangan stress.

Percayalah bahawa perancangan Allah jauh lebih baik, rezeki kita telah dicatit olehNya.

Siapa nak jaga kita bila kita dah tua?

Ada orang, dia susah hati kerana belum bertemu jodoh.
Difikirannya siapalah yang akan jaga aku bila aku dah tua nanti.

Ada orang, dah berkahwin tapi belum punya anak, pun terfikir siapakah yang akan jaga aku bila aku dah tua nanti.

Ada orang, ada anak, tapi hanya seorang, pun terfikir, kalau dia kerja jauh siapalah yang nak jaga aku nanti.

Ada orang, anaknya semua lelaki.
Juga terfikir siapalah yang akan jaga aku nanti.
Nak ke menantu perempuan aku nanti jaga aku.

Ada orang, anaknya semua perempuan, sama juga.
Terfikir kalau semua tu nanti ikut suami masing masing, siapalah yang nak jaga aku nanti.

Apa masalah kita sebenarnya?

Kita letakkan masa depan kita di tangan manusia.
Di tangan anak.
Di tangan suami.

Walhal yang jaga kita itu ALLAH.

Berapa ramai orang yang anaknya ramai, cukup nisbah lelaki perempuannya, namun masih terabai hidup bersendirian di rumah usangnya sehingga meninggalnya juga seorang diri.

Berapa ramai juga orang yang saya jumpa hidupnya tidak bertemu jodoh, namun pada usia 60 70 80 masih sihat, boleh urus diri jauh lebih baik daripada orang yang usianya baru jejak 50-an namun sudah sakit lutut jalan bertongkat walau anak anak ada di sisi menjaga.

Itulah kita kata rezeki.
Dan rezeki itu hak Allah.
Yakin.
Yakin.
Yakin.

Jangan runsingkan kerja Allah.
Runsingkan kerja kita yang asik tak siap ni.

Jangan runsing belum ketemu jodoh
Jangan ribut belum ada zuriat
Jangan sedih hanya kerana beranak sorang
Jangan kalut kalau hanya ada anak lelaki
Jangan cemas jika hanya ada anak perempuan.

Lebih dari itu jangan takbur sangat kita ada jodoh, anak ramai, cukup laki perempuan.

Jangan pertikaikan
"eh nanti tua siapa nak jaga kau."
Kita sendiri pun belum tahu nasib kita nanti
Sempat ke kita tua?

Masa depan kita sentiasa di tangan Allah.
Dan Allah itu adil.
Setiap orang akan dapat apa yang Allah kata dia layak dapat.
Kuatkan pergantungan kpd Allah, itu yg paling penting.


#cnp dari whatsapp..semoga kita sama-sama ambil iktibar..




          Acting EPA chief says he doesn't remember 'liking' racist Obama meme on Facebook      Cache   Translate Page      

Over the last five years, including as recently as last month, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has liked and posted several politically inflammatory messages on social media, HuffPost reports.

Andrew Wheeler, 53, is a former coal lobbyist and Republican aide who became the acting administrator after Scott Pruitt resigned in July amid multiple scandals. HuffPost reports that, among his more controversial social media moves, he liked a racist image of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook, and also retweeted a conspiracy theorist peddling the "Pizzagate" hoax that claims Democrats are running a child sex ring out of the basement of a basement-less pizza place in Washington, D.C.

In a statement to HuffPost, Wheeler said that "over the years, I have been a prolific social media user and liked and inadvertently liked countless social media posts. Specifically, I do not remember the post depicting President Obama and the first lady. As for some of the other posts, I agreed with the content and was unaware of the sources." Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, told HuffPost that Wheeler's online activity "is despicable. The people he's interacting with and retweeting are just not folks a legitimate person should have anything to do."


          CIA Democrats Call for Aggression Against Russia, Run Pro-War Campaigns in 2018 Congressional Races      Cache   Translate Page      

The 30 national-security candidates include six actual CIA, FBI or military intelligence agents, six State Department or other civilian national security officials, 11 combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, all but one an officer, and seven other military veterans, including pilots, naval officers and military prosecutors (JAGs).

The range of views expressed by these 30 candidates is quite limited. With only one exception, Jared Golden, running in the First District of Maine, the military-intelligence Democrats do not draw any negative conclusions from their experience in leading, planning or fighting in the wars of the past 25 years, including two wars against Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, and other military engagements in the Persian Gulf and North and East Africa.

Golden, who is also the only rank-and-file combat veteran—as opposed to an officer—and the only one who admits to having suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, criticizes congressional rubber-stamping of the wars of the past 20 years. “Over the past decade and a half, America has spent trillions on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and on other conflicts across the globe,” his campaign website declares. “War should be a last resort, and only undertaken when the security interests of America are clearly present, and the risks and costs can be appropriately justified to the American people.”

These sentiments hardly qualify as antiwar, but they sound positively radical compared to the materials posted on the websites of many of the other military-intelligence candidates. In some ways, Golden is the exception that proves the rule. What used to be the standard rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates when running against the administration of George W. Bush has been entirely scrapped in the course of the Obama administration, the first in American history to have been engaged in a major military conflict for every day of its eight years.

All the other national-security candidates accept as a basic premise that the United States must maintain its dominant world position. The most detailed foreign policy doctrine appears on the website of Amy McGrath, who is now favored to win her contest against incumbent Republican incumbent Andy Barr in the Sixth Congressional District of Kentucky.

McGrath follows closely the line of the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, supporting the Iran nuclear deal that Trump tore up, embracing Israel, warning of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, and declaring it “critical that the US work with our allies and partners in the region to counter China’s advances” in the South China Sea and elsewhere in Asia.

But Russia is clearly the main target of US national-security efforts, in her view. She writes, “Our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has testified that Russia is the greatest threat to American security. Russia poses an existential threat to the United States due to its nuclear weapons and its behavior in the past several years has been disturbing. Russia’s aggression in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria has been alarming. It’s becoming more assertive in the Arctic, likely the most important geostrategic zone of competition in the coming decades. The US should consider providing defensive arms to Ukraine and exerting more pressure on Moscow using economic sanctions.”

She concludes by calling for an investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Five other national-security candidates focus on specific warnings about the danger of Russia and China, thus aligning themselves with the new national security orientation set in the most recent Pentagon strategy document, which declares that the principal US national security challenge is no longer the “war on terror,” but the prospect of great power conflicts, above all with Russia and China.

Jessica Morse, a former State Department and AID official in Iraq, running in the Fourth District of California, blasts the Trump administration for “giving away global leadership to powers like China and Russia. Our security and our economy will both suffer if those countries are left to re-write the international rules.”

Former FBI agent Christopher Hunter, running in the 12th District of Florida, declares, “Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the Soviet Union in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over Russia and its tyrannical regime.”

Elissa Slotkin, the former CIA agent and Pentagon official running in Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District, cites her 14 years of experience “working on some of our country’s most critical national security matters, including U.S.-Russia relations, the counter-ISIS campaign, and the U.S. relationship with NATO.” She argues that “the United States must make investments in its military, intelligence, and diplomatic power” in order to maintain “a unique and vital role in the world.”

Max Rose, a combat commander in Afghanistan now running in New York’s 11th Congressional District (Staten Island and Brooklyn), calls for “recognizing Russia as a hostile foreign power and holding the Kremlin accountable for its attempts to undermine the sovereignty and democratic values of other nations.” Rose is still in the military reserves, and took two weeks off from his campaign in August to participate in small-unit drills.

Joseph Kopser, running in the 21st District of Texas, is another anti-Russian firebrand, writing on his website, “As a retired Army Ranger, I know first hand the importance of standing strong with your allies. Given Russia’s march toward a totalitarian state showing aggression around the region, as well as their extensive cyber and information warfare campaign directed at the U.S., England, and others, our Article 5 [NATO] commitment to our European allies and partners is more important than ever.” He concludes, “Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States has been a principal world leader—a standard that should never be changed.”

Four national-security candidates add North Korea and Iran to China and Russia as specific targets of American military and diplomatic attack.
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/03/ciad-o03.html

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, October 10th, 2018.]
          From Inside The NSA, A Call For More Whistleblowers       Cache   Translate Page      

The National Security Agency's Rob Storch is a talkative guy at a place that specializes in eavesdropping.

"It's a big federal government agency. It spends a lot of taxpayer dollars. And so as a general matter, I think the public has a right to know how its funds are being spent," said Storch, who became the NSA's inspector general in January.

Storch is an independent watchdog at the sprawling intelligence agency, and one of his favorite topics is whistleblowers.

"I felt very strongly that this was a key function for an inspector general's office, to have a robust whistleblower program," Storch said in an interview at his office on one of the top floors at NSA headquarters.

Headquarters is a huge, black cube of a building surrounded by endless parking lots and tight security in Fort Meade, Md., outside Washington.

The agency's work touches everything from Russian hacking to cyberwarfare to the privacy of U.S. citizens. Yet the NSA rarely speaks. Storch would like to make it a little bit more open.

His office received 516 calls on its hotline during a recent six-month period. They ran the gamut from alleged overcharging by contractors to accusations of reprisals against whistleblowers. Storch can talk about the calls, but only in general terms.

Storch, a Justice Department prosecutor for more than two decades, is playing a visible role in an agency that often seems invisible with its spying missions and classified budgets.

"The NSA has always been the most secret agency in the United States, far more secret than the CIA," said author James Bamford, who has written four books on the NSA.

It's so secretive, Bamford still finds it challenging to get some information on the agency, such as how many people work there.

"Somewhere between 25,000 to 50,000, somewhere around there," Bamford said.

A broad portfolio

The NSA's broad mandate continues to expand. The NSA director, Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, also heads the military's Cyber Command, which operates out of the same complex at Fort Meade. These overlapping missions are evident in the mix of uniformed military personnel and casually dressed civilians.

Since the NSA rarely talks about anything, including itself, few know that the agency has lost more than 170 of its employees in U.S. wars and conflicts since it was founded in 1952. They are honored on a wall at NSA headquarters and include 23 who have died in U.S. wars that followed the al-Qaida attacks in 2001.

The NSA found itself the focus of unwanted attention in 2013, when contractor Edward Snowden left the agency and revealed many secrets. Since then, the NSA has faced much greater criticism in the debate over privacy in the digital age.

Some see Snowden as a whistleblower who exposed abuses; others see him as a traitor who exposed the NSA's collection methods. He fled to Russia, where he remains. U.S. authorities have charged him with violating the Espionage Act.

"The problem I've always found with the NSA is there are laws out there that say they shouldn't do this and they shouldn't do that," said Bamford. "In the past, (the NSA) has gotten around them and that's why we've ended up with these eavesdropping scandals."

Hints of a new approach

The NSA's director used to hire and fire the inspector general. Under new rules, Storch is the first to be nominated by a president and confirmed by the Senate. Former President Barack Obama nominated him initially, but the Senate did not act. President Trump renominated Storch, and the Senate confirmed him.

In July, Storch put out an unclassified version of his semiannual report — something that had never been done before.

Just last week, his office put up a new website that includes details on whistleblower rights and protections.

And then there's his office logo. When Storch arrived, the Office of the Inspector General, or OIG, had the same seal as the NSA, with an eagle at its center.

"And I thought, wait a minute. We're an independent OIG," said Storch, who put together a graphics team. "So our logo now has a big owl, which looks like it's doing oversight."

His semiannual report does address weighty issues, like the government's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. He said his report found "that there were several deficiencies that had the potential to impact protection of a U.S. person's privacy."

He says those deficiencies are detailed, along with his recommendations, in the classified version of his report.

Shortly after taking the job, Storch invited watchdog groups to the NSA to discuss their concerns.

One of those who attended, Nick Schwellenbach of Project on Government Oversight, said of Storch: "I think he's a breath of fresh air over there."

But Schwellenbach said he thinks it will be hard to change the culture at the NSA when it comes to whistleblowing.

"The fear of retaliation is real," he said. "A lot of people don't want to go through all that, even if you ultimately prevail many months, or even years, down the road. It's a headache. It's a nightmare."

Storch is undeterred. He's reminded of his mission every time he sees the owl on his wall.

"I think that reflects the independence of the office," he said.

Greg Myre is a national security correspondent. Follow him @gregmyre1.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

          Trump greets major UN climate report with suspicion      Cache   Translate Page      

President Donald Trump expressed suspicion regarding the United Nation's new, landmark climate change report, saying that he'll look at the report but he also wants to look at "which group drew it."

Between the lines: Trump announced his intention to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017 after major players inside the White House and Congress convinced him to fulfill his campaign promise, unraveling years of work the Obama administration previously did on climate change. The United States is currently the only holdout on the agreement, although it can’t formally leave the treaty until 2020.


The big picture: This was the president’s first acknowledgement of the report, since the White House did not put out a statement when it was released. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a Nobel Prize-winning group tasked with informing policy makers on climate science — crafted the analysis. Representatives of global governments approved each word of the new report’s summary, including officials from the State Department. It was also co-authored by scientists from the United States.

"It was given to me.  It was given to me," Trump said. "And I want to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it. Because I can give you reports that are fabulous, and I can give you reports that aren’t so good. But I will be looking at it."

  • The U.S. was one of the countries to request the new report when the Paris Agreement went into effect.

The details: The report dives deep into the severe and deadly consequences the global community could face in just a few years if temperatures are allowed to move past 1.5°C, or 2.7°F, of warming relative to preindustrial levels. It also details preventive measures the world's governments can take. President Trump, however, remains skeptical.


          Justices Reject Appeal of Kavanaugh Environmental Ruling      Cache   Translate Page      
The Supreme Court is declining to review an environmental ruling written by Brett Kavanaugh in his former role as an appeals court judge.The justices on Tuesday left in place an August 2017 ruling the new Supreme Court justice wrote that struck down an Obama-era...
          17 năm cuộc chiến "không hồi kết" tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý      Cache   Translate Page      

Năm 2001: Cuộc săn lùng Osama bin Laden bắt đầu

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 1.

Các quân lính Mỹ đi lên máy bay tại một địa điểm bí hiểm. Cùng ngày, Tướng Richard Myers công nhận Mỹ sẽ hành binh về Afghanistan . Ảnh: AP/DoD

Chiến dịch Tự do Bền vững do Mỹ phát động bắt đầu vào ngày 7/10/2001.

Những tiên đoán ban sơ cho rằng cuộc chiến chống khủng bố tại đây sẽ phụ thuộc phần nhiều vào không kích và lực lượng đặc nhiệm. Điều này vẫn đúng cho tới ngày hôm nay - 17 năm sau cuộc chiến.

Chiến dịch bước đầu thành công với những căn cứ lớn của Taliban tuần tự sụp đổ trong vài tháng trước hết.

Tháng 12/2001, 20 cấp dưới của trùm khủng bố Osama bin Laden bị bắt giữ tại hệ thống hang động phức tạp Tora Bora bởi quân nổi dậy tại Afghanistan. Tuy nhiên, Bin Laden trốn thoát và Mỹ phải tốn nhiều thời kì để bắt được tên này.

Năm 2002: Chiến dịch Anaconda và thương lượng tái thiết

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 2.

quân lính Mỹ tại Afghanistan. Ảnh: Reuters

Tháng 3/2002, Mỹ triển khai chiến dịch Anaconda với đích quét sạch 800 tay súng Taliban khỏi vùng thung lũng Shah-i-Kot.

Tại thời điểm này, Mỹ và cộng đồng quốc tế đã bắt đầu bàn luận về cách thức tái thiết Afghanistan trong khi Tổng thống Mỹ George W. Bush chuyển sự quan hoài sang Iraq.

Năm 2003: Mỹ tuyên bố "những trận chiến chính đã kết thúc" trong khi Taliban gây dựng lại lực lượng

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 3.

Dân làng Afghanistan theo dõi quân lính Mỹ soát căn nhà để tìm các phần tử Taliban và Al-Qaeda. Bức ảnh được chụp trong những thời đoạn cuối của chiến dịch Viper tại tỉnh Helmand, miền nam Afghanistan vào ngày 24/2/2003. Ảnh: AP

Theo các quan chức Mỹ, "những trận chiến chính" đã chấm dứt và việc tái thiết có thể bắt đầu.

Tại thời điểm này, khoảng 13.000 binh lính Mỹ đóng quân tại Afghanistan.

Vào tháng 8/2003, NATO phụ trách vai trò của Lực lượng tương trợ An ninh Quốc tế (ISAF) được giao nhiệm vụ bảo vệ Kabul.

Taliban bắt đầu tập hợp lại lực lượng giữa lúc Iraq sang trọng nhiều biến động.

Năm 2004: Afghanistan thành lập chính phủ mới

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 4.

Quân đội Mỹ và Afghanistan tăng cường an ninh tại điểm bầu cử tổng thống tại Kandahar. Tuy nhiên, Al-Qaeda không tiến công can thiệp bầu cử như các bên lo ngại. Ảnh: AP

Tổng thống Hamid Karzai trở nên nhà lãnh đạo dân chủ đầu tiên được bầu.

Hàng nghìn người Afghanistan đã khởi hành đi bỏ thăm lần trước nhất từ năm 1969. Cuộc bầu cử diễn ra trót lọt.

Vài tuần sau đó, một đoạn video về Osama bin Laden xuất hiện. Trùm khủng bố nhấn chịu nghĩa vụ cho vụ tấn công 11/9/2001.

"Chúng tôi muốn khôi phục lại tự do cho sơn hà của chúng tôi," bin Laden tuyên bố.

Sau đó, số binh lính Mỹ tại khu vực tăng lên 20.000 người.

Năm 2005: Sự ưu tiên đổ dồn sang Iraq, quân đội Mỹ tại Afghanistan cảm giác như "bị lãng quên"

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 5.

Người cha Johnny Spann thăm mộ con trai Mike Spann vào tháng 2/2005. Mike Spann là lính Mỹ trước hết bỏ mạng trong chiến tranh Afghanistan. Ảnh: AP

Cuộc truy nã Osama bin Laden tiếp diễn giữa lúc Afghanistan tổ chức bầu cử quốc hội. Trong số 6 triệu người bỏ thăm, có hơn 500.000 đàn bà.

Năm 2006: Bạo lực tại Afghanistan ngày một gia tăng

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 6.

Lính Mỹ đứng canh gác tại Qala Bost giữa lúc Đại sứ Mỹ tới Afghanistan. Ảnh: AP

Lực lượng an ninh của NATO mở mang chiến dịch tại miền nam Afghanistan trong khi nội bộ NATO bắt đầu có dấu hiệu rạn vỡ.

Cộng đồng quốc tế cam kết tương trợ 10.5 tỉ USD để giúp Afghanistan trong cuộc chiến chống ma túy, nghèo đói và cải thiện an ninh nhà nước.

dù rằng quân số của Mỹ vẫn duy trì ở mức 20.000 người, các cuộc tiến công bạo lực vào lính Mỹ có khuynh hướng gia tăng.

Năm 2007: Taliban bành trướng sức mạnh, Mỹ gửi thêm quân tới Afghanistan

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 7.

Lính Mỹ hành binh trong chiến dịch tấn công Taliban tại tỉnh Paktika, Afghanistan vào tháng 11/2007. Ảnh: AP

Thủ lĩnh Taliban khét tiếng Mullah Dadullah bị tiêu diệt tại miền nam Afghanistan. Dadullah dẫn đầu một nhóm phiến quân nguy hiểm tại tỉnh Helmand - một trong những "chảo lửa" nóng nhất cuộc chiến và là một cứ điểm mạnh của Taliban.

mặc dầu Dadullah thiệt mạng, Taliban vẫn đấu tăng cường lực lượng trong khi quân đội của NATO rứa giành lại quyền kiểm soát cho quân đội của Afghanistan.

Số lượng lính tráng Mỹ tại Afghanistan tăng lên 25.000.

Năm 2008: Nhiều dân thường bỏ mạng, chỉ trích gia tăng

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 8.

Quân đội Pakistan tấn công các vị trí của phiến quân tại vùng Bajur dọc theo biên cương Afghanistan. Lực lượng quân đội Mỹ và NATO giao đấu quyết liệt với khủng bố tại khu vực - nơi được cho là nơi ẩn nấp của Osama bin Laden và trợ lý Ayman al-Zawahiri. Ảnh: AP

Mỹ nối đưa quân sang Afghanistan, tới cuối năm con số đã lên tới 48.000 lính.

Nạn bạo lực và số dân thường thương vong cũng liên tiếp tăng trong năm 2008. Một xe bom phát nổ khiến 100 người thiệt mạng bên ngoài Kandahar.

Một cuộc đánh bom liều chết khác nhằm vào đại sứ quán của Ấn Độ tại Kabul khiến 58 người bỏ mạng, 141 người bị thương.

Theo các bẩm, những đợt không kích của Mỹ tại Herat khiến chí ít 90 dân thường bỏ mạng, 60 trong số đó là trẻ thơ. Hai đợt tiến công khác của Mỹ cũng vấp phải chỉ trích do làm thiệt mạng tổng cộng 150 dân thường.

Năm 2009: Ông Obama ưu tiên giải quyết chiến tranh Afghanistan, đưa nhiều quân hơn tới khu vực để tiêu diệt Taliban

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 9.

Lính Mỹ phẳng gần trại Leatherneck, tỉnh Helmand, Afghanistan. Ảnh: AP

Tổng thống Barack Obama cam kết gửi thêm lính Mỹ tới Afghanistan và giảm sự hiện diện tại Iraq.

Tới tháng 12, gần 100.000 lính Mỹ đã có mặt tại Afghanistan.

Theo Liên Hợp Quốc, thương vong dân sự trong giai đoạn này tăng tới 24%.

Taliban ngày một mạnh tại cả Afghanistan lẫn Pakistan, buộc Mỹ phải tập kết lực lượng tại cả hai khu vực cùng một lúc.

Năm 2010: NATO đặt hạn vận thất thường cho quá trình chuyển giao an ninh

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 10.

Một cậu bé Afghanistan đứng cạnh lính Mỹ tại tỉnh Helmand. Ảnh: AP

Các quốc gia thành viên NATO đồng ý đưa lực lượng an ninh Afghanistan trở về quân đội Afghanistan vào cuối năm 2014.

Số lượng lính tráng Mỹ tại Afghanistan giữ vững tại mốc 100.000.

Năm 2011: Cuộc truy lùng Osama bin Laden chấm dứt

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 11.

Khu nhà tại Abbottabad, Pakistan, nơi đặc nhiệm Mỹ phát hiện và diệt Osama bin Laden vào tháng 5/2011. Ảnh: Reuters

Tháng 5/2011, nhóm đặc nhiệm SEAL của Mỹ phát hiện và xoá sổ Osama bin Laden - thủ lĩnh al-Qaeda và là kẻ thủ mưu vụ khủng bố 11/9.

Cái chết của trùm khủng bố khiến nhiều phía đặt ra câu hỏi về sự hiện diện và tầm hoạt động của Mỹ tại Afghanistan. Sự hiện diện của Bin Laden tại Pakistan cũng làm gia tăng căng thẳng giữa Afghanistan và nước hàng xóm phía đông.

Sau một thập kỉ tham chiến: 1.800 lính Mỹ thiệt mạng, Mỹ tiêu tốn 444 tỉ USD.

Năm 2012: dị đồng gia tăng bít tất tay

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 12.

Một người đàn ông Afghanistan chỉ tay về lính Mỹ trong cuộc biểu tình bên ngoài cứ Không quân Bagram sau khi lính Mỹ bị cáo buộc đốt kinh Koran. Ảnh: AP

Vào tháng 2/2012, lính Mỹ tại căn cứ Không quân Bagram bên ngoài Kabul bị cáo buộc đốt kinh Koran và sách Hồi giáo khác. Vụ việc làm bùng nổ các cuộc biểu tình kéo dài nhiều ngày. Tổng thống Obama đã phải gửi lời xin lỗi chính thức tới người dân Afghanistan.

Số lính Mỹ tại đây bắt đầu giảm, nhưng vẫn có tới hơn 70.000 người tại Afghanistan.

Năm 2013: Mỹ - Taliban nối lại đàm phán

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 13.

Một quân sĩ Afghanistan nghỉ ngơi sau khi làm sạch vũ khí trong buổi huấn luyện bên ngoài Kabul. Lực lượng quân đội Afghanistan tiếp tiến công Taliban tại 90% khu vực trên cả nước. Ảnh: AP

NATO không còn kiểm soát lực lượng an ninh Afghanistan, bắt đầu đảm đương vai trò cố vấn và tuyên bố kết thúc trách nhiệm tham chiến.

Các cuộc thương thuyết Mỹ - Taliban được nối lại. Tổng thống Afghanistan Karzai ngừng thỏa thuận với Mỹ. Trong khi đó, quân đội Mỹ tiếp chuyện rút lui và chỉ còn 34.000 lính tại Afghanistan.

Năm 2014: NATO bắt đầu sứ mệnh tương trợ Kiên quyết, Mỹ cam kết rút quân

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 14.

Một cảnh sát Afghanistan chứng kiến xe tải bốc cháy tại khu vực bị Taliban tấn công ở ngoại ô Kabul. Cuộc tiến công nhằm vào 200 xe chở nhiên liệu cho lực lượng NATO tại Afghanistan. Ảnh: Reuters

Tổng thống Obama cam kết sẽ rút hết quân Mỹ khỏi Afghanistan vào cuối năm 2016.

Cuối năm 2014, chỉ còn dưới 10.000 lính Mỹ ở lại.

NATO chính thức kết thúc nhiệm vụ giao đấu, bắt đầu sứ mạng tương trợ cương quyết.

Năm 2015: Tổng thống Obama hoãn rút quân Mỹ, nhưng vẫn cam kết rút hoàn toàn khỏi Afghanistan vào năm 2016.

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 15.

Lính Mỹ tại tỉnh Helmand. Ảnh: AP

Việc thoái lui của quân đội Mỹ không có tiến triển trong năm 2015. Tới cuối năm, Tổng thống Obama thay đổi quyết định với lí do Taliban đang quay trở lại.

Theo đó, khoảng 10.000 lính Mỹ vẫn sẽ nối ở lại Afghanistan và con số sẽ giảm xuống 1 nửa vào năm 2016.

Năm 2016: Tổng thống Obama nối hoãn rút quân

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 16.

Lính Mỹ bắn đạn Howitzer tại tỉnh Kandahar, Afghanistan vào tháng 6/2016. Ảnh: Reuters

Tổng thống Obama tiếp kiến trì hoãn việc rút quân, giữ lại khoảng 8.000 lính ở Afghanistan cho tới cuối nhiệm kì của mình.

IS lên tiếng nhận bổn phận cho vụ tiến công vào Kabul vào tháng 7 khiến 80 người bỏ mạng và 200 người khác bị thương.

Năm 2017: Tổng thống mới thắng cử Donald Trump cho thả "Mẹ của Các loại bom"

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 17.

Mẹ của các loại bom, hay MOAB, được thả xuống Afghanistan nhằm vào màng lưới đường hầm của IS vào tháng 4/2017. Ảnh: DoD/Reuters

Nước Mỹ phải tranh đấu với cả Taliban và IS tại Afghanistan.

Tổng thống Mỹ Donald Trump cho thả Mẹ của Các loại bom xuống tỉnh Nangarhar tại Afghanistan. Đây là loại vũ khí phi hạt nhân lớn nhất kho vũ khí của Mỹ với mục tiêu đánh sập hệ thống đường hầm ở miền đông Afghanistan giáp với biên giới Pakistan. Khoảng 96 tên khủng bố được cho là đã bị tiêu diệt.

Sau đó, Tổng thống Trump tuyên bố sẽ đưa thêm bộ binh tới Afghanistan theo lời khuyên của Bộ trưởng Quốc phòng Jim Mattis.

Năm 2018: Cuộc chiến vẫn chưa dừng lại

17 năm cuộc chiến không hồi kết tại Afghanistan qua những bức ảnh tư liệu quý  - Ảnh 18.

Lực lượng an ninh tìm nơi trú ẩn sau vụ tấn công liều chết tại Kabul vào ngày 30/4/2018. Vụ nổ bom giết chết 25 người và làm bị thương 45 người khác. Ảnh: AP

Tổng thống Trump cắt hàng tỉ USD trợ cấp cho Pakistan với lí do nước này đang tài trợ phiến quân Taliban.

Tới nay, cuộc chiến dài nhất của nước Mỹ vẫn tiếp diễn và chưa có dấu hiệu dừng lại.


          Wie viele Gesichter kennen wir? Forscher wagen Schätzung      Cache   Translate Page      
Die Omi, Barack Obama, der Sandkasten-Kumpel und Michael Jackson – die Zahl uns vertrauter oder zumindest bekannter Menschen ist riesig. Wie viele Gesichter haben wir tatsächlich abgespeichert? Forscher wagen eine Schätzung.
          Having been unable to stop Obamacare through the courts or Congress, the Trump administration plans site maintenance during open enrollment [Asinine]      Cache   Translate Page      
Asinine [link] [51 comments]

          10/9/2018: BUITENLAND: Een kleerkast vol statements      Cache   Translate Page      

Michelle Obama probeerde met haar outfits jonge designers naam te geven, Melania Trump staat vooral zelf in de spotlights met haar controversiële stijl. Afgelopen weekend deed ze het weer, met twee opvallende keuzes op doorreis door Afrika. Het is niet...
          California lawmakers won't allow health insurance choices - The Daily Breeze      Cache   Translate Page      

The Daily Breeze

California lawmakers won't allow health insurance choices
The Daily Breeze
By Sarah Lee. In a naked display of political partisanship, California Democratic legislators made it clear they would prefer residents go bankrupt paying for expensive Obamacare health insurance instead of allowing Californians to purchase more ...
Letter: McClintock fails when it comes to health care (opinionTahoe Daily Tribune

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          California Crushes Health-Insurance Choice - Wall Street Journal      Cache   Translate Page      

Wall Street Journal

California Crushes Health-Insurance Choice
Wall Street Journal
Your editorial “ObamaCare's Hotel California” (Sept. 4) is on the mark. The one short-term health plan available in California just closed new enrollments effective Sept. 1. This means that many people will go without insurance because the Affordable ...

and more »

          Una generación de niñas preparadas para la inclusión digital - El Nuevo Diario      Cache   Translate Page      

Soy una firme creyente en la innovación y el uso de tecnologías para apalancar el desarrollo social. Más que un mantra, es pragmatismo basado en datos. Las oportunidades de progreso social e innovación que las tecnologías abren son por demás amplias para terrenos como la salud o la educación, y así lo mostramos en esta reciente publicación. Pero cuando se trata de aprovecharlas para cerrar la brecha de género y aumentar la participación de mujeres en industrias de tecnologías disruptivas, el reto parece tener su origen mucho antes de lo imaginado. 

Por un lado, sabemos que las mujeres tienen 20% menos posibilidad de ocupar un puesto directivo en la industria de las comunicaciones móviles, un sector fuertemente relacionado con carreras STEM (Ciencia, Tecnología, Ingeniería y Matemáticas, en inglés). Por el otro, también sabemos que los hombres son tres veces más propensos que las mujeres a estar interesados en esas carreras. ¿Cómo entonces promover la incursión de las mujeres en el campo científico-tecnológico desde niñas y de qué prácticas podemos aprender?

De acuerdo a un estudio de Microsoft que evaluó a 11,500 niñas de toda Europa, aquellas con modelos femeninos, cuya labor se desarrolla en el campo científico-tecnológico muestran un índice de interés en materias STEM que casi duplica al de las que no conocen ejemplos de mujeres que trabajen en este sector (41 vs. 26%). Sin embargo, dos terceras partes de las niñas entrevistadas no identifican a ninguna mujer que destaque en esas actividades.

