Author Archive

We all need to scrap identity politics

July 19, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Peggy Orchowski  

"I stepped out of a shop in Venice, Italy, two months ago and had a light-bulb epiphany about Americans. The typical Venetian pedestrian-only street was completely gridlocked. As I stood there stuck in a mass of people dressed mostly in jeans and T-shirts and speaking dozens of languages, I heard behind me three laughing guys who sounded like Americans. Turning around to give a thumbs up to my countrymen, I suddenly realized that it was impossible to recognize them by sight. Only when they started talking again was I able to identify the Americans -- a college-aged, mixed-heritage trio of Asian, black and white. There is no one American look anymore. We are a people of immense diversity." (07/18/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/18/democrat-gop-immigration-convention-race-division-issues-lgbt-gay-women-hispanic-column/87225864  

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The presidency as fantasy

July 19, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Harold Evans  

"Donald Trump was a joke until he wasn't. The nominating contests brought forth innumerable champions to assail him as a demagogue, a fantasist, a misogynist, a racist, a narcissist, a fascist, an isolationist, a bully and a liar, and he surfed the tidal wave of contempt all the way to the Republican nomination. Bernie Sanders was a throwback to the twenties until he wasn’t. In May, he arrived at 1968 to replay the year in Chicago when young protesters from the Democratic Party’s Far Left disrupted the convention and got clobbered in a police riot. ... Trump and Sanders, the scratch duo of Right/Left Populists, ganged up against Hillary Clinton. She was on her way to a coronation until she wasn’t quite. She kept her cool, though the effect in the summer of 2016 was to siphon money she needed for the general election." [editor's note: This pundit is clearly "with HER" but at least he's somewhat funny about saying it - SAT] (07/18/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-voter-special-evans-idUSKCN0ZX10I  

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SC: Good Samaritan stops armed robbery … by throwing her car keys

July 19, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A sharp eye and a sense that something was very, very wrong led a Good Samaritan in South Carolina to save another woman from a potentially more terrible fate than she had already been enduring. This witness to a crime in progress in Rock Hill, South Carolina, used her car keys, of all things, to interrupt an armed robbery, a potential kidnapping and perhaps more. In so doing, she ended up saving another woman's life. Judging by her smart, swift actions, she would do it all over again if she had to." [editor's note: I have to say, she was lucky he was this inept - SAT] (07/18/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/18/good-samaritan-stops-armed-robbery-with-her-car-keys.html  

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Trump echoes Nixon, ratchets up “law & order” message

July 19, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Presumptive nominee Donald Trump has dialed up the volume on his 'law and order' message, warning that the nation’s social order is at risk after eight policemen were killed in the past 10 days, three in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday. As the Republican National Convention opens today in Cleveland, Trump seems to be following the strategy of Richard Nixon, who in his 1968 campaign said 'we will have order' as big cities erupted in riots and Vietnam War protestors burned American flags. Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on Monday made the Nixon analogy explicit, saying at a Bloomberg breakfast that Nixon’s ’68 acceptance speech will be the model for Trump’s effort later this week." [editor's note: You keep wondering if he's run out of stupid icons, and now this? - SAT] (07/18/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2016/0718/Trump-echoing-Nixon-ratchets-up-law-and-order-message  

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As Maine goes …

July 19, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gabrielle Gurley  

"Anthony Marple, director of Maine’s $2.6 billion Medicaid program, was called into an abrupt meeting just a week after Governor Paul LePage took office in January 2011. There, Marple was fired and ordered to leave immediately. He asked to send out a few emails cancelling some speaking engagements. Sorry, he was told, his state email account had already been closed. Marple was a widely respected public official. His sin? The day before his firing, he had testified before the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee that Medicaid spending from the state’s general fund had been virtually flat or decreasing in each of the years since 2006, despite increasing enrollments due to the recession. This contradicted LePage’s campaign narrative of runaway state spending by the 'bloated establishment in Augusta.' So Marple had to go." [editor's note: I've heard just enough from my childhood friends back there to believe every word of this - SAT] (07/18/16)

http://prospect.org/article/maine-goes  

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World to end July 29, says group that’s always wrong

July 18, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The group End Times Prophecies has declared the world will end July 29 in a chain of events prompted because of an ongoing phenomenon known as a polar flip. The good news: We can stop worrying about who will be the next president. A 17-minute Armageddon News video, posted July 9 on YouTube and viewed more than 800,000 times, explains the end-of-the world theory as a modulated female voice reads through a variety of biblical quotes, illustrated with cheap special effects that couldn't buy Michael Bay a cup of coffee." [editor's note: So I guess Giant Meteor's chances just went up a point? - SAT] (07/18/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/nation-now/2016/07/18/july-29-end-of-world/87252416  

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Disappointed by the Democratic Party Platform? Follow the money

