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Democrats spoiling for one last fight

July 21, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by David Dayen  

"The final battle of the 2016 Democratic primary process is on. This will come as news to practically everybody: Didn’t Hillary Clinton fend off Bernie Sanders at long last, then woo his support successfully with platform concessions that moved the party further left? Yes, and yes. But there is one more big grassroots-versus-establishment clash remaining to be settled before next week’s Democratic National Convention -- or, possibly, during [it]. Last Thursday, a coalition featuring supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders notified the Democratic National Committee that they will formally introduce a plan to the Rules and Bylaws Committee to eliminate superdelegates, the 712 party leaders and elected officials who hold a vote in the presidential nominating race." (07/20/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135296/democrats-spoiling-one-last-fight  

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Romania: Court rules constitution can be changed to ban marriage freedom

July 21, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Romania's Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that a request from an anti-gay group to change the constitution to state that marriage is a union between a man and a woman is constitutional. The court's ruling paves the way for Romania's Parliament to vote to change the constitution, last revised in 2003, which now says marriage is between 'partners' without specifying gender. Any change would need to be approved by two-thirds of lawmakers. Gay rights groups protested the ruling, and dozens later protested in downtown Bucharest." (07/20/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Court-Romania-s-constitution-can-be-changed-on-8398134.php  

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How the west can prevent Nice from becoming the “new normal”

July 21, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peter Van Buren  

"Hours after a truck plowed through a crowd in Nice, France, killing 84 people, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outlined his policy against Islamic State: as president, he will seek a full declaration of war from Congress, the first such formal invocation since Pearl Harbor. Trump was clear he would take the strategies of the post-9/11 era into a new administration. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, for her part, intends on 'intensifying the current air campaign [and] stepping up support for local forces on the ground.' One of the two candidates will become the fifth consecutive American president to make war in the Middle East. Following the Nice attack, their French counterpart, President Francois Hollande, declared 'We will continue striking those who attack us on our own soil.' Tough talk. The problem is that nothing these politicians have suggested will work." (07/20/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nice-attacks-commentary-idUSKCN0ZZ2ZM  

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Turkey coup attempt: Charges laid against 99 generals and admirals

July 21, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Turkey has formally charged 99 generals and admirals in connection with the weekend's thwarted coup attempt, just under a third of the country's 356 top military officers. Authorities have banned all academics from travelling abroad, as the purge of state employees suspected of being connected to the failed coup continues. More than 50,000 people have been rounded up, sacked or suspended. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce further measures. He chaired a five-hour emergency meeting of the National Security Council and was expected to lay out a series of emergency measures later on Wednesday." (07/20/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36843180  

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KS: Police chief says cop’s killing was not planned ambush

July 21, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The killing of a Kansas City police officer was not a planned ambush but stemmed from the officer's attempt to stop a fleeing criminal, local authorities said Wednesday. Officials, nonetheless, expressed concern over anti-police rhetoric and the increase of tensions nationally over police-involved shootings. 'The crime does not fit the national narrative of planned attacks against law enforcement officers, but it does fit the narrative fact that words matter,' said police chief Terry Zeigler. 'The anti-hate speech has got to stop because the consequences are real.' Zeigler, Mayor Mark Holland and local clergy met with reporters following the fatal shooting Tuesday of Capt. Robert Melton. It was the second killing of a Kansas City police officer in two months." (07/20/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/07/20/kansas-police-chief-says-cop-killing-not-planned-ambush/87339260  

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Millennials the adults in the room on trade

July 20, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Ben Koltun  

"Millennials and Baby Boomers are at it again. Instead of an argument over not doing the chores, watching too much TV or eating dessert before dinner, the child-parent tussle is over globalization and free-trade economics. And this time, the parents are the ones who are whining, 'It’s not fair!' Recently, Boomers in the United Kingdom kicked and screamed all the way to the ballot box, successfully winning the Brexit vote to leave the European Union, despite 75% of those 24 and younger reporting they voted to remain. Here at home, America faces its own Brexit moment in the form of an American-led trade agreement -- the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Anger about free trade runs high, transcending standard ideological divides." [editor's note: For once the elders are right; oppose TPP, which has almost nothing to do with "free trade!" - SAT] (07/20/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/07/20/tpp-trade-millennials-baby-boomers-globalization-trump-manufacturing-jobs-column/87297020  