Hay chicas que logran identificar modelos de liderazgo gracias a la conectividad. Tomisin Ogunnubi, la joven codificadora nigeriana que creó una aplicación para ayudar en la localización de niños perdidos, dice seguir a Michelle Obama y Oprah Winfrey. “Este tipo de mujeres han logrado ser exitosas a pesar de los prejuicios de género y raza; verlas actuar me hace creer que no importa cómo el mundo me haga sentir o cómo la gente me trate, sino que yo puedo hacer lo que le diga a mi mente que haga”, expresó Tomisin.

Los modelos a seguir también se fomentan en el hogar donde las niñas crecen. Un estudio del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) encuentra que no hay diferencia en el desempeño en matemáticas entre niños y niñas, cuyas madres cuentan con educación universitaria, independientemente de si la madre estudió una carrera STEM. Esto sugiere que el ambiente y el modelo a seguir en casa es un determinante importante a la hora de romper o mantener la brecha de género en matemáticas. No sorprendería que suceda lo mismo en áreas relacionadas.

La incursión en ciencia y tecnología de mujeres y niñas está vinculada con el acceso y conectividad a la web en condiciones iguales y seguras. Pero de acuerdo a un estudio de la OCDE, existen alrededor de 250 millones de mujeres con menos acceso a Internet en comparación a los hombres. Por tanto, las agendas digitales que deseen impulsar al internet como un instrumento de empoderamiento de las niñas y mujeres deben partir de una base diferenciada en el acceso.

Adicionalmente, es necesario reconocer que los riesgos asociados al internet que enfrentan las niñas y mujeres difieren ampliamente de aquellos de los hombres, sobre todo en aspectos relacionados al abuso sexual y la violencia de género. De acuerdo con la Unesco, 73% de las mujeres ya han enfrentado algún tipo de violencia digital, 9 millones de ellas en la Unión Europea no superaban los 15 años. Organizaciones como Fundación Karisma, en Colombia, se dedican a promover los derechos humanos en un mundo digital, incluyendo el uso de internet como un espacio libre de amenazas para las mujeres, donde puedan innovar, expresar opiniones, administrar negocios y participar en la sociedad en iguales condiciones que los hombres.

Afortunadamente cada vez es mayor el abanico de iniciativas para fomentar oportunidades y ambientes propicios que potencien la revolución digital entre niñas y mujeres. Organismos internacionales como la Unión Internacional de Telecomunicaciones (ITU por sus siglas en inglés) junto con United Nations EQUALS campaign promueven el empoderamiento de las niñas y mujeres jóvenes y las alienta a contemplar una vida profesional en el campo creciente de las Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación (TIC). A nivel local, organizaciones como Girls Who Code trabajan para cerrar la brecha de género en tecnología a través de programas de habilidades de codificación para niñas.

Paralelamente, libros como Cuentos de buenas Nnches para niñas rebeldes, Ticas sin miedo y Hola Ruby ponen en el centro de la imaginación de las niñas el poder de la ciencia y la tecnología a través de historias inspiracionales de mujeres extraordinarias.

Entonces, si el interés de las niñas por la ciencia y la tecnología se duplica cuando tienen referentes femeninos, celebremos y multipliquemos esos ejemplos, con base en un acceso digital igualitario. Por estos días, recibimos grandes noticias en este sentido: por primera vez en la historia, el premio Nobel en Física y Química fue otorgado a dos mujeres en un mismo año. Donna Strickland, Premio Nobel de Física 2018, es la primera mujer en ganar el prestigioso reconocimiento desde 1963 y la tercera en recibirlo en la historia. Frances Arnold, galardonada el Premio Nobel en Química 2018 junto a un norteamericano y un británico, se convirtió en la primera mujer en ganar el “nobel” de la tecnología en 2016. ¿Podremos esperar más noticias así en los próximos años?

* Asesora de economía digital en la 
Gerencia del Sector Social del Banco 
Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID).
Este artículo se publicó en el blog 
Los primeros paso del BID.


          Secrets of Netflix: Wild Wild Country, the Obamas, and the Rom-Com Moment      Cache   Translate Page      
“The notion that things get lost on Netflix is silly,” Ted Sarandos said at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit. “Things get found on Netflix.”
          The Republicans' 'angry mob' of protesters is just another dog whistle to scare their dwindling base      Cache   Translate Page      

Goal Thermometer

Republicans are working overtime to find a theme for rallying the base in 2018. Their tax cuts won't do it, because even Republican voters aren't stupid enough to believe they're the ones benefiting from that. They can't scream "Obamacare" because that script has flipped completely and they can't remind people that they're the ones endangering people's health care. But there's always the tried and true culture wars to come back to, and that's what the think they've got in the aftermath of the Kavanaugh debacle.

When they cry "angry mob," this is what they mean: "leftists, elitists and feminists, […] academics and celebrities, of Trump nemesis Michael Avenatti, philanthropist George Soros and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who has called for the president's impeachment." They don't have to go full-on racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic, because Trump is making that explicit. But when they say "angry mob," the dog bullhorn sounds in every deplorable's ear. "I'm sure there is some little old lady in Iowa who now keeps her doors locked because she thinks there's going to be some anarchist mob coming through Davenport," scoffs John Weaver, longtime Republican strategist and Trump critic, but he means it.

They won't see the actual people protesting—their suburban soccer mom daughter or their grandchild who's terrified of being shot in school or their neighbors who are people of color who are afraid of being shot and/or seized by ICE. Republicans and the interest groups bankrolling them want the rubes to believe that these real forces behind the protests are actually "crisis actors" and part of some big "globalist" (you know what that means) conspiracy. Oh, and abortion on demand, too.

Elected Republicans and their funders can read polls, too and they know how tenuous the enthusiasm surge they got from Kavanaugh's confirmation will be. They know their only hope is to try to keep the shrinking base scared out of their wits. As usual.

Please give $1 today to each of these fantastic Democrats fighting to win back Congress!


          Abbreviated pundit roundup: Urgent action needed on climate change, Kavanaugh's lies and more      Cache   Translate Page      

We begin today’s roundup with editorials and op-eds on a new, alarming report warning us of the catastrophic effects of climate change. First up, The New York Times:

The United Nations scientific panel on climate change issued a terrifying new warning on Monday that continued emissions of greenhouse gases from power plants and vehicles will bring dire and irreversible changes by 2040, years earlier than previously forecast. The cost will be measured in trillions of dollars and in sweeping societal and environmental damage, including mass die-off of coral reefs and animal species, flooded coastlines, intensified droughts, food shortages, mass migrations and deeper poverty.

The worst impacts can be avoided only by a “far-reaching and unprecedented” transformation of the global energy system, including virtually eliminating the use of coal as a source of electricity, the panel warned.

Yet President Trump, who has questioned the accepted scientific consensus on climate change, continues to praise “clean beautiful coal” and has directed his Environmental Protection Agency to reverse major strides undertaken by the Obama administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. This is unbelievably reckless. In addition to undermining the fight against climate change, the president's efforts to prop up the dirtiest of all fuels will also exact a significant toll on public health, on the hearts and lungs of ordinary Americans.

Here’s Eugene Robinson’s analysis of Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge climate change and how it imperils our lives:

Here is how to interpret the alarming new United Nations-sponsored report on global warming: We are living in a horror movie. The world needs statesmen to lead the way to safety. Instead, we have President Trump, who essentially says, “Hey, let’s all head to the dark, creepy basement where the chain saws and razor-sharp axes are kept. What could go wrong?”

The answer is almost everything, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


          Election Roundup: (CA-22) Bad Press for Nunes, (GA-Gov) Kemp and Lynching, Texas Enthusiasm      Cache   Translate Page      

The following stories are examples of this week's Election Roundup of 43 down ticket stories covering Sunday 9/30 through Saturday 10/6.

(CA-22) Fresno BEE recommends Andrew Janz by ybruti

Today, in a hard-hitting editorial on-line For the good of the 22nd District and the nation, the choice is clear: Andrew Janz, the Fresno Bee did something it hasn’t done since before 2002 — it is recommending a candidate for Congress “who is not Devin Nunes.” The editorial will be in the print version tomorrow.

The Bee says Janz will attend to the issues in his district and seek bipartisanship in Washington, D.C.  For example, Janz wants to work with Republicans to develop a new source of water for Valley farms. While Nunes has done some work on water issues….

Nunes has also alienated Democratic representatives with his never-ending name-calling of environmentalists as leftists, socialists, even Communists. With no ground left for compromise, little has been accomplished. Janz will have a better chance of dealing with Democrat peers from elsewhere in the state on the water issue. Nothing will happen without compromise. (More Nunes here and here)

(GA-Gov) Brian Kemp Campaigns at Site of Infamous Lynching by Cole The Philosopher

On April 23, 1899, Sam Hose was tortured, filleted, and burned in front of an audience of 2,000 people a mile from my house in Newnan, Georgia. This was not an unknown event. The Atlanta Constitution (one of the fore-runners to today’s Atlanta Journal and Constitution) covered the story relentlessly- itself stoking the passions of the towns-people. Then, the mob, whipped into a furor, cut off this man’s body parts to keep as trophies or to sell. They tied him to a pine sapling, and lit him afire, on a Sunday afternoon while the entire town watched. Nothing was left of this man.  “Small pieces of bone sold for 25 cents and a bit of liver crisply cooked sold for 10 cents.”  Even the charred stake was taken as a trophy. On a tree pinned nearby was the placard “We must protect our Southern women.” This was the first of three lynchings that day by this mob.

Today, October 2nd, 2018, Brian Kemp, Georgia’s candidate for governor , campaigns on this very spot. He is famous for his commercial where he promises to round up “illegals” in his pickup truck. Of course, he may say this is a joke, but the intent is still there. The purpose of such commercials and rhetoric is to create the conditions for mob action. Kemp may be joking about rounding up “illegals,” but Citizen’s Militias may have different plans. Already, one Kemp Supporter has spewed all over Facebook about how he is going to become a Citizen Deputy and take it upon himself to arrest “illegals” until they can produce ID or ICE picks them up. These are the passions being whipped up in our anti-immigrant fervor. These passions are being whipped up in a land rich in history of mob violence and trees bearing strange fruit.

(TX-Gen) Voter Registration Boom: something is going on in Texas by Davey1107

Probably the best registration metric to use if we want to try to gauge enthusiasm (given the limited data the Texas SoS provides), we probably want to first look at the percent of voting age residents who registered to vote. As with most state, this figure ebbs and flows as elections approach. Presidential years tend to encourage more eligible residents to register than midterm years. But let’s look at past elections:

Percent of VAP (voting age population) registered: 2004: 81.5% — 2006: 78.5% — 2008: 76.5% —  2010: 71.0% — 2012: 74.6% — 2014: 74.2% —  2016: 78.2%
Now: 78.4% (with registrations streaming in)

This seems notable. The Houston Chronicle reports that over 400,000 new registrations came in between March and the state primaries, and election officials are saying that they are buried in registration requests as the deadline approaches. They should be on track to have the highest levels of registered voters since 2004 (when a favored son and no-longer-the-worst-President was on the ballot). 
(More Texas here and here.)

Sunday 9/30 - Saturday 10/6

Stories: (43)
Senate: (5) posts, (3) states
House: (14) posts (9) states (10) districts
State and more: (16)
Polls: (8)

Rescues since 2006 (13,135)

Welcome to Election Roundup, formerly known as Election Diary Rescue. Look for this down ticket collection every Monday through the election. The Roundup team has compiled and linked down ticket stories since 2006.  Archives

Election Roundup gives down ticket stories a second chance for exposure and hopefully encourages people to write about contests that interest them, knowing their stories from the previous week will be listed every Monday. The ER team scans every DK post and republishes applicable stories to our Election Diary Rescues list which only contains down ticket work. We have been republishing since early this year so there is a wealth of writing there, please enjoy.

Format and Tags
Writers can help the ER team and readers by identifying the race in the beginning of the title like this:
(NY-Sen) (FL-14) (GA-Gov) (AZ-StSen) (MN-StHs-07). Readers will be scanning a list of stories and this standard method of quick identification is really helpful.

This edition of Election Roundup was made possible by the following: eeff, Jax Dem,
Joieau, zentrainer, turbonerd and randallt.

Click below for the collection, thank you for reading and writing!

Roundup List


          If Black America wants to really rebuild the inner city of America where they live, vote Republican and watch it happen.      Cache   Translate Page      
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Comments
Chad Governale - So is he saying there are more Lynch mobs than regular people for trump to have been elected president? Just wondering
Manage
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Ron Cutrera Remember - this guy was one of Obama’s advisors. You are known for
The company you keep.
Manage
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Thomas Williams - This guy is still the same bull talking guy using the black American people's fears and social hatreds for his own vanity and political power. Come on black America, "kick this political grifter Al Sharpton aside and out of your hair. "What did he ever do for you except promises something he cannot deliver, Trump deliveries. If Black America wants to really rebuild the inner city of America where they live, vote Republican and watch it happen.
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          Still the same.      Cache   Translate Page      
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It's not the Republican party, it's the individuals!!!

Image may contain: 16 people
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Thomas Williams - This countries media is worse than ever before, in fact, our media is so bad that I want to throw up each and every time I hear and see them now on TV. And even that reaction by me thrills them because of my attention. So the TV Networks social perversion is apparently incurable in a lot of cases and should be controlled so the rest of our society understands that the TV messenger in all probability is simply not normal.

Lights, Camera, Action, in the hands of the media these days are like something the cat dragged in and must be stopped by turning into another TV station before they waste all of your time on a stupid freak show.

Fortunately most people today do recognize these TV weirdos quickly and also simply start tuning into a healthier TV broadcast which is becoming harder to find every day now. All because the Washington DC establishment insiders don't want the outsiders in where they are working, and playing now.

The civil right TV heroes in DC are failing and the media is twisted themselves into knots trying to cover up that DC Government covers up.

The very first black President (political emphasis on color) Barack Hussein Obama, along with the other DC establishment members in the House and Senate from both sides of the aisle who emphasizing color. Are hanging onto this Country's Government political power by their fingernails trying to defy mother natures gravity. That what goes up must come down especially by the professional politicians working in solidarity with all the right people in the right places who are running the US Government race merchants enterprise system.

That the old guard is trying to stop the new young political Lions who are fed up with the likes of John Boehner way of running the House Of Repetitiveness, and Boehner political cronies like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).

Now they are none, and the struggle between the old and new goes on.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfoufXs01KU

Still the same.
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          Comment on “London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together” by felix1999      Cache   Translate Page      
We DO understand. OBAMA WAS DOING THAT TO US! The media hid it and when they couldn't vilified US for objecting to it. Yes, I am familiar with that book. The "unveiling", or revelation appears to be happening. Islam fits so many attributes described....and people appear more and more gullible....when there is an opportunity to make progress on the eternal aspect, now is the time to plant a seed.
          Comment on What was behind the Kavanaugh attack? by JimNorCal      Cache   Translate Page      
To me these data points stand out. 1) former Pres Obama, almost certainly interesting details in his life history none of which have leaked 2) Christine Ford's unlikely story and the disappearance of her personal data including high school yearbooks. Of course, zero interest by media to follow up 3) Hillary says there can be no compromise with us. 4) I believe it was Justice Sotomeyer who claims SCOTUS is now under a cloud. In a former life, didn't she work collegially with BK? This is far from over. One fears that the toothpaste cannot be put back in the tube.
          Comment on Due process and other nonsense by Michael Lonie      Cache   Translate Page      
Toby H, The Kavanaugh hearings constituted character assassination of a man through vicious slanders that were entirely lies. The Democrats attempted to use those lies to grasp at political power by ruining an innocent man's reputation and life. It is only the latest example; Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, Miguel Estrada were all earlier victims of what appears to be becoming the Democrats' standard operating procedure. That is the behavior of the side you would choose. Trump has been very successful in his policies and actions in the last two years, much more so than I expected. Don't believe me? Ask some of the black people who got jobs in the rising economy in which the unemployment rate for black people is now at its lowest in 49 years. If you want to make ordinary people more prosperous, there is no alternative to capitalism. By using economic policies that benefit the American people in general, he has done more for black people than both President Obama and President Clinton. I voted for Trump despite his faults because the alternative was Hillary, a criminal. Better a vulgarian for president than a criminal who also promises a continuation of the foolish and even downright dangerous policies of the Obama Administration. You compare Trump to Franco. Perhaps FDR would be a better comparison; he was a master manipulator too. Back from what, you ask? From arrogant statism to Constitutional government.
          Why We Fight: 1 of 2: Defeating America's Enemies - With No Apologies by Sebastian Gorka @SebGorka      Cache   Translate Page      
AUTHOR. (Photo: More details Sack of Rome of 1527 Johannes Lingelbach - L'Histoire April-June 2009, p.74 Public Domain ) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow Why We Fight: 1 of 2: Defeating America's Enemies - With No Apologies by Sebastian Gorka @SebGorka [](https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Fight-Defeating-Apologies/dp/162157640X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539141516&sr=1-1&keywords=why+we+fight+gorka) [ https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Fight-Defeating-Apologies/dp/162157640X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539141516&sr=1-1&keywords=why+we+fight+gorka](https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Fight-Defeating-Apologies/dp/162157640X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539141516&sr=1-1&keywords=why+we+fight+gorka) "Sebastian Gorka was [President Trump's] strategist. Dr. Gorka knows Donald Trump and the threats we fact. Buy and read Why We Fight to find how we win and what it means to be an American hero." — RUSH LIMBAUGH WAR. It will happen again. We must be ready. Sober words from Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a man who has made the unvarnished truth his specialty. And there’s one eternal truth that Americans are in danger of forgetting: the most important weapon in any geopolitical conflict is the will to win. And we must win.  In this powerful manifesto, Dr. Gorka explains the basic principles that have guided strategists since Sun Tzu penned The Art of War in the sixth century B.C. To defeat your enemy, you must know him. But that’s the last thing liberal elites are interested in. Willful ignorance about our adversary—whether it’s Russia, China, or the global jihadi movement—has been crippling. Tearing off America’s politically correct blindfold, Dr. Gorka clarifies who our foes are and what makes them tick. An eight-year vacation from geopolitical reality under Obama left our country dangerously weakened. Dr. Gorka addresses the pressing questions we face as we rebuild under President Trump’s leadership: - What are the most serious threats to American security? - How are they different from the threats of the past? - What can we do to counter these threats? - How can we achieve the “perfect victory” of vanquishing our enemies without mortal combat? All the money and weapons in the world cannot substitute for the will to fight for our precious country and what she represents. To remind us of what the will to win looks like, Dr. Gorka intersperses the stories of four American heroes—Stephen Decatur, Chesty Puller, “Red” McDaniel, and a warrior who never took up arms, Whittaker Chambers—men who believed in their country and put everything on the line for her.
          Why We Fight: 2 of 2: Defeating America's Enemies - With No Apologies by Sebastian Gorka @SebGorka      Cache   Translate Page      
AUTHOR. (Photo: Sack of Rome, by Francisco Javier Amérigo Aparicio, 1884\. Biblioteca Museu Víctor Balaguer Francisco Javier Amérigo y Aparici - This work is free and may be used by anyone for any purpose. If you wish to use this content, you do not need to request permission as long as you follow any licensing requirements mentioned on this page. Wikimedia has received an e-mail confirming that the copyright holder has approved publication under the terms mentioned on this page. This correspondence has been reviewed by an OTRS member and stored in our permission archive. The correspondence is available to trusted volunteers as ticket #2015060110011027\. If you have questions about the archived correspondence, please use the OTRS noticeboard. Pintura en la qual es representa una de les escenes de l'entrada de les tropes de Carles V a Roma. Els protagonistes esmentats esdevenen veritables punts de llum de la composició, i són envoltats per altres personatges adults i infants. Al centre del marge inferior de la tela hi ha un home mort al terra Public Domain) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow Why We Fight: 2 of 2: Defeating America's Enemies - With No Apologies by Sebastian Gorka @SebGorka [https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Fight-Defeating-Apologies/dp/162157640X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539141516&sr=1-1&keywords=why+we+fight+gorka](https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Fight-Defeating-Apologies/dp/162157640X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539141516&sr=1-1&keywords=why+we+fight+gorka) "Sebastian Gorka was [President Trump's] strategist. Dr. Gorka knows Donald Trump and the threats we fact. Buy and read Why We Fight to find how we win and what it means to be an American hero." — RUSH LIMBAUGH WAR. It will happen again. We must be ready. Sober words from Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a man who has made the unvarnished truth his specialty. And there’s one eternal truth that Americans are in danger of forgetting: the most important weapon in any geopolitical conflict is the will to win. And we must win.  In this powerful manifesto, Dr. Gorka explains the basic principles that have guided strategists since Sun Tzu penned The Art of War in the sixth century B.C. To defeat your enemy, you must know him. But that’s the last thing liberal elites are interested in. Willful ignorance about our adversary—whether it’s Russia, China, or the global jihadi movement—has been crippling. Tearing off America’s politically correct blindfold, Dr. Gorka clarifies who our foes are and what makes them tick. An eight-year vacation from geopolitical reality under Obama left our country dangerously weakened. Dr. Gorka addresses the pressing questions we face as we rebuild under President Trump’s leadership: - What are the most serious threats to American security? - How are they different from the threats of the past? - What can we do to counter these threats? - How can we achieve the “perfect victory” of vanquishing our enemies without mortal combat? All the money and weapons in the world cannot substitute for the will to fight for our precious country and what she represents. To remind us of what the will to win looks like, Dr. Gorka intersperses the stories of four American heroes—Stephen Decatur, Chesty Puller, “Red” McDaniel, and a warrior who never took up arms, Whittaker Chambers—men who believed in their country and put everything on the line for her.
          Acting U.S. EPA head liked 'racist' photo of Obamas -report      Cache   Translate Page      
The acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency liked a controversial Facebook photo five years ago of then-President Barack Obama that a civil rights group called racist, the Huffington Post reported on Tuesday.

          Comment on I Kept Saying This to Bitter All Week by Joe      Cache   Translate Page      
Yup. If any 2nd Amendment cases out there make it to SCOTUS, our side better bring it's "AA" as in, it's "Atomic Arsenal" Game with it. The "Progressive" Gun Control Agenda is now attacking ALL Amendments to the Bill of Rights. Good on your examples of Roberts being the Weak-Knee Bastard he is. I could see him writing in the case of an AWB, siding with the 4 scumbag leftists, that "there are weapons made for self defense specifically for civilians. Assault Weapons are 'weapons of war' and are therefore not needed by the civilian public". Just as he rewrote Obamacare, you and I both have a 6th sense warning us that he could rewrite the 2nd Amendment with those 4 filthy leftwing hacks.
          #11 Bomba de tiempo en las calles de las principales ciudades de EE. UU      Cache   Translate Page      

Bajo la presidencia del Sr. Trump, el desempleo ha sido el más bajo en casi medio siglo, así que no va tan mal.

Obamacare trajo gran desgracia a EEUU. Personas con sus propios médicos y plan de Iglesia eran felices, pues en la Iglesia la gente usualmente no usa drogas y por eso los planes colectivos son baratos, pero para Obama eso "no era justo" para los enfermos, pues la gente saludable no participaba, así que obligó a la gente a comprar planes médicos y envió a varias familias a la quiebra.

Y luego dicen que fue el capitalismo, cuando esto es una política sin nada de mercado libre.

» autor: Precioso


          Supreme Court declines to hear appeal in greenhouse gas case ruled on by Kavanaugh      Cache   Translate Page      
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a lawsuit challenging a lower court ruling written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision to pass on the case, announced during Kavanaugh’s first day as an associate justice, means the Supreme Court will not consider the lower court's August 2017 ruling that struck down an Obama-era regulation pertaining to a greenhouse gas. Kavanaugh did not participate in the Supreme Court's decision on whether to take up the case. Kavanaugh authored the ruling that overturned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...
          U.S. top court rebuffs appeal of Kavanaugh ruling nixing climate rule      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned aside appeals of a 2017 lower court ruling by its newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh, that struck down an environmental rule imposed under former President Barack Obama regulating a potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change. The appeals had been brought by an environmental group and companies that supported the 2015 rule that had limited hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in a variety of products including spray cans and air conditioners. The ruling authored by Kavanaugh was made by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of...
          Justices Reject Appeal Of Kavanaugh Environmental Ruling      Cache   Translate Page      
Justices Reject Appeal Of Kavanaugh Environmental Ruling

The Supreme Court is declining to review an environmental ruling written by Brett Kavanaugh in his former role as an appeals court judge.

The justices on Tuesday left in place an August 2017 ruling the new Supreme Court justice wrote that struck down an Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency rule.

Read more on Yeshiva World News >


          Netflix content chief says Obama projects won't necessarily be political       Cache   Translate Page      
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos didn't have a lot of details to offer on the projects being prepped by Barack and Michelle Obama for his streaming service but indicated that the content won't necessarily be "political."

          Some Democrats Want Medicare for All; Others Aren’t So Sure      Cache   Translate Page      
As Democrats enter the final sprint in a campaign where health care is a dominant issue and a House takeover seems achievable, they are split on whether to promise coverage for everyone, which would fuel an already revved-up liberal base, or target centrist voters by campaigning on the more modest goal of fixing the Obama-era health law. (Stephanie Armour, Wall Street Journal)
          Senate Dems to Force Vote This Week to Overrule Trump Obamacare Change      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats are planning to force a vote in the Senate this week on overturning a Trump administration rule expanding non-Obamacare insurance plans. The Democratic resolution, which will likely get a vote on Wednesday, would overturn a rule finalized in August that expanded the availability of short-term health insurance plans.  (Peter Sullivan, The Hill)
          Vulnerable House Republican Unveils Resolution on Preexisting Conditions      Cache   Translate Page      
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) on Tuesday introduced a resolution intended to protect people with preexisting conditions, illustrating the lengths vulnerable Republicans are going to try to show they favor those protections. The resolution from Sessions, who is facing a close reelection race against Democrat Colin Allred, is nonbinding, but expresses the opinion of the House that preexisting conditions should be protected. The resolution does not spell out the details of how preexisting conditions would be protected in the absence of Obamacare. (Peter Sullivan, The Hill)
          Regional Focus: United States - Pt. 2      Cache   Translate Page      
Reports & journal articles:Brief of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as Amicus Curiae in Support of Plantiffs' Cross-motion for Summary Judgment (UNHCR, Sept. 2018) [text]- Submitted in the case of Grace, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.Checkpoint Nation: Border Agents are Expanding Their Reach into the Country’s Interior (Investigative Fund, Sept. 2018) [text]"Deporter-in-Chief: Obama v. Trump," Excerpts from American Presidents, Deportations, and Human Rights Violations: From Carter to Trump (Cambridge Univ. Press, Forthcoming, Nov. 2018) [preprint via SSRN]- See also related blog post."The Executive Power of Political Emergency: The Travel Ban," University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, vol. 87, no. 3 (2018) [SSRN]Tracking Over 2 Million ICE Arrests: A First Look (TRAC, Sept. 2018) [text]The U.S. Asylum System in Crisis: Charting a Way Forward (Migration Policy Institute, Sept. 2018)…
          Comment on ‘British citizens should prepare for the day that a chemical attack comes’, says Minister of State by felix1999      Cache   Translate Page      
We do understand. We went through the same thing with Obama. Our heads were down. We were ashamed. We are hoping Trump can save our country. We may have won a few battles here, but the WAR is not over.
          Lyft Hires Obama Administration’s Top Transportation Official      Cache   Translate Page      
Anthony Foxx, former President Obama's secretary of the Department of Transportation from 2013-2017, will serve as Lyft's chief policy officer and advisor to its co-founders.
          Comment on “London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together” by felix1999      Cache   Translate Page      
The majority are Christians and few are Muslims. WE even take Hindus and Buddhists over Muslims. I don't have it handy but over at Breitbart they recently listed the percentages. Frankly, I'd rather we take care of them in their own countries and NOT bring them here. I did a quick search. It's not the one I was thinking about but Trump is trying to change things and has. Democrats Seek to Import 5X the Number of Foreign Refugees to the U.S. Ali Said The Associated Press 28 Sep 20181,946 House Democrats’ latest plan ahead of the 2018 midterm elections is to increase the number of foreign refugees currently resettled across the United States by five times. A total of 61 Democrats have signed onto a House Resolution demanding President Trump import five times the number of foreign refugees that have arrived this Fiscal Year. The resolution demands Trump set the refugee resettlement at 110,000 refugees a year. Trump is expected to resettle a little more than 22,000 refugees this year, a massive reduction to the record levels that were entering during the Obama administration. Additionally, Trump has cut the number of Muslim refugees entering the U.S. by 92 percent. In 2018, only about 15 percent of the refugees coming to the country are Muslim, while Trump has boosted the number of Christian refugees from less than 50 percent under Obama to now up to 71 percent of the total share of all refugees. ... https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/09/28/democrats-seek-to-import-5x-the-number-of-foreign-refugees-to-the-u-s/
          Comment on ‘British citizens should prepare for the day that a chemical attack comes’, says Minister of State by felix1999      Cache   Translate Page      
Have a heart. They voted for BREXIT. They don't want this either. It is the ELITES ramming it down their throats. We experienced the same crap under Obama. We were blessed with Trump, a true miracle, now trying to save our country.
          Trump administration opposes Chicago police reform plan      Cache   Translate Page      
CHICAGO – The Trump administration on Tuesday sharply criticized a draft plan hammered out between the nation’s third-largest city and the state of Illinois that envisions far-reaching reforms of Chicago’s 12,000-officer force under close federal court supervision.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Department of Justice will file “a statement of interest” opposing the plan, which was drawn up after the city broke off talks with Sessions’ department on reforms for the beleaguered Chicago Police Department.

“It is imperative that the city not repeat the mistakes of the past – the safety of Chicago depends on it,” Sessions said in a statement he issued Tuesday.

The police reform plan, which is more than 200 pages and still subject to approval by a federal judge in Chicago, foresees far stricter rules on the use of force by officers. One provision requires officers to file paperwork each time they point their weapons, even if they don’t fire.

In a joint statement later Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson responded to Sessions, saying: “The Trump Administration never ceases to amaze, and this is just further proof that they are out of step with the people of Chicago and out of touch with reality.”

Sessions’ comments came a day after President Donald Trump singled out Chicago in a speech to officers at a convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Orlando, Florida. Trump said he would direct the Justice Department to work with Chicago officials to stem violence in the city.

Sessions didn’t specify parts of the plan he opposed. But he has expressed reservations before about reform plans supervised by judges, also called consent decrees, saying they can unfairly malign officers. Chicago’s police union argued the consent decree will make it harder for officers to do their jobs.

Illinois Attorney Lisa Madigan – without objection from Emanuel – sued the city last year in U.S. District Court in Chicago to ensure any police reforms would be overseen by a federal judge.

That legal action killed a draft plan negotiated with Trump’s administration that didn’t envision a court role in reforming the department – a departure from the practice during President Barack Obama’s administration of using courts to change troubled departments.

The Obama administration launched a civil rights investigation of Chicago police after a video released in 2015 showed a white Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, shooting black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times as he walked away from police. Jurors convicted Van Dyke of second-degree murder last week in the 2014 shooting. The civil rights investigation led to a damning report, which in turn, put enormous pressure on Chicago to implement sweeping police reforms.

At the convention speech Monday, Trump also criticized a 3-year-old agreement between Chicago and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois to curb stop-and-frisk procedures by police. The ACLU had said police inordinately targeted blacks.

Sessions echoed that criticism in his statement Tuesday.

“Chicago’s agreement with the ACLU in late 2015 dramatically undercut proactive policing in the city and kicked off perhaps the greatest surge in murder ever suffered by a major American city,” Sessions said.

Chicago officials and the ACLU have said those and similar claims by Trump administration officials are exaggerated, get the data on crime in Chicago wrong and misstate the underlying causes of crime.


