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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,882

Journal Archives

They Seemed Like Democratic Activists. They Were Secretly Conservative Spies.

Operatives infiltrated progressive groups across the West to try to manipulate politics and reshape the national electoral map. They targeted moderate Republicans, too — anyone seen as threats to hard-line conservatives.

The young couple posing in front of the faux Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas fit right in, two people in a sea of idealistic Democrats who had arrived in the city in February 2020 for a Democratic primary debate.

Large donations to the Democratic National Committee — $10,000 each — had bought Beau Maier and Sofia LaRocca tickets to the debate. During a cocktail reception beforehand, they worked the room of party officials, rainbow donkey pins affixed to their lapels.

In fact, much about them was a lie. Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca were part of an undercover operation by conservatives to infiltrate progressive groups, political campaigns and the offices of Democratic as well as moderate Republican elected officials during the 2020 election cycle, according to interviews and documents.

Using large campaign donations and cover stories, the operatives aimed to gather dirt that could sabotage the reputations of people and organizations considered threats to a hard-right agenda advanced by President Donald J. Trump.


GOP Launches New Legislative Effort To Control Women's Pancreases

WASHINGTON—Buoyed by their success in restricting female reproductive rights, the GOP reportedly launched a new legislative effort Monday to control women’s pancreases.

“Every day, women are using pancreatic enzymes to break down food without any consideration for the sanctity of these innocent carbohydrates, proteins, and fats,” said Jim Jordan (R-OH), announcing a new spate of bills that severely limit the types of procedures women can undergo on the digestive organ while also cutting funding for gastroenterologists and endocrinologists across the country.

“We spend all this time worrying about women’s rights, but what about the mass slaughter of glycogens that’s taking place throughout our nation? Are the undigested not worthy of protection as well?”

At press time, the Republican Party had unveiled a new law that would require women to watch a video of a pancreas creating glucose before they’d be allowed to undergo a pancreaticoduodenectomy.


Democrats need to get real: GOP is a cult of personality that has absolutely no shame

One wonders sometimes if the Democrats really get it.

As needed voting-rights reform goes down in flames because some of them thought it more important to defend the filibuster than the ballot, there arises an uneasy conviction that the party does not quite grasp the gravity of the moment, the urgency of the emergency.

The filibuster is a vital safeguard, yes. So was the crow’s nest on Titanic. But once the ship plowed into that iceberg, its importance was sharply diminished, and other priorities emerged.

Has our democracy hit an iceberg? Well, let’s put it like this: For a representative government to function requires at least two political parties that, while offering competing visions, both occupy the same reality and play by the same rules.

This country no longer has that. Rather, it has the Democrats and the Donald Trump Fan Club the Republicans have become.


Something to start off one's Saturday morning

L.A. Mansion with a TV Wall, a Car Showroom and a Half Basketball Court Sells for $44 Million

Jeffrey Feinberg, a hedge-fund executive and a longtime basketball fan, has purchased a roughly $44 million newly built Los Angeles estate packed with sports-oriented amenities, according to the home’s developer, Ramtin Ray Nosrati.

Located in Brentwood, the sprawling contemporary property sits on over 1.2 acres and was completed in the spring. It has a string of sports features including a basketball half-court, a “fun den” with a television wall for watching games, a gym, a sports-simulator room, indoor and outdoor pools, a three-hole putting green and a spa, according to the listing.

Featured throughout the home are pictures of basketball stars like LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant, listing pictures show. The name “Kobe” and “24,” Mr. Bryant’s jersey number, are imprinted on the basketball court’s floor. Before the sale, Mr. Nosrati hosted a party at the property with guests like Magic Johnson.


The house originally came with a feature that Mr. Nosrati, the developer, is particularly known for: cannabis. In this case, the property had a rooftop garden with several cannabis plants. Mr. Feinberg said, and the developer confirmed, that he had sent an email to Mr. Nosrati prior to closing stipulating that the cannabis plants be replaced with carrots and cucumbers before the deal was finalized.


I've never tried smoking a carrot or a cucumber before.

After democracy dies

Maybe we’ll be haunted by the fact that we had a chance to save it — and did not.

So what will you do after democracy dies?

Who will we be after democracy dies?

After democracy dies, will we remember the country we had? Will we remember all that we lost? How will we explain what we allowed to happen?

Will we be ashamed after democracy dies?


USA Today resists FBI subpoena seeking data of those who read story about agents' killing

Source: Washington Post

The FBI earlier this year tried to obtain records associated with people who accessed an article on USA Today’s website about the killing of two FBI agents as they tried to search a Florida apartment — sparking a legal fight and once again fueling concerns that federal law enforcement is not following its own guidelines when seeking news outlets’ data.

The bureau’s request to Gannett, which owns USA Today, came in late April but spilled into public view only recently after the company resisted it in court.

FBI agents sent the company a subpoena asking for records, including IP addresses and mobile identification information, of those who accessed a Feb. 2 article about the shooting during a 35-minute window that same day.

The subpoena said the demand related to a criminal investigation and asked USA Today not to disclose its existence “indefinitely.” It was unclear, though, precisely what the FBI was investigating or how electronic records pointing to those who accessed the story might advance that inquiry. The subpoena, which did not seem to seek readers’ names, was previously reported by Politico.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/usa-today-fbi-subpoena/2021/06/04/4741213a-c550-11eb-8c18-fd53a628b992_story.html

Seems like a pretty fucking audacious subpoena request to me.

Congress Takes Field Trip To Goldman Sachs To Learn How Laws Get Made

NEW YORK—Listening enraptured as the most powerful people in the world discussed their process, the United States Congress took a field trip to Goldman Sachs headquarters Thursday to learn about how laws get made.

“I’ve always wondered how the government decides who is allowed to do what, so it’s really cool to hear how the people in charge make those decisions,” said Illinois representative Cheri Bustos, who stood in line with fellow members of Congress as they received a guided tour of the hallowed Goldman Sachs board room.

“I thought it would be boring, but all the stuff about weighing the impact on their bottom line versus the effects of potentially hurting their government tax handouts was really interesting. Plus, the building is so beautiful and modern. It makes me think that I should try and be an investment banker so I can help make these decisions one day.”

At press time, the members of the field trip were treated to complimentary gift bags that included watches, vouchers for first-class flights, and $100,000 campaign donations.

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