July 18, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Branko Marcetic  

"Depending on who you ask, the 2016 Democratic platform is either 'the most progressive platform in Democratic Party history' or a 'major betrayal.' Regardless of how you view it, however, there’s no denying that the platform compromises on certain core progressive values, and some of that can be traced to the platform drafting committee, which met last month to hammer out a first draft. When the committee had finished its deliberations, many progressives initially were outraged. The draft made several major concessions to the pro-Bernie Sanders contingent of the party, on issues ranging from abolishing the death penalty to expanding Social Security, but committee delegates chosen by Hillary Clinton and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz voted down several other measures dear to progressives’ hearts: amendments advocating single-payer healthcare and a $15 minimum wage indexed to inflation, several proposals to halt climate change, language criticizing Israeli occupation of Palestine, and an amendment explicitly opposing the TPP trade agreement." [editor's note: Do I need to put a disclaimer on this one? - SAT] (07/18/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19295/are-core-progressive-values-being-compromised-with-2016-democratic-platform  

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ID: Solar power financing offered to Idaho Power customers

July 18, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"The Idaho Power electrical utility is proposing the construction of a solar power project that would be funded by customers who take out subscriptions to guarantee it gets built. The company recently filed an application with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to launch the project on land southeast of Boise, which would be the state's first utility-owned solar power production facility. The 500-kilowatt solar project would involve the installation of solar panels on an area the size of two football fields and power about 730 homes, said company spokesman Brad Bowlin." (07/18/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Idaho-Power-eyes-state-s-first-utility-owned-8384537.php  

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The dangerous militarization of the Cleveland Police Department

July 18, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by George Zornick  

"It would be impossible not to know that the Republican National Convention is in town. The moment one deplanes at Hopkins International Airport, signage welcomes delegates and visitors to one of the biggest political events of the year. The streets downtown are lined with patriotic bunting, and virtually every bar and restaurant has a hokey political drink special or menu change. There’s one other visible change that will be hard to miss this week: the heavy militarization of the Cleveland police department. Over the past several months, $20 million worth of equipment, much of it military-grade, has poured into the city for use during the convention." (07/18/16)

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-dangerous-militarization-of-the-cleveland-police-department  

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Kazakhstan: Four in Almaty killed “by Islamist”

July 18, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A gunman who killed three policemen and a member of the public in Kazakhstan on Monday may have been an Islamist militant, the president has said. Nursultan Nazarbayev called the shootings in the commercial capital Almaty a terrorist act. The terrorism threat level has been raised. Suspect Ruslan Kulikbayev, 26, became close to Salafists (ultra-conservative Muslims) when serving a prison sentence, security officials said. He was the only person detained after the attack." (07/18/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36823422  

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Rally for education justice … are we winning?

July 18, 2016
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Futur
by Jeff Bryant  

"With the sound of jet engines booming overhead, a crowd of about 800 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial last week to advocate for 'the people’s education.' The People’s March for Public Education and Social Justice took place in the middle of a political 'no-fly zone' in Washington. Democrats and Republicans alike have largely avoided the issues raised by the People’s March. But at the grassroots level, the backlash against bipartisan, corporate education reform has grown too big to ignore. High-stakes testing, crackdowns on teachers unions, and the massive growth of privately controlled charter schools that undermine local neighborhood schools (especially in low-income, non-white communities) drove hundreds of activists to come out and protest. Speakers that included education historian Diane Ravitch and best-selling author and education justice advocate Jonathan Kozol denounced the assault on teachers and students taking place in schools, calling out a culture of 'test and punish' that strips teachers of their professionalism and robs children of the joys of learning." (07/18/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160718/rally-for-education-justice-are-we-winning  

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OH: Cleveland police union asks Kasich to suspend 2nd Amendment because REASONS

July 18, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association is asking the governor to suspend state law allowing the open carry of firearms for the duration of Republican National Convention. Alarmed by the succession of deadly police shootings, including Sunday's deaths in Baton Rouge, police union president Steve Loomis said he is appealing to the governor to declare an emergency. He said the state's open carry law is making the job of securing the convention 'much more difficult.' ... 'Somebody's got to do something' Loomis said Sunday. 'What we have now is completely irresponsible.' Gov. John Kasich does not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws, spokeswoman Emmalee Kalmbach said. Under Ohio law, legal gun owners can carry firearms in plain sight." (07/17/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/07/17/cleveland-police-union-weapons-ban-governor-john-kasich/87223128  

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Armenia: Police station stormed in Yerevan; hostages taken