           Kommentar zu Propagandameldungen vom 10. Oktober 2018 von Lulu       Cache   Translate Page      
Für Uschis Kriegerhaufen wird die Welt zu gross. Also lässt man die Goebbelsschnauze trommeln. http://fs1.directupload.net/images/181010/o74esjuc.png <em>1000 zusätzliche Planstellen soll die Bundeswehr bekommen, fordern Henning Otte von der CDU und Fritz Felgentreu von der SPD in seltener Einmütigkeit in einem gemeinsamen Antrag, der dem ARD-Hauptstadtstudio exklusiv vorliegt.</em> Mit einem Pickel mehr auf der Schulter macht der Zinksarg doch gleich viel mehr her. <em>Und tatsächlich gibt es in bestimmten Dienstgradgruppen schlicht zu wenig attraktiv dotierte Stellen. Und so müssen viele Soldaten quälend lang auf eine Beförderung warten, obwohl sie die Voraussetzungen längst erfüllen.</em> Es gilt, die Regime-Söldner bei der Stange zu halten. <em>"Der Dienst in der Bundeswehr muss besonders attraktiv sein", sagt CDU-Mann Otte. "Nicht nur für neue Bewerber, sondern auch für die Soldaten, die bereits bei der Bundeswehr unserem Land dienen."</em> Da fällt sicher noch was für’n Beraterposten der eigenen Geislein ab. Die Zicke frohlockt. Der Regimefunk trötet: <em>Der Verteidigungsministerin könnte der Antrag gut ins Konzept passen, versucht sie doch seit geraumer Zeit die Bundeswehr zum "attraktivsten Arbeitgeber" der Republik zu machen.</em> und heult Krokodilsträhnen: <em>Doch diesem Ziel - bereits vor vier Jahren ziemlich ambitioniert verkündet - nähert sich die Truppe nur im Schneckentempo. Ausrüstungsmisere, Unterfinanzierung und eben auch Beförderungsstau und mangelnde Perspektiven beklagen auch viele Soldaten - nachzulesen jedes Jahr im Jahresbericht des Wehrbeauftragten.</em> Da wird selbst das Trumpel wieder salonfähig, selbst wenn man ihn mit dem Friedensnobelpreisträger etwas aufmotzen muss: <em>Denn eine deutliche Verstärkung der Streitkräfte sahen viele als einen politischen Kniefall vor US-Präsident Trump. Der fordert schon seit geraumer Zeit - wie übrigens auch schon sein Amtsvorgänger Barack Obama - ein stärkeres Engagement der Deutschen in der Verteidigung.</em> Ja, es stehen so einige Bäume zwischen Vilnius und Moskau...
          Administration Takes Peterson’s Advice on Year-round E15      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON – Following the announcement today of year-round sales of fuel blends containing 15 percent ethanol, or E15, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member and Congressional Biofuels Caucus Co-Chair Collin Peterson, D-Minn., welcomed the news and pushed for legislation to make progress on renewable fuels more permanent.

“It’s about time,” said Peterson. “I’ve been a consistent advocate for year-round sales of E15, and I’m glad to see a step in the right direction. However, today’s action will likely get tied up in the courts, so passing legislation remains the most reliable avenue to finally getting this done.” 

Peterson founded the Congressional Biofuels Caucus to educate Congressional colleagues and work with the Executive Branch on the benefits of promoting American-grown biofuels. Since that time, Congressman Peterson and the Caucus pushed the Trump and Obama Administrations, met with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and cosponsored legislation to require the year-round sale of E15.

The Administration’s actions today will likely be challenged in court by the oil industry. Congressman Peterson remains hopeful that this decision will spark movement on E15 legislation already introduced in Congress. 

Allowing the sale of E15 year-round isn’t a mandate, but simply makes the fuel available during the summer months. Due to language in the law governing the Renewable Fuel Standard, E15 previously could not be sold between June 1 and September 15, after EPA did not grant E15 the same Reid Vapor Pressure waiver as E10. By leveling the regulatory playing field with year-round sales, retailers be able to offer this lower cost fuel option to consumers all year.

“Year-round sales of E15 will provide a needed boost to the ethanol industry, and give corn farmers access to a broader segment of the domestic fuels market at a time when they are struggling with depressed commodity prices, adverse weather conditions, and an ongoing trade war,” said Peterson. “I’m also encouraged by the Administration’s efforts to bring more transparency to the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) market within the RFS. Clarity on both issues will help to provide more certainty for farmers and industry moving forward.”


          Democrats lining up to consider challenging Susan Collins in 2020      Cache   Translate Page      

PORTLAND, Maine — She is not on the ballot this fall, yet the fight over Susan Collins' political future is already raging.

Interest in the Maine Republican senator's 2020 re-election has exploded in the days since she cast the deciding vote to confirm President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick — a vote that helped transform the balance of power on the nation's high court for a generation and suddenly complicates Collins' path to a fifth term.

Half a dozen Democratic prospects are openly considering running against the Republican political powerhouse, while an online fund has generated $3.6 million — and counting — for Collins' ultimate Democratic challenger. The would-be candidates include Susan Rice, who had been one of President Barack Obama's closest aides. Rice is not currently a Maine resident — she has family ties to the state — but would bring political celebrity that could make it difficult for the state's shallow bench of lesser-known Democrats to stand out.

The emergence of a crowded field in a Senate contest two years away underscores the extraordinary political moment triggered by the debate over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Fighting allegations of sexual misconduct from three decades ago, he won confirmation by a razor-thin margin on Saturday over the screaming objections of Democrats and women's groups in all corners of the nation.

Collins' Alaska colleague, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, was the lone Republican to oppose the nomination. Now, Alaska GOP officials are considering whether to seek a replacement or encourage her not to seek re-election as a Republican when her term expires in 2022.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, the lone Democrat to vote for Kavanaugh, faces a potential revolt from his own party's liberal base in his immediate re-election test in November. Manchin told The Associated Press last weekend that he followed Collins' lead.

"She had an opportunity to make history," said Maine Democrat Rosa Scarcelli, a businesswoman who previously ran for governor and is among Collins' many potential challengers. "I'm disappointed and angry."

Many Maine Democrats prefer that a woman take on Collins, although few, if any, enjoy the statewide notoriety and fundraising prowess needed to defeat New England's last remaining Republican senator.

Many may try.

The Democrats' prospect list is topped by Rep. Chellie Pingree, who Collins defeated once already, back in 2002.

Pingree's daughter, Hannah, who served as the youngest woman elected state house speaker before stepping away from politics, said she's waiting until after the midterms to decide on a Collins challenge.

"It's too soon to say what I might do," Hannah Pingree told the AP. "I have taken some time out of running for office to raise some young kids and they're getting a little older. It's not impossible."

Maine Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon also hinted at a potential run.

Gideon, who's often clashed with outgoing Republican Gov. Paul LePage, said she's focused on winning more Democratic seats in the Maine House for now. After November's midterm elections, however, she said she'd "be seriously considering how I can elevate the voices of people who deserve and demand to be heard and represented in DC."

Other potential prospects include former state house speaker Emily Cain, state attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Janet Mills, and liberal activist Betsy Sweet.

Sweet said a big factor would be whether Collins, 65, decides to run at all. She said Maine needs "someone who's not entrenched in the old way of doing things."

"We need someone who's more transparent and more willing to actually meet and listen to the people of Maine," said Sweet, who acknowledged that she's also considering a run.

Three men, current Democratic Senate nominee Zak Ringelstein, state Rep. Seth Berry and Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, said they're more interested in supporting a female candidate than running themselves.

"I have made it my personal mission to defeat Susan Collins," said Ringelstein, who said that he'd prefer to help a Collins' challenger as a U.S. senator but wouldn't rule out a second run in 2020 if he loses next month.

Berry is also open to a Senate bid. Strimling said he's is not.

"From my perspective we need a strong progressive woman to run, and that's who I'll be looking to support," Strimling said.

Rice is a wildcard. She first served Obama as his ambassador to the United Nations and then as his national security adviser. Obama was considering nominating Rice to lead the State Department during his second term, but she withdrew her nomination after she became embroiled in the controversy over American deaths at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Collins was among the Republicans who said she was troubled by Rice's explanations for the deadly attack.

Rice's public interest in the Senate seat was met with a combination of skepticism and curiosity among energized Maine Democrats, who have tried and failed for much of the last three decades to defeat Collins.

The former Obama aide's connection to Maine has already emerged as a central issue. Rice, whose primary residence is in the Washington area, emphasized "long and deep" ties to Maine as she attacked Collins during a weekend appearance at the New Yorker Festival.

"I think she did a disservice to people in Maine who were counting on her. She has betrayed women across this country," Rice charged. She said she'd give a possible Senate bid "due consideration after the midterms."

Rice also said her family "goes back generations" in Maine and that she's owned a home in the state for the last 20 years.

Her maternal grandparents emigrated to Maine from Jamaica in the 1910s. Rice's grandfather, David Augustus Dickson, worked as a shipper, porter and janitor. Her grandmother, Mary Dickson, a maid and seamstress, was named Maine State Mother of the Year in 1950.

That same year, Rice's mother, Lois Dickson Rice, was valedictorian of Portland High School. Rice's great-uncles all graduated from Maine's Bowdoin College.

Rice's family once lived on Lafayette Street in Portland's Munjoy Hill neighborhood, once an immigrant enclave now home to an expensive rental market.

One neighborhood resident, Lisa Morris, said she was surprised to learn she lives on the same street that Rice's family once did.

"It would be pretty awesome to have a senator from Maine who was a woman of color," said the 55-year-old university policy analyst.

Not far away, 86-year-old Judy Halpert recalled walking to school with Rice's mother, whom she called a close friend.

Halpert doesn't like Collins "at all," and pointed to Rice's long roots in the state.

"She has a right to be a Mainer as well," she said. "I'd vote for her in a minute."

___

Peoples reported from New York. Pace reported from Washington.

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In this image from video provided by Senate TV, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., speaks on the Senate floor about her vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kananaugh, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 in the Capitol in Washington. Sen Shelly Capito, R-W.Va., sits rear left and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., sits right. (Senate TV via AP)
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          Baldwin Resolution Would Expose Sick Patients to Higher Premiums, Cancelled Coverage, Denied Care      Cache   Translate Page      

The Senate appears poised to vote soon on a Congressional Review Act resolution sponsored by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that would rescind the Trump administration’s final rule on “short-term limited duration insurance.” Nearly every Senate Democrat has cosponsored the Baldwin resolution because they believe it would protect consumers. It would do exactly the opposite. 

The Baldwin resolution…

  • …would increase the number of uninsured. Various scholars have estimated that by making health insurance more affordable, the Trump short-term plans rule would reduce the number of uninsured Americans by up to 2 million. The Baldwin resolution would rescind that rule, thereby denying health insurance to up to 2 million Americans.
  • …would reduce protections for the sick. The Baldwin resolution would reduce consumer protections in short-term plans and expose sick patients to higher premiums, denied coverage, bankruptcy, and denied care. It would revert to the Obama administration’s 2016 short-term plans rule, which limited short-term plans to 3 months and banned renewals. As state insurance regulators noted at the time, “[There are] no data to support the premise that a three-month limit would protect consumers or markets. In fact, state regulators believe the arbitrary limit proposed in the rule could harm some consumers. For example, if an individual misses the [ACA] open-enrollment period and applies for short-term, limited duration coverage in February, a 3-month policy would not provide coverage until the next policy year (which will start on January 1). The only option would be to buy another short-term policy at the end of the three months, but since the short-term health plans nearly always exclude pre-existing conditions, if the person develops a new condition while covered under the first policy, the condition would be denied as a preexisting condition under the next short-term policy.” The Trump rule allows consumers to purchase coverage that lasts until the next ObamaCare open-enrollment period. The Baldwin resolution would result in that patient being re-underwritten and denied coverage and care for up to nine months.
  • …would not reduce ObamaCare premiums and could increase them. The Trump rule allows consumers to couple short-term plans with standalone renewal guarantees, which allow enrollees who develop expensive illnesses to keep paying healthy-person premiums. Since it gives expensive patients a lower-cost alternative to ObamaCare coverage, the Trump rule can reduce ObamaCare premiums by keeping expensive patients out of those risk pools. In contrast, the Baldwin resolution would force those expensive patients into ObamaCare plans, increasing the cost of ObamaCare coverage to both enrollees and taxpayers. In 2016, state insurance commissioners again explained the fundamental flaw of Baldwin’s approach: “If the concern is that healthy individuals will stay out of the general pool by buying short-term, limited duration coverage, there is nothing in this proposal that would stop that. If consumers are healthy they can continue buying a new policy every three months. Only those who become unhealthy will be unable to afford [short-term plans], and that is not good for the [ACA] risk pools in the long run.”
  • …would make short-term plans less comprehensive. The Baldwin resolution would not protect consumers from inadequate coverage. It would re-create the bad old days when excessive regulation blocked consumers from purchasing more-comprehensive short-term plans. The Congressional Budget Office writes that under the Trump rule only “a small percentage of [short-term] plans would resemble current STLDI plans, which do not meet CBO’s definition of health insurance coverage.” Instead, most short-term plans would “resemble[e] nongroup insurance products sold before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act” that offer “financial protection against high-cost, low-probability medical events.” In other words, the Trump rule allows the sort of health plans consumers want. The Baldwin resolution would make those products disappear again.
  • …would gut conscience protections. The Trump rule protects conscience rights by improving the market for short-term plans, which are exempt from ObamaCare’s contraceptives mandate. The Baldwin resolution would strip away those conscience protections.
  • …would not protect people with preexisting conditions. The Washington Post’s Paige Winfield Cunningham reports it “doesn’t exactly make sense” for Democrats to claim that restricting short-term plans helps patients with preexisting conditions. “Even with the expansion of these short-term plans, the marketplace plans guaranteeing preexisting protections will still be available to those who need them… So expanding the availability of short-term plans…doesn’t mean people with preexisting conditions would lose access to crucial coverage protections.”
  • …is pure symbolism. The Baldwin resolution has zero chance of becoming law. To rescind a final agency rule, Congressional Review Act resolutions must pass both chambers of Congress and receive the president’s signature. The House is unlikely to pass the Baldwin resolution. Even if it did, there is zero chance President Trump would sign a resolution nullifying a rule he himself asked his administration to produce.
  • is terrible politics. Or at least it could be, if opponents expose it as subjecting patients with expensive illnesses to higher premiums, cancelled coverage, medical bankruptcy, and denied care—all to serve supporters’ ideological goal of destroying a free-market alternative to ObamaCare.

          DACA Illegal Aliens Have Cost Legal Immigrants $316M Since 2015      Cache   Translate Page      
Illegal aliens applying for the President Obama-created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have cost legal immigrants hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of three years.
          Lawmakers and Leftists Continue to Push 'Get in Their Face' Tactics      Cache   Translate Page      
The idea of confronting those with whom one disagrees dates back to former President Barack Obama and is reaching new heights in the Trump era.
          EPA chief ‘liked’ a blatantly racist meme about the Obamas. He says he doesn’t remember.      Cache   Translate Page      
The meme showed the Obamas staring intently at a banana, one of many times they have been compared to monkeys.
          Editing the Internet’s Second Screen      Cache   Translate Page      

The great social media cleanup of the past two years hasn’t seemed to leave it much cleaner. As some of the most powerful companies in the world have struggled to ferret out viral false news, harassers, conspiracy theories, and foreign agents, Congress and the American public have begun to lose faith in internet platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Google, and Twitter. But one social website—the web’s fifth-largest site, by some metrics—has dodged the brunt of the ire: Wikipedia.

One might think Wikipedia would be a top target for those peddling conspiracy theories and counterfactual narratives. Yet somehow, the massive online encyclopedia has managed to retain its reputation for reliability, at least generally speaking. And that’s thanks to a sprawling online network of editors who work for free to pull fact from fiction in crafting the articles that provide the answers that float to the top of Google search queries.

Of course, Wikipedia has its problems. The most glaring may be that the editor community is overwhelmingly male, and likely white too. And that leads to erasures and omissions that reflect the worldview and concerns of the editor community. For instance, when Canadian physicist Donna Strickland won the Nobel Prize, it turned out Wikipedia didn’t have an entry about her. One had apparently been submitted prior to her winning the award, but the edit community apparently didn’t consider her sufficiently noteworthy to warrant an entry.

To talk more about how Wikipedia, a volunteer-run project, manages to be a sort of second screen for the entire internet, and to delve into some of the problems the community is facing, we spoke with the Wikimedia Foundation’s executive director, Katherine Maher, for Slate’s tech podcast If Then. An expert on technology policy across the globe, Maher discussed the role Wikipedia plays in the current debates about healthy online platforms and what the community is doing to diversify its contributors.

Read or listen to our conversation below, or get the show via Apple PodcastsOvercast, SpotifyStitcher, or Google Play.

April Glaser: Wikipedia’s the fifth-most-popular website on the internet, according to Alexa Ratings from earlier this year. And that popularity is in part due to the fact that the most popular website on the internet, Google, regularly directs people to Wikipedia at the top of its search pages. It’s a symbiotic relationship where people search Google for answers and Wikipedia is the answer that they get. More recently, YouTube and Google have begun linking to Wikipedia to provide info on topics that tend to attract false news and conspiratorial theories in their efforts to be a more reliable source of information. According to Wikipedia itself, there are over 5.7 million articles on the English version of the site thanks to nearly 35 million users, of whom fewer than 200,000 are considered active editors. That means about 200,000 people make at least one edit a month. There are 300 active Wikipedias in different languages across the world, 48 million articles written worldwide. And this whole project is made possible thanks to volunteers who write the entries and thanks to grants and donations from the readers and the editors who use the site. I want to start by discussing the phenomenon that is Wikipedia, and that it actually seems to be largely correct. Is that correct? Am I correct about that?

Katherine Maher: Yeah. There have been numerous different studies that have shown that Wikipedia is on average as correct as any traditional encyclopedia would be, in part simply because of the volume of articles that we have—that when you do have inaccuracies they tend to be very few and far between. But also they tend to get corrected really quickly, and so as you take a look across the sites, the majority of content is correct at any given time.

Glaser: So if I were to go on there and change the birthday of President Obama, that would get corrected really quickly?

You wouldn’t be able to change the birthday of President Obama because you probably do not have enough of an edit-contribution history to be able to touch an article that is as highly scrutinized as something like Obama. So anytime we have articles that are either of top interest to folks at any given time or are in the news in any given moment, our editors take them very seriously and will protect them to make sure they don’t go ahead and get vandalized. So it would be tough to change his birthday.

Glaser: Who is editing Wikipedia? It seems that everyone wants to use it, but not everyone wants to edit it. And my understanding is that something like 90 percent of the editors are male. I don’t know the racial background of editors, but I think it’s safe to say that most are probably white or come from some kind of white-collar background. So in addition to who’s editing Wikipedia, I’d like to know also the consequences of homogeneity in the edit community.

We don’t actually know much of the background of Wikipedia editors either. We have pretty strict privacy policies. In fact, you don’t need to give us really any information to edit Wikipedia. You don’t even need an account—you can just do it anonymously. And over the years, we’ve tried different ways of surveying and sampling editors to get a better sense. I think our best-case scenario is about 20 percent of the editors identify as female, but worst case would be closer to about 10. And then in terms of ethnic and racial makeup, obviously that really depends based on what Wikipedia we’re talking about. Our Indic-language Wikipedias are primarily going to be edited by people from probably South Asia. But it is true that we tend to assume that folks editing Wikipedia have what we think of as disposable time, and disposable time tends to correlate with higher socio-economic status. How does this play out for Wikipedia? It means that we tend to have biases that reflect the composition of our editors, and I will say that those biases also tend to reflect the broader world around us.

So we talk about ourselves as a mirror held up to the world. Wikipedia is a tertiary source that is based on secondary sources, and when we go to create articles on Wikipedia, we’re very reliant on what’s already been published and what exists in the world. And so if there is a dearth of secondary sources about female scientists or African novelists, it’s going to be very hard for us to then create articles that reflect those individuals on Wikipedia itself.

Glaser: When a new public figure comes on the scene, everyone jumps to visit Wikipedia, it becomes a second screen, and a bunch of editors also jump in to get their version of the truth up there. I wrote about this for Wired a couple years ago when Merrick Garland was nominated [for the Supreme Court]. The traffic of his page soared because nobody really knew who he was unless you’re in the court scene. And then behind the scenes, the editors fought over whether to call him a judicial moderate or a strong liberal. And with so many people coming to Wikipedia for information on Garland, these descriptions really matter. How do Wikipedia editors grapple with attempts to insert their own ideological leanings?

I think that this is one of those things where the more people who have an eye on the Wikipedia article, the more accurate and neutral it tends to be. Don’t take my word for it. There’s been lots of research on this subject. The more volume of traffic, the more likely it is that someone’s going to make an edit, the more editors who are involved in the conversation, the more compact and neutral and accurate the content is going to be, the more citations, the less verbose or adjectival a description is going to be. And so it’s likely in the case of Garland—and I’m not familiar with that particular article and how that moment in time affected its composition—but it’s likely in that case, or in the case of anybody who’s under the spotlight, that if they couldn’t decide on how to describe him, they would either say, “Some people describe as ‘citation, citation, citation.’ ‘Others describe as the opposite, citation, citation, citation.’ ” Or they would not make a determination about how that description actually plays out.

And so Wikipedians will tend to present information and ask you instead to draw your conclusions rather than draw their own inferences or conclusions on topics that are difficult to be neutral around.

Will Oremus: And a lot of that discussion happens on what’s called a talk page.

That’s right. It’s almost like the newsroom behind any Wikipedia article. One of the things we like to say is, “If you’re curious about what a talk page is, go to your hometown and look at the fights that people are having about the history of the town, the town hall, local celebrities, things like this.” Because it can give you the best and most immediate understanding of how talk pages actually work. There are places where Wikipedia editors take the conversation, not offline. It all happens in public. It’s just behind the curtain. Anyone can click on the talk tab and take a look at it. Anyone can contribute to that discussion, but it’s where these differences of opinion get hammered out while articles might be paused for editing, or while folks are having robust difficult conversations about how to frame or present something or whether something should be included in an article at all.

Oremus: You talked about how Wikipedia is better when there are more people involved in this editing process. That makes a lot of sense. How is the health of the Wikipedia editor community these days? In what direction is it trending? Is it getting livelier and healthier, or are the ranks thinning out? Is there a crisis of Wikipedia editorship? How’s it doing?

There is no crisis of Wikipedia editorship. Our editors are alive and well. No, I think that there was this interesting moment in time where people were very concerned about the trajectory of editorship, and it happened around, I want to say, 2010, where Wikipedia grew very rapidly in popularity between 2001 and 2010, and then what ended up happening was a lot of that original content was filled out, at least in some of the major languages, and we started to see a decline in casual editing. But what is happening is that our numbers have really stabilized to the point where we have about a quarter-million editors every single month, and about 80,000 of those come back month on month on month and make significant contributions to the site. So overall our editor health is really good. What we would love to see is an increased diversification of that, and we’d love to see some of the languages that are perhaps not as robust as they should be relative to the size of a million speakers and the like. We’d love to see some of that grow.

So for us, it’s about maintaining the health of our current editing community but then also thinking about how do we reach people for whom we’re not there yet in their language, in their geography, or representing their sense of identity.

Glaser: I imagine if you come from a community that is not well represented in the editor community that you may be prone to harassment or feel somewhat ostracized in these tightknit talk pages where a lot of difficult conversations happen. So I’m curious about harassment on Wikipedia. Have we seen coordinated attempts to insert ideological bias or to harass people to the point where they stop maintaining certain pages?

Yeah. Absolutely. These things happen, and happen in places that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. I think that the instances of extreme harassment—the kind that you see on some of the other social platforms—we see a lot less of that because Wikipedia has rules around civility that determine whether you can participate as an editor, and if you violate those rules you will get blocked and banned by our community members. I think the bigger issue for us tends to really focus on tonality, so we’ve done some interesting research around conversational failure, and it turns out that if you start a sentence in dialogue with another editor with the word please, it actually is a really high predictor that that conversation is going to fail. Because it tends to be followed by “Please stop doing that” or “Please don’t do something that you don’t know anything about,” and so please is actually not an indicator of a necessarily positive outcome.

So what we’re trying to understand is in a community and in an ecosystem where harassment and unfriendly spaces look very different than harassment on, say, the comment section of YouTube or in a Twitter channel. What can we do to facilitate more civil and respectful conversations when we can’t necessarily automate to be able to understand because of the use of bad words, for example. And so it’s really about how we create a culture of friendly interaction as opposed to certain instances of harassment, ’cause we just don’t have that problem in quite the same way, which is not to say it doesn’t exist. I do want to be really careful to acknowledge that we have had instances of people who’ve been harassed on Wikipedia. It tends to be somebody gets a bone between their teeth and really goes after an editor or a group of editors. The times that we’ve seen these things happen in a targeted way have tended to be around things that you would expect to be controversial. We were one of the sites to be enveloped in the whole Gamergate controversy, and we absolutely saw people really go head-to-head over what that particular discussion meant, and we had a number of Wikipedia editors on all sides of the conversation who found themselves sanctioned for the way that they participated in those conversations.

Glaser: I write a lot about harassment on social media, and obviously Wikipedia is a social place where people can interact. We do not hear as much about creating a culture where people will be less prone to harass each other. It’s more about moderation, so this is really interesting.

We don’t do moderation in the same way that other social platforms do. We don’t have armies of folks sitting offshore going through content posting trying to determine if it’s harassing language or if it violates our terms of service. Our community, because it is truly a community, engages in that conversation directly, and then they have modes and means of policies to refer conversations for review and sanction as appropriate. I think that harassment is a problem, but for us it is a relatively small problem relative to the challenge of how do you create a truly inclusive space for folks when we come from a certain culture, and we come from a certain demographic background. How do you open that up so that it becomes a place where more people feel welcome?

Oremus: That’s so interesting to hear you say you don’t have moderation. I understand what you mean: You mean that Wikipedia, or the Wikimedia Foundation, isn’t going in and moderating what the editors can say or what people can add to an article. But in another sense, the whole project of Wikipedia is a project of moderation, where people are moderating what each other can say and regulating each other’s speech in various ways. It reminds me, you talked about the social platforms, and it reminds me of the difficulties that the big social networks are having right now with misinformation, conspiracy theories, fake news, all that sort of thing. And they talk about, Well, we can’t be an arbiter of truth. Or maybe in Facebook’s case: We’re trying, but it’s really hard to be an arbiter of truth. Wikipedia is at its core an arbiter of truth—that’s what you guys do. So why do you think they’re having such a tough time with it, and would you have any advice for the people running those platforms?

I think one thing that’s really different from us is, from the beginning, it’s been a community-driven project. We don’t set editorial policies for Wikipedia. The community sets that, and the community has evolved over time with these editorial policies in order to assess information quality and also the standards that they want in their spaces, to tie it back to the conversation around friendly spaces and contribution. But specifically for content moderation there are a couple of really core policies that drive the way that Wikipedia articles are created, and I think the reason that they are effective is that they’re clear, there are only three of them, they’re fairly easy to understand, there are tons of examples for how they work, there are lots of different eyeballs that focus on insuring that those policies are upheld, and it all happens in the open. The polices around accuracy of information, it requires that we site back to what we call reliable sources. It means that people can’t just put out fringe theories based on what their interests are. They have to find citations and information. It has to be peer-reviewed, or published, or have some editorial scrutiny.

These are the policies that have created a sense of accuracy and accountability on Wikipedia, and accountability not just for the editors but accountability to the public who reads this content. And I think that’s just so completely different from the way these other platforms work. Another thing that I point to is we don’t have divergent forking narratives or feeds that you sign up for. When you come to a Wikipedia article, you’re looking at the exact same thing whether you’re sitting on the other side of the continent from me or if you’re sitting in the next office over. That doesn’t afford us the space to shift narratives based on what your interest is or what an algorithm suggests that you might like. We have to be open and publicly accountable for what is published no matter what your perspective or viewpoint actually is.

It’s funny you mentioned, or refer to, Wikipedia as an arbiter of truth. We actually don’t agree with that characterization. What we would say is that Wikipedia reflects knowledge as it exists at any given moment in time. That is, knowledge is constantly being constructed, and it’s constantly being deconstructed. And so edits are made to Wikipedia, content is removed from Wikipedia, knowledge changes dramatically over time, and what Wikipedia offers is just an aggregate understanding of what we know about a topic at any given moment based on what’s been published or what common consensus says. I always use the example of Copernicus or Galileo. However many hundreds of years ago, had they written an article, we’d have some really strong articles about how the sun revolves around the Earth. But we, as hopefully humanity, have learned a lot more about our solar system, and now we know that the Earth revolves around the sun. So knowledge is a living thing, but it’s not necessarily about trying to get to some understanding of truth. It’s more just about representation about what we can all agree on at any point in time.

Where I start to find this really powerful is less on things that are settled, like heliocentricity versus geocentricism, but more about how our history—and understanding of culture, and understanding of politics, and understanding of representation—Is constantly evolving. Wikipedia’s edited 350 times a minute, which essentially means that every minute there are 350 opportunities to challenge what it is that we know, and how it is that it’s been assembled, and who has contributed to that knowledge base, and whose voices are included, and how it is that we might change that over time. So I think of Wikipedia not as an arbiter of truth but really a living contestation for how knowledge is formed and created, which is why we always say, “Don’t trust Wikipedia. Read it with a critical eye. Check the citations. And if you see something, contribute to it.” Because the way that we form knowledge is by contributing to it together and building on what’s come before.

Glaser: It’s true that there are all of these ways to gain social clout and to gain social trust in the Wikipedia community, but sometimes people edit Wikipedia anonymously, or it’s their first time, and sometimes it’s funny. And it’s something that you guys call vandalism. And I want to ask about that, because I saw this meme going around a few years ago—I think it was an actual screenshot from Wikipedia, and it was edited to say that Charlie Sheen was half-man, half-cocaine. And it was changed quickly back, I’m sure, but I think this happens a lot, and I’m curious: How does Wikipedia contend with vandalism, and is there any particularly funny one that comes to mind?

Just the other day, somebody tweeted about the fact that there’s a Wikipedia article that’s a list of fictional states, and nestled in there was Wyoming, a fictional state made up for tourism revenue by Idaho. I thought that was funny. As soon as I retweeted it, it was gone. But I think that often we see these sorts of vandalism. I think that they are funny. I also know that they can be quite annoying for our Wikipedia editors. I like to think of them as ways of demonstrating that Wikipedia is a living project and as a reminder to folks that you can go ahead and get in there and edit. We actually have more Wikipedians than we’d like to admit who first started because of vandalism. They came in to mess with the site, and they realized, “Oh, that vandalism didn’t stay up for very long. I’m curious how that works,” and then get involved in that way. In general, there are different ways that vandalism works. I don’t think this will surprise anyone, but some of the highest volume of vandalism tends to happen in school hours, and it tends to be bad words.

But we have bots that scrub the site from end to end and remove instances of poop that shouldn’t belong in a sentence and the like. The other forms of vandalism tend to get reverted very quickly. I think Congress is notorious for vandalizing Wikipedia, in fact I think it’s blocked this week; you can’t edit with a congressional IP this week because people abuse their privileges. And we’ve seen that happen. Wikipedia editors tend to keep a very close eye on what we call our recent-changes feed, and there are folks who consider themselves just to be vandalism patrollers who are always looking for things that are a little suspicious. We give this a boost by having machine learning systems that are able to identify what is likely a good edit or a bad edit and help editors triage in order to keep pace with the 350 edits a minute. Because it’s a pretty huge volume of activity on the sites at any given time.

Glaser: With Wikipedia now serving as a fact-checker for YouTube’s most polarizing conspiracy-theory videos, is there a fear that people will see these videos about how climate change isn’t real and then click on the Wikipedia link and edit the article to incorporate the counterfactual information they just saw?