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Study: Some fish can recognize human faces

July 20, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Scientists have shown for the first time how a species of tropical fish can distinguish between human faces. The archerfish used in experiments could demonstrate the ability to a high degree of accuracy; despite lacking the crucial neocortex part of the brain which other animals use for sophisticated visual recognition. The research, conducted by scientists from the University of Oxford and Australia’s University of Queensland, wanted to test the long-held belief that differentiating between human faces could only be accomplished by more sophisticated animals, such as primates. The archerfish, found largely in Australia and southeast Asia, was chosen for its ability to spit a jet of water; a technique it uses to shoot down insect prey even above the water level." (07/20/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/fish-can-recognize-human-faces-study-finds  

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MD: Driver playing Pokemon GO smashes into Baltimore patrol car

July 20, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A driver has smashed into a police car while playing Pokemon GO at the wheel. An officer's body camera caught the moment the Toyota RAV4 clipped the unoccupied, parked patrol car in Baltimore, Maryland, early on Monday. The driver pulled over about less than a mile down the road and showed police his phone connected to the hit app as he got out of the vehicle. When police asked if he was OK, the driver (who has not been named) said: 'That's what I get for playing this dumb*** game.' No one was injured in the incident." [editor's note: Attaboy, blame the game and not your own stupidity for playing it while driving - SAT] (07/20/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2016/07/20/driver-playing-pokemon-go-smashes-into-baltimore-patrol-car.html  

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GOP wants to “Make America Work Again?” That would be real change

July 20, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Tuesday was 'Make America Work Again' day at the Republican National Convention. But this day wasn’t about making America work again for working people. This was, as always with conservatives, all about tax cuts for the rich and corporations, deregulation of oil and coal companies (and other paying corporate clients) and austerity cuts in the things government does to make people’s lives better. There was nothing about how to actually make America 'work again.' Truth is, the economy has added 14.8 million private-sector jobs since the big Bush/Republican downturn of 2008." [editor's note: In spite of, not due to, the current administration - SAT] (07/20/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160720/republicans-want-to-make-america-work-again-that-would-be-real-change  

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Obama too incompetent to pull off a coup

July 20, 2016
posted by

Town Hall
by Kurt Schlichter  

"Turkey's failed coup, combined with the disastrous disunity and polarization in the United States thanks to Barack Obama, have gotten people talking about whether it could happen here. For example, part-time law professor and full-time Instapundit Glenn Reynold has recently taken some serious looks at the issue of coups within the context of the American system of checks and balances. So what if next January Obama and his barely post-puberty band of juice box screw-ups in the West Wing decide they don't want to leave?" [editor's note: Is it supposed to be reassuring to read this? - SAT] (07/20/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2016/07/20/obama-is-too-incompetent-to-pull-off-a-coup-n2194785  

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Three US states sue Volkswagen over emissions scandal

July 20, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Three US states have taken legal action against Volkswagen in the wake of the carmaker's emissions scandal. New York, Massachusetts and Maryland all filed lawsuits on Tuesday. New York's Attorney-General called the use of 'defeat devices' a 'widespread conspiracy' and a 'cunningly cynical fraud' committed by all levels of VW management. The company said the allegations were 'not new' and that the carmaker had been cooperating with US authorities. 'It is regrettable that some states have decided to sue for environmental claims now, notwithstanding their prior support of this ongoing federal-state collaborative process,' VW said." (07/19/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36837951  

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The GOP is the party of death

July 20, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Jeet Heer  

"On the first night of the Republican National Convention, Rudy Giuliani laid down the apocalyptic stakes of the the contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton: 'There's no next election. This is it. There’s no time left for us to revive our great country.' The former mayor of New York City was echoing Trump at his most apocalyptic with the suggestion that the country faced a choice between life and death, that the very election of Clinton would spell doom. Giuliani earned the most enthusiastic response from the Republican crowd of the evening because he made the message of impending death the most explicit of anyone speaking. But he was only the loudest ranter of the evening; otherwise his message wasn't unique. One way or another, almost all the speakers came back to the matter of death." (07/19/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135232/gop-party-death  

