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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,788

Journal Archives

Newt Gingrich Slams 'New York Times' 1619 Project As Shameless Abolitionist Propaganda

NEW YORK—Bemoaning the paper’s recent series focusing on the role slavery played in American history, Newt Gingrich slammed The New York Times’ 1619 Project Monday as shameless abolitionist propaganda.

“What we’re seeing is the tragic decline of The New York Times into a propaganda paper that’s clearly operating in the pocket of pro-abolitionist causes,” said the former House Speaker, noting that the project amounted to an ideological crusade that put the newspaper in the hands of abolitionist radicals like Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and John Brown.

“What happened to giving the public all the information about slavery’s benefits and drawbacks and trusting them to decide? Apparently, that sort of faith in your readers to understand the real consequences of outlawing slavery is something the Times no longer possesses. In fact, if they’re going to be putting out biased nonsense like this, the newspaper’s editors might as well have left-wing lunatics like William Lloyd Garrison writing up their anti-slavery screed for them.”

Gingrich added that missteps like this are why these days he gets the majority of his news from outlets like the Atlanta Southern Confederacy.

https://www.theonion.com/newt-gingrich-slams-new-york-times-1619-project-as-sh-1837374390

In Southern Appalachia, Searching for the 'Big Bang' of Country Music

While the rest of America was roaring to jazz during the ’20s, in a small corner of the South, where back roads snake through early-morning mist and porches are used for melody-making as much as sitting in rocking chairs, another form of music was quietly taking root. In the heart of southern Appalachia, at the convergence of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia, a set of early recording sessions, conducted by a New York City record producer over two epoch-making weeks in the summer of 1927, would catapult the careers of the Carter Family from Virginia, the “first family of country music,” and the Mississippi singer and songwriter Jimmie Rodgers, who would become known as “the father of country music.”

The tapes would become an inflection point in the history of what we now refer to as country music. And though musicologists may take issue with the assigning of its origin to any one time or place, the famous Bristol Sessions of 1927 were influential enough to be widely referred to as the “big bang” of country music, a topic that the documentarian Ken Burns is taking a broad look at in an upcoming series on PBS.

In April, I headed east of Nashville to the place where those early sessions were recorded, and where the music they gave birth to are celebrated: the Tri-Cities of Kingsport, Johnson City and Bristol, which is a two-state town straddling the border of Tennessee and Virginia. In 1998, Congress named Bristol the “Birthplace of Country Music.” Sixteen years later, the Virginia side built the 24,000-square-foot Birthplace of Country Music Museum, a sleek Smithsonian Institution affiliate and part of the nonprofit Birthplace of Country Music organization, which, during the third week of September, hosts the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, one of the largest assemblages of country music, Americana, roots and bluegrass in the United States.

While the Birthplace of Country Music and other museums in the area tell the narrative of this quintessentially American musical form, it’s the musical venues, ad hoc pickin’ parties and barn dances that are its soundtrack. I was hoping to sample all of them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/travel/ken-burns-country-music.html

How Much Damage Have Republicans Done in the States?

The 2018 election marked at least a temporary end to Republicans’ rise to power in many states. With full control of 26 states, Republicans had built a sustained opportunity to transform American subnational government.

Liberals certainly feared the worst. Dark portraits of the Koch brothers’ network and the American Legislative Exchange Council (known as ALEC) suggested that Republicans were in a position to fundamentally reorient states to scale back public services, serve corporations and the rich, and impose a conservative social agenda. Democrats, from this perspective, would need years, if not decades, to reverse the trend.

The Republican Party still controls many more state governments and legislative chambers than Democrats nationwide. But the fact is, the Republican results at the state level have not been very impressive. Republican-controlled state governments largely failed to enact policies that advance conservative goals. They have been effective at staying in power but have not altered the reach of government or its socio-economic impact.

Democratic fears were, as my new research details, overblown. State expenditures have continued to rise, especially in areas Democrats prioritize like health and education. Republicans slowed the growth of new liberal policies in the states but failed to reverse liberal gains or overwhelm them with new conservative laws. Conservative policies like right-to-work and private-school vouchers did pass in some states, but so did liberal policies like gay rights and drug decriminalization.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/opinion/states-republicans.html

Trump's scam is failing him, and he's in a panic over it

As President Trump prepares to run for reelection on the claim that his populist nationalist agenda has been a smashing success, it’s awfully telling that Trump and his advisers have now launched a frantic, multi-front effort to deny glaring truths about that agenda that are all right there in plain sight, for all of us to see.

A new report in the New York Times documents an emerging pattern: Trump is increasingly explaining away warning signs of a potential recession by resorting to lurid conspiracy theories. Trump claims the Federal Reserve is working against him. He also says the “Fake News Media” is fabricating recession fears — and exaggerating the damage of Trump’s trade war with China, a key driver of those fears — to cloud his reelection chances.

What we’re seeing here should be understood as panic. The Times reports this on Trump’s private ventings to advisers:

Mr. Trump has been agitated in discussions of the economy, and by the news media’s reporting of warnings of a possible recession. He has said forces that do not want him to win have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused, according to people who have spoken with him.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/19/trumps-scam-is-failing-him-hes-panic-over-it/

Trump's plan to move BLM jobs west is a shallow pretext to gut the agency's mission

Part of the problem with the constant flow of news out of the White House — from offensive tweets to potentially disastrous policies — is that acts that would have seemed outrageous in previous administrations slip past, hidden by the smoke of the Trumpster fire. The administration’s plan to effectively gut the Washington-based Bureau of Land Management is a case in point.