This was something that we were concerned about. Obviously any time a major platform turns the worst of the internet against our sites, we worry about what the implications are for our editing community. Our editing community actually took it all in stride. They said, “We’ve got means by which we monitor these pages. We know how to deal with vandalism. We’ve been doing this for 17 years. We’ll let you know when it’s a problem.” And we went back and said pretty much the same thing to YouTube. We said, “We’ll let you know when it’s a problem, and if it does become a problem we’d appreciate some support around this. But overall it seems as though it’s something that is working out.” Our mission overall is to get knowledge out there and to be the correct place for information—to have it be as accurate as possible. And if it is a tool in the arsenal of insuring a more accurate and fact-based internet, then I think we’re probably all for it.

Glaser: It’s fascinating how the community is able to morph and absorb more responsibility as more people start to use the internet and as more large platforms start to rely, and continue to rely, on Wikipedia as a source of information.

I think what I would say there is that because it works in this instance, it doesn’t mean that we’re going to be the catchall for all of the worst bits of the internet. In reality, anytime that there is an intermediary layer between people who are reading Wikipedia content and where the content itself is created, we see that as a risk. Part of the promise of Wikipedia is that anybody anywhere can go in and check where does the information come from, when was it added, what’s the edit history, what’s the discussion on the talk page, where does the citation go, and so whenever there’s an intermediary layer that sits between our readers and our contributors, we view that as a breakdown of the trust and the promise model that Wikipedia offers in terms of accountability and transparency, but we also view it as a risk factor to the sites as a whole because of how Wikipedia works when people stop by to read it. Wikipedia works when a reader’s like, “Oh, I think that information isn’t accurate. That probably needs an update,” or “That probably could use a different citation.”

And so the volume of traffic to our sites is actually the way in which Wikipedia stays up to date and makes sure that our content is constantly expanding, and so if that information is being siphoned off and presented in different ways and in different places, that actually does create a risk for us. So I think there’s a tension between how do we make sure information’s available in the most useful ways, such as the referral back with the YouTube videos, but also making sure that information is not taken completely out of context and presented in a way that ultimately chokes off the way that Wikipedia works.

Oremus: You actually just answered part of the question that I was going to ask, which is: Part of the future of computing right now on the internet seems to be this move toward voice assistance. Whether it’s on a smart speaker, like an Amazon Echo or Google Home, or it’s Siri on your phone, or talking to the Google Assistant on your phone, for a lot of those, when you ask a question—when you ask Siri or Alexa or Google a question—the answer you get will be content from Wikipedia. So that’s a way that people are gonna be using Wikipedia more and more, presumably, but maybe not even know that they are using Wikipedia. Certainly not visit the site and maybe run into a fundraising appeal or get involved in that way. Is that a big concern for you going forward, and are you hopeful that donations from those big platforms … I saw that Amazon recently gave $1 million to the Wikimedia Foundation maybe partly for that reason.

Does that have to become more of your business model now if these platforms are going to be siphoning off your information or siloing your information in that way?

I think I have many thoughts and responses to your question. One thing to note is that there’s the immediate value that these platforms get out of having Wikipedia as a resource from which they can pull answers and information to provide to their users. But the other part that most people aren’t as aware of is that Wikipedia is also this massive computational resource for many different platforms in terms of the way that they’re developing machine learning, the way that they’re training their A.I assistants, in the way that they treat natural language processing. And so we view ourselves as a resource that should be supported by industry as a whole—not just because we create a transactional value to them, because Amazon or Siri or whatever can answer our question, but because we’ve actually created a tremendous resource just in terms of data modeling and support that these companies can go out and train and do advanced computational science around. And there is nobody who is contributing back because of the value we’ve created in that space.

The reason that we think that should engender long-term support is because we are essentially the commons as a resource for the entire internet that entire business models have been created around. And if you don’t actually support that commons, it’s not going to exist at some point, and that’s going to be really problematic for a business model that depends on its existence, particularly as companies are pushing into new and different markets. It’s increasingly the case that they’re looking to sites like Wikipedia, which have content that’s available in those local languages as a baseline to assess the market maturity, and whether people are using the open web, and whether they’re creating content in those languages. So overall supporting Wikipedia so that we’re out there and accessible to more people and accessible to more users in more languages, and so that our content is diverse and reflective of the entire world and not just North America or the male experience, is ultimately a good thing, not just for us, and not just for our readers, but for the internet as a whole.

In terms of what that support looks like, I think that it’s not just about monetary support. We are very proud of the fact that 85 percent of our donations come from small-dollar donations from individual users. The average donation is $15, and the remaining 15 percent tends to be more traditional foundation donations. We don’t want to be entirely beholden to large corporations giving us money, but we do feel as though having some sort of sustainable model of support, whether it is engineering support, or in-kind support, or just thinking about what the product decisions actually mean in terms of their implications for how people can contribute to and access Wikipedia, that’s the conversation that we want to be having with these different platforms. At the end of the day, we create a tremendous amount of value in the world, and we want to make sure that value is being recognized and being supported and sustained, because it’s very easy to make a series of decisions that in aggregate could really damage that value, and I don’t think anybody intentionally wants to hurt Wikipedia.

Glaser: No, Wikipedia has a tremendous amount of value for so many different parties. Can you tell us about efforts to expand Wikipedia in other languages? Also, what’s the second-biggest language after English? And is Wikipedia available in China?

So there are a whole host of Wikipedias that are smaller languages. They tend to be secondary languages within countries, or indigenous languages, or noncolonial languages, and we at the Wikimedia Foundation actually place a great deal of emphasis on supporting communities that are doing work in these languages. We have grants that are available to community members who are organizing and doing events around outreach and growth of smaller-language projects. We call them our emerging community projects. And the whole idea is that we don’t make a decision based on winners and losers on language. The fact that Spanish and German and English and French are enormous doesn’t mean that that is sufficient to cover the entire world. We want people to be able to access content in Zulu and in whatever the indigenous languages and identities are that they’re seeking information.

We know that’s actually critical to the way that cultures continue to live, the way that identities continue to live. There’s a whole example of Welsh Wikipedia where the national government of Wales has a Wikipedian in residence who is just there to make sure that Welsh continues to be a living thriving Wikipedia language in large part because they know that having Wikipedia exist in Welsh is actually a marker as to whether other internet services will index Welsh as a living digital language. And of course we can all understand that if your language goes away or doesn’t exist in a digitized form, your identity starts to go away too. So we’re really supportive of this. We think this is part of our cultural diversity in recognizing that the sum of all knowledge requires all sorts of different understandings of knowledge, all sorts of linguistic bases for knowledge.

Glaser: Is Wikipedia available in China?

Wikipedia is not currently available in China or in Turkey. But of course Wikipedia does continue to be built by Chinese speakers. We have Chinese speakers who are outside of China, like Taiwan and Hong Kong of course, but then other Chinese speakers including folks from mainland China who edit Wikipedia from outside of the country as well as from inside the country using circumvention technologies. So Wikipedia in Chinese is not as large, and we would like to see the relative number of Chinese speakers, but we remain optimistic that it will continue to be built and will be there for when and if China ever decides to unblock us. We would love that.


          BREAKING. Supreme Court Uphold North Dakota’s Voter ID Law-      Cache   Translate Page      
Source: www.redstate.com - Tuesday, October 09, 2018
** FILE ** In this Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, the rising sun casts voters’ shadows as they wait in line to vote at a polling place at Venice Beach lifeguard headquarters in Los Angeles’ Venice district. Enthusiasm among blacks and Democrats for Barack Obama’s candidacy pushed voter turnout in this year’s elections to the highest level in 40 years. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File) From my point of view, ballot integrity, that is, ensuring that only eligible voters are allowed to vote in federal elections, is one of the major civil rights issues of our time. For reasons of political expediency, the Democrats have fought ballot integrity laws wherever they appear. Tonight they just lost one of those battles. Back in August 1, 2016, a federal court issued an injunction forbidding North Dakota official from enforcing that state’s voter ID law. Undeterred, the state legislature passed, and Governor Doug Burgum signed into law, HB 1369, which reestablished the state’s voter ID requirement. This replacement law allowed for the use of alternative means of identification, such as utility bills. The sticking point in the law is that the ID must show a street address. This is critical in ensuring that voters only vote in the district where they are eligible. A claim was made that this disenfranchised American Indian voters who used post office boxes or rural route addresses. On April 3, 2018, the United States District Court for the District of No

All Related | More on Supreme Court


           Kumpel, Chef und viele mehr: Jeder Mensch kennt etwa 5000 Gesichter      Cache   Translate Page      
Die Omi und Barack Obama, der Sandkasten-Kumpel und Michael Jackson - die Zahl uns vertrauter oder zumindest bekannter Menschen ist riesig. Wie viele Gesichter haben wir tatsächlich abgespeichert? Forscher haben sich an eine Schätzung gewagt.
          Comment on Friday Talking Points -- Kavanaugh Fight Finally Ends by Paula      Cache   Translate Page      
[150] Kick: Still, I think Biden is easily the most qualified person on the planet to clean up the Trump stench. Why? I get that he's an elder statesman and basically good guy and that he was Veep. But he - and, sadly, Obama - were ineffective in dealing with the Repubs up to and including allowing Mitch McConnell to threaten them out of revealing Russian interference in the election. Pretty much all the top Dems underestimated/misunderstood the severity of GOP rot or the genuine threat they represented. Furthermore, a lot of long serving Dems are nostalgic about past comity in the Senate during which they politely laid down for Repubs to walk over them. Not always, but often. Chris Coons went on TV to wax enthusiastic about Jeff Flake's agonizing over Kavanaugh - only to have Flake flake as usual. I like Chris Coons and, had Flake voted 'no' I'd have called it a "win" for Chris Coons. But now I see it as a "Lucy with the Football" and that rules Chris out for top job. I want someone who's been very largely informed by this crisis, not people who want to go back to something that is irretrievably broken. Dems coming are going to need to make a lot of changes and turn a lot of what used to be "tradition" into laws. I also want someone younger who may not have spent quite so many years being comfortable. However well-meaning, rich folks in Washington never have the urgency for problems that bedevil un-rich Americans. I think our older Dems are priceless resources for us and can help rebuild the democracy. But I don't want one at the top.
          Kochs' Americans for Prosperity Group Launches Campaign to Crush Fuel Economy Standards      Cache   Translate Page      
Read time: 3 mins
Shell station sign showing gas prices around $5.00 a gallon in 2008

Americans For Prosperity (AFP), a political advocacy network funded by the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers, recently launched a campaign to support President Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back fuel efficiency and automobile emissions standards.

Through social media feeds of the many AFP state chapters, the group is promoting a petition to “Repeal Costly Obama-era Fuel Standards.”


          Năm ‘cuộc chiến sống còn’ chưa từng thấy của tổng thống Trump:      Cache   Translate Page      
Mỹ không cần "cải tổ" hay "công khai hóa" vì làm thường xuyên
 - Có nhà báo hỏi Tổng thống Reagan là nước Mỹ có ý định thực thi "cải tổ" và "công khai hóa" như Gorbachev đang theo đuổi hay không. Câu trả lời đại ý là: Gorbachev đang làm cái việc mà đáng ra các nhà lãnh đạo Liên Xô phải làm từ lâu….
Cuộc chiến thứ Ba:  Cuộc chiến chống lại các thiết chế đã định hình và sự "trì trệ" của nước Mỹ.
Nếu chỉ đọc qua về sự "trì trệ" của nước Mỹ, người đọc dễ liên tưởng đây là câu chuyện hoang tưởng, nhưng đó lại phản ánh một phần sự thật.
Nước Mỹ từ lâu vốn được xem là quốc gia năng động bậc nhất, là nơi tập trung các trường đại học, các trung tâm nghiên cứu hàng đầu thế giới, là nơi có nhiều nhà khoa học đoạt giải Nobel nhất thế giới, nơi luôn khuyến khích sự sáng tạo, các ý tưởng lạ. Tóm lại, nước Mỹ được nhìn nhận là quốc gia luôn thay đổi và biết cách "tự làm mới" mình liên tục.
Còn nhớ câu chuyện giữa những năm 1980, cách đây quãng ba chục năm, khi đó Liên Xô dưới sự lãnh đạo của Mikhail Gorbachev đã đưa ra ý tưởng "cải tổ" và "công khai hóa" ("perestroika” and “glasnost") đã làm thế giới phát sốt, còn nước Mỹ thì bị lo qua mặt. Khi đó có nhà báo hỏi Tổng thống Ronald Reagan là nước Mỹ có ý định thực thi "cải tổ" và "công khai hóa" như Gorbachev đang theo đuổi hay không thì câu trả lời của Reagan, đại ý là: Gorbachev đang làm cái việc mà đáng ra các nhà lãnh đạo Liên Xô phải làm từ lâu, nhưng họ đã không làm và để vấn đề tích tụ lại. Mỹ không cần "cải tổ" hay "công khai hóa" vì đây là việc Mỹ làm thường xuyên.
Mỹ không cần 'cải tổ' hay 'công khai hóa' vì làm thường xuyên
Bốn vị Tổng thống được tạc tượng, từ trái qua: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln.
Kết quả là "cải tổ" và "công khai hóa" của Gorbachev thiếu một tầm nhìn và cách làm bài bản đã đưa Liên Xô và hệ thống Xã hội chủ nghĩa Đông Âu đến chỗ sụp đổ, còn khẩu hiệu "làm cho nước Mỹ vĩ đại trở lại" (Make America Great Again) của Reagan cùng chính sách kinh tế Reaganomics và "làm mới lại nước Mỹ ngay trên đất Mỹ" đã giúp nước Mỹ hùng mạnh trở lại trên mọi phương diện vào đầu những năm 1990.
Quay trở lại nước Mỹ trước khi ông Trump lên cầm quyền. Từ góc độ của một nhà kinh doanh thành đạt trên đỉnh cao sự nghiệp và góc nhìn mới của một chính trị gia Trump cảm thấy hết sức "thất vọng" vì nước Mỹ đang trở nên già nua, sơ cứng, có quá nhiều "trì trệ", sức ỳ, quá nhiều rào cản. Bên cạnh đó, quá nhiều thế lực hùng mạnh trong giới chính trị, kinh doanh, truyền thông... sẵn sàng liên kết, ra tay bóp nghẹt các ý tưởng mới để bảo vệ đặc quyền của mình, mà như từ ngữ ta hay dùng là lợi ích nhóm.
Lợi ích nhóm ở nước Mỹ hiện quá hùng mạnh, bám rễ quá sâu nên các nhóm này sẵn sàng liên kết, tiến hành "chiến tranh tổng lực" chống lại Trump và toàn bộ chính quyền của ông ta đến cùng. Ngược lại, để thực hiện cam kết tranh cử đưa nước Mỹ "vĩ đại trở lại" Trump, với tác phong và cách làm "phi truyền thống" cũng lao vào ăn thua đến cùng với nhóm lợi ích.
Đỉnh điểm là ngày 16/8/2018 vừa qua, cùng lúc 350 tờ báo trên khắp nước Mỹ, trong đó có những tờ lâu đời và nổi tiếng như Boston Globe, the New York Times, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer... đồng loạt đăng xã luận, công kích chính quyền Trump, coi cá nhân và Chính quyền Trump là mối đe dọa lớn nhất đối với tự do báo chí - vốn từng được coi là một trụ cột quan trọng trong xã hội Mỹ cùng với tam quyền phân lập.
Đây là điều chưa từng xảy ra trong lịch sử và xã hội Mỹ từ xưa đến nay. Nói đến đặc quyền của báo chí Mỹ thì phải kể đến câu chuyện cách đây 36 năm, chỉ với tờ Washington Post đi tiên phong, cùng các phóng sự của hai nhà báo điều tra gạo cội là Carl Bernstein và Bob Woodward đã góp phần "hạ bệ" Tổng thống đương nhiệm Richard Nixon trong vụ Watergate. Với sức mạnh của báo chí tới mức có thể "làm nên" hay "làm tiêu tùng" (make or break) sự nghiệp của một Tổng thống như vậy nên các chính trị gia thường chọn cách "dĩ hòa vi quý" thay vì làm "mếch lòng" báo chí.
Mỹ không cần 'cải tổ' hay 'công khai hóa' vì làm thường xuyên
Ảnh: Reuters
Tuy nhiên, Tổng thống Trump thì khác, chọn ngay cách đối đầu "không cùng phe”, điển hình là CNN, Washington Post, the New York Times. Ông Trump sử dụng còn bài nhất quán ngay từ đầu là coi ba tập đoàn truyền thông lớn này cùng các bài báo chỉ trích cá nhân và chính quyền của mình là "báo chí của phe Dân chủ" và chuyên đăng "tin giả" (fake news)! Nói cách khác, Trump đánh trực tiếp vào tính chính danh và sự khách quan của báo chí "không cùng phe".
Nhìn một cách công bằng, sự ra đời của Internet, và cùng với nó là các mạng xã hội như Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube... trong những năm qua đã làm giảm đáng kể quyền lực của các "ông lớn" truyền thông trong khi các ông lớn này vẫn ngủ quên trên đỉnh cao quyền lực thời hoàng kim. Mặt khác, sự phân hóa Xã hội Mỹ về mọi mặt, từ câu chuyện ranh giới giàu nghèo, thu nhập, đẳng cấp, sự hình thành giới chính trị gia "xa lông" ngày càng tách dời tầng lớp "thấp cổ bé họng"... dưới tác động đa chiều của Cách mạng công nghiệp 4.0, toàn cầu hóa đã tác động mạnh, làm mất đi sự trung lập vốn có và khiến báo chí cũng phân làn rõ rệt. Trước đây thì rất khó phát hiện, nhưng nay chỉ cần cầm tờ báo đọc qua vài bản tin hoặc bật xem TV vài phút là có thể nói tương đối chính xác thiên kiến chính trị của tờ báo hoặc hãng một truyền thông nào đó.
Do đó, khá dễ hiểu là 350 tờ báo cùng lúc đả kích Trump nhưng lại ít nhiều đều chia sẻ các quan điểm chính trị như nhau. Và như thường lệ, chỉ vài dòng "Tweets" với 50 triệu người theo dõi mỗi ngày, Trump dễ dàng "vô hiệu hóa" các xã luận trên. Trước đây khi mạng xã hội chưa phát triển, các Tổng thống, chính trị gia thường đứng im chịu trận. Nhưng nay, Trump cũng lên tiếng "đòi" được đối xử công bằng, không bị báo chí tấn công một chiều!
Tuy nhiên, chủ đích cuối cùng của Tổng thống Trump là "vô hiệu hóa" sự chỉ trích của đối thủ, khiến ông ta có vị thế áp đảo trong giới truyền thông, từ đó gây ảnh hưởng, truyền tải các thông điệp chính trị.
Trong lĩnh vực kinh tế, quốc phòng, quản trị đất nước.... ông Trump cũng có những cách làm "lạ đời", giúp tiết kiệm hàng chục triệu giờ công lao động hoặc hàng tỷ USD tiền đóng thuế của người dân, doanh nghiệp, cụ thể là:
- Tổng thống Trump ngay khi nhậm chức đã yêu cầu Boeing phải xem xét và đàm phán lại Hợp đồng mà Chính quyền Tổng thống Obama đã ký trước đó để mua hai máy bay "Không lực số một" (Air Force One) giao hàng vào năm 2024 vì giá quá cao. Boeing đứng trước tình thế phải đàm phán lại nếu không có nguy cơ bị hủy hợp đồng. Kết quả là cặp máy bay nay chỉ còn giá 3,9 tỷ USD, từ giá "trên trời" là 5,3 tỷ USD, tức giảm khoảng 25% giá ban đầu.
- Tương tự như vậy, ông Trump và Lầu Năm Góc cũng buộc hãng Lockheed Martin, nhà cung cấp máy bay chiến đấu F-35 thế hệ thứ năm phải đàm phán lại và giảm giá từ 95 triệu USD/1 chiếc F-35 mà Lầu Năm Góc trả năm 2017, xuống còn 89 triệu USD/1 chiếc cho lô hàng giao trong năm 2018 và 80 triệu USD/1 chiếc năm 2020.
Chỉ qua hai vụ đàm phán đình đám, thông điệp của ông Trump đối với giới doanh nghiệp rất đơn giản: Ngay cả những hàng hóa mang tính biểu tượng của Tổng thống, đến bảo vệ an ninh quốc gia chính quyền cũng sẵn sàng xem xét, thậm chí hủy đơn hàng nếu cần. Dó đó, các hãng lớn nếu muốn làm ăn với chính phủ, muốn có tương lai phải cải tiến, nâng cao chất lượng và giảm giá thành.
- Ngoài việc đơn giản hóa sắc luật thuế liên bang, ngày 30/1/2017 Tổng thống Trump còn ký một sắc lệnh của Tổng thống quy định, từ nay trở đi bất cứ một quy định, hay điều lệ mới nào của liên bangi ra đời thì cơ quan đệ trình buộc phải vô hiệu hóa hai hai quy định hay điều lệ cũ. Mục đích của việc này là tránh biến các cơ quan công quyền thành bộ máy quan liêu, ra các "quy định trên trời", tạo thuận lợi tối đa cho cuộc sống, sinh hoạt của người dân, cũng như hoạt động của doanh nghiệp.
Trên đây chỉ là một số ít ví dụ, nhưng nó cho thấy cuộc chiến chống lại thiết chế đã định hình và gắn với nó là lợi ích nhóm với đủ loại biến tướng là hết sức khó khăn, phức tạp. Hơn nữa, đây lại là cuộc chiến nội bộ nơi các đồng minh lẫn đối thủ đều minh tường các điểm mạnh, yếu của nhau và sẵn sàng ra đòn dứt điểm đối phương bất cứ khi nào khi có thời cơ.
Đón đọc tiếp kỳ 3
TS. Hoàng Anh Tuấn, nguyên Viện trưởng Viện Chiến lược, Bộ Ngoại giao.
Năm cuộc 'đại chiến’ chưa từng thấy của ông Donald Trump

Năm cuộc 'đại chiến’ chưa từng thấy của ông Donald Trump

Trong lịch sử thế giới cận đại gần 500 năm qua, thế giới chưa từng chứng kiến một nhân vật lãnh đạo nào của một quốc gia hùng mạnh nhất thế giới như Donald Trump.
Donald Trump – bản sao của Neville Chamberlain thời nay?

Donald Trump – bản sao của Neville Chamberlain thời nay?

Tổng thống Mỹ Donald Trump “giương cơ” bằng việc sử dụng “vũ khí” thuế đã đẩy thế giới vào cục diện phức tạp.
Liên minh Nga-Trung có thể đảo lộn chiến lược quân sự Mỹ

Liên minh Nga-Trung có thể đảo lộn chiến lược quân sự Mỹ

Lần đầu tiên trong lịch sử, 3.200 binh sĩ Trung Quốc tham gia diễn tập bên cạnh khoảng 300.000 binh sĩ Nga ở miền Đông Siberia.
Rung lắc ngoại giao và  &quot;tam giác chiến lược Mỹ – Hàn – Triều&quot;

Rung lắc ngoại giao và "tam giác chiến lược Mỹ – Hàn – Triều"

Các xung lực ngoại giao và chiến lược đang thay đổi chóng mặt trên bán đảo Triều Tiên báo trước các thỏa thuận an ninh tiềm năng, sẽ khác nhiều so với bất kỳ sự mong đợi hay tưởng tượng nào cách đây vài năm.
Chiến tranh thương mại Mỹ - Trung: &quot;Người phát bóng&quot;

Chiến tranh thương mại Mỹ - Trung: "Người phát bóng"

Nhiều nhà quan sát cuộc chiến tranh thương mại đồng ý rằng Mỹ đang là “người phát bóng” trong cuộc đấu này. Nhưng cuộc chơi vẫn còn dài.    
Khuynh hướng “tả phái” của giới trẻ Mỹ sẽ đi về đâu?

Khuynh hướng “tả phái” của giới trẻ Mỹ sẽ đi về đâu?

Còn hai tháng nữa người ta sẽ biết liệu khuynh hướng “tả phái” của giới trẻ Mỹ sẽ đi về đâu, rồi giới công nhân từng bầu cho ông Donald Trump sẽ bầu cho ai.
Chiến tranh thương mại Mỹ - Trung: Nhìn từ góc độ chính trị

Chiến tranh thương mại Mỹ - Trung: Nhìn từ góc độ chính trị

Cuộc leo thang của Mỹ không chỉ nhằm vào Trung Quốc mà vào tất cả những nước còn lại, kể cả đồng minh của Mỹ.
Cuộc chiến thương mại Mỹ-Trung: Những cảnh báo với Việt Nam

Cuộc chiến thương mại Mỹ-Trung: Những cảnh báo với Việt Nam

Tác động lớn nhất hiện nay không phải ở thương mại hàng hóa mà là ở thị trường tiền tệ.

          Could we retroactively recall Obama and Clinton? (nm) (Mondo Fuego™ )      Cache   Translate Page      
none
          Comment on Kavanaugh confirmed by JTC      Cache   Translate Page      
To be clear I am very appreciative of a mostly reliably conservative (he was on the wrong side on obamacare) addition to the court going forward -one can only imagine the nature of the two most recent justices if the Beast had chosen them- but that still just does not excuse such blatant and premeditated action as this...there is no statement of the women being the most qualified or most deserving of these coveted positions, the overriding criteria was that they be female, as the judge said in his own words at his hearing, intended to gain favor and signal his non-discriminatory virtue to those who in turn had only that as their criteria...and in the process exposed a blatant willingness to discriminate to benefit himself: "New Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh has made good on his pledge to hire women to serve as his law clerks, becoming the first justice to have an all-female staff. Kavanaugh said during his Senate confirmation hearings that he has made a special effort to hire women after reading a story years ago about the unequal balance between men and women hired for prestigious clerkships at the Supreme Court and for other federal judges. “My women law clerks said I was one of the strongest advocates in the federal judiciary for women lawyers,” Kavanaugh said at the hearing. “And they wrote that the legal profession is fairer and more equal because of me.” He added: “In my time on the bench, no federal judge — not a single one in the country — has sent more women law clerks to clerk on the Supreme Court than I have.” Kavanaugh told the senators that as part of a contingent plan should he be confirmed, he had to hire “a first group of four law clerks who could be available to clerk at the Supreme Court for me on a moment’s notice.” He added: “All four are women. If confirmed, I’ll be the first justice in the history of the Supreme Court to have a group of all-women law clerks. That is who I am.” New justices often hire former clerks to Supreme Court justices or their own former clerks to fill such positions. But only one of the four, Kim Jackson, worked for Kavanaugh on the appeals court. That's just wrong: whether set-asides are racial, sexual, cultural or whatever, discrimination is discrimination and it has no place on a body which will likely be reviewing important cases regarding it...think so-called reverse discrimation on race, sexual orientations re private property rights, immigrants and religion, and yes exactly the sexual discrimination he himself was so savagely subjected to in this process. Whether or not these women are the most qualified was irrelevant and that certainly discriminates against those who were, regardless of gender.
          Democrats to try to force vote on Trump roll back of Obamacare insurance rules      Cache   Translate Page      

Democrats will force a vote in the Senate on Wednesday to try to roll back President Trump's plans to approve sales of health insurance that falls short of Obamacare's standards, hoping to get back on track after the bruising Supreme Court fight.

They insisted health care, not Justice Brett M. ...

          Justices reject appeal of Kavanaugh environmental ruling      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is declining to review an environmental ruling written by Brett Kavanaugh in his former role as an appeals court judge.

The justices on Tuesday left in place an August 2017 ruling the new Supreme Court justice wrote that struck down an Obama-era Environmental Protection ...

          Pablo Jarillo, investigador del MIT: “El grafeno es tan raro que todavía estamos pensando qué hacer con él”      Cache   Translate Page      

Este físico valenciano investiga en el Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts (EE UU) las propiedades de los materiales bidimensionales primos del grafeno, “tan extraordinarias que hay aplicaciones que ni siquiera se nos han ocurrido aún”. Jarillo, premiado por Obama por sus investigaciones, pide paciencia con este material: “Se han creado expectativas poco realistas en torno al […]

La entrada Pablo Jarillo, investigador del MIT: “El grafeno es tan raro que todavía estamos pensando qué hacer con él” se publicó primero en EcuadorUniversitario.Com.


          How Hyatt's Ban on Conservative 'Hate Groups' Exposes the Left's Corrupt Bias      Cache   Translate Page      

Hyatt Hotels Corporation issued a statement last week declaring it would no longer host conservative "hate groups." This decision came after Muslim Advocates, MoveOn.org, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) launched a campaign—funded by George Soros—to attack the hotel chain for hosting ACT for America's conference at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel.

As I wrote in a previous Strang Report, ACT for America is the United States' biggest grass-roots anti-terrorism organization. Brigitte Gabriel founded the organization to equip everyday citizens to stand up for their rights and protect their Judeo-Christian values. She writes more about her vision in her new book, Rise, which Charisma House published in September.

Gabriel has spoken out against liberal values infiltrating the U.S. And now Hyatt is proving her case by banning groups like ACT for America from its hotels, exposing the left's relentless attack on conservative values.

Although America has suffered this deep divide between the left and the right for decades, no event has made its existence as abundantly clear as Donald Trump's election in 2016.

As I explain in my new book, Trump Aftershock, Donald Trump's election was unexpected. Even for those who worked hardest for his election, the realization that the New York billionaire had actually won struck like an earthquake, shaking everything and everybody.

If you read God and Donald Trump, you know I believed he might win, which is why I flew to New York for his election-night party. I admit I was nervous. But being there on that historic night, I saw that even his most ardent fans could barely believe it as the returns came in. And that was just the beginning.

The aftershocks have continued ever since the inauguration, affecting politics, business, foreign affairs and the culture in many new and surprising ways. The panic that ensued on the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, was due mainly to the fact that no one in either party had given much thought to what the world would look like if Hillary Clinton lost the election. The polls and the talking heads had been saying for months that she had it in the bag. She had finally burst through the glass ceiling and was on her way to becoming the first female president of the United States. Then suddenly, everything changed.

All those big plans would never come to fruition, and the Democrats found themselves staring into the face of a harsh new reality: They were out of power, and the candidate the left feared more than any other would be taking care of business at the White House. The Obama era was finished, and the world would soon be seeing him and his presidency in a new light. Today, we're still dealing with that reality, uncovering secrets and shenanigans long hidden in darkness and doing our best to deal with the aftershocks coming from those stunning revelations.

In Trump's first two years in office, the economy has broken out of its decades-long slump and set so many records The New York Times had to admit it "ran out of words" to describe the incredible success of the economy under Trump's leadership. Employment numbers have gone through the roof, topping 220,000 new jobs in the month of May 2018, with unemployment falling to 3.8 percent overall, the lowest in 18 years. At the same time, black unemployment is down to 5.9 percent, an all-time record, and companies announced they were giving thousand-dollar bonuses to more than a million workers. Despite the counterattacks from the Democratic leadership, the American people were ecstatic, and the mainstream media were appalled.

The media were clearly on the other side from Day One, but Trump was swept into office by a red wave of Middle Americans who were sick and tired of Washington's way of doing business. They were tired of the liberal talking heads bashing their values and beliefs, and they weren't going to take it anymore. Political observers reported that the people were so frustrated with the government's unwelcome intrusion into their lives that they were on the verge of full-scale revolt. They could feel the country spiraling downward from its previous greatness.

The nation was reaching a point where something had to be done, and that something turned out to be Donald Trump. As Gov. Mike Huckabee told me in an interview for this book, "Quite frankly, the goal of the voters was not to send someone to Washington who would fix anything. They couldn't care less about what our solutions were. They wanted someone to go and burn the place down, and Trump was the guy who seemingly carried a can of gasoline and a lighter every time he went to a rally. He was ready to burn it down, and that excited people."