July 18, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"An armed group has stormed a police station in Armenia's capital, Yerevan, taking hostages and calling for the release of 'political prisoners.' One policeman has been killed. The group released a video demanding opposition leader Jirair Sefilian and a number of others be freed, and urging supporters on to the streets. Mr Sefilian has strongly criticised President Serge Sarkisian and his handling of the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The CivilNet newspaper identified the group as the Daredevils of Sassoun and said its members had released a video in which they say: 'Dear friends, citizens, Armenian nation, it has begun, we are doing this for you ... Go out to the streets!' CivilNet said seven policemen were being held hostage but this has not been independently confirmed. The group was quoted as saying it would retaliate if attacked and had no intention of surrendering." (07/17/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36818929  

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Five words that could sink Trump

July 18, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Jill Lawrence  

"Donald Trump’s campaign manager may have just lost the presidential race for him, and it only took five words. 'He emotionally reacted to it,' Paul Manafort told Chris Cuomo on CNN, explaining why Trump postponed a press conference to announce his vice presidential pick in the wake of the attack that killed dozens of people in Nice, France. To be fair, there was more to Manafort's answer than that. 'It really bothered him to see that carnage and he felt the pain of the people there, and he said 'it's just not right to do something self-serving and political the morning after,'' he said of Trump." (07/15/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/15/five-words-donald-trump-president-campaign-jill-lawrence-column/87130160  

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Coup or not, Erdogan still the likely winner in Turkey

July 18, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Howard Eissenstat  

"Corrupt, egomaniacal and repressive, there is not much to recommend Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule -- save the inescapable fact that he is the democratically elected head of state. And that he is a politician who shines brightest in a fight. Erdoğan is not going to give up. He has millions of supporters who will give their lives for him. He has the support of all the opposition parties. And, because he’s won three elections – he is in the right. Friday night, the streets of Istanbul were filled with people. Mosques in Turkey had been calling the people into the street. Erdoğan was giving the same message on national television -- through a FaceTime linkup. One man later shouts back at the television screen, 'I am a Kurd from Bingöl and I will die [for you].' Early Saturday morning, Erdoğan again appears on television, now surrounded by supporters at the Istanbul airport. There are continued reports of jets buzzing Ankara and Istanbul." (07/16/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-primeminister-comment-idUSKCN0ZW092  

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Researchers: Alzheimer’s vaccine is possible

July 18, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A new study suggests that a vaccine for the incurable Alzheimer's disease could become a reality in as little as five years, and may one day become as much of a fixture in the lives of our aging population as the common flu shot. The potential vaccine would address a protein buildup that occurs when two proteins, amyloid-beta (a-beta) and tau, die and create plaques that block connections between brain nerve cells, says the study from researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide Australia in partnership with a research team at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, and University of California, Irvine. Autopsies have shown that these plaques are always present in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients, although Medical News Today reported that it is not clear if there are other underlying processes also contributing to the disease." (07/17/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/researchers-say-an-alzheimers-vaccine-is-possible  

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Fears of a clown

July 17, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"Donald Trump has many flaws as a politician, but the narcissistic former reality show star is good at one thing: keeping the media attention on him. During the Republican primaries, this prevented any of his rivals from gaining traction. The conventional wisdom was that in the general election, with a field of just two competitive candidates, Trump wouldn’t be able to dominate. And yet, he is. Clinton is enabling this by making the campaign partly a referendum of Trump, with much of her own energy taken up with explaining why he’s unfit for the presidency. Since both Trump and Clinton now are focused on Trump, we have in effect an election that is all about Trump -- just as he desires." (07/15/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135081/fears-clown  

1 Comment »

AZ: Methodists elect openly lesbian bishop in defiance of ban

July 17, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The Western district of the Methodist church has elected an openly gay bishop despite the denomination's ban on same-sex relationships. The Rev. Karen Oliveto was elected late Friday night at a meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, of the church's Western Jurisdiction. Oliveto is pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco. She is the first openly gay bishop in the 12.7 million-member denomination. The United Methodist Church is deeply divided over LGBT rights. Church law says same-gender relationships are 'incompatible with Christian teaching.' But several regional districts are openly defying the prohibition by appointing gay clergy and allowing same-sex weddings in churches. Some instances have led to trials under the church legal system." [editor's note: I took the liberty of changing the headline, assuming that a woman preferring same-sex connections would consider herself not "gay" but a lesbian; my apologies if I just confused the issue - SAT] (07/16/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/07/16/methodists-elect-1st-openly-gay-bishop-in-defiance-ban.html  

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Mike Pence’s bumpy ride

July 17, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Adele M Stan  

"Poor Mike Pence. The Indiana governor, described in news reports on Thursday as the Republican vice presidential pick, awoke Friday morning to speculation among the chattering classes that Trump might be changing his mind. Never mind that: According to the Indianapolis Star, Pence yesterday decided to withdraw from his state’s gubernatorial race and hopped a plane to New York, presumably for the big announcement with his new boss—who turned out not to be there. In short, Pence was getting a taste of what it means to be a friend of Donald J. Trump’s. (Just ask Chris 'Get on the plane and go home' Christie.) The suspended animation in which Trump held Pence ended later Friday morning, when Trump tweeted that Pence was his pick. That made Pence the first running mate ever unveiled through Twitter." (07/15/16)

http://prospect.org/article/mike-pence-bumpy-ride  

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Bahrain court orders main Shiite opposition group dissolved