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The gender war gets (even) uglier

July 20, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Alexis Gelber  

"Look at that face! Bleeding from her wherever. She’s shouting. There’s a special place in hell. Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie. We know where you live. More ugly women in America than attractive women. She’s not doing the job. The woman’s card. ... When Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2008, journalists were blamed for being the purveyors of sexist comments. This year, you couldn’t blame the media. Amped-up rhetoric and bristling anti-woman tweets have come directly from the candidates, their surrogates and their supporters -- from across the political spectrum. The 2016 election battle has turned into an epic gender war. The targets included two presidential candidates, Clinton and Carly Fiorina; a Republican candidate’s wife, Heidi Cruz; a once-sacrosanct Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly; and millennial women." (07/19/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-voter-special-gelber-idUSKCN0ZZ1SO  

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Study: States with medical cannabis see decline in employee sick leave

July 20, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"While the misconception remains that stoners are lazy and unmotivated, a new study shows that marijuana may keep people on the job both healthy and productive. In a July study published early online for the journal Health Economics, researchers found statistically significant declines in employee sick leave in states that allow safe and legal access to medical cannabis, reports Marijuana.com. According to the numbers provided in the report, businesses in medical marijuana states reported an 8 to 15 percent drop in employee absences related to illness compared to states that still prohibit medical cannabis." (07/19/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/07/19/states-with-medical-marijuana-see-decline-in-employee-sick-leave-study-finds  

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Queen takes issue with Trump’s use of “We Are The Champions”

July 20, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"The hits just keep on coming from the Melania Trump speech last night. Prior to her address, her husband, Donald Trump, dramatically strode on stage to introduce her with Queen's We Are the Champions booming through Quicken Loans Arena. The song played again as Trump re-joined his wife on stage after the speech, which hours later would be consumed in controversy over charges a section of it was plagiarized from Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention. Queen may or may not take issue with the speech itself, but the British rock band made clear their feelings about the use of their anthem. 'An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes,' the band succinctly said on Twitter on Tuesday morning." (07/19/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/07/19/queen-melania-donald-trump-we-are-the-champions/87284780  

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A better way to find the next killer

July 19, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Stephen N Xenakis  

"I have evaluated a number of young Muslim men under charges for aiding the Islamic State terrorist group. I have also spent many months at Guantanamo with the so-called worst of the worst. There are many differences among them. Just recently, the FBI nabbed another teenager for ties to ISIL. How dangerous is he? Now our nation mourns slain police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. How did those perpetrators escape notice? There are ways to understand (and identify in advance) people who commit horrendous violent acts. But I have yet to see those capabilities in the agencies entrusted to protect us from terrorism and violence. Most Americans think of this as a conventional military problem. Yet it has much in common with public health challenges." (07/19/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opiinion/2016/07/19/find-next-killer-personality-criminal-history-terrorism-column/87246518  

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IOC delays decision on banning Russia from Rio Olympics

July 19, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Russia's participation in the Rio Olympics remained in jeopardy on Tuesday after the International Olympic Committee said it would 'explore legal options' for banning the country from the Games. At an emergency IOC Executive Board meeting in Switzerland, a day after an independent report detailed a systematic, state-run doping program in Russia, members fell short of an immediate ban but announced a series of other measures. A five-man disciplinary commission was set up to start proceedings against Russian officials mentioned in the report, which described extensive doping and cover-ups at the Sochi Winter Olympics hosted by Russia in 2014. The IOC also said it would not organize or give patronage to any sports event in Russia, including the planned 2019 European Games, and that no member of the Russian Sports Ministry implicated in the report would be accredited for Rio." (07/19/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-sport-doping-olympics-idUSKCN0ZZ1XB  

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Watchdog: HUD’s Castro violated federal law by touting Clinton in interview