As it turned out, voters from both sides concluded that there was no hope of finding common ground. Some of them, particularly in blue-collar country, decided to switch rather than fight and moved to the right. But we also witnessed unprecedented confrontations and a level of hostility not seen in this country since the Civil War. Battles over immigration, gun control, taxes, health care, abortion, entitlements, the environment and everything else were pushing the parties to extremes. Emotions were boiling over in communities all over the country as gangs of leftist thugs and anarchists tried to muscle in on the conversation. But the fact is, President Trump won the 2016 election the old-fashioned way, earning the votes of more than 60 million Americans and winning the electoral votes of 30 states.

It seems the biggest surprise in this developing story was that during the campaign, the administration of the outgoing president, aided by the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA and a network of spies and undercover operatives, conducted a search-and-destroy mission against the Trump campaign. Over several months, these men and women laid an elaborate trap so that in the unlikely event Trump somehow snatched the victory from the waiting arms of Hillary Clinton, he wouldn't last long enough to do much damage. The fact that this deep-state coup d'etat has largely failed, and the president has successfully defended his administration, is almost as big a miracle as the election itself.

In Trump Aftershock, I go into more detail—all of which is carefully documented—about what Trump has accomplished since his election. While the leftist media would like to ignore the good Trump has done and focus solely on his flaws, I try to tell the story of Trump's presidential accomplishments from a Christian journalistic perspective.

You can pre-order the book now on Amazon or at trumpaftershock.com. If you pre-order through the latter website, you can download several chapters free until the book ships to you when it releases Nov. 6.

We can stand up for our Christian values and confront the left's corrupt bias. If you agree, share this article on your social media and listen to my podcast below!


           Kumpel, Chef und viele mehr: Jeder Mensch kennt etwa 5000 Gesichter      Cache   Translate Page      
Die Omi und Barack Obama, der Sandkasten-Kumpel und Michael Jackson - die Zahl uns vertrauter oder zumindest bekannter Menschen ist riesig. Wie viele Gesichter haben wir tatsächlich abgespeichert? Forscher haben sich an eine Schätzung gewagt.
          Comment on Inauguration Day by the Numbers; Trump vs. Obama by for more information      Cache   Translate Page      
Sweet website , super pattern , rattling clean and use friendly.
          With Relentless Pressure from Noem, Trump Approves Year-Round E15       Cache   Translate Page      

After months of relentless pressure from Rep. Kristi Noem, President Donald Trump today took the first step toward lifting restrictions on year-round E15. More specifically, under the president's direction, the EPA will begin the rule-making process that would allow for 15 percent ethanol blends to be used throughout the year.

“To stabilize the ag economy, we need to expand market access, and ethanol is a huge market that, because of federal regulations, we've been unable to fully tap into," said Noem. "President Trump and I have had many conversations about the expansion of E15. He knows where I stand, and that I wouldn't give up on this issue until we made it right for farmers in South Dakota and for consumers who are demanding more affordable, homegrown fuels. I am grateful that he has followed through on this promise to the American people." 

"We are thrilled that the President is moving forward with his promise to deliver year round sales of E15, and we appreciate the key role Congresswoman Noem played in getting us to this point, particularly as a Chair of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus and as a strong supporter of renewable fuels,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “This announcement is great news for farmers, biofuel workers, retailers and consumers everywhere who want to enjoy cleaner, more affordable options at the fuel pump.”

“We commend Rep. Noem for her leadership in Congress and helping the Administration understand the importance of increasing market access for agricultural products,” said Scott VanderWal, President of the South Dakota Farm Bureau. “The best way out of the current poor ag economy is to find new markets and expand existing ones.”

“I would like to thank President Trump, on behalf of our 2,000 employees and our 30,000 producers, for fulfilling his promise to the Midwest and our industry. I'd also like to thank Rep. Noem and our other biofuel champions in Washington for their strong support throughout this process,” said Jeff Broin, CEO of POET. “This is a historic directive – not only for our farmers, but for the nation as a whole. The move to E15 will provide consumers with the choice to fill up with low-cost, high-performance fuel year-round, while improving air quality in our country’s largest cities.”

“Today is an exciting day for corn producers. Allowing year-round E15 is a move South Dakota Corn has been pushing for years. I would like to thank Representative Noem for her continuous advocacy with President Trump on behalf of South Dakota producers,” said Lisa Richardson, Executive Director of South Dakota Corn. “We welcome this announcement and the opportunity to supply more of our nation’s fuel supply.”

A co-chair of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, Noem has been a leading ethanol advocate, putting immense pressure on the Trump administration to lift E15 restrictions and allow year-round usage. She has met on numerous occasions with President Trump and top administration officials on the topic and led more than 20 House members in urging the EPA to approve expanded ethanol opportunities. Furthermore, Noem has consistently pushed to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which the Obama administration repeatedly fell short of meeting and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt failed to make the adjustments needed in the new administration.  
          Acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler liked a blatantly racist meme about the Obamas      Cache   Translate Page      

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency liked a racist post about the Obamas a few years ago and engaged with prominent far-right conspiracy theorists on social media, according to screenshots published online Tuesday.

Andrew Wheeler, who has been the agency's acting administrator since...


          Shunned By Democrats, Clintons Plan Post-Midterms Speaking Tour; Tickets Priced Up To $750      Cache   Translate Page      

Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have kindly been asked by fellow Democrats to make themselves scarce during midterms, will embark on a 13-city speaking tour beginning in Las Vegas on November 18, according to Bloomberg.

Tickets won't be cheap either - with prices for the first show ranging from around $72 to $750 on ticketmaster to watch the prototypical American power couple "sharing stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers in public service, while also discussing issues of the day and looking towards the future," according to an announcement from Live Nation. 

Bloomberg points out that the new speaking tour is likely to stoke criticism over the Clintons leveraging their political fame to give expensive speaking tours - including an infamous $500,000 speech to a Kremlin-linked investment bank amid the Uranium One deal (a trip during which Clinton and Putin hung out at the Russian president's house). 

The tour and ticket prices could reignite criticism of the former first couple for profiting from their former offices. During the 2016 campaign, Republicans blasted Hillary Clinton for giving highly paid speeches to corporate audiences after leaving public service.

Indeed, the Clinton tour follows two years of declining popularity - between Hillary Clinton's historic 2016 loss to Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton's old rape allegations cropping up amid the #MeToo phenomenon. 

Vanity Fair writes "The Trump era has not been kind to the Clintons, the prototypical American power couple who, after three decades in the public eye, have seen their political capital vastly diminished. Hillary, indelibly marked by her 2016 election loss, has played only a limited role in the midterms, given the Democratic Party’s newfound aversion to her brand of establishment politics. Bill, meanwhile, has undergone a belated reckoning with #MeToo." 

[T]he issue of Hillary’s “likability”—as Barack Obama so memorably put it—is now secondary to the #MeToo scandals hanging over Bill, and the awkward questions she has been forced to address. In a recent interview with CNN, she drew a painstaking line between Bill and the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against the current president, noting, “There’s a very significant difference, and that is the intense, long-lasting, partisan investigation that was conducted in the 90s. If the Republicans, starting with President Trump on down, want a comparison, they should welcome such an investigation themselves.” That answer may be sufficient for the dwindling number of hardcore Clinton fans, but it is unlikely to win converts. -Vanity Fair

Tickets for the Clinton tour go on sale Friday. It should be fun to compare crowd sizes between Trump rallies and Clinton appearances. 


          7/22 2pm Angela, Hot Topics      Cache   Translate Page      
Angela and Todd talk about the arrest and death of Sandra Bland and hears your reaction to recently released video.

[0:10:02] ... largest demographic. Will no longer play a major role in deciding future. Presidential elections. Vinny says when combining this reality with an electorate that elected and reelected the first African American president. Aging white Republican voters are feeling outnumbered. And are looking for a candidate willing to say all the things they secretly think about president Barack Obama. And America's growing immigrant population. Very strong stuff and I'm. We're than asking the question. Do you think. Donald Trump this fear ...
[0:13:38] ... about in trending your particular Todd. We're asking the question when a police officer pulls you over. Do you comply with his request no matter want. And this of course is in reference to the dash cam video of that and as you said all 52 minutes of it now. In the Sarah bland arrest the woman who was arrested. Pulled over for traffic violation if it went ballistic from there she ended happen in jail and three days later found home to death. Other looking at ...
[0:16:42] ... wanna give it anymore. And the well under basic picture of the police officer. There are the authority and the controlling environment of security within. Are great people within our communities. And now that's actually a type of attitude that when a police officer pulls somebody over all these. Well actually wanted to do is to do their job and have people all the rules of the road. And then other people they are still in therapy in their heart party and that certain way Eric cause lawless nonsense. Then the police officer Doug is jobs are or whoever is. And then all of sudden all of Purcell was a victim and that's what you ...

          7/22 1pm Angela, What's Trending      Cache   Translate Page      
Angela was joined co-host of WWL's First Take, Todd Menesses and Dave Cohen, WWL News Director. The team talk about the abundance of oil in the market, the arrest and death of Sandra Bland and two puppies get a new home.

[0:23:16] ... one who needs to. Be there are so that he can beat Hillary Clinton's so. We will wait and see interestingly today though couple poles came out showing head to heads between the major GOP candidates and Clinton. And most cases Clinton loses. But they are the election is a year from this ball NASA it's not way to work better than a year to get this time and President Obama lose against most of them. And that was Hillary Clinton Obama they didn't do well in early polling neither and they both became pro. Dave Cullen. We were talking yesterday about. Price of oil may be going down to two dollars a gallon. Good news for all of us who. Have big tanks to fill but kind of bad news process states and the economy. Yet the president gasoline by this fall guest but he says will be a buck 99 or less per gallon here in Louisiana so that's good news but that's because oil prices have been falling price of a barrel of oil has been plummeting. And we got a report. Right after we were talking ...
[0:24:59] ... that 6000 jobs here in Louisiana just Louisiana. And we talked with Eric Smith a professor at the Tulane energy. Institute. And he says it's worse than that even sounds because an oil patch job. Pays. ...

          7/21 2pm Angela, Hot Topics      Cache   Translate Page      
Angela and Scoot hone in on an idea by the Obama administration to limit gun ownership of those who are unable to manage their own Social Security affairs.

[0:00:44] ... this out should people. Who were unable to take care of their Social Security checks by themselves. Be banned from getting a gun. There's a proposal. This is Obama is proposing to keep people who collect Social Security benefits from owning guns in fits determined. They're unable to manage their own affairs. Due to sub normal intelligence to mental illness. ...
[0:02:20] ... call should people who were unable to take care of their. Owned Social Security checks by themselves. Be banned from getting in on. I mean this sounds like a gross violation of a Second Amendment and and if you think about a case somebody doesn't do well what their finances should you keep them from getting your gun. I would disagree with bad however it's my understanding that this. Looks more like our gross violation of the Second Amendment but it's it's trying to bring the Social Security Administration in line with laws to prevent felons and addicts and and and those who I'm buying guns now whether they're on Social Security or not. Not allowing them to get guns even if they're on Social Security. That is correct. And yes I mean we already several laws against some people getting guns so that's not new. It's also the way I'm reading mrs. It is Social Security which has never taken part in background checks systems. Uses the same standard as the department of veteran affairs which is the ...
[0:09:05] ... First time somebody can turn it. A young girl just graduating from high school on her way to a party caucus faced ram just broadside to. I was in a this is an older Mercedes heavier ...
[0:10:03] ... talk about people who are unable to take care of their own Social Security checks in other words. They have people that are assigned to help them with that probably a family member perhaps somebody in ...

          What do I have to do in order to get accepted into Phillips Exeter Academy?      Cache   Translate Page      
Hey, and this is my first time posting to this forum. Anyways, let me tell you my story. My name is ReadyPlayaOne and I go to school in Oahu (Hawaii ; 8th Grade). I am trying to get into Phillips Exeter Academy. I have been studying for the SSAT which I will take in November-January. I have been mostly studying vocab. I am making flashcards (40 a day) of SSAT Upper-Level Vocab and doing all the SSAT practice tests I can find. About myself, I am very interested in tech and coding. In fact, I will be making a coding club at school to teach my peers how to code Python and Sequel. I am not interested at all, in any sports. I am very bad at all sports, probably because I'm skinny. I used to go to 'Iolani in 6th grade. But, unfortunately, due to that of my mischievous behavior, I got kicked out. But they told me I could come back. When I did the SSAT to go to that 'Iolani I got around the 82% percentile. I was applying to 6th grade at the time. Then after I got kicked out, I got accepted into Mid-Pacific, another top school and I got put into the summer school because they wanted to see how I did, but in the final decision, I couldn't go. I also got waitlisted into Punahou, the school our 44th president, Barack Obama went to. I then proceeded to a charter school in 7th grade. So fast forward to now in 8th grade, I go to the same school, a charter school. I get Mostly A's and sometimes B+'s. So what do I have to do now, to get accepted into Exeter? My family would apply for financial aid by the way. Sincerely, ReadyPlayaOne
          Hand-wringing over "the children"      Cache   Translate Page      
I used a screen shot because I decline to link either to articles of this type or to the NYT generally. But I've seen too many articles asking a question like this. What's with the inability to explain stuff to kids lately? OK, I don't have any kids, but would I have been at a loss to explain President Obama or Nancy Pelosi? "Kids, you may have heard a lot of talk about how some people in Washington are spawn of the devil. Rest assured that the grownups have this all under control, that a lot of what you're hearing is exaggerated political talk, and that you don't need to believe it literally. People have different ideas about how to solve problems, and sometimes it gets messy, but we work it out in the end. Now do your homework."

My parents voted in different parties, so I learned early that it was possible to remain civil about political disagreements. We were all atheists, but my parents required me to be civil to our churchgoing neighbors and relatives. Why would it be hard to explain that something happened 35 years ago that we're never going to be able to be sure about, so it didn't end up being the decisive issue in the vetting of a new Supreme Court Justice?

Shoot, just have the kids watch "To Kill a Mockingbird" again, and ask them whether they identify mostly strongly with Miss Mae Ellen or with Atticus Finch's client. "It's OK to feel sorry for Miss Mae Ellen, kids, without voting to hang Tom," and "even if all your friends tell you you'd be a traitor to your race if you believe Tom over Miss Mae Ellen, you don't have to go along, and the sooner you learn this, the better."
           Jeder Mensch kennt etwa 5000 Gesichter       Cache   Translate Page      
Die Omi und Barack Obama, der Sandkasten-Kumpel und Michael Jackson - die Zahl uns vertrauter oder zumindest bekannter Menschen ist riesig. Wie viele Gesichter haben wir tatsächlich abgespeichert? Forscher haben sich an eine Schätzung gewagt.
          Taylor Swift, Madonna, De Niro e celebridades atacadas por Donald Trump      Cache   Translate Page      

iG São Paulo

O Presidente norte-americano disse gostar "25% menos" das músicas da cantora depois dela apoiar candidato democrata ao Senado; entenda

Na última segunda-feira (08), Donald Trump declarou que gostava cerca de 25% menos da música de Taylor Swift, depois da cantora declarar seu apoio ao candidato democrata do Tennessee ao Senado. Ela demonstrou  seu apoio a Phil Bredesen no domingo para a Câmara alta em seu estado natal, e fez um ataque a sua oponente, a republicana Marsha Blackburn, que atualmente está no Senado.

Leia também: Atriz pornô Stormy Daniels vai publicar livro sobre sua relação com Donald Trump

Donald Trump já teve problemas com diversos famosos

Donald Trump já teve problemas com diversos famosos

Foto: Nicholas Kamm/AFP


Donald Trump foi questionado sobre a sua reação ao desprezo da cantora, e respondeu aos repórteres na Casa Branca que "tinha certeza de que Taylor Swift não sabia nada" sobre Blackburn. "Vamos dizer que eu gosto da música de Taylor cerca de 25% menos agora", disse.

A cantora não está sozinha e se juntou a muitos famosos que já foram alvo do Presidente norte-americano em entrevistas ou nas redes sociais; confira a lista.

Madonna

Madonna já foi criticada por Donald Trump

Madonna já foi criticada por Donald Trump

Foto: Reprodução / Instagram


A rainha do pop foi uma das vítimas do Presidente norte-americano. Depois da cantora discursar contra Trump e afirmar que ficou irritada com o resultado das eleições ao ponto de “explodir a Casa Branca”, o político afirmou que Madonna é repugnante. “Acho que ela se machucou muito, acho que ela machucou toda essa causa”, afirmou, referindo-se à marcha que aconteceu em diversas cidades do mundo em prol dos direitos das mulheres e questões como reformas trabalhistas e meio ambiente.

LeBron James

LeBron James teve seus problemas com Donald Trump

LeBron James teve seus problemas com Donald Trump

Foto: Reprodução/CNN


Outro alvo do Presidente foi o jogador de basquete LeBron James, que foi ridicularizado por Trump e disse que o atleta foi entrevista “pelo homem mais idiota da televisão, Don Lemon”, e que ele fez LeBron “parecer inteligente, o que não é fácil”.

O mesmo aconteceu com o também jogador de basquete Stephen Curry, que desconvidou o atleta a ir à Casa Blanca depois dele dizer que não queria comemorar o título da NBA na casa do Presidente.

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro e Donald Trump já trocaram várias farpas

Robert De Niro e Donald Trump já trocaram várias farpas

Foto: Divugação Youtube


Trump usou as redes sociais para rebater o protesto feito por Robert De Niro durante a entrega dos prêmios Tony Awards. “Robert De Niro, uma pessoa de QI muito baixo, recebeu muitos socos na cabeça de verdadeiros pugilistas em filmes. Eu o vi ontem a noite e realmente acredito que ele pode ter levado muitos socos na vida”, publicou ele.

Leia também: Madonna diz que filho e governo Trump motivaram mudança para Portugal

Jimmy Follon

Jimmy Follonm e Donald Trump se atacaram

Jimmy Follonm e Donald Trump se atacaram

Foto: Reprodução/Instagram


A briga entre Trump e Jimmy Follonm começou no dia 19 de junho desse ano, quando Follon disse que não queria “normalizar” o Presidente e apoiar sua política. O Presidente, é claro, não deixou passar e falou do ator em seu Twitter. “ @ jimmyfallon agora está choramingando a todos que ele fez o famoso 'show de cabelo' comigo ... porque é dito que ele me 'humanizou' - ele está pegando calor. Ele ligou e disse 'avaliações de monstros'. Seja um homem Jimmy”, escreveu.

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin foi criticado por Donald Trump

Alec Baldwin foi criticado por Donald Trump

Foto: Divulgação


Alec Baldwin foi vítima de Trump depois de criticar a imitação que o ator fez dele. “Alec Baldwin, cuja carreira estava morrendo e foi salva por sua terrível imitação de mim no SNL, agora diz que me interpretar foi uma agonia. Alec, foi uma agonia para quem foi forçado a assistir. Tragam Darrell Hammons de volta, mais engraçado e mais talentoso!”, disparou Trump.

Michelle Wolf

Michelle Wolf também foi atacada por Donald Trump

Michelle Wolf também foi atacada por Donald Trump

Foto: Reprodução/Instagram


Michelle Wolf atacou Trump durante o jantar dos correspondentes da Casa Branca, em 2018, em um monólogo de 20 minutos que atraiu a oposição e o apoio de uma plateia dividida. O Presidente aproveitou para pedir o fim do jantar anual, dizendo que o monólogo de Wolf era “um desastre total e um embaraço para o nosso grande país e tudo o que ele representa”.

Oprah

Oprah foi chamada de

Oprah foi chamada de "insegura" por Donald Trump

Foto: Divulgação


Oprah foi mais uma na lista dos famosos vítimas de Trump e chamada pelo Presidente de “insegura” enquanto aparecia em “60 Minutes, em fevereiro deste ano. Durante o episódio, ela falou com um painel de simpatizantes e oponentes de Trump. "Apenas assisti a uma insegura ‘Oprah Winfrey’, que em um ponto eu conhecia muito bem, ser entrevistada por um painel de pessoas no ‘60 Minutes’. As perguntas eram tendenciosas e inclinadas. Espero que Oprah concorra (para presidente) para que ela possa ser exposta e derrotada como todos os outros”, escreveu ele.

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg recebeu críticas de Donald Trump

Snoop Dogg recebeu críticas de Donald Trump

Foto: Divulgação


Em resposta a um clipe de Snoop Dogg, que mostra uma cena do rapper disparando uma pistola falsa em um palhaço vestido como o presidente, Trump atacou o cantor e não poupou críticas. “"Você pode imaginar o que seria o protesto se o @SnoopDogg, com sua carreira fracassada e tudo mais, tivesse apontado e disparado a arma contra o presidente Obama? Tempo de prisão”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger já foi atacado por Donald Trump

Arnold Schwarzenegger já foi atacado por Donald Trump

Foto: Divulgação


Leia também: Robert De Niro volta alfinetar Trump:"Se ele entrar em meu restaurante, eu saio"

Donald Trump criticou abertamente o ator Arnold Schwarzenegger pela queda da audiência de “The Apprentice” (O Aprendiz, em inglês), reality show que ajudou o atual presidente a ficar conhecido no país. Quando ele saiu do reality, Schwarzenegger foi chamado para substitui-lo.


          Emily Yoffe on how to adjudicate claims of sexual misconduct      Cache   Translate Page      
Over at The Atlantic, Emily Yoffe, who used to do the Dear Prudence column for Slate (a feature I quite liked), has since moved on, reporting extensively for The Atlantic on sexual assault allegations, particularly in colleges. Like me, she’s worried about the lack of proper adjudication in colleges that arrived after Obama’s well-intentioned “Dear […]
          [ggersh] Yep just look at Yemen, trump golfs like Obama oh wait does just about everythin...      Cache   Translate Page      
Yep just look at Yemen, trump golfs like Obama
oh wait does just about everything the same

drain the swamp Kav was a dubya lackey....lmao

          Comment on Taylor Swift Votes The GOP by Jean Lafitte (@loupgarous)      Cache   Translate Page      
Not really comforting news, but Barack Obama's 2012 win after the clusterhump in and palpable lies about Benghazi, his lethal diplomatic fumbling in Egypt and Syria, creating ISIS and the open mike incident with Putin's flunky Medvedev in South Korea show those studies you cite are right.
          Obama Administration collaboration with Russia      Cache   Translate Page      
The stove-piping of the now infamous Fusion GPS dossier into a US FISA national security court seems to be a fatal blunder. Fusion GPS, through collaboration with its Russian intelligence contacts, assembled the dossier. Fusion GPS had previously been employed by the FBI but had been fired due to their practice of leaking to the media. Through DoJ official Bruce Ohr and other back channels, the dossier was channeled back into the government and presented as legitimate evidence before a FISA court to obtain surveillance warrants for Carter Page. Even though the assembly of the dossier was conducted through a...
           Comment on America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President by Obama exposed | Cierra       Cache   Translate Page      
[…] https://mariomurilloministries.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/americas-most-biblically-hostile-u-s-preside… […]
          Trevor Noah Savages Senate Vote That Made Brett Kavanaugh Donald Trump’s New Supreme Court Justice      Cache   Translate Page      
“Kavanugh,” Trevor Noah began tonight’s The Daily Show. Much booing from his studio audience. “Don't boo – vote!" Noah shot back, channeling President Obama's line at the Democratic National Convention in summer of ’16 in Philadelphia, when Obama’s mention of Donald Trump during his speech elicited similar booing.  Now, as then, the “vote” line went over big. “Until recently, Brett was just some guy without an inside voice,” Noah joked of Kavanaugh. “But over the weekend…
          Comment on The National Rifle Association Has Marginalized Themselves by Georgiaboy61      Cache   Translate Page      
Re: "As I’ve said before, I consider the NRA to be the largest, most well funded and well connected gun control organization on earth." Your analysis is spot-on. The National Rifle Association exemplifies, in almost textbook fashion, the principle of controlled opposition. It is the same principle which has rendered the Republican Party an echo chamber of the left since the 1950s. Controlled opposition, as a method of undermining a political, ideological or other opponent, relies upon the same basic method an intelligence agency or case officer uses in a false-flag operation. If one can't get rid of the opposition, the next-best outcome is to control who or whatever opposes you, and steer it, as much as possible, to your own ends. If your opponent won't do what you want, when you want it -do it for him, suitably disguised of course to hide your intentions and identity. A classic example would be the FBI investigating the anti-war/peace movement of the 1960s. Agents could be infiltrated into existing groups - which was done, despite being difficult and dangerous to do - or one might take the proactive approach of forming an anti-war group and using it as a means to subvert the opposition agenda, as well as infiltrate it at the same time. The deep-state used similar methods to infiltrate and eventually destroy the Tea Party movement as a political force, during the Obama years. The NRA is a legitimate non-profit whose history dates back to 1871 and its founding, by two Union officers - Colonel William C. Church and General George Wingate - veterans of the Civil War dismayed by poor marksmanship in the ranks. For the first few decades of its existence, the NRA functioned to promote firearms skills and Second Amendment rights - more or less what its founders intended. All the better as a disguise and proof of their legitimacy for when the anti-gun statists began to take over the organization, which in the case of the NRA began to happen around the time of the Great War and accelerated into the FDR years of the 1930s. The great philosopher Eric Hoffer once observed, "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket." His observation could have been made with any number of dozens of non-profits in Washington in mind, from the NAACP to the NRA. As a firearms owner and perhaps even as an NRA member, maybe you have asked yourself, "Why is it that firearms regulations are never rolled back when Republican administrations are in power?" Or, "Why doesn't the NRA push for the repeal of the Hughes Amendment, GCA 1968 or the NFA 1934?" The answer lies in a variation of what political scientists and economists call "regulatory capture," i.e., "Regulatory capture is a form of political corruption that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating" (Wiki). In this case, it isn't a government agency which fails, but a non-profit. Hoffer was correct - causes to movements to rackets. Another reason the NRA doesn't want to roll back FA regulation is that they have figured out that their business model is most-profitable when gun rights are under threat. Moreover, the top people at the NRA fear that there would be no (or much less) need for them and their organization if the various firearms regulations accumulated over the last eighty-five years or so were rolled back. Paradoxically, as cynical as the NRA can be - and let no one doubt that they are! - they can pivot on a dime and actually do yeoman work in preserving the Second Amendment and the RTKBAs, when their rice bowel is threatened. All of those "moderates" running the NRA suddenly become pro-gun zealots when it is their gravy train which is threatened with derailment! It can be seen, then, by careful analysis - that the interests of the typical firearm owner sometimes coincide with those of the NRA, but just as often do not. Gun Owners of America and a number of other smaller, more-agile organizations do better work on a per dollar basis, and have far-greater integrity than the old fuddy-duddies at the NRA.
          Comment on Blasey & Kavanaugh VIII: Every Man by Michael LaBossiere      Cache   Translate Page      
Fortunately, Obama and McCain worked through any beef they might have had. He did, after all, ask for Obama to give a eulogy for him. Even those who loath Obama should give him credit for eulogizing across the aisle.
          Shunned By Democrats, Clintons Plan Post-Midterms Speaking Tour; Tickets Priced Up To $750      Cache   Translate Page      

Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have kindly been asked by fellow Democrats to make themselves scarce during midterms, will embark on a 13-city speaking tour beginning in Las Vegas on November 18, according to Bloomberg.

Tickets won't be cheap either - with prices for the first show ranging from around $72 to $750 on ticketmaster to watch the prototypical American power couple "sharing stories and inspiring anecdotes that shaped their historic careers in public service, while also discussing issues of the day and looking towards the future," according to an announcement from Live Nation. 

Bloomberg points out that the new speaking tour is likely to stoke criticism over the Clintons leveraging their political fame to give expensive speaking tours - including an infamous $500,000 speech to a Kremlin-linked investment bank amid the Uranium One deal (a trip during which Clinton and Putin hung out at the Russian president's house). 

The tour and ticket prices could reignite criticism of the former first couple for profiting from their former offices. During the 2016 campaign, Republicans blasted Hillary Clinton for giving highly paid speeches to corporate audiences after leaving public service.

Indeed, the Clinton tour follows two years of declining popularity - between Hillary Clinton's historic 2016 loss to Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton's old rape allegations cropping up amid the #MeToo phenomenon. 

Vanity Fair writes "The Trump era has not been kind to the Clintons, the prototypical American power couple who, after three decades in the public eye, have seen their political capital vastly diminished. Hillary, indelibly marked by her 2016 election loss, has played only a limited role in the midterms, given the Democratic Party’s newfound aversion to her brand of establishment politics. Bill, meanwhile, has undergone a belated reckoning with #MeToo." 

[T]he issue of Hillary’s “likability”—as Barack Obama so memorably put it—is now secondary to the #MeToo scandals hanging over Bill, and the awkward questions she has been forced to address. In a recent interview with CNN, she drew a painstaking line between Bill and the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct against the current president, noting, “There’s a very significant difference, and that is the intense, long-lasting, partisan investigation that was conducted in the 90s. If the Republicans, starting with President Trump on down, want a comparison, they should welcome such an investigation themselves.” That answer may be sufficient for the dwindling number of hardcore Clinton fans, but it is unlikely to win converts. -Vanity Fair

Tickets for the Clinton tour go on sale Friday. It should be fun to compare crowd sizes between Trump rallies and Clinton appearances. 


          Acting EPA head liked 'racist' photo of Obamas: report      Cache   Translate Page      

Acting EPA head liked 'racist' photo of Obamas: reportThe acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency liked a controversial Facebook photo five years ago of then-President Barack Obama that a civil rights group called racist, the Huffington Post reported on Tuesday. Andrew Wheeler, a longtime Washington insider, has kept a low profile compared to Scott Pruitt, who was forced to resign as head of the EPA in July under a cloud of ethics allegations including that he made staff search hotels for special skin lotion. In January 2013, when Wheeler was a lobbyist for Murray Energy, a privately owned coal company, he liked an image on Facebook of former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle that depicted them staring at a banana, said the report, which listed other social media activity by Wheeler that critics said was inappropriate.



          Lyft taps former Obama administration official to lead its policy team      Cache   Translate Page      
Lyft announced Tuesday that a former top Obama administration official will be joining the ride-hailing company’s ranks. Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation under former President Obama, will be Lyft’s new chief policy officer and adviser to...
          Trịnh Hữu Long: Lòng dân trăm mối tơ vò       Cache   Translate Page      
Ảnh: Báo Người Việt.
Kể từ khi ông Nguyễn Phú Trọng được giới thiệu để Quốc hội bầu làm Chủ tịch nước, “lòng dân” lại được khai thác triệt để nhằm ủng hộ vị Tổng Bí thư. 

Đơn cử, ông Vũ Mão, nguyên Chủ nhiệm Văn phòng Quốc hội, phát biểu trên báo điện tử VOV rằng, “tôi rất mừng nếu Tổng Bí thư được bầu làm Chủ tịch nước bởi đây là phương án hợp lòng dân”. 

Còn ông Nguyễn Đình Hương, nguyên Phó Ban Tổ chức Trung ương Đảng, thì nói trên tờ Viettimes: “Tôi không ngạc nhiên, bởi đó là ý Đảng, lòng Dân”. 

Một nhân vật khác, Phó Giáo sư, Tiến sĩ Nguyễn Trọng Phúc, nguyên Viện trưởng Viện Lịch sử Đảng cũng nói trên tờ Soha: “Đến nay, việc Tổng Bí thư làm Chủ tịch nước đã chín muồi, là phương án tốt nhất, hợp lòng dân, phù hợp với xu hướng chung”. 

Dường như một cỗ máy truyền thông đang rầm rộ “làm công tác tư tưởng” cho dân chúng và xây dựng tính chính danh cho Tổng Bí thư Nguyễn Phú Trọng, dọn đường dư luận cho ông nắm giữ vị trí nguyên thủ quốc gia trong vài tuần tới. 