July 17, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"A court in Bahrain ordered the country's main Shiite opposition group to be dissolved on Sunday, deepening a crackdown on dissent in the strategically important Western-allied kingdom. The order against al-Wefaq marks one of the sharpest blows yet against civil society activists in the Sunni-ruled island nation, which was rocked by widespread protests led by its Shiite majority demanding political reforms five years ago. Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, crushed the 2011 protests with help from its larger neighbors Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But ongoing, low-level and occasionally violent unrest continues to roil the kingdom despite reforms following the Arab Spring-inspired uprising. The U.S. State Department swiftly condemned the decision." (07/17/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Reports-Bahrain-court-orders-main-Shiite-party-8382792.php  

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US regime curtails federal election observers

July 17, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Federal election observers can only be sent to five states in this year’s U.S. presidential election, among the smallest deployments since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to end racial discrimination at the ballot box. The plan, confirmed in a U.S. Department of Justice fact sheet seen by Reuters, reflects changes brought about by the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision to strike down parts of the Act, a signature legislative achievement of the 1960s civil rights movement. Voting rights advocates told Reuters they were concerned that the scaling-back of observers would make it harder to detect and counter efforts to intimidate or hinder voters, especially in southern states with a history of racial discrimination at the ballot box." [editor's note: Well, we already saw how useless they were in California this time - SAT] (07/17/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-voting-observers-exclusi-idUSKCN0ZX0QR  

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What if Obama is wrong about Islam?

July 17, 2016
posted by

Town Hall
by Bruce Bialosky  

"A central tenet of President Obama’s argument regarding our national security is that we should not chastise all Muslims. He repeats often that Islam is a religion of peace. What we need to examine is whether that is just something he states over and over again (hoping Americans will accept it as fact), or whether that is actually true. First, before anyone jumps off the high board let’s determine the parameters. Almost everyone reading this column and/or across the world wants to believe that Islam is a religion of peace. Except, of course, for some wing-nuts: some people who you can never convince of a thing or maybe some Muslims who believe they are directed to violence by their religion or their religious leader." (07/17/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/brucebialosky/2016/07/17/what-if-obama-is-wrong-about-islam-n2192742  

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How to make the Democratic Party Platform actually matter

July 17, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Maurice Isserman  

"In the fall of 1967, Robert Kennedy gathered a select group of trusted advisers at Hickory Hill, his family home in McLean, Va., to discuss his disenchantment with the Vietnam War and his political future. Among those present was historian and former White House aide Arthur Schlesinger Jr. In his 1978 biography Robert Kennedy and His Times, Schlesinger recalled what was said that evening. Liberal activist Allard Lowenstein urged Kennedy to launch an anti-war challenge to incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson in the upcoming Democratic primaries. Schlesinger, for his part, warned Kennedy of the political risks of disloyalty to his party and president, suggesting that the senator instead organize a campaign for a peace plank in the 1968 Democratic Party platform. Kennedy was ambivalent about running, but thought Schlesinger’s proposal a pretty weak substitute. He asked, 'When was the last time millions of people rallied behind a plank?' We are, perhaps, about to find out." [editor's note: More "oppo research" for your files - SAT] (07/15/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-convention-platform-fight.html  

1 Comment »

FL: Mosque removed as polling site after anti-Islamic backlash

July 15, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A Florida mosque has been removed as a polling station for the 2016 election after local officials received complaints and threats of violence. The Islamic Center of Boca Raton had planned to host a polling site for the state's primary in August and the general election in November. Officials rescinded the invite, drawing sharp criticism from Florida lawmakers who said it reinforced religious discrimination. The site was moved to a nearby library. County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said she moved the site after receiving about 50 complaints from people who said they did not want to vote in a mosque." (07/14/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36796493  

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Here’s a password: Crony crime fighting

July 15, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"When is it a crime (punishable with time behind bars) for citizens to access a company's database with someone else's password? For years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has wrestled with that question. This month, a three-judge panel ruled that under a 1986 federal law, using other people's work passwords with their permission, but not their employers' authorization, could land you in prison. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Judge Margaret McKeown wrote, 'does not make the millions of people who engage in this ubiquitous, useful, and generally harmless conduct into unwitting federal criminals.' In a dissenting opinion, Judge Stephen Reinhardt submitted that if the court does not overturn the conviction of headhunter David Nosal for using other employees to tap into his former firm's database, then the federal government will have criminalized a practice used by spouses and friends everywhere." (07/14/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/07/14/heres-a-password-crony-crime-fighting-n2192514  

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