July 19, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Housing Secretary and potential Democratic vice-presidential prospect Julian Castro violated federal law when he touted Hillary Clinton's candidacy in a media interview earlier this year, according to a federal watchdog report released Monday. The seven-page report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel concluded Castro violated the Hatch Act, which bars most Executive Branch officials from expressing their political views while on official business. According to the report, he crossed the line during an April 4 interview that mostly was about HUD’s plans to increase Internet access to children and other agency-related issues. Castro, though, responded to a question during the Yahoo News interview about Clinton’s presidential bid." (07/19/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/19/watchdog-huds-castro-violated-federal-law-by-touting-clinton-in-interview.html  

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Big headlines for a tiny wage hike

July 19, 2016
posted by

Sam Pizzigati Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati  

"Lloyd Blankfein, one of America’s most powerful bankers, a few years ago told a reporter that his Goldman Sachs financial colossus was doing 'God’s work.' That offhand comment would provoke an instant uproar. An embarrassed Blankfein had to quickly calm the waters. He meant his quip, the Goldman CEO assured us all, only as a joke. Last week, one of Blankfein’s high-finance peers, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, made some headlines of his own. In a widely heralded New York Times op-ed, Dimon proudly announced that his bank is making a major move to 'create more widely shared prosperity.' JPMorgan, Dimon declared, will be raising the minimum pay of 18,000 of the bank’s workers to 'between $12 and $16.50 an hour.'" (07/19/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160719/big-headlines-for-a-tiny-wage-hike  

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Hillary Clinton and the Obama legacy

July 19, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Barack Obama took office convinced that he could bridge differences. As he begins his final six months, we are a nation of groups more divided than ever by separate worlds of pain and grievance. How much of this is Obama’s fault? What might he have done differently? What sort of legacy will he pass along to Hillary Clinton, assuming that she can defeat Donald Trump? And can she defeat him?" (07/19/16)

http://prospect.org/article/hillary-clinton-and-obama-legacy  

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What presumption of innocence?

July 19, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Facts don't matter. Police are guilty until proven innocent -- or even if proven innocent. The Black Lives Matter crusade, born after Florida vigilante George Zimmerman shot unarmed teen Trayvon Martin in 2012, turned to police shootings of black men after the death of Michael Brown, 18, in 2014. ... Sunday, African American vigilante Gavin E. Long ambushed and killed three law enforcement officers -- Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald and Brad Garafola -- and wounded three more officers. Long apparently wanted to pay back Baton Rouge police for the baffling July 5 police shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man hawking CDs. Watch a video of the shooting and it is hard to figure why police shot Sterling. Yes, he was armed, but the two white officers appeared to have control of the 37-year-old." [editor's note: I fear Ms. Saunders might not see this completely as I do; at least she got in a good shot at HRC - SAT] (07/19/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/07/19/what-presumption-of-innocence-n2194464  

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OH: College pulls out of US presidential debate

July 19, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Wright State University in Ohio said on Tuesday it had decided not to host the first U.S. presidential debate scheduled for Sept. 26, citing mounting costs and security concerns, and the event will now be held at Hofstra University in New York. 'This is a very difficult decision,' Wright State President David Hopkins said in a statement on the Beavercreek, Ohio, college’s website. 'But there has been a growing crescendo of concern about what it would take to guarantee the safety and security of the campus and the community. The expense would be daunting.' The Committee on Presidential Debates said in a statement that the debate would now be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, which held a presidential debate in 2012 and agreed to serve as an alternate site this year." (07/19/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/ohio-college-pulls-out-of-us-presidential-debate-citing-security  

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Obama administration asks SCOTUS to rehear immigration case

July 19, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"In a last-ditch effort to revive a White House plan to protect up to 4 million immigrants from deportation, the Obama administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rehear a case on which the eight-member court was split 4-4 last month. The June 23 high court decision left in place a lower court ruling that blocked the plan, which has never been in effect. The court is currently one justice short following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February. In a filing, the Justice Department asked the court to take a second look at the case once it has a full complement of nine justices." (07/18/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-immigration-idUSKCN0ZY2LG  

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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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