Tại sao phải dọn đường dư luận? 

Việc ông Nguyễn Phú Trọng trở thành Chủ tịch nước giờ đây đã là thực tế hiển nhiên, không cần chờ Quốc hội quyết định. Trong cơ chế chính trị một đảng cầm quyền ở nước ta, Quốc hội không làm được gì nhiều hơn là cơ quan hợp thức hoá các quyết định của Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam. 

Ông Trọng được 100% uỷ viên của cơ quan quyền lực bậc nhất của đảng giới thiệu ra Quốc hội thì có nghĩa là mọi sự đã an bài, sao vẫn cần dọn đường dư luận? 

“Lòng dân” là một trong những khái niệm quan trọng bậc nhất trong khoa học chính trị. Trong tiếng Anh, từ này được gọi là “the people’s will”, nôm na là “ý chí của nhân dân”, hay dùng chữ của triết gia Pháp Jean-Jacques Rousseau là “the general will”, hay là “ý chí chung”. 

Vốn dĩ xưa kia vua chúa lên ngôi là do thừa kế từ hoàng tộc chứ không cần quan tâm đến lòng dân. Mọi sự chỉ thay đổi từ khi có một thứ gọi là “dân chủ” (democracy) ra đời. Dân chủ nghĩa là dân làm chủ, mà biểu hiện rõ nhất là người dân bầu ra người đứng đầu chính quyền. Cơ chế này ban đầu xuất hiện ở Hy Lạp và La Mã cổ đại, thời kỳ trước Công nguyên. Tuy nhiên, dân chủ thời đó cũng khác xa với dân chủ thời nay. Khái niệm “dân” thời kỳ đó cũng chỉ bao gồm đàn ông tự do và có tài sản. Phụ nữ, nô lệ, dân lao động chân lấm tay bùn không có cửa bước vào chốn quan trường. 

Những nền dân chủ sơ khai đó tồn tại được vài trăm năm thì lụi tàn, thế giới quay trở lại với sự thống trị của vua chúa và các thế lực tôn giáo trong hơn 1.500 năm sau đó. Các cuộc biến đổi chính trị sâu sắc ở châu Âu đã dẫn đến thời kỳ Khai Sáng với sự ra đời của những học thuyết chính trị mới mẻ vào thế kỷ 17, 18. Trong đó, đáng kể nhất là khái niệm “khế ước xã hội” do các triết gia như Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, hay Jean-Jacques Rousseau khởi xướng. 

Một ý niệm lạ lẫm ra đời: mọi người đều sinh ra có quyền bình đẳng, quyền lực trong xã hội thuộc về nhân dân, và chính quyền là do dân chúng lập ra thông qua các “khế ước xã hội”. 

Đó là đòn kết liễu cho quyền lực của các “thiên tử” nhân danh Trời và thế lực thần quyền nhân danh Chúa thống trị thế giới. Nó mở ra thời kỳ ra đời của các nền dân chủ, nơi chính quyền được lập ra thông qua các cuộc bầu cử định kỳ, hoạt động dựa trên nguyên lý chính quyền “của dân, do dân, vì dân”, nghĩa là nhân danh Dân. Bản “khế ước xã hội” nổi tiếng nhất là bản Hiến pháp Mỹ, ra đời năm 1787, vốn mở đầu bằng cụm từ “we the people”, nghĩa là “người dân chúng ta”. 

Điều đó có nghĩa rằng, tính chính danh của một chính quyền, cái lý do cho sự tồn tại của một chính quyền, cái lý do cho chiếc ghế quyền lực của một nguyên thủ quốc gia, nằm cả ở “lòng dân”. Chuyện này cũng chẳng cần ông bà triết gia Tây phương nào nói thì ta mới biết. Cụ Nguyễn Trãi xưa, từ thế kỷ 13, cũng đã tám lần nhắc đến “dân” trong “Bình Ngô đại cáo”, chẳng hạn như “Việc nhân nghĩa cốt ở yên dân”, “Nhân họ Hồ chính sự phiền hà, Để trong nước lòng dân oán hận”. 

Ngày nay, hầu hết các quốc gia trên thế giới đều tự xưng là các nền dân chủ và có tổ chức bầu cử định kỳ, trong đó có Việt Nam. Nếu có điều gì đó hay ho mà ông Hồ Chí Minh học được từ phương Tây thì đó chính là ý tưởng dân chủ, khi ông trích dẫn nguyên lý “mọi người đều sinh ra có quyền bình đẳng” trong bản Tuyên ngôn Độc lập năm 1945 và thiết lập nên chính thể Việt Nam Dân chủ Cộng hoà. Các bản Hiến pháp của Việt Nam từ đó đến nay đều ghi nhận nguyên tắc quyền lực nhà nước thuộc về nhân dân. 

Vậy nên lẽ dĩ nhiên, dù đã nắm chắc chiếc ghế quyền lực trong tay thông qua một hội nghị với gần 200 người của một đảng chính trị vốn chỉ có bốn triệu đảng viên trên 100 triệu dân, người ta vẫn cần viện đến “lòng dân” để biện minh cho quyền lực của vị Chủ tịch nước tương lai, cho dù vị Chủ tịch nước đó mang dáng dấp của một ông vua nhiều hơn là một lãnh đạo dân cử.

Ông Nguyễn Phú Trọng tiếp xúc với cử tri quận Thanh Xuân, Hà Nội, ngày 17/6/2018. Ảnh: Báo Tổ quốc

Đo lòng dân bằng cách gì? 


Chiến dịch truyền thông “lòng dân”, trên thực tế, hết sức khiên cưỡng và nhiều khả năng phản tác dụng. Lý do là các cơ quan truyền thông của đảng đã tuyên bố giành được “lòng dân” mà không hỏi dân một lời. 

Muốn biết lòng dân ra sao thì cách tốt nhất là phải hỏi dân. Trên thế giới, người ta có mấy cách hỏi. 

Một là bầu cử

Muốn biết ông Nguyễn Phú Trọng có được “lòng dân” ủng hộ làm Chủ tịch nước hay không thì phải để cho người dân được bỏ phiếu một cách tự do. Bỏ phiếu tự do ở đây nghĩa là người dân có nhiều lựa chọn bên cạnh ông Trọng và bỏ phiếu cho bất kỳ ai họ thích, không bị ép buộc phải bầu cho ai. Điều này cũng tương tự như các cuộc bầu cử tổng thống trực tiếp ở Pháp, Ba Lan, Bồ Đào Nha, Indonesia, Đài Loan, Hàn Quốc, v.v. Một số nơi thì bầu cử tổng thống một cách gián tiếp như Mỹ chẳng hạn. Trong các nước theo chế độ nghị viện như Đức, Anh, Úc thì người đứng đầu chính phủ sẽ do đảng chiếm đa số trong quốc hội cử ra sau một cuộc bầu cử quốc hội. 

Cách thứ hai là tổ chức trưng cầu dân ý

Trưng cầu bằng cách bỏ phiếu giống như bầu cử, tuy nhiên kết quả trưng cầu có thể có giá trị bắt buộc hoặc tham khảo, tuỳ trường hợp và tuỳ nước. Nhưng có lẽ chẳng có nước nào trưng cầu dân ý cho vị trí nguyên thủ quốc gia mà chỉ qua bầu cử như cách (1) mà thôi. 

Một cách nữa để biết lòng dân là thông qua các cuộc khảo sát, thăm dò ý kiến

Ở nhiều nước có nhiều công ty được lập ra để chuyên đi khảo sát ý kiến công luận về đủ mọi vấn đề: thuế, môi trường, chiến tranh, chỉ số tín nhiệm của quan chức, v.v. Có thể kể ra vài cái tên như Pew, Gallup, ComRes, YouGov, v.v. Các tờ báo lớn cũng thường tự mình trưng cầu ý kiến công chúng hoặc thuê các hãng kể trên làm hộ. Dĩ nhiên, các khảo sát này chỉ hỏi ý kiến được một lượng nhỏ dân chúng, lên đến vài chục nghìn phiếu khảo sát đã là rất lớn. Khả năng kết quả khảo sát chêch lệch so với thực tế là đáng kể. Hồi năm 2016, hầu hết các bảng khảo sát đều cho thấy Hillary Clinton sẽ đắc cử tổng thống Mỹ, nhưng sau cùng Donald Trump mới là người chiến thắng. 

Ngày nay, với cái gọi là dữ liệu lớn (big data) thu thập được từ Internet, người ta cũng có thể biết được lòng dân thông qua phân tích các dữ liệu này. 

Với những cách thức như vậy, người ta biết được rằng, lòng dân cũng có năm bảy loại lòng. Barack Obama có giỏi lắm cũng chỉ kiếm được 51,1% phiếu phổ thông và 61,72% phiếu đại cử tri trong cuộc bầu cử tổng thống Mỹ năm 2012. Hay như ông Emmanuel Macron hồi năm 2017 cũng chỉ có 66,1% phiếu trong bầu cử tổng thống Pháp. Số còn lại là “thành phần chống đối” hoặc ít nhất là không ủng hộ. 

Tuy nhiên, cách thức truyền thông của Đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam có vẻ như chủ ý lập lờ, không nói rõ các luồng ý kiến khác nhau trong công luận mà chỉ đưa ý kiến có lợi cho ông Trọng.

Một cuộc biểu tình phản đối Formosa ở Sài Gòn, ngày 1/5/2016. Ảnh: Chưa rõ nguồn
Những thứ không được coi là lòng dân 

Nhìn lại quá khứ, đảng dường như chỉ cần đến một thứ lòng dân do họ tưởng tượng ra hoặc khuyếch đại lên mỗi khi cần biện minh cho một việc làm nào đó gây tranh cãi nhưng có lợi cho họ. Còn những biểu hiện thực tế của lòng dân mà bất lợi cho họ thì ít khi được tính đến và không bao giờ được nhắc đến. 

Hãy lấy vụ biểu tình Formosa năm 2016 làm ví dụ. Đầu tháng 5/2016, liên tiếp hai cuộc biểu tình ngày 1ngày 8 diễn ra với hàng ngàn người ở Hà Nội và Sài Gòn, phản đối việc công ty Formosa xả thải ra biển và yêu cầu chính quyền xử lý thích đáng. Nhiều cuộc biểu tình khác cũng nổ ra rải rác từ đó cho đến nay ở vùng Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh với quy mô thậm chí còn lớn hơn. Tuy nhiên, không có lãnh đạo, nguyên lãnh đạo hay cơ quan báo chí nhà nước nào gọi đó là “lòng dân”. Kết quả là cho đến nay, Formosa vẫn hoạt động bình thường ở Việt Nam sau một thoả thuận bí mật bồi thường 500 triệu đô-la, trong khi hầu hết các thông tin khác về kết quả xử lý đều không được công khai. 

Một ví dụ khác là Luật An ninh mạng năm 2018. Nếu quan sát phản ứng trên Internet và kể cả ngoài đường, người ta dễ dàng nhận thấy làn sóng phản đối là rất lớn. Nó lớn đến đâu thì không ai dám chắc, nhưng dù sao đó vẫn là “lòng” của một bộ phận “dân”. Tuy nhiên, đảng lẫn Quốc hội đều không tính đến thứ lòng dân đó và kiên quyết thông qua đạo luật này vào ngày 12/6. 

Còn một thứ lòng dân nữa, âm ỉ hơn nhưng rộng lớn hơn và quyết liệt hơn, đó là dòng dân oan bị cưỡng chế đất hoặc bị xét xử oan sai. Kể tên ra thì vô cùng nhiều, nhưng có thể kể đến dân oan mất đất hoặc có thể mất đất ở Văn Giang, Dương Nội, Đồng Tâm, Thủ Thiêm, hay người dân bị xét xử oan sai như Hồ Duy Hải, Lê Văn Mạnh, Nguyễn Văn Chưởng, Đặng Văn Hiến, v.v. 

Tất cả những biểu hiện đó không được gọi là “lòng dân”. Thứ họ bị chính quyền chụp vào đầu là “chống đối”, “phản động”, “bị giật dây”, “Việt Tân”, v.v. Nhiều người trong số họ còn bị đánh đập, bắt bớ và bỏ tù. Ngay cả khi hoãn Luật Đặc khu năm 2018 hay ngừng chặt cây xanh ở Hà Nội năm 2015, chính quyền cũng không gọi những cuộc biểu tình trước đó là “lòng dân”. 

Cứ cho rằng ngày hôm nay lòng dân đang ủng hộ ông Nguyễn Phú Trọng làm Chủ tịch nước, liệu mai kia khi đã ngồi vững trên chiếc ghế đó rồi, ông có để ý đến những lòng dân còn đang ngổn ngang trăm mối kia không? 



T.H.L.
Nguồn: https://www.luatkhoa.org/2018/10/long-dan-tram-moi-to-vo/

          Phạm Chí Dũng: Vì sao ông Trọng ‘thích’ ngồi thêm ghế chủ tịch nước?       Cache   Translate Page      
Ngoại Trưởng TQ Vương Nghị gặp TBT VN Nguyễn Phú Trọng tại Hà Nội, ngày 2/4/2018.
Không phải ngẫu nhiên mà ông Trọng không thể kiên nhẫn chờ thêm nửa năm hoặc tối thiểu là ba tháng cho đủ ‘giỗ 100 ngày Trần Đại Quang’ khi tìm cách ngồi ngay vào cái ghế trống của kẻ quá cố vừa để lại, như thể ‘của thừa kế’ đó chỉ dành riêng cho Trọng. 

Làm thế nào để được ‘chính danh’? 


Tính ‘chính danh’ - nhu cầu đầu tiên và quan trọng nhất mà blogger ‘lề đảng’ Huy Đức thốt ra trong bài ‘Nhất thể hóa’ như một cách tung hô Tổng bí thư Trọng - là lý do đầu tiên và quan trọng hơn cả để ông Trọng nhất thiết phải được nội bộ đảng và quốc tế xem là chủ tịch nước, tức nguyên thủ quốc gia, nhất là nếu ông ta muốn sớm tiến hành chuyến công du đến Washington vào tháng Mười Một năm 2018 mà không thể bị giới ngoại giao Mỹ và Tổng thống Donald Trump càm ràm về việc Trọng chỉ là một ‘đảng trưởng’ mà không phải là người đứng đầu nhà nước. 

Một cách đương nhiên, nếu có thêm được chức chủ tịch nước, Nguyễn Phú Trọng sẽ trở nên ‘chính danh’ trong các cuộc tiếp xúc với các nguyên thủ quốc gia trên thế giới mà chẳng cần nhờ vả hay quá lệ thuộc vào Bộ Ngoại giao Việt Nam để tìm cách thuyết phục quốc tế chấp nhận ‘đối thoại với kênh đảng’, như các cuộc gặp của Trọng với Obma tại Mỹ vào tháng Bảy năm 2015 và với Tổng thống Pháp Emmanuel Macron tại Paris vào tháng Ba năm 2018. 

Không chỉ là thể diện của ‘kênh đảng’, còn có một biểu hiện khác cho thấy Nguyễn Phú Trọng đặc biệt dành tâm trí cho sĩ diện cá nhân trong nhiệm vụ tiếp khách quốc tế tại Việt Nam. 

Tháng Mười Một năm 2017, vài ngày sau khi Hội nghị thượng đỉnh kinh tế châu Á – Thái Bình Dương (APCE) kết thúc tại Đà Nẵng và hệ thống báo đảng tự ca ngợi hết lời, Nhân Dân – “cơ quan ngôn luận của đảng Cộng sản Việt Nam” – đã đăng bản tin với tựa đề kỳ quặc: “Tổng bí thư Nguyễn Phú Trọng tiếp; Chủ tịch nước Trần Đại Quang đón, hội đàm; Thủ tướng Nguyễn Xuân Phúc hội kiến Tổng thống Hoa Kỳ Đ. Trăm”. 

Tựa đề trên có thể khiến người đọc cảm thấy ngay đã có một sự phân chia “quyền lực” rất có chủ ý và cũng rất tỉ mẩn, lục đục giữa 3/4 của “tứ trụ” trong việc tiếp “Trăm” (phiên sang tiếng Anh là Trump). 

Sự kỳ quặc của tựa đề trên cũng bởi đây là một tựa đề hiếm có, cứ như thể nếu không ghi rõ ra sự phân công trách nhiệm của từng thành viên trong Bộ Chính trị thì người đọc và dư luận quần chúng nhân dân sẽ không thể biết được ai là người có vai trò ra sao, nhất là ai mới là người có vai trò chủ chốt trong việc tiếp “Trăm”. 

Trước đó khoảng ba tuần, Washington đã phát thông cáo báo chí: “Sau khi rời Đà Nẵng, ông Trump sẽ tới Hà Nội trong ngày 11/10, bắt đầu chuyến thăm chính thức. Tại Hà Nội, ông sẽ gặp Chủ tịch nước Trần Đại Quang và các lãnh đạo cấp cao khác của Việt Nam”. 

Sau đó, Tòa Bạch Ốc phát tiếp thông báo rằng Tổng thống Trump sẽ “chào xã giao” Tổng bí thư Nguyễn Phú Trọng và Thủ tướng Nguyễn Xuân Phúc. 

Nghĩa là cuộc gặp giữa “Trăm” với Nguyễn Phú Trọng có thể được xem là “bổ sung”. 

Tính chất “bổ sung” như trên là phù hợp với đánh giá của giới quan sát và phân tích chính trị khi cho rằng khác hẳn với tổng thống đời trước Obama có vẻ mềm mỏng và nể nang, “Trăm” là người không quá quan tâm đến phép tắc xã giao và càng chẳng quan tâm đến “kênh đảng” của ông Nguyễn Phú Trọng. Một bằng chứng có thể nhận ra được là mặc dù Thủ tướng Nguyễn Xuân Phúc đã lặp đi lặp lại về sự cần thiết “duy trì quan hệ kênh đảng’ với phía Mỹ khi ông Phúc đi Washington vào tháng 5/2017, nhưng “Trăm” lại chẳng nói một từ nào về đề nghị này. 

Nhân Dân được xem là “báo ruột” của Tổng bí thư Trọng. 

Sẽ lần đầu tiên đi Mỹ với tư cách nguyên thủ quốc gia? 


Từ trước ngày 30/9/2018 là thời điểm Bộ Chính trị tổ chức họp bất thường để bàn phương án nhân sự nào sẽ được ngồi vào cái ghế của Trần Đại Quang, trong nội bộ đảng bất chợt lan truyền một luồng thông tin cho biết ‘Cụ Tổng không muốn làm chủ tịch nước đâu, nhưng vì nhiều người tha thiết đề nghị nên đành phải làm’. Sau đó, thông tin này lan nhanh ra dư luận các giới trong xã hội. Một lần nữa, Nguyễn Phú Trọng lại được một số người tin là ‘có đức khiêm tốn’ và ‘không tham vọng quyền lực’. 

Thật ra, thông tin trên là phần nào có cơ sở thực tế, nếu xét đến việc Tổng bí thư Trọng đã tập quyền với tốc độ cao kể từ sau đại hội 12, đặc biệt từ tháng Mười Hai năm 2017 khi ông Trọng chỉ đạo Bộ Công an phải bắt quan chức vừa mất ghế ủy viên bộ chính trị là Đinh La Thăng. Trong thực tế, Nguyễn Phú Trọng đã từ lâu là Bí thư quân ủy trung ương một cách thực chất, không những thế còn phần nào nắm được Tổng cục Tình báo quân đội - điều mà những đời chủ tịch nước gần nhất như Trương Tấn Sang và Trần Đại Quang đã không thể nào làm được dù có nhiều cố gắng. 

Và cũng chẳng cần là chủ tịch nước hay thủ tướng chính phủ, ông Trọng vẫn đã tung hoành ngang dọc trên bàn cờ chính trị quốc gia bằng thủ thuật ‘luân chuẩn cán bộ’ và ‘phân công, điều động cán bộ’ - những động thái được Ban Tổ chức trung ương của Tô Huy Rứa thực hiện đến 3 chiến dịch trong năm 2015 trước đại hội 12, và của Phạm Minh Chính tiến hành suốt từ cuối năm 2016 đến giờ. 

Cả Rứa và Chính đều được xem là ‘người của Trọng’. Không chỉ cán bộ khối đảng mà cả cán bộ thuộc khối chính phủ cũng nằm trong tầm khống chế sát sao của đảng trên danh nghĩa ‘cán bộ nằm trong diện Ban Bí thư và Bộ Chính trị quản lý’. 

Thực tế là cho dù Trần Đại Quang không chết hoặc chưa chết, Nguyễn Phú Trọng vẫn không mấy thèm thuồng cái ghế chủ tịch nước mà chủ yếu là chuyện ‘ma chay hiếu hỉ’. Về thực chất, Nguyễn Phú Trọng đã đạt đến mức độ tập quyền cao chưa từng thấy, có thể lên đến 80 - 85% trong nội bộ đảng kể từ sau đại hội 12. Còn sau khi Quang chết, tỷ lệ tập quyền ấy có thể vọt đến 95% như cái cách mà Tập Cận Bình đang ở đỉnh cao quyền lực tại Trung Quốc. 

Và đã đến lúc Nguyễn Phú Trọng cần một cái gì hơn thế: thỏa mãn tính sĩ diện cá nhân và thể diện của ông ta trong những chuyến công du nước ngoài. Phải làm sao để bản thân ông ta và Bộ Ngoại giao Việt Nam không còn phải khẩn khoản đề nghị những nước phương Tây lưu ý đến ‘tăng cường quan hệ kênh đảng’, mà chính ông ta phải trở thành một nguyên thủ quốc gia để hợp thức hóa thảm đỏ và 21 phát đại bác chào đón. 

‘Mình phải như thế nào người ta mới đón tiếp như thế chứ!’ - Trọng thốt lên đầy hể hả sau khi được đích thân Tổng thống Mỹ Barak Obama đón tiếp trọng thị ngay tại Phòng Bầu Dục như một ngoại lệ vào tháng Bảy năm 2015. 

Kỳ tích đó đang được kỳ vọng sẽ lặp lại vào tháng Mười Một tới, nếu Nguyễn Phú Trọng đi Mỹ và được Trump tiếp. Khi đó, với tư cách nguyên thủ quốc gia, ông Trọng sẽ chẳng cần tỏ ra ngạc nhiên vì sao được tiếp đón khác hẳn với quá khứ ‘đảng trưởng’. 

Tư tưởng tuyệt đối hay tha hóa tuyệt đối? 


Toàn bộ quá trình đi lên từ khi còn là Tổng biên tập Tạp chí Cộng sản, Bí thư thành ủy Hà Nội, Chủ tịch quốc hội đến nay đã cho thấy với Nguyễn Phú Trọng, tham vọng lớn nhất không phải là vật chất tiền bạc, mà là tinh thần. 

Trong một mớ hổ lốn quan chức từ thấp đến cao chỉ biết so nhau bằng tốc độ ‘ăn của dân không chừa thứ gì’ và giá trị tài sản từ trăm triệu đến hàng tỷ USD, những người cho tới nay còn giữ được tư cách sạch sẽ, dù chỉ là tương đối như Trọng, được xem là ‘hàng hiếm’. Nỗi khao khát của Nguyễn Phú Trọng hướng sang một kênh khác: phương trình phức hợp giữa chủ nghĩa dân tộc và tư tưởng mác xít cùng tâm thế ‘thời thế sinh anh hùng’ của thời phong kiến. 

Nhưng cái logic tiếp theo sự chọn lựa những yếu tố trên luôn là phải đạt đến một quyền lực tuyệt đối và tư tưởng tuyệt đối. ‘Tư tưởng Tập Cận Bình’ đã được ngự trong hiến pháp Trung Quốc, tại sao lại không thể có ‘tư tưởng Nguyễn Phú Trọng’ nằm trong hiến pháp Việt Nam tại đại hội 13, nếu còn có đại hội đó? 

Và biết đâu đấy trong tương lai, Nguyễn Phú Trọng sẽ còn được thỏa mãn cả một khao khát tinh thần mà ông ta thường nhắc tới trong những cuộc tiếp xúc với cử tri: ‘lưu truyền sử xanh’. 

Nhưng sau tất cả mà bài học gần gũi nhất là cái chết chẳng mấy an lành của Trần Đại Quang, cái tiếp biến của quyền lực tuyệt đối - như đã quá nhiều lần được lịch sử loại người dẫn chứng - đó là sự tha hóa tuyệt đối về nhân cách lãnh đạo và đạo đức chế độ cầm quyền mà sẽ tất yếu dẫn đến sụp đổ chế độ đó. 

Nguồn : (VOA)

          Comment on NRA Launches Seven-Figure Campaign in Missouri to Support Josh Hawley ~ VIDEO by LJEshen      Cache   Translate Page      
When McCaskill was the prosecutor Jackson county Missouri, if you defended yourself with a gun you were more likely to be prosecuted by her than the perpetrator of the crime was. When she ran for Senate she said she was paying for her own campaign. After she was elected she cried that she needed the millions of dollars back, to pay back her husband. She applied to the Hussein Obama regime and got her money back at the expense of the taxpayer. In short she’s a crook!! I have talk to Josh Hayley and was impressed with his support of the 2nd Amendment. And as Missouri’a attorney general he sued Hussein Obama‘s regime every chance he got .
           Kommentar zu Propagandameldungen vom 10. Oktober 2018 von Ole Bienkopp       Cache   Translate Page      
Ergibt Sinn. Marketingtechnisch wäre sie wohl ideal, um, wie es so schön heißt, "möglichst viele Wählergruppen anzusprechen". Konservative, Frauen, Migranten... Hillary galt ja nicht zuletzt vor allem deshalb als absolute Favoritin, weil man die Wählergruppen der Frauen, Schwarzen, Hispanics zusätzlich zu den Stammwählern der "Demokraten" als praktisch mit vereinnahmt ansah. Es kam anders.. Das Konzept an sich ist nicht so neu. McCain trat ja auch mit der dummen Nuß Sarah Palin an, um Frauen anzusprechen, wenn schon die Schwarzen alle Obama wählen...
           Kommentar zu Propagandameldungen vom 10. Oktober 2018 von Kant ist tot und wir haben ihn getötet.       Cache   Translate Page      
Da soll noch was dazu kommen... Graue Wölfe: Politiker fordern Verbot des Wolfsgrußes https://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2018-10/graue-woelfe-wolfsgruss-cdu-verbot-forderung-faschismus PS: Bono, Pope, 0bama, nahezu alle Hollywood-5-Stars,... https://illuminatisymbols.info/obama-devils-horns/ https://illuminatisymbols.info/wp-content/uploads/illuminati-signs-obama-devils-horns-irvine.jpg https://warningilluminati.wordpress.com/hands-signs-signs-of-satan/ https://i1.wp.com/www.lovethetruth.com/jis_images/bush_satan_hand.jpg
           Kommentar zu Propagandameldungen vom 10. Oktober 2018 von Ole Bienkopp       Cache   Translate Page      
<blockquote> Als UN-Botschafterin vermittelte sie zwischen Weißem Haus und der Welt. Nach ihrem Rückzug gilt Nikki Haley als eine Kandidatin, die gegen Donald Trump antreten kann. </blockquote> Das war mein erster Gedanke, als ich von dem Rücktritt las. Die bringt sich in Sicherheit für den Fall, daß man Trump doch noch stürzt. Und wenn nicht, dann will sie bei den Nicht-Trumpisten nicht als solche gelten, sondern als "unabhängig". Das Kandidatenkarussell dreht sich offenbar schon. Auch Hillary hat die zweite Amtszeit von Obama ja nicht mehr mitgemacht.
          Re: Middle Class Erosion: 33 Million Americans Will Not Travel During The Holidays Because They Can’t Afford To Do So      Cache   Translate Page      

Obama Administration collaboration with Russia

The stove-piping of the now infamous Fusion GPS dossier into a US FISA national security court seems to be a fatal blunder.

Fusion GPS, through collaboration with its Russian intelligence contacts, assembled the dossier.

Fusion GPS had previously been employed by the FBI but had been fired due to their practice of leaking to the media.

Through DoJ official Bruce Ohr and other back channels, the dossier was channeled back into the government and presented as legitimate evidence before a FISA court to obtain surveillance warrants for Carter Page.

Even though the assembly of the dossier was conducted through a proxy, Fusion GPS, political opponents of Donald Trump were indirectly collaborating with Russian intelligence, MONTHS before they attempted to entrap and frame then-candidate Donald Trump.

As a related note, Fusion GPS had previously been representing Russian interests to lobby for overturning the Magnitsky Act.

The Russian Attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, has been linked to that lobbying effort in affiliation with Fusion GPS, well before the time that the dossier was produced.

It seems to be no stretch to believe that her visit at Trump Tower was part of an entrapment setup, orchestrated by political opponents of Donald Trump in collaboration with Fusion GPS and, indirectly, Russian intelligence.

Criminal charges certainly seem applicable to those parties who participated in these activities.


          Trump’s Patron-in-Chief: Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson      Cache   Translate Page      

LATE ON A THURSDAY evening in February 2017, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plane landed at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland for his first visit with President Donald Trump. A few hours earlier, the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s Boeing 737, which is so large it can seat 149 people, touched down at Reagan National Airport after a flight from Las Vegas.

Adelson dined that night at the White House with Trump, Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, were among Trump’s biggest benefactors, writing checks for $20 million in the campaign and pitching in an additional $5 million for the inaugural festivities.

Adelson was in town to see the Japanese prime minister about a much greater sum of money. Japan, after years of acrimonious public debate, has legalized casinos. For more than a decade, Adelson and his company, Las Vegas Sands, have sought to build a multibillion-dollar casino resort there. He has called expanding to the country, one of the world’s last major untapped markets, the “holy grail.” Nearly every major casino company in the world is competing to secure one of a limited number of licenses to enter a market worth up to $25 billion per year. “This opportunity won’t come along again, potentially ever,” said Kahlil Philander, an academic who studies the industry.

The morning after his White House dinner, Adelson attended a breakfast in Washington with Abe and a small group of American CEOs, including two others from the casino industry. Adelson and the other executives raised the casino issue with Abe, according to an attendee.

Adelson had a potent ally in his quest: the new president of the United States. Following the business breakfast, Abe had a meeting with Trump before boarding Air Force One for a weekend at Mar-a-Lago. The two heads of state dined with Patriots owner Bob Kraft and golfed at Trump National Jupiter Golf Club with the South African golfer Ernie Els. During a meeting at Mar-a-Lago that weekend, Trump raised Adelson’s casino bid to Abe, according to two people briefed on the meeting. The Japanese side was surprised.

“It was totally brought up out of the blue,” according to one of the people briefed on the exchange. “They were a little incredulous that he would be so brazen.” After Trump told Abe he should strongly consider Las Vegas Sands for a license, “Abe didn’t really respond, and said thank you for the information,” this person said.

Trump also mentioned at least one other casino operator. Accounts differ on whether it was MGM or Wynn Resorts, then run by Trump donor and then-Republican National Committee finance chairman Steve Wynn. The Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported the president also mentioned MGM and Abe instructed an aide who was present to jot down the names of both companies. Questioned about the meeting, Abe said in remarks before the Japanese legislature in July that Trump had not passed on requests from casino companies but did not deny that the topic had come up.

The president raising a top donor’s personal business interests directly with a foreign head of state would violate longstanding norms. “That should be nowhere near the agenda of senior officials,” said Brian Harding, a Japan expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “U.S.-Japan relations is about the security of the Asia-Pacific, China and economic issues.”

Adelson has told his shareholders to expect good news. On a recent earnings call, Adelson cited unnamed insiders as saying Sands’ efforts to win a place in the Japanese market will pay off. “The estimates by people who know, say they know, whom we believe they know, say that we’re in the No. 1 pole position,” he said.