Some Trump administration policymakers, as well as some influential members of Congress, are philosophically opposed to the federal government owning public lands, much of which happens to be in the West, including about 80% of land within Nevada and 46% of California. All told, the federal government owns about 28% of the country’s acreage (most of it originally stolen from native tribes, but that’s another issue), and in some cases has done so for more than two centuries. The largest player in the management of non-marine federal lands is the Bureau of Land Management, which controls 248 million acres of public land and administers some 700 million acres of federal subsurface mineral rights.

And now the Trump administration — propelled by those who believe the federal government should cede much of its Western lands to state and local governments — wants to move nearly all of the BLM’s headquarters out of Washington and relocate the jobs mostly to Western states. It couches the reorganization as an effort to put more BLM workers closer to the lands they manage and reduce the agency’s costs in D.C. — office space in Grand Junction, Colo., where it wants to send 85 of the 222 affected positions, is much cheaper than in Washington.

On the surface, those seem like reasonable arguments. But public lands advocates argue persuasively that they are mere pretexts for undercutting an agency Trump advisers dislike. The vast majority of BLM jobs — 97%, according to the Public Lands Foundation — are already dispersed around the country, mostly in the West, and the bulk of the jobs to be moved out of Washington are top-level administrators and policy staffers who craft regulations and provide national oversight to regional offices. (The administration says about 60 mostly budget, legal and public affairs jobs will stay).

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-08-18/trumps-blm-jobs-west-environment-public-lands-congress

Worst date ever? Man leaves woman in car after police chase, and he vanishes in the woods

This is may be the worst date ever.

A Florida woman’s romantic evening ended in handcuffs after her date led deputies on a high-speed chase through Palm Coast, authorities said.

According to the arrest report, Diana Reid, 42, and an unidentified man were driving from Denny’s shortly after 2 Thursday morning when a Flagler County deputy attempted to stop them for a tag violation on the Palm Coast Parkway.

The man, who was driving Reid’s Dodge Charger, briefly stopped in the parking lot of First Baptist Church but sped off to the parkway as soon as the deputy got out of his vehicle. Body-cam footage shows Reid telling the deputy about her date speeding off because he didn’t have his license.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article233965357.html

Wonder if there's going to be a second date.

California sues Trump over 'public charge' rule denying green cards to immigrants

California on Friday sued the Trump administration to challenge the legality of a new “public charge” rule that could deny green cards to immigrants who receive public assistance, including food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers.

State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra filed the lawsuit in federal court in Northern California just days after the Trump administration published a new rule that could make it harder for many immigrants to gain legal status in the United States.

Legal experts say the case could turn on whether California can demonstrate the Trump administration adopted the policy with an intent to discriminate against certain immigrants, which is part of the state’s legal strategy.

“This cruel policy would force working parents and families across the nation to forgo basic necessities like food, housing and healthcare out of fear. That is simply unacceptable,” Becerra said in a statement.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-08-16/california-immigration-lawsuit-trump-public-charge

Here's what the NRA's Marion Hammer says about Florida's proposed assault weapons ban

Florida National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer warned state economists Friday that a proposed assault rifle ban would be devastating to gun manufacturers lured to the state over the last eight years.

“Gov. Rick Scott and Enterprise Florida solicited and offered significant financial incentives to gun manufacturers to come to Florida to bring more jobs,” she said, speaking to economists who must analyze the impact of a constitutional amendment proposed for the 2020 ballot that would ban assault weapons.

Hammer, speaking for the first time since back-to-back gun-related massacres in El Paso and Dayton two weeks ago, denounced the controversial amendment meant to address gun violence in Florida. The amendment would ban the future sale of assault rifles in the Sunshine State and force current owners to either register them with the state or give them up.

But Hammer said the proposed amendment doesn’t protect the more than 150 gun manufacturers in the state, many of which produce weapons that would be outlawed by the ban. Those companies would be forced to move because they couldn’t possess any new assault weapons, she said.

https://news.yahoo.com/nra-marion-hammer-says-florida-212125273.html

Planet 10 times Earth's mass may have smacked Jupiter long ago

Jupiter, the solar system's largest planet, may have been smacked head-on by an embryonic planet 10 times Earth's mass not long after being formed, a monumental crash with apparent lasting effects on the Jovian core, scientists said on Thursday.

The violent collision, hypothesized by astronomers to explain data collected by NASA's Juno spacecraft, may have occurred just several million years after the birth of the sun roughly 4.5 billion years ago following the dispersal of the primordial disk of dust and gas that gave rise to solar system.

"We believe that impacts, and in particular giant impacts, might have been rather common during the infancy of the solar system. For example, we believe that our moon formed after such an event. However, the impact that we postulate for Jupiter is a real monster," astronomer Andrea Isella of Rice University in Houston said.

Under this scenario, the still-forming planet plunged into and was consumed by Jupiter.

https://news.yahoo.com/planet-10-times-earths-mass-191044294.html

Woman calls cops to say her car is stolen -- as she speeds away from them, Iowa cops say

An Iowa woman apparently tried to trick the cops who were chasing her by calling 911 to report her car was stolen, Iowa police say.

It didn’t work.

The woman was driving 20 miles an hour over the speed limit when she sped by police Tuesday morning on Highway 30 in eastern Iowa, according to a Clinton County Sheriff’s Office news release. When a deputy tried to pull over her gray 1998 Buick Century, the woman ran a red light and sped away, police said.

Then she entered a business parking lot and turned around, heading in the other direction on the highway, police said.

https://news.yahoo.com/woman-calls-cops-her-car-205149806.html

This won't look good on her Mensa application.
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