After decades as a major Republican donor, Adelson is known as an ideological figure, motivated by his desire to influence U.S. policy to help Israel. “I’m a one-issue person. That issue is Israel,” he said last year. On that issue — Israel — Trump has delivered. The administration has slashed funding for aid to Palestinian refugees and scrapped the Iran nuclear deal. Attending the recent opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Adelson seemed to almost weep with joy, according to an attendee.

But his reputation as an Israel advocate has obscured a through-line in his career: He has used his political access to push his financial self-interest. Not only has Trump touted Sands’ interests in Japan, but his administration also installed an executive from the casino industry in a top position in the U.S. embassy in Tokyo. Adelson’s influence reverberates through this administration. Cabinet-level officials jump when he calls. One who displeased him was replaced. He has helped a friend’s company get a research deal with the Environmental Protection Agency. And Adelson has already received a windfall from Trump’s new tax law, which particularly favored companies like Las Vegas Sands. The company estimated the benefit of the law at $1.2 billion.

Adelson’s influence is not absolute: His company’s casinos in Macau are vulnerable in Trump’s trade war with China, which controls the former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong. If the Chinese government chose to retaliate by targeting Macau, where Sands has several large properties, it could hurt Adelson’s bottom line. So far, there’s no evidence that has happened.

The White House declined to comment on Adelson. The Japanese Embassy in Washington declined to comment. Sands spokesman Ron Reese declined to answer detailed questions but said in a statement: “The gaming industry has long sought the opportunity to enter the Japan market. Gaming companies have spent significant resources there on that effort and Las Vegas Sands is no exception.”

Reese added: “If our company has any advantage it would be because of our significant Asian operating experience and our unique convention-based business model. Any suggestion we are favored for some other reason is not based on the reality of the process in Japan or the integrity of the officials involved in it.”

With a fortune estimated at $35 billion, Adelson is the 21st-richest person in the world, according to Forbes. In August, when he celebrated his 85th birthday in Las Vegas, the party stretched over four days. Adelson covered guests’ expenses. A 92-year-old Tony Bennett and the Israeli winner of Eurovision performed for the festivities. He is slowing down physically; stricken by neuropathy, he uses a motorized scooter to get around and often stands up with the help of a bodyguard. He fell and broke three ribs while on a ferry from Macau to Hong Kong last November.

Yet Adelson has spent the Trump era hustling to expand his gambling empire. With Trump occupying the White House, Adelson has found the greatest political ally he’s ever had.

“I would put Adelson at the very top of the list of both access and influence in the Trump administration,” said Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen. “I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I’ve been studying money in politics for 40 years.”

ADELSON GREW UP POOR in Boston, the son of a cabdriver with a sixth-grade education. According to his wife, Adelson was beaten up as a kid for being Jewish. A serial entrepreneur who has started or acquired more than 50 different businesses, he had already made and lost his first fortune by the late 1960s, when he was in his mid-30s.

It took him until the mid-1990s to become extraordinarily rich. In 1995, he sold the pioneering computer trade show Comdex to the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank for $800 million. He entered the gambling business in earnest when his Venetian casino resort opened in 1999 in Las Vegas. With its gondola rides on faux canals, it was inspired by his honeymoon to Venice with Miriam, who is 12 years younger than Adelson.

It’s been said that Trump is a poor person’s idea of a rich person. Adelson could be thought of as Trump’s idea of a rich person. A family friend recalls Sheldon and Miriam’s two sons, who are now in college, getting picked up from school in stretch Hummer limousines and his home being so large it was stocked with Segway transporters to get around. A Las Vegas TV station found a few years ago that, amid a drought, Adelson’s palatial home a short drive from the Vegas Strip had used nearly 8 million gallons of water in a year, enough for 55 average homes. Adelson will rattle off his precise wealth based on the fluctuation of Las Vegas Sands’ share price, said his friend the New York investor Michael Steinhardt. “He’s very sensitive to his net worth,” Steinhardt said.

Trump entered the casino business several years before Adelson. In the early 1990s, both eyed Eilat in southern Israel as a potential casino site. Neither built there. Adelson “didn’t have a whole lot of respect for Trump when Trump was operating casinos. He was dismissive of Trump,” recalled one former Las Vegas Sands official. In an interview in the late ’90s, Adelson lumped Trump with Wynn: “Both of these gentlemen have very big egos,” Adelson said. “Well, the world doesn’t really care about their egos.”

Today, in his rare public appearances, Adelson has a grandfatherly affect. He likes to refer to himself as “Self” (“I said to myself, ‘Self …’”). He makes Borscht Belt jokes about his short stature: “A friend of mine says, ‘You’re the tallest guy in the world.’ I said, ‘How do you figure that?’ He says, ‘When you stand on your wallet.’”

By the early 2000s, Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands had surpassed Trump’s casino operations. While Trump was getting bogged down in Atlantic City, Adelson’s properties thrived. When Macau opened up a local gambling monopoly, Adelson bested a crowded field that included Trump to win a license. Today, Macau accounts for more than half of Las Vegas Sands’ roughly $13 billion in annual revenue.

Trump’s casinos went bankrupt, and now he is out of the industry entirely. By the mid-2000s, Trump was playing the role of business tycoon on his reality show, “The Apprentice.” Meanwhile, Adelson aggressively expanded his empire in Macau and later in Singapore. His company’s Moshe Safdie-designed Marina Bay Sands property there, with its rooftop infinity pool, featured prominently in the recent hit movie “Crazy Rich Asians.”

While their business trajectories diverged, Adelson and Trump have long shared a willingness to sue critics, enemies and business associates. Multiple people said they were too afraid of lawsuits to speak on the record for this story. In 1989, after the Nevada Gaming Control Board conducted a background investigation of Adelson, it found he had already been personally involved in around 100 civil lawsuits, according to the book “License to Steal,” a history of the agency. That included matters as small as a $600 contractual dispute with a Boston hospital.

The lawsuits have continued even as Adelson became so rich the amounts of money at stake hardly mattered. In one case, Adelson was unhappy with the quality of construction on one of his beachfront Malibu, California, properties and pursued a legal dispute with the contractor for more than seven years, going through a lengthy series of appeals and cases in different courts. Adelson sued a Wall Street Journal reporter for libel over a single phrase — a description of him as “foul-mouthed” — and fought the case for four years before it was settled, with the story unchanged. In a particularly bitter case in Massachusetts Superior Court in the 1990s, his sons from his first marriage accused him of cheating them out of money. Adelson prevailed.

Adelson rarely speaks to the media any more, with occasional exceptions for friendly business journalists or on stage at conferences, usually interviewed by people to whom he has given a great deal of money. “He keeps a very tight inner circle,” said a casino industry executive who has known Adelson for decades. Adelson declined to comment for this story.

ADELSON ONCE TOLD a reporter of entering the casino business late in life, “I loved being an outsider.” For nearly a decade he played that role in presidential politics, bankrolling the opposition to the Obama administration. As with some of his early entrepreneurial forays, he dumped money for little return, his political picks going bust. In 2008, he backed Rudy Giuliani. As America’s Mayor faded, he came on board late with the John McCain campaign. In 2012, he almost single-handedly funded Newt Gingrich’s candidacy. Gingrich spent a few weeks atop the polls before his candidacy collapsed. Adelson became a late adopter of Mitt Romney.

In 2016, the Adelsons didn’t officially endorse a candidate for months. Trump used Adelson as a foil, an example of the well-heeled donors who wielded outsized influence in Washington. “Sheldon or whoever — you could say Koch. I could name them all. They’re all friends of mine, every one of them. I know all of them. They have pretty much total control over the candidate,” Trump said on Fox News in October 2015. “Nobody controls me but the American public.” In a pointed tweet that month, Trump said: “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to [Marco] Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!”

Despite Trump’s barbs, Adelson had grown curious about the candidate and called his friend Steinhardt, who founded the Birthright program that sends young Jews on free trips to Israel. Adelson is now the program’s largest funder.

“I called Kushner and I said Sheldon would like to meet your father-in-law,” Steinhardt recalled. “Kushner was excited.” Trump got on a plane to Las Vegas. “Sheldon has strong views when it comes to the Jewish people; Trump recognized that, and a marriage was formed.”

Trump and his son-in-law Kushner courted Adelson privately, meeting several times in New York and Las Vegas. “Having Orthodox Jews like Jared and Ivanka next to him and so many common people in interest gave a level of comfort to Sheldon,” said Ronn Torossian, a New York public relations executive who knows both men. “Someone who lets their kid marry an Orthodox Jew and then become Orthodox is probably going to stand pretty damn close to Israel.”

Miriam Adelson, a physician born and raised in what became Israel, is said to be an equal partner in Sheldon Adelson’s political decisions. He has said the interests of the Jewish state are at the center of his worldview, and his views align with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-of-center approach to Iran and Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

Adelson suggested in 2014 that Israel doesn’t need to be a democracy. “I think God didn’t say anything about democracy,” Adelson said. “He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state.” On a trip to the country several years ago, on the eve of his young son’s bar mitzvah, Adelson said, “Hopefully he’ll come back; his hobby is shooting. He’ll come back and be a sniper for the IDF,” referring to the Israel Defense Forces.

On domestic issues, Adelson is more Chamber of Commerce Republican than movement conservative or Trumpian populist. He is pro-choice and has called for work permits and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a position sharply at odds with Trump’s. While the Koch brothers, his fellow Republican megadonors, have evinced concern over trade policy and distaste for Trump, Adelson has proved flexible, putting aside any qualms about Trump’s business acumen or ideological misgivings. In May 2016, he declared in a Washington Post op-ed that he was endorsing Trump. He wrote that Trump represented “a CEO success story that exemplifies the American spirit of determination, commitment to cause and business stewardship.”

The Adelsons came through with $20 million in donations to the pro-Trump super PAC, part of at least $83 million in donations to Republicans. By the time of the October 2016 release of the Access Hollywood tape featuring Trump bragging about sexual assault, Adelson was among his staunchest supporters. “Sheldon Adelson had Donald Trump’s back,” said Steve Bannon in a speech last year, speaking of the time after the scandal broke. “He was there.”

In December 2016, Adelson donated $5 million to the Trump inaugural festivities. The Adelsons had better seats at Trump’s inauguration than many Cabinet secretaries. The whole family, including their two college-age sons, came to Washington for the celebration. One of his sons posted a picture on Instagram of the event with the hashtag #HuckFillary.

The investment paid off in access and in financial returns. Adelson has met with Trump or visited the White House at least six times since Trump’s election victory. The two speak regularly. Adelson has also had access to others in the White House. He met privately with Vice President Mike Pence before Pence gave a speech at Adelson’s Venetian resort in Las Vegas last year. “He just calls the president all the time. Donald Trump takes Sheldon Adelson’s calls,” said Alan Dershowitz, who has done legal work for Adelson and advised Trump.

Adelson’s tens of millions in donations to Trump have already been paid back many times over by the new tax law. While all corporations benefited from the lower tax rate in the new law, many incurred an extra bill in the transition because profits overseas were hit with a one-time tax. But not Sands. Adelson’s company hired lobbyists to press Trump’s Treasury Department and Congress on provisions that would help companies like Sands that paid high taxes abroad, according to public filings and tax experts. The lobbying effort appears to have worked. After Trump signed the tax overhaul into law in December, Las Vegas Sands recorded a benefit from the new law the company estimated at $1.2 billion.

The Adelson family owns 55 percent of Las Vegas Sands, which is publicly traded, according to filings. The Treasury Department didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Now as Trump and the Republican Party face a reckoning in the midterm elections in November, they have once again turned to Adelson. He has given at least $55 million so far.

IN 2014, ADELSON TOLD an interviewer he was not interested in building a dynasty. “I want my legacy to be that I helped out humankind,” he said, underscoring his family’s considerable donations to medical research. But he gives no indication of sticking to a quiet life of philanthropy. In the last four years, he has used the Sands’ fleet of private jets, assiduously meeting with world leaders and seeking to build new casinos in Japan, Korea and Brazil.

He is closest in Japan. Japan has been considering lifting its ban on casinos for years, in spite of majority opposition in polls from a public that is wary of the social problems that might result. A huge de facto gambling industry of the pinball-like game pachinko has long existed in the country, historically associated with organized crime and seedy parlors filled with cigarette-smoking men. Opposition to allowing casinos is so heated that a brawl broke out in the Japanese legislature this summer. But lawmakers have moved forward on legalizing casinos and crafted regulations that hew to Adelson’s wishes.

“Japan is considered the next big market. Sheldon looks at it that way,” said a former Sands official. Adelson envisions building a $10 billion “integrated resort,” which in industry parlance refers to a large complex featuring a casino with hotels, entertainment venues, restaurants and shopping malls.

The new Japanese law allows for just three licenses to build casinos in cities around the country, effectively granting valuable local monopolies. At least 13 companies, including giants like MGM and Genting, are vying for a license. Even though Sands is already a strong contender because of its size and its successful resort in Singapore, some observers in Japan believe Adelson’s relationship with Trump has helped move Las Vegas Sands closer to the multibillion-dollar prize.

Just a week after the U.S. election, Prime Minister Abe arrived at Trump Tower, becoming the first foreign leader to meet with the president-elect. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were also there. Abe presented Trump with a gilded $3,800 golf driver. Few know the details of what the Trumps and Abe discussed at the meeting. In a break with protocol, Trump’s transition team sidelined the State Department, whose Japan experts were never briefed on what was said. “There was a great deal of frustration,” said one State Department official. “There was zero communication from anyone on Trump’s team.”

In another sign of Adelson’s direct access to the incoming president and ties with Japan, he secured a coveted Trump Tower meeting a few weeks later for an old friend, the Japanese billionaire businessman Masayoshi Son. Son’s company, SoftBank, had bought Adelson’s computer trade show business in the 1990s. A few years ago, Adelson named Son as a potential partner in his casino resort plans in Japan. Son’s SoftBank, for its part, owns Sprint, which has long wanted to merge with T-Mobile but needs a green light from the Trump administration. A beaming Son emerged from the meeting in the lobby of Trump Tower with the president-elect and promised $50 billion in investments in the U.S.

When Trump won the election in November 2016, the casino bill had been stalled in the Japanese Diet. One month after the Trump-Abe meeting, in an unexpected move in mid-December, Abe’s ruling coalition pushed through landmark legislation authorizing casinos, with specific regulations to be ironed out later. There was minimal debate on the controversial bill, and it passed at the very end of an extraordinary session of the legislature. “That was a surprise to a lot of stakeholders,” said one former Sands executive who still works in the industry. Some observers suspect the timing was not a coincidence. “After Trump won the election in 2016, the Abe government’s efforts to pass the casino bill shifted into high gear,” said Yoichi Torihata, a professor at Shizuoka University and opponent of the casino law.

On a Las Vegas Sands earnings call a few days after Trump’s inauguration, Adelson touted that Abe had visited the company’s casino resort complex in Singapore. “He was very impressed with it,” Adelson said. Days later, Adelson attended the February breakfast with Abe in Washington, after which the prime minister went on to Mar-a-Lago, where the president raised Las Vegas Sands. A week after that, Adelson flew to Japan and met with the secretary general of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo.

The casino business is one of the most regulated industries in the world, and Adelson has always sought political allies. To enter the business in 1989, he hired the former governor of Nevada to represent him before the state’s gaming commission. In 2001, according to court testimony reported in the New Yorker, Adelson intervened with then-House Majority Whip Rep. Tom DeLay, to whom he was a major donor, at the behest of a Chinese official over a proposed House resolution that was critical of the country’s human rights record. At the time, Las Vegas Sands was seeking entry into the Macau market. The resolution died, which Adelson attributed to factors other than his intervention, according to the magazine.

In 2015, he purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the state’s largest newspaper, which then published a lengthy investigative series on one of Adelson’s longtime rivals, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which runs a convention center that competes with Adelson’s. (The paper said Adelson had no influence over its coverage.)

In Japan, Las Vegas Sands’ efforts have accelerated in the last year. Adelson returned to the country in September 2017, visiting top officials in Osaka, a possible casino site. In a show of star power in October, Sands flew in David Beckham and the Eagles’ Joe Walsh for a press conference at the Palace Hotel Tokyo. Beckham waxed enthusiastic about his love of sea urchin and declared, “Las Vegas Sands is creating fabulous resorts all around the world, and their scale and vision are impressive.”

Adelson appears emboldened. When he was in Osaka last fall, he publicly criticized a proposal under consideration to cap the total amount of floor space devoted to casinos in the resorts that have been legalized. In July, the Japanese Diet passed a bill with more details on what casinos will look like and laying out the bidding process. The absolute limit on casino floor area had been dropped from the legislation.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has made an unusual personnel move that could help advance pro-gambling interests. The new U.S. ambassador, an early Trump campaign supporter and Tennessee businessman named William Hagerty, hired as his senior adviser an American executive working on casino issues for the Japanese company SEGA Sammy. Joseph Schmelzeis left his role as senior adviser on global government and industry affairs for the company in February to join the U.S. Embassy. (He has not worked for Sands.)

A State Department spokesperson said that embassy officials had communicated with Sands as part of “routine” meetings and advice provided to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. The spokesperson said that “Schmelzeis is not participating in any matter related to integrated resorts or Las Vegas Sands.”

Japanese opposition politicians have seized on the Adelson-Trump-Abe nexus. One, Tetsuya Shiokawa, said this year that he believes Trump has been the unseen force behind why Abe’s party has “tailor-made the [casino] bill to suit foreign investors like Adelson.” In the next stage of the process, casino companies will complete their bids with Japanese localities.

ADELSON’S INFLUENCE has spread across the Trump administration. In August 2017, the Zionist Organization of America, to which the Adelsons are major donors, launched a campaign against National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. ZOA chief Mort Klein charged McMaster “clearly has animus toward Israel.”

Adelson said he was convinced to support the attack on McMaster after Adelson spoke with Safra Catz, the Israeli-born CEO of Oracle, who “enlightened me quite a bit” about McMaster, according to an email Klein later released to the media. Adelson pressed Trump to appoint the hawkish John Bolton to a high position, The New York Times reported. In March, Trump fired McMaster and replaced him with Bolton. The president and other cabinet officials also clashed with McMaster on policy and style issues.

For Scott Pruitt, the former EPA administrator known as an ally of industry, courting Adelson meant developing a keen interest in an unlikely topic: technology that generates clean water from air. An obscure Israeli startup called Watergen makes machines that resemble air conditioners and, with enough electricity, can pull potable water from the air.

Adelson doesn’t have a stake in the company, but he is old friends with the Israeli-Georgian billionaire who owns the firm, Mikhael Mirilashvili, according to the head of Watergen’s U.S. operation, Yehuda Kaploun. Adelson first encountered the technology on a trip to Israel, Kaploun said. Dershowitz is also on the company’s board.

Just weeks after being confirmed, Pruitt met with Watergen executives at Adelson’s request. Pruitt promptly mobilized dozens of EPA officials to ink a research deal under which the agency would study Watergen’s technology. EPA officials immediately began voicing concerns about the request, according to hundreds of previously unreported emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. They argued that the then-EPA chief was violating regular procedures.

Pruitt, according to one email, asked that staffers explore “on an expedited time frame” whether a deal could be done “without the typical contracting requirements.” Other emails described the matter as “very time sensitive” and having “high Administrator interest.”

A veteran scientist at the agency warned that the “technology has been around for decades,” adding that the agency should not be “focusing on a single vendor, in this case Watergen.” Officials said that Watergen’s technology was not unique, noting there were as many as 70 different suppliers on the market with products using the same concept. Notes from a meeting said the agency “does not currently have the expertise or staff to evaluate these technologies.” Agency lawyers “seemed scared” about the arrangement, according to an internal text exchange. The EPA didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Watergen got its research deal. It’s not known how much money the agency has spent on the project. The technology was shipped to a lab in Cincinnati, and Watergen said the government will produce a report on its study. Pruitt planned to unveil the deal on a trip to Israel, which was also planned with the assistance of Adelson, The Washington Post reported. But amid multiple scandals, the trip never happened.

Other parts of the Trump administration have also been friendly to Watergen. Over the summer, Mirilashvili attended the U.S. Embassy in Israel’s Fourth of July party, where he was photographed grinning and sipping water next to one of the company’s machines on display. Kaploun said U.S. Ambassador David Friedman’s staff assisted the company to help highlight its technology.

A State Department spokesperson said Watergen was one of many private sponsors of the embassy party and was “subject to rigorous vetting.” The embassy is now considering leasing or buying a Watergen unit as part of a “routine procurement action,” the spokesperson said.

A Mirilashvili spokesman said in a statement that Adelson and Mirilashvili “have no business ties with each other.” The spokesman added that Adelson had been briefed on the company’s technology by Watergen engineers and “Adelson has also expressed an interest in the ability of this Israeli technology to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans who are affected by water pollution.”

EVEN AS THE CASINO business looks promising in Japan, China has been a potential trouble spot for Adelson. Few businesses are as vulnerable to geopolitical winds as Adelson’s. The majority of Sands’ value derives from its properties in Macau. It is the world’s gambling capital, and China’s central government controls it.

“Sheldon Adelson highly values direct engagement in Beijing,” a 2009 State Department cable released by WikiLeaks says, “especially given the impact of Beijing’s visa policies on the company’s growing mass market operations in Macau.”

At times, Sands’ aggressive efforts in China crossed legal lines. On Jan. 19, 2017, the day before Trump took office, the Justice Department announced Sands was paying a nearly $7 million fine to settle a longstanding investigation into whether it violated a U.S. anti-bribery statute in China. The case revealed that Sands paid roughly $60 million to a consultant who “advertised his political connections with [People’s Republic of China] government officials” and that some of the payments “had no discernible legitimate business purpose.” Part of the work involved an effort by Sands to acquire a professional basketball team in the country to promote its casinos. The DOJ said Sands fully cooperated in the investigation and fixed its compliance problems.

A year and a half into the Trump administration, Adelson has a bigger problem than the Justice Department investigation: Trump’s trade war against Beijing has put Sands’ business in Macau at risk. Sands’ right to operate expires in a few years. Beijing could throttle the flow of money and people from the mainland to Macau. Sands and the other foreign operators in Macau “now sit on a geopolitical fault line. Their Macau concessions can therefore be on the line,” said a report from the Hong Kong business consultancy Steve Vickers & Associates.

A former Sands board member, George Koo, wrote a column in the Asia Times newspaper in April warning that Beijing could undercut the Macau market by legalizing casinos in the southern island province of Hainan. “A major blow in the trade war would be for China to allow Hainan to become a gambling destination and divert visitors who would otherwise be visiting Macau,” Koo wrote. “As one of Trump’s principal supporters, it’s undoubtedly a good time for Mr. Adelson to have a private conversation with the president.”

It’s not clear if Adelson has had that conversation. According to The Associated Press, Adelson was present for a discussion of China policy at the dinner he attended with Trump at the White House in February 2017. In September, Trump escalated his trade war with China. He raised tariffs on $200 billion Chinese imports. China retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. products.

Adelson has said privately that if he can be helpful in any way he would volunteer himself to do whatever is asked for either side of the equation — the U.S. or China, according to a person who has spoken to him.

TOROSSIAN, the public relations executive, calls Adelson “this generation’s Rothschild” for his support of Israel. In early May, the Adelsons gave $30 million to the super PAC that is seeking to keep Republican control of the House for the remainder of Trump’s term. A few days later, Trump announced he was killing the Iran nuclear deal, a target of Adelson’s and the Netanyahu government’s for years. The following day, Adelson met with the president at the White House.

Five days later, Adelson was in Israel for another landmark, the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem marked a major shift in U.S. foreign policy, long eschewed by presidents of both parties. Besides dealing a major blow to Palestinian claims on part of the city, which are recognized by most of the world, it was the culmination of a more than 20-year project of the Adelsons. Sheldon and Miriam personally lobbied for the move on Capitol Hill as far back as 1995.

In an audience dotted with yarmulkes and MAGA-red hats, the Adelsons were in the front now, next to Netanyahu and his wife, the Kushners and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. A beaming Miriam, wearing a dress featuring an illustration of the Jerusalem skyline, filmed the event with her phone. She wrote a first-person account of the ceremony that was co-published on the front page of the two newspapers the Adelsons own, Israel Hayom and the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “The embassy opening is a crowning moment for U.S. foreign policy and for our president, Donald Trump. Just over a year into his first term, he has re-enshrined the United States as the standard-bearer of moral clarity and courage in a world that too often feels adrift.”

Adelson paid for the official delegation of Guatemala, the only other country to move its embassy, to travel to Israel. “Sheldon told me that any country that wants to move its embassy to Jerusalem, he’ll fly them in — the president and everyone — for the opening,” said Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce CEO Duvi Honig, who was in attendance.

Klein, the Zionist Organization of America president, was also there. The Adelsons, he said, “were glowing with a serene happiness like I’ve never seen them. Sheldon said to me, ‘President Trump promised he would do this and he did it.’ And he almost became emotional. ‘And look, Mort, he did it.’”

Do you have information about Sheldon Adelson and the Trump administration? Reach Justin at justin@propublica.org or on Signal at (774) 826-6240.


          Baráttukona gegn Boko Haram í forsetaframboð       Cache   Translate Page      
Obiageli Ezekwesili, fyrrverandi varaforseti Alþjóðabankans í Afríku, og ein helsta baráttukonan fyrir frelsun Chibok-stúlknanna úr haldi hryðjuverkasamtakanna Boko Haram, hefur lýst yfir forsetaframboði gegn sitjandi forseta Nígeríu, Muhammadu Buhari. Hún er jafnframt fyrr­ver­andi mennta­málaráðherra landsins. Ezekwesili er sögð eiga stóran þátt í því að brottnám stúlknanna í Chibok-héraði vakti heimsathygli árið 2014 svo úr varð hreyfingin #BringBackOurGirls. Michelle Obama, þáverandi forsetafrú Bandaríkjanna, var á meðal þeirra sem ljáðu baráttunni stuðning sinn. Mikil fátækt er í Nígeríu. Þegar Ezekwesili tók við tilnefningu stjórnmálaflokks síns til forsetaframboðs á laugardag, sagði hún að þau fáu tækifæri sem byðust væri sópað upp af gráðugri pólitískri elítu landsins. Hún undirstrikaði hæfi sitt með því að vísa til starfa sinna hjá Alþjóðabankanum. „Ég veit hvernig heilbrigð hagkerfi líta út; þau sem skapa störf og tryggja velsæld. Ég veit hvað þarf til að byggja upp traust og samkeppnishæft hagkerfi.“ Ezekwesili gæti átt á brattann að sækja í kosningabaráttunni í Nígeríu og þá aðallega vegna þess að hún er kona, segir í frétt Washington Post.  Þar er rifjaður upp blaðamannafundur þar sem Buhari sagði að hann byggi yfir mun meiri þekkingu en eiginkona hans og að hún tilheyrði eldhúsi hans, stofunni hans og „hinu herberginu“. Þetta hafi hann sagt þar sem hann stóð við hlið Angelu Merkel, kanslara Þýskalands og einni valdamestu konu heims. Henni hafi augljóslega ekki þótt mikið til orða hans koma. Forsetakosningar verða í Nígeríu í febrúar á næsta ári. 
          JUDICIAL WATCH: Tom Fitton Reveals Obama State Dept. Worked Hand in Glove with Soros Operatives — Spent $9 Million Tax Dollars on Albania      Cache   Translate Page      
by Jim Hoft TheGatewayPundit.com October 9, 2018 Tom Fitton and Judicial Watch announced on Monday the Obama State Department was working hand in glove with Soros operatives. Fitton said the US State Department spent $9 million in taxpayer dollars to fund Soros operations in Albania. Tom Fitton, “I don’t know about you but I don’t […]
          Democrats see hypocrisy in GOP attacks on ‘liberal mob’      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats urged voters not to hand over power to an angry Tea Party mob in 2010, when the Obama White House and then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sought to hold on to the House majority.
          IPOB Rejects VP Slot For South-East, Insists On Referendum For Biafra’s Exit      Cache   Translate Page      

....Says Buhari, Atiku, APC, PDP tickets for Fulani agenda
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) said that it was not interested in who clinches which party ticket or becomes president or vice in 2019 general election but wants referendum for Biafran restoration.

The group described as ‘disgraceful horse trading’ going on for the position of vice presidential candidate among South East politicians is indicative of their hopelessness and self aggrandisement at the expense of the collective advancement of the people.

Media and Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Emma Powerful, in a statement, said that all the people of Biafra want is a referendum, saying Biafrans must decide whether they wish to continue staying in Nigeria or not before any election can be conducted in Biafraland.

Powerful’s statement read, “Those irrationally jubilating in the South East and South South over the PDP nominee must remember it was Atiku, Saraki, Obasanjo, Tambowal, Kwankwonso and others that conspired against Jonathan in 2015 to put a Fulani man in power.

“Now Jonathan is gone, the big Fulani guns that abandoned him to join APC to ensure the loss of his presidency, have now jumped out of APC into PDP to overrun the east.

“We wonder why people will forget so easily, especially South East and South South people.

“The hidden agenda Fulani doesn’t want people to understand is that they want to continue ruling Nigeria with Jubril from Sudan or another Fulani in PDP.

“They have succeeded in replacing their late hitman Mohammad Buhari with Atiku Abubakar to continue their Fulani agenda”.

“We view with utter disdain and sadness the macabre dance of shame being exhibited by some elements from the east over the emergence of Atiku Abubakar.

“These shameless politicians, typified by the institutionalised bundle of treachery abundant in Ohaneze Ndigbo ideology, have reared their ugly heads once again in the never ending cycle of humiliation and suffering for Biafrans in Nigeria.

“If people can forget with such ease that Atiku Abubakar is yet another Fulani Muslim with a major stake in the murderous tendencies of Miyetti Allah a.k.a Fulani herdsmen, then there is reason to question the sanity of those that claim they are political leaders in the south.

“Those irrationally jubilating in the South East and South South over the PDP nominee must remember it was Atiku, Saraki, Obasanjo, Tambowal, Kwankwonso and others that conspired against Jonathan in 2015 to put a Fulani man in power.

“Now Jonathan is gone, the big Fulani guns that abandoned him to join APC to ensure the loss of his presidency, have now jumped out of APC into PDP to overrun the east.

“We wonder why people will forget so easily, especially South East and South South people.

“The emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubarka did not come as a surprise because we the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu are well aware and informed on the antics of the Fulani caliphate with their jihadist plans to perpetuate the suffering and conquest of the rest of Nigeria particularly the former Eastern Region.

“It’s a shame that Ohaneze Ndigbo and eastern politicians are still ignorant of this fact but they claim they are learned.

“How quickly so-called leaders of the east have forgotten that it was Buhari that truncated the guaranteed Ekwueme presidency with his anti-east military coup of 1983.

“It was the same Buhari that killed civilians and blackmailed another easterner Goodluck Jonathan out of office, using the formidable might of global Islamic brotherhood led by Obama,” the statement stated

          Big Bill Broonzy - "Black, Brown, And White", A 1951 Blues Song About Racism (sound file, lyrics, article excerpt, & comments)      Cache   Translate Page      
Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases Big Bill Broonzy's 1951 song "Black, Brown, And White".

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Big Bill Broonzy for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this sound file on YouTube.
-snip-
Much of the content of this post was originally published on pancocojams June 2012 with the titled "Big Bill Broonzy -"Black, Brown, And White" (A Song About Racism)". This October 2018 post includes more of the content from the featured dailykos.com and selected comments from the discussion thread of a YouTube video other than the one that is embedded in this post.

****
SHOWCASE SONG: 'Black, Brown And White' BIG BILL BROONZY (1951) Blues Guitar Legend



Uploaded by RagtimeDorianHenry on Apr 2, 2009

" Black, Brown And White " (1951)

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LYRICS: BLACK, BROWN, AND WHITE (Version 1)
by Big Bill Broonzy
(recorded September 20 1951, Paris)

This little song that I'm singin' about,
people you know it's true
If you're black and gotta work for a living,
this is what they will say to you,
they says, "If you was white, should be all right,
if you was brown, stick around,
but as you's black, hmm brother, get back, get back, get back"

I was in a place one night
They was all having fun
They was all buyin' beer and wine,
but they would not sell me none
They said, "If you was white, should be all right,
if you was brown, stick around,
but if you black, hmm brother, get back, get back, get back"

Me and a man was workin' side by side
This is what it meant
They was paying him a dollar an hour,
and they was paying me fifty cent
They said, "If you was white, 't should be all right,
if you was brown, could stick around,
but as you black, hmm boy, get back, get back, get back"

I went to an employment office,
got a number 'n' I got in line
They called everybody's number,
but they never did call mine
They said, "If you was white, should be all right,
if you was brown, could stick around,
but as you black, hmm brother, get back, get back, get back"

I hope when sweet victory,
with my plough and hoe
Now I want you to tell me brother,
what you gonna do about the old Jim Crow?
Now if you was white, should be all right,
if you was brown, could stick around,
but if you black, whoa brother, get back, get back, get back

From http://blueslyrics.tripod.com/artistswithsongs/big_bill_broonzy_1.htm#black_brown_and_white_version 1 [This link is no longer active]

Read the comment given as #13 below for another version of this song.

Click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bill_Broonzy for information about Big Bill Broonzy (June 26, 1903 – August 15, 1958).

****
COMMENTARY ABOUT BIG BILL BROONZY'S "BLACK, BROWN, AND WHITE" SONG
From http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/01/22/687894/-If-You-s-Black-Brother-Get-Back Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 08:15 PM PST. "If You's Black? Brother, Get Back!" by amnesiaproletariat
..."As the fight against Hitler raged, the U.S. military was stretched to the breaking point. The crisis (and the lack of alternatives) pushed the further integration of the armed forces. Throughout the 40's, the government set up all black combat units on a provisional basis, and the higher ups watched closely to see if black people could absorb bullets as well as their lighter hued peers (spoiler : they could). The Tuskegee Airmen were among these groups.

Watching the war closely was a black World War I veteran named Bill Broonzy, the son of slaves and a former sharecropper. After the war, Broonzy made a name for himself as a blues musician, gaining popularity in the northern US and Europe, and occasionally touring the south and his home state of Mississippi.

Racial discrimination, of course, was still a facet of life - there had always been places he couldn't go and places he couldn't play because of Jim Crow legislation. But throughout his career, he held out hope that an integrated military would bring together blacks and whites who otherwise would have never interacted, and get the gimpy wheelbarrow of racial progress in America on at least a downward incline.

Not so much. Black veterans who returned from war* found many changes, but the harsh realities of their lives remained the same. They were still the last ones hired and the first ones fired whenever there were employment opportunities. That's well known, but what's less well known is that there was also intraracial bias in the hiring practices of the time. The better someone could pass for white, the better chances they had at getting and keeping a job. If you were black and darkskinned, you were at the very bottom of the totem pole. Big Bill Broonzy didn't miss a beat, writing "Get Back (Black, Brown, and White)" the song that would get him a following in Europe, and a complete blacklisting from the American music industry.

American record companies refused to record the song, and it all but sank his career. Like many black Americans with talent in the arts, he spent plenty of time in Europe, and after a couple of years on the road, a French label recorded the track, and with time, he was able to do other, better quality cuts of the song. Like many musicians who put in years on the road, it only took a little luck to raise his stature enough that he could make a living off of his music.

The timing was bittersweet. By the 50's, the next generation of blues musicians was striking out into the world, and they gratefully acknowledged the debt they owed to his efforts. At the same time, Broonzy's own style was becoming outdated - the blues was transitioning to a more uptempo, electric style. Still, he became something of a senior ambassador for jazz abroad, directly assissting in the career of Muddy Waters, and serving as a major influence on Eric Clapton, who would go on to cover "Key To The Highway", another of Broonzy's songs, with rock supergroup Derek and the Dominoes."
-snip-
* The reference to "war" in this post is "World War II".

**
For the folkloric record, I recall chanting the verse "if you're white, you're alright/if you're brown, stick around, if you're black, step back" as a child in the 1950s (Atlantic City, New Jersey). I don't remember doing any movements while saying this verse, and I believe that I and other children in my neighborhood said this rhyme from rote memory because of its rhyming value and not as a taunt. Also, prior to 2005 I didn't know anything about Blues guitarist Big Bill Broonzy, and didn't know anything about the "Black, Brown, And White" song.

**
With regard to the "if you're white" etc. verse, TrueBlueMajority, a commenter on the discussion thread for that above mentioned Daily Kos post wrote:
"I remember hearing that rhyme as a kid in DC
in the 60s:

if you're black, get back
if you're brown, stick around
if you're white, you're all right"

-snip-
*"DC" is the United States' capital "Washington, DC" [District of Columbia].

That Daily Kos commenter also mentioned that he (or she) didn't know "the yellow and red lines" for that rhyme. I didn't know that there were "yellow and red" lines to that rhyme, but I found them online. Those lines were included in a March 2012 post decrying the actions of students from a majority White Texas high school who chanted "USA USA USA" to celebrate their basketball victory over a "mostly minority" Texas high school team:

"From the Texass poet laureate:
If you're black, better step back.
If you're brown, better not come around.
If you're red, you're better off dead.
If you're yellow, no need for you, fellow.
But if you're white - you're ALL RIGHT!
USA! USA! USA!"

(JGL53 - March 8, 2012 http://www.librarything.com/topic/133922)

**
A commenter who posted in response to JGHL53 indicated that those words were from "a Big Bill Broonzy song" and also indicated that JGHL53 gave those lines "backwards" (which I presume means that the "if you're white" line came first [in Broonzy's song].

It's likely that this "if you're white you're alright" etc verse was a folk saying before Broonzy included it in his song. I'm also sure that there are other song and rhyme examples of this verse after Broonzy's 1951 recording. For example, I don't know who the Texas poet laureate is, and which poem that laureate wrote includes that "if you're black step back" verse. If you know this, and/or know any other examples of these verses, it would be great if you'd share that information in this post's comment section. Thanks in advance.

****
SELECTED COMMENTS
(From the discussion thread of another YouTube sound file of Big Bill Broozy's "Black, Brown, and White"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0c1c0ZsTLA "Big Bill Broonzy: Black, Brown and White" published by HaloedG on Jan 23, 2009

[Numbers are added for referencing purposes only.)

1. 7SonsofFeanor, 2009
"I've been thinking of this song ever since the Inauguration :)"
-snip-
This comment refers to the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2008.

**
2. karinablacktie, 2009
"I was sorry that Rev Lowery didn't credit Big Bill Broonzy in his inauguration benediction, whose ending was obviously a paraphrasing of this song.

**
REPLY
3. ana2881, 2011
"I'm not sure why people assume Rev Lowery somehow stole or forget to credit Broonzy. The saying is old and widespread, I doubt anyone knows its exact origins. Its like a lot of old folk, spiritual and... blues songs where the origins are murky, various individuals and musical styles mold it, verses are adapted and changed by various artists for different audiences and musicians play around with the music, and a lot of on the spot improvisation happens."

**
4. turtledogg, 2009
"lol we watched this video in school about Civil Rights, and this was playing in the beginning, now i can't stop singing it!"

**
REPLY
5. Aroe1994, 2009
"I listened to this song in school too. LoL, it's so sad =[
I havent heard it in 2 years, and something someone said reminded me of this song, so I had to listen to it again."
-snip-
There are lots of comments in this discussion thread about hearing this song in various school and/or university classes. The classes that were specifically mentioned were music, history, social studies, history of Rock & Roll, and Feminism.

**
6. Solid E, 2009
"The song is a classic example of what the blues is. The blues is the truth laced with irony!"

**
7. polyesterpoontang, 2010
"So much truth in Broonzy."

**
8. Coblu, 2010
"Surprised I never heard this. Such a well written, important song that illustrates the time period."

**
9. Andrew Luck The G.O.A.T, 2011
"this song was made around when there was segregation"

**
10. Kikoo27, 2011
"There is no hate in these lyrics. Just the facts!! I heard it once. I got hooked on it."

**
11. imperiumdiaboli, 2011
"One thumb down? I didn't realize the president of the KKK had a YouTube account."
-snip-
There are 2,200 thumbs up (likes) and 33 thumbs down (dislikes) as of 10/8/2018 11:03 PM EDT.

**
12. David C, 2011
"@glenneveaux youre completely wrong actally. Blacks are still the most feared group During the nineteenth century, racists liked to portray themselves as 'scientific.' Brown signified that a race was closer to white than pure blacks were. As a result, mulattos were given better jobs then pure blacks. NOt just in the USA, but in Brazil, Peru, Cuba.... similar things happened in Vietnam, Nigeria, and Rwanda (see the movie)."
-snip-
I can't find the comment from @glenneveaux and I don't know what movie David C is referring to. 

**
13. ana2881, 2011
"There is another version which skewered the colorism of some early 20thC black American communities.
If you're white you're all right
if you're yellow stay mellow
if you're brown stick around
if you're black get back

all referring to different shades of African Americans

variations have been applied to racism and complexion prejudices since the 19th C"

**
14. MidnightChipmunk, 2012
"If you was white, Your alright, If you brown stick around, but if you black oh brother get back get back get back. I love it the sad thing is that this is what still happens today"

**
15. Hi Everybody!, 2012
""Only a small number of people are racist, it's a minority." (:o) I wish this was really true as the the world would be a far better place. Let's just say that it's a very large minority."

**
16. MarcBrewer, 2012
"The percentage of racists is about the same as the percentage of stupid people"

**
17. Terrill Wyche, 2012
"He ain't lied yet."

**
18. Arkansas Red, 2012
"Truer words were never spoken. Even in today's world. As Pete Seeger so rightfully said, "When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn"?"

**
19. Jonas Ra, 2013
"God I love this cat"

**
20. Colino Deani, 2013
"Sad song... I mean.. Where do I get back to? =("

**
21. Kakkarot Red, 2013
"Great song !! Love it !! But he forgot the yellow's. ^_^"
-snip-
In the United States, in contrast to "black" and "brown", "yellow" and "red" are considered inappropriate to use as skin color referents. That said, some Black people who are redbones (whose skin have reddish hues) may be given the nickname "Red" or may call themselves "Red" with no negative connotations implied or meant by that nickname. This may explain the screen names "Arkansas Red" (Comment #18) and "Kakkarot Red" (Comment #21).

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Viewer comments are welcome.

          Is 8 Enough? The Consequences Of The Supreme Court Starting 1 Justice Short      Cache   Translate Page      
As the fight over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination continues to reverberate throughout the country, the shorthanded Supreme Court began its new term Monday. Republicans had hoped to seat nominee Brett Kavanaugh in time for the start of the term, but that, of course, did not happen. Just like the beginning of the 2016 term, only eight justices sat on the bench when Chief Justice John Roberts opened the court term. In 2016, after the sudden death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell held up President Barack Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court for almost a year, leaving the court with eight members until a newly elected President Trump could fill the seat. The difference this time is that the eight-justice court is evenly split between conservative and liberal justices, with little wiggle room in many closely contested cases. In 2016, Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes voted with the court's liberals, was
          What a difference      Cache   Translate Page      
WE REMEMBER 2008 for Obama becoming president, the Beijing Olympics and the global financial crisis. Nickelback’s Rock Star took a swipe at celebrity culture and Heath Ledger was outstanding as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
          Budowsky: Code red alert to Democrats – The Hill      Cache   Translate Page      
The HillThis column is a code red alert to Democrats and a call to arms for the most popular and respected Democrats in America, such as Michelle Obama, to lead the charge for all hands on deck at a critical moment for America and democracy. … If this …A Big Blue Wave Could Overwhelm The […]
          Day 1 for Kavanaugh: Supreme Court upholds his previous ruling on Obama climate reg      Cache   Translate Page      
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air
          VIDEO Controversial Obamacare medical device tax to return      Cache   Translate Page      
VIDEO Controversial Obamacare medical device tax set to return in 2018
          Dems eye ambitious agenda if House flips      Cache   Translate Page      
Democratic committee leaders are ready to roll out an ambitious legislative wish list if the House majority flips in next month’s midterm elections. After eight years in the minority, Democrats have big plans, from shoring up ObamaCare and Dodd...
          Democrats see hypocrisy in GOP attacks on ‘liberal mob’      Cache   Translate Page      
Democrats urged voters not to hand over power to an angry Tea Party mob in 2010, when the Obama White House and then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sought to hold on to the House majority.Eight years later, the tables have been turned, and it is...
          Más de 21 dimisiones y ceses han sacudido a la Administración Trump en menos de dos años      Cache   Translate Page      
La hasta ahora embajadora de Estados Unidos en las Naciones Unidas, Nikki Haley, se convirtió este martes en la última alto cargo del gobierno de Donald Trump en dejar su puesto, tras hacer pública su carta de renuncia fecha en el 3 de octubre en la que destacó que durante su gestión en la ONU se lograron las sanciones a Corea del Norte y que obligaron al régimen a negociar una desnuclearización también el embargo de armamento a Sudán de Sur, la defensa a Israel y la denuncia hacia los líderes de Irán, Cuba y Venezuela. Su comparecencia en la Casa Blanca no dejó claro el por qué de su renuncia. «Nikki solo quiero decirte que te vamos a extrañar», dijo Trump en el encuentro. Sally Q. Yates, secretaria de Justicia El presidente Trump despidió en la noche del 30 de enero de 2017 a la secretaria de Justicia en funciones, Sally Q. Yates, después de que esta ordenara a los fiscales federales no cumplir con la orden ejecutiva que prohíbe la entrada al país de ciudadanos de siete países de mayoría musulmana y suspende el programa nacional de refugiados con alcance mundial. Michael Flynn, Seguridad Nacional Michael Flynn, asesor en materia de seguridad nacional, presentó su dimisión el 13 de febrero de 2017 después de pasar las últimas horas en la cuerda floja. Flynn era el protagonista de un escándalo por haber mantenido conversaciones con Rusia sobre las sanciones que había impuesto el anterior Gobierno de EE.UU., cuando todavía Trump no había jurado su cargo y Barack Obama seguía en la Casa Blanca James Comey, director del FBI El exdirector del FBI James Comey fue despedido el 9 de mayo de 2017 por sus desavenencias con Trump. Ante el Comité de Inteligencia del Senado, el hombre del que dependió la investigación de la trama rusa sacó a la luz las entrañas del poder y mostró la peor cara de Donald Trump. Le acusó de mentir y difamar, de intentar «darle directrices» para desviar la investigación sobre el teniente general Michael Flynn. Anthony Scaramucci, director de Comunicación El director de comunicación de la Casa Blanca, Anthony Scaramucci, ha renunciado al cargo el 31 de julio de 2017, que asumió hace diez días, un periodo muy corto pero marcado por sus polémicas declaraciones y su agresiva guerra contra las filtraciones. El presidente de EE.UU. decidió prescindir de Scaramucci siguiendo el consejo de John Kelly, que considera que Scaramucci no era lo suficientemente disciplinado y había perdido credibilidad. Steve Bannon, asesor ideológico La destitución de Steve Bannon, el antiguo editor de Breitbart, como jefe de estrategia de Trump, marca el espectacular ascenso y caída de un ideólogo ultraconservador al que algunos consideraban el verdadero poder detrás del trono. Tras cargar con la mayor parte de la culpa por el fracaso del veto migratorio propuesto por el presidente, Bannon llevaba meses fuera de los focos. Se especulaba con que su creciente notoriedad había provocado la ira de Trump. Sebastian Gorka, asesor antiterrorista Sebastian Gorka, asesor antiterrorista del presidente de Estados Unidos Donald Trump presentó su dimisión el 25 de agosto de 2017 porque se encontraba insatisfecho con el estado actual de la Administración. Tenía objeciones respecto a la política exterior de Trump y las medidas antiterroristas. Tom Price, secretario de Salud El secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos de EE.UU., Tom Price, presentó el 29 de septiembre de 2017 su dimisión, la cual fue aceptada por el presidente Trump. El mandatario estaba evaluando la posibilidad de despedir a Price a raíz del escándalo suscitado por el uso de aviones privados para viajes oficiales, causando un gasto de miles de dólares a las arcas del Estado. Hope Hicks, directora de Comunicaciones Hope Hicks, la directora de Comunicaciones de la Casa Blanca y vieja asesora del presidente, renunció a su cargo el 1 de marzo de 2019 tras testificar sobre la trama rusa. La noticia llega un día después de que la consejera del presidente testificara durante alrededor de ocho horas ante el Comité de Inteligencia de la Cámara de Representantes en el marco de las investigaciones sobre la posible coordinación de la campaña de Trump con el Gobierno ruso para influir en los comicios de 2016. Rex Tillerson, secretario de Estado La destitución del secretario de Estado estadounidense Rex Tillerson el 13 de marzo de 2018 mientras este se encontraba en un viaje fuera del país es una clara muestra de desprecio y rencor. Tillerson se negó a apoyar la posición que Trump asumió tras los ataques de motivación racial en Charlottesville, Virginia. “El presidente habla por sí mismo” fue todo lo que Tillerson pudo ofrecer.
          This Republican Official Unleashed a Racist Attack Against a Candidate Who Could Be the First Native American Woman in Congress      Cache   Translate Page      
A Kansas Republican wrote a toxic screed against congressional candidate Sharice Davids.

A Republican county official in Kansas has attracted controversy for an inflammatory Facebook message about Democratic congressional candidate Sharice Davids.

According to the Kansas City Star, Johnson County Republican precinct committeeman Michael Kawny sent the message to Johnson County Democratic Women’s north chapter president Anne Pritchett:

Little Ms. Pritchett- you and your comrades stealth attack on Yoder is going to blow up in your leftist face. The REAL REPUBLICANS will remember what the scum DEMONRATS [sic] tried to do to Kavanaugh in November. Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pritchett told the Star that she was "stunned" by the message, while Kansas Republican Party executive director Jim Joice said "we are better than this."

Davids, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder for Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, is a lawyer and former White House Fellow who has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama. If elected, she would be the first openly gay member of Kansas' congressional delegation, and the first Native American women ever elected to Congress (Deb Haaland, another Native American congressional candidate running for a solid blue seat in New Mexico, would tie her for the honor). She is running on a platform that includes expanding access to health care and quality education, enacting tougher gun laws and comprehensive immigration reform, and addressing climate change.

Yoder, who votes with President Donald Trump 92 percent of the time, is one of the GOP's most vulnerable House incumbents. Recent polls show him trailing Davids by 6 to 8 points, and Davids has more than doubled Yoder's fundraising. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) recently canceled an ad buy in support of Yoder, a potential sign that they feat his seat is already lost.

As Kawny's rant shows, many Republicans are hopeful that the bitter Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation fight will energize Republican voters going into the midterms. But recent polls suggest that, in the House at least, this is not materializing; the latest CNN survey shows Democrats leading 13 points on the generic congressional ballot, and 30 points with likely women voters.

 

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          Trump's New EPA Chief Engaged With Racist and Sexist Content on Social Media      Cache   Translate Page      
Andrew Wheeler pleaded ignorance when confronted.

On Tuesday, the Huffington Post reported that Andrew Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has a history of posting and interacting with horribly bigoted and incendiary content.

Among the interactions, which were first discovered by American Bridge: a "like" of a Facebook image depicting former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama being offered a banana by a white person; a remark on another Facebook image that Hillary Clinton is "mentioned in the Book of Revelations….right after the Four Horsemen"; a retweet of "Pizzagate" conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec that depicted comedian Bill Murray attacking "Democrat identity politics"; a like of a tweet by far-right filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza casting doubt on Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford; and a like of another tweet by InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson claiming actor James Woods was being censored from Twitter.

"Over the years, I have been a prolific social media user and liked and inadvertently liked countless social media posts," said Wheeler in an email to the Huffington Post. "Specifically, I do not remember the post depicting President Obama and the First Lady. As for some of the other posts, I agreed with the content and was unaware of the sources."

Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, has been acting as administrator of the EPA since July, when his predecessor Scott Pruitt resigned in disgrace over a mountain of scandals including lavish personal use of taxpayer money on travel and security detail, a condo rental from a lobbyist who had business before his agency, improper awarding of raises and retaliation against whistleblowers, and the use of government employees for personal errands and favors.

Wheeler becomes the latest of several Trump administration officials to come under fire for extremist personal views.

In January, Corporation for National Community Service external affairs chief Carl Higbie resigned following the unearthing of a series of his former talk radio segments attacking women of color, Muslims, immigrants, and veterans with PTSD. In July, Health and Human Services communications official Ximena Barreto left office amid a scandal about her comments attacking Muslims and promoting conspiracy theories about slain Democratic staffer Seth Rich. More recently, Eric Blankenstein, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official charged with preventing racial discrimination in lending, has come under fire for his past statements that most hate crimes are hoaxes and the N-word isn't necessarily racist.

 

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          We Know What MAGA Is Code For — It’s Not Even a Secret      Cache   Translate Page      
“Good and Mad” Rebecca Traister explains why it's okay for women to be angry.

After all the protesting, crying, calling and suffering in the wake of Christine Blasey Ford testifying that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, had sexually assaulted her, the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the court anyway over the weekend. The rage levels of feminist women, which had already been explosive after the election of the pussy-grabber himself, reached nuclear levels in wake of yet another reminder that, in the eyes of Republicans anyway, women have no value outside of objects to be used and discarded

The time couldn’t be more perfect for Rebecca Traister’s book, “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.” In it, the New York magazine journalist explores the history and continuing power that women’s anger can have to cause change — which is why men are so afraid of it.

For those feeling helpless in the wake of another instance of misogynists using their power to slap women back into their place, Traister’s book is the boost needed for those who are afraid of being consumed by their anger. Instead, she reminds readers, anger can move us forward, if we’re not afraid to harness it. Traister joined me in Salon's studio last week to talk about how feminism evolved and worked through the backlashes of the 1980s and '90s and the transformative power of women's anger.

So I like this book a lot because it is very much very personal, it felt very raw and real, and it was very much of our generation — Generation X — I felt like, in a lot of ways. And you wrote in the book about how I think our generation of feminists felt a lot of pressure to be fun and ironic and kind of wry. That's being stripped away. Why do you think there was so much pressure on women to be chill about our feminism?

Well it's really hard to describe. Are you younger than me? I'm 43.

Not by much.

I would imagine you have some of the same memories that I have. And you also come from Texas. I do not come from Texas, but I would suspect that it was even more of a deep freeze, anti-feminist, backlash era growing up [there]. It's hard sometimes to explain to younger people, and there is no reason they should know, right? It's like when you're trying to describe your perspective and what you came out of — how intense the anti-feminist backlash of the 1980s and '90s was. To anybody who's come of age in the feminist blogosphere, or really over the past 15 years, there is no way to describe it was a desert, right?

Yeah.

There was a 'zine culture. There was feminism certainly at the margins. There were riot girls and 'zines and there were journalists. There were certainly feminist scholarship in the academy. But in terms of any popular mainstream media, and certainly in pop culture, on television, any form of the news that you were getting, feminism was simply frozen. It was a tundra. I have very distinct memories, as a young journalist, it never would have occurred to me: there was no category of Feminist Journalist. The job I have now was not one I could have imagined, not only when I was a child, but as a teenager.

I got to be part of a generation, along with you, and dozens of our peers and colleagues, who started to populate the internet with feminist media and we were making it up out of a frozen tundra, we were popping heads out and being like, "Feminism, I think we should talk about it again!" There was an acute awareness for anyone who was raised with this sense of impossibility of having a robust feminist conversation. I think there was, and I can only speak for myself here, there was a desire to distance ourselves, myself, from the sort of negative caricatures of feminism past. A lot of those had adhered dishonestly were man-hating, sexless, humorless, all that stuff that had been attached dishonestly to feminism of the second wave, of the 1970s. I think there was a lot of self-conscious work to make a new feminist conversation palatable, and inviting to lots of people, and sexy and fun. I participated in this to different degrees, and by the way, I don't think it was an error. I actually don't think it was an error.

The stripping away of some of that veneer of palpability, I think is incredibly important and crucial to the growth of a feminist conversation and having it drilled down to realer places. But I think there was a profound use in bringing it back in a way that probably did make certain compromises with a general ascetic set of expectations in order to engage in a broad, popular conversation about gender that invited a lot of people in to start talking about inequality in ways that they hadn't for decades.

Then we start talking about it and people get awakened more fully, the conversation becomes more nuanced, angrier to some extent. Its perfectly reasonable to go back and critique those earlier iterations, those sort of prettied up versions that were made slick and digestible. That's fine too. I wouldn't defend against it exactly, except to say that I participated then and I participate now in the critique in some of the ways we prettied up our anger.

Maybe one thing that's changed it seems to me is that it seemed back then you had to be funny to be disarming and now people, women, are using their humor to be even angrier and even scarier.

Yes, I think that's right. I think that's really smart.

What do you think changed? What do you think changed that made women just so angry in the past couple years?

Well, I think it was one of the challenges of being angry. About misogyny, about racism, about economic inequality is that there is a constant message in the United States that we don't really have anything to be angry about. It's always easier to pat ourselves on the back and be like, "No we fixed those problems," because it's really hard, it's hard to be engaged in these fights. I think, that especially during an Obama administration, I mean coming out of backlash years, you saw the bubbling of all kinds of anger. There was Occupy, Black Lives Matter, on the right there's the Tea Party. There's anger coming from several directions, grassroots anger. Especially for those of us on the left and really engaged in a feminist conversation, a conversation about racism, there was a lot of messaging during the two Obama terms that, "Look, we have an Obama administration, Hillary Clinton is inevitably going to be our next president." In fact you can't be mad on these grounds, really, because in fact the woman is the one who has the most power. She is the one who is the abuser of the power, right? She is the system and those who are challenging her are the outliers. Any feminist anger on her behalf is illegitimate on its face.

There are complicated reasons that argument was made. Hillary Clinton had accrued a lot of power, she had ascended within a white patriarchal party system, political system to be able to be the first woman ever nominated by a major party to the presidency. Those arguments weren't totally invalid, but they did work to quell any sense of there's a real reason for feminist complaint. There was sort of similar stuff happening around race during the Obama administration. Black Lives Matter comes up in the midst of that and that is really the thing that begins to crack that open as far as mass rage goes. That of course is a movement that is founded by and led by many black women. Very consciously so.

The thing that happened during the 2016 election and then with the election of Donald Trump is that all of the messages about, "No, no, no. You really have all the power, there's nothing to angry about. Your feminist argument is fundamentally illegitimate because it's a woman who is the system, the power. Whose rigging it against the rest of us." The win of Donald Trump, the victory of Donald Trump, I think made that argument impossible to make all of a sudden. It stripped off the veneer of, your feminism has become illegitimate because now women have accrued so much power within this flawed system. Even within the system in which they'd accrued power, they still actually couldn't win. No, it's not just because she was a woman, not just because of sexism, but it is also impossible to take gender out of how Hillary Clinton had gotten there and how Donald Trump had worked to beat her. You can't tell that story without talking about sexism and racism.

Well, and you can't bullshit women anymore about that.

Right! Right!

I think that's a huge part of it. You're like, "well it's about something other than this, and then you're like, well, look at him and look at her." C'mon.

Right! Right! The setup was so classic. It was truly like, and I had written this but its true, it was like a 1980s boardroom comedy. Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, here was this wildly prepared, competent, extremely smart woman, better qualified for this job than any previous applicant for it and she's leap-leapfrogged by the incompetent fucking toddler who'd already been reported by HR and he gets the promotion. That was a story that resonated for millions of women, whether they liked Hillary Clinton or not, or whether they were passionately drawn to her campaign. Because it was like, "Oh. No, that shit is what happens at my office." Right?

That's really crucial, and by the way those politics of race and even the most powerful, the women who basically have won white patriarchy, those have also come in to play several other times over the past couple years. I've talked and written quite a bit. About how #MeToo comes in to being in its hashtag form, its hashtag movement form, in the fall of 2017, exactly a year ago, in part because the women who are lodging the initial big complaints are extremely wealthy, white, cisgender actresses. Women who had been held up as a kind of a feminine ideal in this country within the industry in which they worked.

These were women who also had accrued power and risen up within a system that some of us would argue is simultaneously oppressing them, but then you could say "How are they being oppressed? They're bajillion-dollar earning actresses." But then the revelation, that they too had been assaulted, had violence done to them that had had a detrimental and systemic impact on their careers. That was like, "Oh my god, if even the ones that are the most powerful can have experienced this kind of misogyny, then misogyny must be real." Now there are really complicated realities about the fact that that's how we are able to finally discern misogyny and that we are not hearing it in the same way.

McDonald's workers just went on strike last week. You know there wasn't the same kind of attention paid to the stories in the Times about the Ford factory workers. The Huffington posted great reporting on sexual harassment in the airline industry to flight attendants, hotel workers. The farm workers, the Latina farm workers, who came out in solidarity with the actresses. There wasn't that same kind of attention to those women who have so much less economic and racial power. We need to talk about that. It is also true that it was the fact that they had so much power that I think contributed to the breath of the message getting spread.

All this sort of, I think, brings us to of course the topic du jour, which is Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. The fact that Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who spoke out against him, is one of those powerful, white privileged, women, what are you thoughts about how this is all playing out?

I think that is another point along that same continuum. I've been thinking about it a lot, back to Christine Blasey Ford, in contrast to Anita Hill. Who has always said, she has written about, how she was incomprehensible to the all-white, all-male Senate Judiciary, both Democrats and Republicans at that time were all white and all male in 1991, in part because her credentials didn't quite match up with how they understood black femininity, that she was separate from both the patronage system and the institution of marriage as an unmarried woman, and therefore was kind of inscrutable. They didn't know what to make of her. That contributed to her treatment as crazy, the writing her off as an erotomaniac, and that she was a fantasist, desperate, single, lonely. All the horrible ways in which she was treated.

I kept thinking about Anita Hill and that what she perceived that as her incomprehensibility; versus Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who is, by every measure married, white, middle aged, suburban woman. Comprehensible as female within a white capitalist patriarchy. Right? And yet, she is actually, she is treated with I would say like a degree more respect. Sort of conversant respect. Like, they know better, in part because they hire a woman to do the talking to her so that the Republican men don't have to actually talk to her. There is a more respectful and diverse bench on the Democratic side, so there is not that dual treatment. In terms of how the Senate judiciary handled the case, from an institutional perspective, it is perhaps been handled worse, if that is even possible. I have grown up, Anita Hill's testimony was like a fulcrum turning point for me, I have grown up thinking that that was the floor of institutional handling.

It turned out, no, from an institutional perspective this could be handled worse by a Senate Judiciary because that is what has happened with Christine Blasey Ford.

Obviously the elephant in the room on the differences that the Democrats controlled the Senate Judiciary committee in 1991, and did a terrible job.

And did a crap job! Right?

I think if they controlled it now, they would do a significantly better job because the party has changed, even since then. Part of it is just that Republicans have doubled down. What do you think that's about?

It's about retaining this desperate grip on power, right? So much of what we are seeing, the election of Donald Trump, the enthusiasm for him, the sort of fever for like "Make America Great Again," this is all code. We know what it's code for. It's not even a secret. Donald Trump has stripped it of its window dressing, and in fact the treatment of Dr. Blasey Ford is also stripped of its window dressing. Like nobody is even pretending to really care.

They pay a couple of sentences of lip service: We've heard her, sorry for what you've been through, but they also talk about the women that are making accusations about Brett Kavanaugh as smear jobs, con jobs. Donald Trump talked about them as being paid off. There's not even, they're not even trying.

It actually stands in for the bigger thing that they're angry about. The anger expressed by Lindsey Graham and Brett Kavanaugh, which is the anger of, "You're tryin